Harambee left me high and dry
Posted Saturday, July 7 2012 at 15:04
A few weeks ago, Apostle Elkana of The Holiest of All Ghosts (THOAG) Tabernacle Assembly visited me at school.
We sat under the mango tree where I had a long chat with the man of God. After praying and encouraging me to keep up the faith, he said: “Andrea, we are still struggling.”
He explained that they had difficulty completing a toilet which they began constructing two years ago.
“We have held several harambees but we have not been able to raise enough money for this. Praise God. We are now coming to you, our good son, for help,” he said.
When I told him I was equally struggling, he told me not to worry. “We do not want a lot of money from you. All we want is for you to be the guest of honour at our harambee.
I have a pro forma which you will use to raise money from your friends and colleagues at school.” “Do you know my colleagues?” I asked him. “Wote ni mkono birika.”
Apostle Elkana said he would also invite other people to assist me at the harambee. In the end I accepted. From one of the pockets of his robes, he removed an invitation card. It read:
Rev Apostle Overseer Elkana, The Anointed Spiritual Superintend of THOAG Tabernacle Assembly, and the Synagogue’s Permanent Management Development Committee,
Have the enviable pleasure of Cordially inviting you to a fund-raising in aid of the construction of the Sanctuary’s post ultra-modern lavatory and sanitary wing on Sunday, 30th June, 2012.
The esteemed guest of honour who will grace the ceremony will be our great son,
Mwalimu Andrew, Esquire, CRE, INSHA (BEd. Hons KU– ongoing),
Come one, Come two, come all.
Behind the card were lines where contributors would write their names and contributions. Seeing my name on the card made me very happy. I told the Apostle I would try my best.
That evening, as I walked home, I hatched a good plan of collecting money for the harambee.
I planned would indicate on the card that I had contributed Sh500 and convince both Pius to Ford to each give me a similar amount. I would then get all my colleagues, my KU classmates and other teachers to give at least Sh200 each.
If all went well, I expected to raise some Sh5,000. Imagine how popular I would be if I gave Sh5,000 at a harambee. Only our MP has donated such an amount.
I wrote Sh1,000 against my name, reckoning this would encourage my colleagues to contribute more. The next day, I started asking teachers for donations. Women are easier prey so I started with Madam Ruth.
“Harambee for the church is a good idea,” she said. “But hii card yako inakaa ya wadosi,” She then pledged Sh250. “Nitakulipa end-month,” she said. Madam Mary and Anita pledged Sh200 each and Mrs Atika said she never gives money for harambees.
Juma and Kwame each pledged Sh300 each but refused to commit themselves on paper. I had wanted to keep this a private matter but not with people like Rumona around. As we had tea, she brought up the story.
“Gosh, si watu ni wakora hii Kenya!” she said. “What is, Mona?” asked Tito. “How can someone ask me to contribute for a church toilet? Churches do not need toilets” “Yenyewe.
Kwani kanisa ni hoteli?” wondered Tito. “Si ukikazwa kanisani unaenda choo ya jirani?” “True, it’s only one day in a week,” said Mrs Atika. But Madam Ruth told them it was “God’s work.”