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LIFE BY LOUIS: Remembering the ‘real’ men of the cloth

Monday September 30 2019

A certain city pastor has gained popularity for his antics at the pulpit. ILLUSTRATION| IGAH

A certain city pastor has gained popularity for his antics at the pulpit. ILLUSTRATION| IGAH 

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A certain city pastor has gained popularity for his antics at the pulpit. Despite his woes with law enforcement and basically everyone else that he comes across, he still remains ever popular and continues to attract more congregants to his church.

His fortunes continue to grow, and he is never shy to display his opulence to all that care to follow his theatrics. His standards of living are something that one would admire in these hard economic times.

I for one would easily offer to take his job at half pay if I were guaranteed of a life in the well treed neighbourhoods of this city, a car that is as powerful as a medium sized hydro power station and a healthy balance in my bank account that is watered every Sunday by my diehard adherents.


The noble job of being the good shepherd of Gods flock has been evolving over the years, and tremendously so over the last decade. It was hardly this way when we were growing up fearing fire and brimstone from the skies.

My first encounter with straight men of cloth was in my village where I grew up believing that the devil was a hideous person with two sharp horns and who dwelt in the crust of the earth where coal fire burned forever.


I used to admire the way the men of old went to church every Sunday in sharp suits and with their wives and children tagging along.

Those were the real men of cloth who spread the good word before the gospel of planting seeds came.

When I joined Karugo Group of Schools, I remember it was one of those pastors who awakened in me the desire to inherit the promised throne and wear a crown of gold on my head.

He used to walk around with a trumpet and every time he blew into it and thick veins formed on his neck, I thought he must have been a close descendant of John the Baptist.

He taught us a song called “Binu Batata”, up to this day I have no idea what that meant.

Every time we sang the song and he weaved in and out of the song with the melodious blasts from the trumpet, I felt closer to the prophet of old who went up to heaven in a horse chariot.


Later when I joined high school, I encountered junior boys of the cloth called Christian Union, then simply referred to as CU.

I really admired the way they could sing whole English gospel songs and preach to the entire school during parade in English.

One devout CU boy was quite a good preacher, although he used to say “It is your upon” instead of “It is upon you”, and I found that rather grammatically offensive and hilarious at the same time.

The boys from CU were quite distinctive due to their demeanour that was amplified by their way of dressing.

They were always impeccably dressed and kept short hair and well-trimmed nails unlike the rest of us who sometimes resembled members of an illegal sect.

They were always in the classroom studying or in the dormitory doing all the right things while the rest of us of less faith squandered precious study time talking about cars and imaginary girlfriends.

The CU boys also never participated in strikes and other form of picketing. They were the first to disperse from a gathering where trouble was brewing.

They were also more likely to report any signs of unrest to the higher authorities, and we somehow thought they formed a good network of spies and traitors at the payroll of the headmaster.

The administration liked them though, and quite a number of them were always being harvested for lucrative positions of class prefects and dormitory captains.

We also used to have Young Catholic Students movement that was affiliated to my denomination.

However, this group was known more for having trips to neighbouring girl schools where some of the members kept a string of girlfriends.

As a result, the movement attracted a huge following including boys who had never set foot in a church compound in their entire lives.

Despite all these interesting happenings in the extra-curricular field, when time came for us to choose school clubs, I joined the agricultural club where I was guaranteed of attending the Nairobi International Show every year.

Traveling to Nairobi was more alluring to me as compared to being a seeker of the kingdom.