Of Boda Bodas and Witchdoctors in Pulpits

Today was an interesting day but nothing has come close to my conversation with the Boda Boda guy that took me home. I think it’s one of those conversations meant to happen. He arrived as I had just finished tying my laces and after asking him how much it would cost for him to take me home, gave me a price that was on the lower side than the one I am used to.

Anyway, that said, he was a chatty fella and began by telling me how there are words on the backs of cars he used to ignore but now make sense. The particular words he was referring to are “Vva ku bantu” loosely translated as “Leave people”. So he starts his story with a conversation he was having with his wife the previous night.

The two were listening to the radio after supper and a pastor came on. Boda man had wanted to watch the news on television but his wife prodded him to listen to the radio show together. He allowed to and was quite touched by the encouragement coming from the voice of the pastor on the radio. The pastor was constantly reminding the listeners that if they needed help, they could reach him on a certain number.

Boda man felt inspired and called, and was actually the first caller to go through! The pastor was kind enough to offer him audience at his church the next day at 9am.

Next day at 9am, Boda man was prompt and was welcomed into pastor’s office. The pastor listened to him intently and seemed to understand what the man was going through. Then he spoke.

“Olina ekikolimo. It seems you have a curse.”

Boda man was unsettled but before he could air out his anxiety, the pastor continued

“Naye tusobola okukisabira nekigenda. However, I can pray for you and break the curse.”

Of course Boda man was elated and listened intently to what the pastor would say.

“Leeta omunyo, ecicopo kya mazi n’ettaka okuva gy’osula. Bring me salt. A cup of water and a scoop of soil from where you stay.”

Boda man’s heart was beating with relief! These were relatively easy items to procure! However, it seems the pastor had one more important note.

“ Lekawo emitwalo asatu nkusabire. Please leave 300,000 shillings so I can pray for you.”

This is where Boda man’s heart sunk. He was surprised a curse breaking prayer cost 300,000 shillings. However he was certain the man of God had some kindness and pleaded that he didn’t have 300,000.

“Olinawo meka? How much do you have?

“Sirinawo. I don’t have any money.”

The pastor insisted that Boda man must have come with some money! Who goes to a pastor for prayer without money?! Boda man capitulated and came up with a figure

“Nsobola okunonya ettaano. I can raise fifty thousand.” However he knew that a man having come to a pastor for prayer possibly couldn’t have that much and after explaining the nature of his problems perhaps the pastor would understand. However the pastor didn’t.

“Wakiri yongerako ebiri ziwere musanvu. Atleast add twenty thousand to make seventy thousand.

Boda man’s heart was broken by the pastor’s demands but this was progress. The curse breaking prayer had been bargained all the way from 300,000 to 70,000!

Boda man’s reason for telling me this story was that he understood that perhaps it was important for one to know God for themselves and focus on working hard. He had wasted 3 hours at the pastor’s who was asking for things witchdoctors ask and money he didn’t have.

He reiterated his earlier point – “Vva ku bantu.”

Which makes me wonder, how many pastors are out there putting a price on prayer and acting like it is normal? Boda man was disappointed by the personal experience because he loved the pastor’s encouraging words on radio. It seems to me, there are very many witchdoctors on pulpits, keen on making money from Boda men like my friend who have refused to kuvva ku bantu! Word to the wise!

Photo : Dailymail

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