Hello, all. I have many critical things to say about the unthinkable power that pastors in Pentecostal churches have given themselves. I also have lots to say about how MANY people give them that power. The masses support these criminals who come bearing the Bible and leave with a bag full of riches. In an attempt to start a conversation, I have shared below an excerpt from my short story called, “Fire.” The inserted picture is of course from the infamous video of Pastor Bishop Odeyepo slapping a woman for speaking bad English. The woman said something like “I am wish for Jesus” and he thought it was “I am a WITCH for Jesus.”He went on to instruct her to “go to hell” and to tell her she was “cut down” in the name of Jesus. Even if she were a witch – a slap? a merciless condemation? to Hell? Thank you, and please enjoy an excerpt of my story about love that can exist outside the church and its funny ideas about sin and some professions being lowly before the eyes of God. Let us unpack the phenomena together.
“Kabelo, I decided today was my last Sunday at church,” she says casually patting her head to stop her hair from itching.
“You can keep going for a few more months, ratu. I am sure dey don’t know,” Kabelo replies.
“Ijo! I don’t want to have to be cut off next month in front of the whole church for fornication like it happened to Dudu, remember? Besides I am going back to Gaborone next week for my last year at the university,”she says.
“I am too happy but I am not knowing what we can do,” he says too shyly, knitting his forehead.
With her index finger tracing his lips, she confidently tells him that, “Once I have my BA, all will be fine. We are twenty-five, we are adults. We will make it work, church or no church.”
“Yes, ratu,” he says slowly, not because he disagrees but rather out of a feeling of helplessness. He wishes he could provide for her – that he was more than a mere garden-boy but a professional, maybe even a doctor or one of those stiff secondary-school teachers.
The moon is white and full and the village has gone to sleep. She rubs his beard with her fingers and teases him about his beard being as coarse as a pot-scourer. She plays with the back of his head, the bump just above the nape of his neck.