WHAT’S IN A BEARD!

Image result for Full blown bearded men african men

“The male beard communicates a heroic image of independent, sturdy, and resourceful pioneer, ready, willing and able to do manly things,” said psychologist Robert J. Pellegrini

November might have been my birthday month but somehow also marked the end of ridicule from a good friend and deskmate whom I will refer as Chris for the sake of this article. Chris is a typical mischievous, humorous and very bright classmate if you may, who effortlessly creates lighter notes from a seemingly dull class tormented by fast approaching exams. Now, Chris decided not to shave his beards the entire month of November citing to be in solidarity with the rest of the guys who believe in not shaving in this particular month. It’s known as Movember where male adults raise awareness about men’s health issues more specifically, cancer.

For the rest of us who either have no good relationship with beards or who were caught unawares, had to deal with a Mr.Chris who did everything to make us feel bad about ourselves for failing to prove that we were in oneness with men who battle prostate cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer and liver cancer which are common in men. Forgive Chris for this weird imagination. My problem with him though is that he tried too hard to create an impression that he had full-grown beard look while in reality was struggling with a semi-arid, disoriented appearance. (Hoping Chris won’t read this).

That said, you’ll appreciate that beards have come of age on perception, metamorphosing from the conventional thinking to contemporary trends that use them as a fashion statement, to express one’s personality and to symbolise solidarity with victims of chronic illnesses. In the past, beards only proved that one was indeed a male adult. Nowadays, depending on how they are kept or shaved, they can enhance or totally disfigure one’s look. From a research I did at a recent time amongst friends of either gender; female respondents showed a very high correlation between how they perceive a man and how their beards appear to be.

Let’s sample a few reactions I received from ladies when posed the question;

What’s your take about men who keep beards and them that not?

Respondent A: A Man who keep well-kept beards appear to be mature, responsible and more manly but in situations where the dressing does not match his style of hair and beard cut, it implies a disconnect but the same dude in casual outlook gives a totally different implication…..Those with trimmed beards appear more presentable.

Respondent B: I believe it’s an individual’s preference however I personally prefer men with well-kept, trimmed beards.

Respondent C: I prefer a complete shave…It’s neat and brings out some kind of order in a guy’s image.

Respondent D: Some look handsome while some are deemed not grow beards at all!. I prefer a neat beard, trimmed and well cut. And he has to have a smooth face not a bearded face with pimples looking like a forest in the hills!!!

Interestingly, from my findings, ladies have stereotyped men with fully grown beards to be ‘Bad boys’, unreliable in the society, hostile and bully.

A good number of male respondents didn’t have much of a problem in fact insisting beards are a sense of male identity, and part of their personality and expression. Some said they keep them to justify their age which if not, are misjudged to be young boys. A majority of them confessed to keep well-trimmed beards by virtue of their careers which otherwise would be taken to be disorganised, arrogant and unprofessional.

Well, researchers agree that men who keep beards do so to appear dominant among other men. Moreover, they are stronger, older and more aggressive. They are also likely to have deeper voices and rated as the most attractive. In contrast though, some experts have it that beards can harbour more germs than a toilet. They have warned that beards are nothing more than a ‘bacterial sponge’, riddled with thousands of bacteria and a perfect way to pass on germs. The cuticles on the hair which are like layers of tiles on a roof, trap the germs and grease. Hair around nostrils and mouth is well-placed to harbour bacteria. Men have a habit of over-handling their beards, meaning they can spread bacteria to their mouths. If their hands are dirty, they transfer dirt from their hands on to their face and mouths.

TYPES OF BEARDS

Wild Beard

The full-on scraggly, all-over beard belongs to a very specific man. Not many can pull off its wild ways. It epitomise boldness, super confidence and egocentric. This look is also likely to be kept by people battling depression, relationship or marriage breakups and loss of job.

The He – Goat Beard

This is kept by outgoing men who love exploring, have a soft spot for outdoor activities and are self-employed. They are also likely to be sophisticated, mischievous, non-conformers and have a sense of humour.

Cleaned Shaved Beard

This is common with men who don’t love attention, cautionary when it comes to risk, and mostly semi introverts. These type of men have a belief that all grown beards are irritating, demanding and trigger itching.

The Scruffy Chin

This type of look is close to the weird beard but a bit trimmed and well-kept. This is for men who are fashion sensitive, have time for themselves and pay attention to image.

The U – Shaped

This type of look is for men who are averse to change. It is mostly common with men above 35 years, who grew up listening to KBC radio and who unfortunately believe that it’s still trendy to have such a look in the post-Trump era. We forgive them!

Male beards have endured endless battles that somehow threaten their extinction with perceptions that men who clean shave appear more presentable. In the midst of these challenges, beards remain stubborn, unbowed and rebellious, confronting all roadblocks that threaten their legacy with a pinch of resilience. What does the future hold for them? Will men stand to erode part of their heritage by doing away with them? The jury is out.

A MEETING OF SORTS: MR. X & I

Mr.x2On this afternoon, I get a text from a close friend reading that there is this gentleman, whom we shall name Mr. X, in dire need to meet me to have an important conversation. I immediately call my good friend to dig dipper. She doesn’t disclose as much, only alluding that Mr. X has some great opportunities if only I’d be interested. We end the conversation. By the way, the text had his number. At least my number wasn’t given out without a heads up. We call that courtesy. Well, I take my time wondering what Mr. X could be having in store for me. I even start questioning, why me and not any other person. You know how fears and doubts can tread on someone? Shame on them. May these demons of self doubt die premature deaths.

This was last week….

Thanks to the temptations of thinking that the grass is always greener on the other side, thoughts of me calling Mr. X were receiving National spotlight in my world. It could be the turnaround I have been waiting for, you know! I thought. They say opportunity knocks once, meaning it should be grabbed with all vitality in our possession. In this very competitive life, one cannot afford to pull a seat and wait. By now, I was on adrenaline, my mind going wild, occasionally throwing random thoughts that probably my dreams could come sooner…my savings could grow confidence and my tight budgets could loosen. I was on a mental treadmill trying miserably to control my jumpy heartbeat and the roaming mind. Speaking of my mind, it literally downed its tools on whatever it was working on, took off the dusty apron for the day and ran after the building illusions. As for me and the rest of my body, we pulled duvets and watched in amusement. “This is it!” I mumbled to myself.

In few minutes time, I was calling Mr. X, resisting an overwhelming anxiety. I helplessly listened to my phone requesting him to pick up from the other end. My fondly gadget remained so hopeful but unfortunately it didn’t come to be. Something else interrupted in a few….My call was hanged up. How? Jesus Christ of Nazereth? How does Mr. X hang up on me? It doesn’t happen especially when you sort to reach me through somebody. Mr. X c’mon. That was a mistake which I wasn’t taking lying down. How could I? At least not when I had a whole pregnant mammoth of illusions, expectations, built castles, racing hearts, shivering hands and anxious eyes eagerly waiting for my State of the Nation address. This build up of momentum couldn’t be in vain? Surely Mr. X

I retreated to the penthouse with my very trusted confidants eager to build a counter narrative, a Plan B & C and a painful exit strategy if need be. I was here chairing a tensed meeting, clouded with uneasiness and simmering frustrations smoldering from the cracks of vague hopes. Seated with me were my Instincts on the right, which serve as my National Intelligence docket. Present too were my emotions tough to persuade not to overreact. I had to give them (emotions) a dress down speech, on how to behave and be hopeful. In our midst was my Ego pulling no stops in giving indirect subtle threats and ultimatums to Mr. X lawyers. You see you have to give it to my Ego. It’s okay to liken it with one Nkaissery. Fiery loyal, protective and gun blazing. Dare me hehe. My P.A was also present having been represented by my Personality. My lawyers were in the vicinity too hired from the enviable Kageshi Kingdom. The chiefdom was in a crisis if you may, and summons had to be honoured.

Straight on the agenda was how to prepare for Mr. X:

  • How organised and ready was he to find us?
  • If he’d ask for some commitment fee, could our Treasury be in a position to honour?
  • How quickly were we to do our maths in finding out if the deal was exploitive? He could be a cunning salesman you know!
  • What if he didn’t call or pick up our calls ………after having the whole nation after us? It’s like Obama cancelling a nostalgic and over publicised trip to Kenya. But we rode on an assumption that Mr. X was a very busy man and could be calling in no time.

Meanwhile we kept the bulging battery of journalists around penthouse guessing on what could be cooking

And he finally called. From the onset, I could sense he was a salesman all hidden by the wishy washy preambles. Keen to listen, careful with his words and bringing along, a well -oiled confidence. Make no mistake he had mastered his game and was here to pursue a target. To catch and confuse a seemingly naive soul, a gullible taxpayer and an impatient youthful employee scared of stagnation.

So the eagerly awaited deal was all about joining his establishment, for lack of a better word, that partners with hotels across the world and endeavors to bridge the space between holiday enthusiasts and holiday destinations. He is a senior official in this organisation and his work is concisely to recruit, recruiters. Don’t get twisted. He is the chief of them all and have set base across 29 countries including Kenya. From the eye infectious sandy beaches in Singapore, rolling high walls in China to one of the longest suspension bridges in the world sandwiched by a thick forest and wild animals in British Columbia, what else could you ask for. The thing is, this package comes with discounted bookings in thousands of hotels around the globe. The trick is; the more people you net in, one gets a commission but Mr. X gets a tidier sum of money. It’s like being your own boss but having to part with huge commissions for the big brother. You recall the euphoria about GNLD back in the day? It’s the same concept.

Call him Mr. X. He is defined by zero chills and the art of conviction. He is a self -believer, has a feel good effect and good at charm offense. He can sell you land in Pluto, convince you to lend him all your savings or share your wife with him. He knows nothing about uninterested clients. They never exist in his world. He has this witty smile that talks of the devil being in the details. Even without having met him you could tell he looks straight to the face with eyes that can audit your life and find out about your bank balance in seconds.Funny enough, Mr. X doesn’t understand how to end a conversation. He calls for 30 minutes with a Safaricom line with no indications of hanging up soon. He will call when you are preparing evening tea, have it ready and taken, listen to him as you clean your dishes, as you dust your carpet, as you watch the news, as you say hey to your neighbour, without him getting bothered of the background noise or of your annoying yawns. He takes no chances. The fact that one has to raise a minimum capital and pay a monthly charge if he/she fail to maintain at least 4 active members was my point of departure with him. That was too much work for me.

Meanwhile, all my imaginations came grand halting, hitting down with thunders of frustrations and salivating for my blood like the armies of the movie, Game of Thrones. The annoying part is, thanks to Mr. X’s marketing skills I didn’t know how to say No. Yes, I’m one of those who nod when they mean No. I belong to the school of thought that is afraid of hurting people with cold Nos. Haha. At this minute, Mr. X is waiting for my appointment and I have no clue on what to tell him. Anyone willing to help..Andreaders?

Surely Mr. X

HOW WILL YOUR EULOGY READ?

AliI have always wondered how my eulogy will read. Isn’t that suicidal though? Shouldn’t I book an appointment with Madam Grace the lean bodied, tall woman, with crops of grey hair who on this day will be donning one of those flowery dresses worn on a sunny wedding day which will seem to flatter her waistline and make her not seem a day older after 28. I’ll pop to her Counseling office and find her reading “How Women Decide” by Therese Huston. I’ll not miss the sparkling glass of water, half filled. She is one of those that takes water religiously and from look of things; I will be left to conclude she is ageing gracefully. She will sag her specs, hold my right hand and be like;

Young man, what’s your name again?

Andrew.

Andrew, you don’t look an inch closer to having a troubled life. Why do you bother about your eulogy, really? By the way what do you do for a living?

I’m a practising accountant, writer but they call it blogging, business man, student, and child of God.

You said child of God

Yes.

Wow, you are incredible.

Hold that for a minute…

Last weekend I found myself inside an over speeding Matatu being shoved from side to side from careless overtaking and outliving screeching breaks. That was me agonising if I’d make it to my destination, only comforted by faint hopes from a loosely fitting and dirty safety belt. I tried in vain to Toa Sauti backed by an elderly man seated next to me while the rest of the younger generation remained stitched to their addictive phones with their older counterparts seemingly struggling with sleepy faces perhaps not agitated by the unbecoming driver, after going through scarier stuff in life than being in a speeding matatu. The fact that my very dear life hanged precariously at the mercy of a driver who seemed not excited by life anymore was nerve racking enough to make my heart jump out my juvenile chest. Interestingly I had this to think in that one hour’s journey;

Just what if the worst happened and we crashed? You know in Africa, a son of the soil never dies before siring at least an offspring. It’s catastrophic, a worse tragedy than death and daunting period for the family. They just can seat next to that boggling reality. They will perform sacrifices at 3am under an aged Mugumo Tree that has stories to tell of how it made it to this day oblivious of the growing threat from timber enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. They will skin a he-goat without blemish, smear themselves with raw stuff from the intestines while facing Mt.Kenya, half naked, each holding a fly-whisk singing to Mulungu traditional songs and pleading with him to pardon me for not leaving behind a son or daughter to bequeath and keep our family name alive.

But who said we shouldn’t write about death? I know it’s still considered a taboo equaled to haunting one’s death in many African societies but this is 2016 Andreaders! It’s through writing about death that should help us audit our lives. Was it last year that I read on the gracious column by Carol Mandi of Sunday Nation about eulogies. She talked of how a group of people were tasked with writing about their deaths assuming they died that particular day (Today). They were asked whether they were proud of their lives, their achievements or lack of them and whether God would be proud of them. They were then tasked to write another set of eulogies this time round having achieved all they hoped to, in their days here on earth.

As expected, the second set of eulogies was way different from the initial one. They were enviable and conquering. But who knows if they will live to have such eulogies? It’s through such conversations that should help us cut the slack and the baggage that clogs our daily lives and align them to our goals. And goals shouldn’t necessarily be about, incredible homes, intimidating cars, plum jobs and beautiful kids and traversing the world. That’s too obvious and cosmetic. We should have bigger dreams and more inspiring like;

Resolving to be better human beings – Kind, honest, prayerful, who speak less and listen more, who look after the elderly, who give time for the less fortunate just to be with them and appreciate them, who mentor boys and girls from marginalised parts of the country without asking for a fee, people who donate to the poor and vulnerable amongst us, who resolve not to bribe or to accept bribes, people who promise not to litter while driving along highways, or drive while drunk. Souls who don’t grab land or fail to pay taxes or brood a bevy of sidekicks from all walks of life just because they are powerful and influential.

Promising ourselves that we won’t leave our families under the mercy of being undressed by shame and undignifying life kept in top secret when we are long gone. Imagine that’s part of what matters, like being good role models to our kids, nephews and nieces and instilling in them the spirit of hard work, diligence and of being responsible fathers and mothers. It’s not about your bank balance, or where you travelled before you hit 40 or how a party animal you were in your 20s. It won’t matter. And people will definitely forget that, as they attend your burial. But the vulnerable lives you touched, and thousands that you inspired in your own unique and small way will be remembered for decades. It will affirm young dreams, rejuvenate emaciated hopes and usher positive energy to souls across the nation(s).

Come to think of Mohammad Ali. Rest in peace legend. Have you heard or read of a more decorated human being? Classified in the same level with great icons like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Karl Marx, William Shakespeare and many others. What an incredible persona this guy was. A brewer of positive energy, liberal, conqueror, phenomenal and greatest of them all. This reminds me of a function I attended whose chief guest of honour was the celebrated CEO Julius Kipng’etich. He talked of how, many rich and successful people aren’t free. They are slaves of money, entitlement and fine things life has to offer. Mohammad Ali was not only free of mind, but more importantly never a sycophant of anybody. Many of us are sycophants of our jobs, bosses, families, spouses, friends ……never speaking up our minds or being true to ourselves.

Every month I get to interact with souls that earn 9k, who work in below 5 degrees temperature levels, nine and a half hours a day, 7 days a week plucking export flowers  or arranging and packing them meticulously for overseas markets. They spend their days standing or bending depending on the department they are in, all in green overalls and white gumboots, and warm gloves and with like two -three sweaters if they work in the Pack – House as is referred in the Flower industry. They take cold food since there are no luxuries like staff rations or a kitchen for that matter, not even canteens. At 1pm, a horde of them will walk in droves, speaking loudly and excitedly making their way out to take numb food that can’t be warmed and that will sink to cold stomachs and be expected to warm cold bodies that have been standing for hours in ice low temperatures. But one thing stands out, every time I mingle with them: The hope in the rays of their eyes is touchable. They live a day at a time in peace with reality but aggressively doing their best with what they have, all along supporting their needful families. A good number of them are single mothers living in shattered houses that ask for a rent of sh.1,500 and who ensure their kids attend school and have a meal in the evening. What of you? Where does your heft salary end up at the end of the month? Are you investing or expensing it in entirety?

Will your eulogy lie between the lines that you were an above average, industrious, incredible and awesome human being. Note that above average has nothing to do with education papers but the whole package of your existence. How you interacted with people, the legacy your friends, close relatives and maybe your kids will write about, 30 years from now. Fundamentals and life principles you instilled in them that will be too deep rooted and relevant, decades after you’re gone. That’s the benchmarking we should all set for ourselves, not living empty lives and borrowing heavily to support a lifestyle that has nothing to do with our goals apart from disorienting us from the very same goals. We should die trying, refusing to bow down to life challenges. Our lives should be themed with aphorisms like – Lose unrelentingly…I’m a consequence of my choices…I take full responsibility of my mistakes…I didn’t live somebody else’s life…Lord I repent my sins and those of my parents and generation…I’m sorry to whoever I wronged intentionally or otherwise…I’m the greatest of them all in my Kingdom…No word or action will ever distract me from my goals…I lived to conquer my worst fears…I tasted freedom when I ceased being a captive of my imagination…It’s been real being alive, time for the next phase…My transition won’t not only be televised but experienced by many!

That’s the spirit. Let’s create the best from our potentials as it lasts. You just never know! And to whom much is given, much is expected.

 

MISS RECEPTIONIST

receptionist 2Last Saturday I checked in at a doctor’s place for a random check up. I met an empty front office, well laid out, neat and inviting. I rested on the couch convinced that the receptionist would show up in a matter of minutes. She could be in the ladies, I thought so. Well, I waited for a boring 45 minutes, my only accompaniment being the diligent wall cloak that drooled at me, hanging a meter length above my damn forehead.

I stared at the pricey, clean, manicured interiors of this office until there was no more to stare. I went over my phone, camped in the social media apps, survived the heated arguments about Nakuru and Kibera rallies on Facebook,  toured Twitter streets and found them debating about the incredible CBK governor Patrick Njoroge and how he pockets a paltry sh.18,000 while giving the rest to the poor. I wasn’t convinced how a man of his stature could survive with sh.18,000 in Nairobi, never mind, I moved on. Across the streets were the financial and economy intellects the likes of Kenyanwallstreet and Aly-Khan Satchu debating everything from how Chase Bank will be less complicated than Imperial Bank to clean up, to how Tanzania gate crushed the oil pipeline deal between Kenya and Uganda and ran away with it.

I landed on Instagram and got dazzled by what I saw on that morning. Even after all this wastage of time, there was no receptionist to attend me. By now my patience had run out. My eyes got hold of this number artistically inscribed in a piece of artwork that was placed strategically. I called the number only to answered by a lady. Okay, I thought the voice would sound baritone and come stamped by white-like beards. Yaani I expected a Dr. Muthui* (Not his real name) to respond from the other end.

I went ahead and introduced myself before subtly throwing a complaint of how I had waited for a whole 45 minutes without being attended. The mellow voice changed in a matter of seconds. I could hear her cocking her throat and arming herself with all the ATT this world has got. This is how it went down;

 

It can’t be 45 minutes. I have just left 10 minutes ago for tea break.

 You can confirm from the security guys. According to my watch, I have been here for so long.

 It can’t be 45. I’m coming. (She went quiet.)

 (I hanged up.)

 

Before I screamed who cares about her tea break and how was that my problem, I had a tap on my left shoulder. It was my doting Angel hanging lowly and occasionally flapping his humongous wings. He calmed me down even before I got an explanation of how long 10 minutes were, in this part of the world.

She popped in. And there was an awkward silence between us taking shape. She was eager to meet this hell-of- a-client who was throwing shade to her amazing and futuristic career. She gave me a handshake and went straight to her desk. She had a Brenda Wairimu(Actress) resemblance. SmaIl face, a smaller nose, petite physique, extremely light skinned and a commanding persona. Dainty ladies have a way of commanding authority; if it’s not from their assertive voice, then it has to be their confusing hairstyle or resistful eyes or the miniskirts. Haha nature has a way of balancing things.

I inquired about the doctor and to my disappointment he was absent for that day. WTH!!………..How now. They should have placed a sticker somewhere or close the office.

I never like it when a day starts on such a low note. I left when we had made peace and even assured her I will be coming back next week.  That done, my Angel was at it again. This time hovering around me while I made my way out. He made me remember how lawyers accompany their clients from the courtroom heading to the parking bay ignoring the journalists.

 

What is it Angel?

 It’s time we wrote about receptionists.

 Well, I could try it soon.

You got me.

 Thanks Angel.

 

So, I thought about what makes a good or bad receptionist. Has anyone ever bothered to write about the different species of front office ladies? This would be hard to crack but interesting too.

Moody and Mean

These are customer care operators who make it our business to stomach their soaring levels of stress or bad mornings. You identify them by the moment you walk into a waiting lobby. They will pretend not to have seen you and go ahead to hit the keyboard hard, head lowered until someone walks from the opposite direction to have a word with them. That’s when they will be like, “sorry, how can I help you?” They also make long conversations sandwiched by disturbing laughters disregarding your presence and urgency.

Timid

Occasionally you will walk into an office and meet an extremely shy receptionist. She will hardly look to your direction and many a times have a voice that will not be audible. You will struggle to have a conversation with her and will leave with an unsatisfied look.

 Old Lady

You will find them mainly in government offices. They will be grey haired with loosely fitted specs and will take a million years to type a sentence. They will be motherly too, breathing heavily but quite reliable.

Men Only

This type pays homage to men only. They like it when men flatter with them for whatever reason. They highly have fun with serving the male clientele and even go to any length to please them.Typically, these are ladies who entertain a lot of men even in their personal lives.

The Multitasking and Smiley

These are best. They will answer calls from a different end as they take down your details while sorting out the files and reaching on the Messenger to give orders. They will depict high levels of energy, give genuine smiles and lend a keen ear. They will seem motivated and good at what they do. And the icing on the cake; they will recall your first name when you come back few days later.

My angel and I are so done with this challenge and on to the next one.

Blessed week Andreaders and may you Fiji all your good-for-nothing critics, competitors and haters.

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT BECAME OF ‘PASTORS’

pastor standSomething happened this week. And as you would guess, I ringed Kageshi straightaway to have her opinion. She baptised me with endless laughter until I was like;

Andreaders should know about this. By the way, Andreaders refers to you and you and you that checks on my blog devotedly.

Great. Can we move on?

I got to the house one evening and even before I dropped-dead on the couch out of a day’s fatigue, decided to check on my Mama Mboga for some items. I had to wait for kindu 10 minutes since I didn’t want the juggle of going to and fro the house. So I patiently waited for my turn.

Meanwhile, Mama Mboga alerted me of her Pastor/Overseer/Bishop/Man of god quite a distance, making his way to her kibanda. She looked disturbed and even got pensive. From where I sat, I didn’t make anything unusual of a pastor passing by.

Probably he was making his home, you know? I thought. Haha. I was very wrong.

It appeared the pasi was deliberately making his way to this particular vendor. Why so? You won’t believe. Apparently Mama Mboga worships in his church and why this pastor was here, was for the reason that Mama Mboga had not been seen in church for a couple of Sundays including Easter time. In other words, the pasi was coming to look for a lost sheep. There was no way this church leader would watch his sheep flee away having succumbed to the ‘world’. He was here to denounce this bad spirit that was wobbling around his hard-to-gather flock. It was simply unacceptable.

Interestingly, I found myself in this unfolding melee and mission bring-back-our-sheep. God had placed me in the center of this crossroad. My God has a sense of humour. In fact I asked Him, seriously, God? You need me to write about this? And His angel that he has always directed to oversee my moves since I was in my mother’s womb and who often than not, let him down in my humanly moves; sorry Angel…conveyed a message that yes this would make a good piece.

Not for long, the pasi had already made his way to this not so ordinary kibanda. In fact, he announced his arrival by taking his time to have a word with the half a dozen playful kids next to the vendor. By now, he had stolen the show. Mama Mboga and I were reduced to flower girls smiling unrelentingly, nodding to his every word and sometimes clapping for him.

That done, he made two steps forward to where I was and immediately inquired my name putting on a charming face. You know of pastors when they want to understand which side of the clothing you were made from. Like, are you friendly, humble, intelligent, inquisitive, poachable, bla bla. They make these calculations very fast. This happens the moment they firmly shake your hands while posing a question and when you start responding to them. Pastors and psychologists are one and the same. They can tell who you are even before you open your mouth.

This is how it rolled;

What is your name sir!

While taking my time……Andrew.

Ooh Andrew the disciple of Jesus (chuckling)

It was long since I last had that…..Yes.

Who do you work for?

That offended me. Here was a guy whom I hadn’t met before, pestering me with such questions while he hadn’t introduced himself to me in the first place. I thought of lying to him…..I did exactly that. I lied to him I work in one of the local banks in town.

Which bank?

I mentioned the bank.

Aah, I was the first person to open a bank account in that place, back in 2010.

My mind was like; that was not necessary!

Did you know of the very first Branch Manager (insert name)?

Appearing clueless, 2010 was a long time ago. I was in college.

He was a great manager. Who is the current manager??

That got me flat footed. Why did I lie to a man of god. I would have saved myself this trouble….. aaaaaah Mr. Musyoka. (Where the hell did I get that name.) 

Right.

My face saved me. He believed me.

He moved to the poor Mama Mboga who by now was almost panicking. You know those pasis who roam around like public schools headmasters. Okay, I mean when headmasters were the real thing. When they were the only fellows who owned cars back in the day. And why was it that nothing would take away their love for the brown bottle? They would religiously frequent the bar next to the school than they would visit a class. And they commanded such tremendous respect. Wow! This pastor was throwing such an attitude. How did I find myself in this upheaval!!

After the pasi exchanged pleasantries with the Mama Mboga, I met my shocker. He made the Mama stop whatever she was doing and also requested me to check on her kibanda as they made their way to her house for a few minutes. I was made to guard this kibanda. You should have seen how confused I was, wondering how to react to this defeating shocker. Hail Mother Mary, I sighed. This was one big joke. From what I understood, he was checking to her house for a few minutes to tame this sheep that had shown signs of fleeing from the rest of the flock.  Why the house now, especially when his kondoo was busy attending to her customers? Don’t forget that he prayed for us even before shaking our hands.

A customer was turned to a guard for minutes that dragged on and on. I would touch the shock on me. Seriously, who does that? Okay, the mama had failed to appear in your church for several days and there was a prudent reason to visit her and find out what was happening. But again, wisdom has it that someone got to appreciate where his/her rights begin and end. The moment they start encroaching on the other person’s rights, then you got to stop. I was the other person in this situation. Not giving a damn on the lost and found sheep. I was here to have some stuff prepared for me to have supper. Whether this Mama had not shown up in church for some time now, was none of my business.

With all due respect to genuine men of God who do all they can to spread the Gospel and instill solid Christianity values, appearing too overzealous to an extent of being disruptive can be self-defeating and in actual sense negate the very essence of their mission. It was very disrespectful for the purported pastor to halt all that was happening at this vendor and even daring to drag this mama to her house for God knows what and leave stranded clients in waiting. I hope Kageshi won’t drag in a wannabe pasi to our house at odd hours for a cup of tea and a plate of omelette that is ostensibly never served to me.

Radicalisation does not only happen in matters terrorism but also in cases where Christians make church leaders command extreme authority and appear to behave like demigods.