How my colleague beat Sh1,000 demonetisation deadline
When fellow MCA, Chonjo, asked me to accompany him to church over the weekend, I did not take him seriously.
This is one man I have never associated with religion. Well, I don’t claim to be that religious either, but at least I go to church once in a while. But Chonjo and church! Hapana!
“Bwana Gwinso, I just feel like thanking the Almighty for the good things He has done for us. Had it not been for His mercies, you know we would be nowhere,” he said when I inquired about this sudden change of heart.
“So which church do you want us to attend?”
“Any. You choose one.”
My natural choice was the one Mama Hiro attends. It was long since I last went there. Appearing there accompanied by a powerful guest like Chonjo would surely boost my image in the eyes of the worshippers. Mama Hiro, the daughter of my mum-in-law, could not hide her joy when I told her of our intention.
However, her happiness quickly turned into suspicion when I informed her of Chonjo’s reasons for attending the worship service.
“Why our church? Si there are churches in his ward?” she asked.
“Surely, you don’t want to stop people from visiting, do you? It is written that visitors are angels,” I replied.
“Ok, as long as he does not bring politics to our church.”
“No way. Ours is purely a thanksgiving mission. No politics!” I hoped I had spoken for Chonjo, too.
So yesterday morning found an immaculately dressed, saintly-looking MCA Chonjo at my door. He was carrying a bag which I guessed contained a Bible.
“Kwani you people are not ready to go to the house of the Lord?” he asked with the air of an old testament prophet.
“We shall be ready in a few minutes,” Mama Hiro said.
It was, however, about an hour later that we left the house.
“Remember, I don’t want a front seat. I just want to be among the ordinary worshippers,” Chonjo said for the umpteenth time.
We walked in and sat at what we thought was the most inconspicuous position. Mama Hiro, being a choir member, sat at the front. As the service went on, I realised Chonjo did not have a Bible. What, then did he have inside his bag which he was holding so protectively?
When the MCA whispered he had something he wanted to share with the other worshippers at the end of the service, I knew the man had surely been touched. I quickly scribbled this request in a piece of paper and passed it to Mama Hiro.
“You will accompany me to the front in case I am called,” he told me.
At the tail end of the service, the church elder announced that there was a special guest who had something to share with the congregation. “This is the MCA of our neighbouring ward,” he said. “Mheshimiwa, karibu. And remember...no politics, please.”
Chonjo nudged me and we made our way to the front. He was carrying his bag. He introduced himself and announced that we just wanted to give a small thanksgiving offering.
“The Bible says somewhere between the book of Genesis and Revelation that it is better to give than to receive. It also says that blessed are those who give,” he said.
The MCA then opened his bag and produced several wads of Sh1,000 notes, all of them in the old banknotes. He placed them in a heap on the pulpit.
“The governor, your MCA here and myself have decided to give this small offering, just to give thanks,” he said.
I was taken aback since as far as I was concerned, I had not contributed a single cent in this offering. I doubted whether the governor knew a thing about all this.
Later in the evening, Mama Hiro accused me of conniving with Chonjo to misuse the church. Kuonewa nayo?