This lockdown is a good break from sadaka and tithe
By William Dekker
We may look sad about these stay-at-home measures imposed by the government, but deep down we are happy that we don’t have to pay offertory for ten Sundays now and counting. We may look frustrated with this coronavirus pandemic but deep down feel relieved from paying tithe for a couple of months now.
Talking about tithe; if there is anything that can restore your faith to default settings is the manner in which tithe is often extracted from the congregation. All I recall is those guilt-tripping sermons that pierce your soul all the way to the pockets. The atmosphere of tension and stygiophobia (the fear of hell – and its torments ?) often pricks even the stingiest of men in the congregation. After all, nobody wants to lose heaven – even though we haven’t paid one-tenth of our dues. Lord have mercy!
Tithe aside, don’t you just dread the lyrics in those ‘sadaka’ songs and the witch-hunt oozing from the choir members when they sing the third stanza of: TOA NDUGU (TOA DADA), TOA NDUGU (TOA DADA) ULICHO NACHO WEWE, BWANA ANAKUONA MPAKA MOYONI MWAKO? And so, with fear, we rise and queue with one-tenth of what we find in our pockets that Sunday (even though it rarely exceeds Ksh.100). I vividly recall a Sunday that Gogo (Edu Moen) had to slide into the offertory box, a carefully folded copy of his mwakenya notes, to avoid embarrassment as the whole bench rose to join the offertory queue. His crush was seated behind us – there was no way he was going to be left alone in a 65-seater bench. Machos!
We may look frustrated at these curfews but deep down we feel relieved from paying dinner and coffee meet-up bills for people who will crop us out of their food photos. Men, do you feel me? We may talk about the inconveniences of the lockdown, but deep down in the bone marrow, we are relieved from paying for their uber charges back to Mirema and Zimmerman while we board matatus for a two-hour noisy and smoky journey back to Ngong.
You see that Friday before the first case of Covid-19 was announced, I was meeting a friend of the opposite gender at Café Deli – Kenyatta Avenue (yes, I know your minds have gone wild. Hehe…my fren, relax, it was just a friend. Anyway, there’s nowhere you will take me!).
After seven jars of iced latte, some salad and pork ribs we were done for the day. However, when I got home, my heart sunk severally and maybe I fainted a couple of times from viewing her social media posts. The food was there but I wasn’t! But that was not the big deal. The bomb was in the captions. In no particular order they read: “TREATING MYSELF FROM MY SWEAT…FRIDAYS ARE FOR SELF-LOVE…A GIRL WHO WORKS HARD SPENDS HER MONEY RIGHT…WHEN YOU CAN AFFORD IT, GO FOR IT…#GIRLPOWER etc!” Brethren, that was my money that had been converted to food, then to pictures and now to self-elevating feminist quotes. It was sad! As Stevo Simple Boy put it, “inauma lakini…” kamilisha methali – 10 marks.
Today, when I see on her WhatsApp status, videos of her cooking cabbage from her bedsitter in Kahawa Wendani, my heart gladdens with joy. Karma is indeed defender of the boychild!
William Dekker is a Strategic Communication Specialist