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Preacher, translator fight over offering

By By RUSHDIE OUDIA | November 18th 2013


NAIROBI, KENYA: As the economy of Kenya continues to bite, many people are struggling to come up with ways of earning a living, leading to some crazy innovations.

People have gone from seeking low paying jobs to masquerading as blind or deaf, so that they get cash from well-wishers. They have always known that Kenyans are ever willing to help the needy, a generosity they are now taking advantage of.

Religion has not escaped the same innovations as many preachers take to the streets, parks and buses to spread the word of God and at the back of their minds, they are sure that the public will spare a coin as offertory, which in real sense, ends up in their pockets.

This has given birth to the ‘panda mbegu’ (sow a seed) phrase where the ‘men of God’ expect something after they have delivered the holy message.

Preachers who spread the word on the streets are commonplace in Kisumu County, especially at market places. Following the tight competition from colleagues, pastors have territories and would try so hard to keep them for financial purposes.

However, when one spots a rival, he uses creative means such as adding enthusiasm and oomph in their sermon to attract bigger crowds.


In a bid to keep up with the cut throat competition, one preacher who frequents Oile Market in Kisumu, saw it wise to have someone who could translate the message in Luo hoping to have a wider outreach in a neigbouring Kibuye market.

On this particular Sunday, a day when the market is usually packed, the man of God approached one of the translators with whom they struck a deal. However, the agreement seemed not to be clear, as it would turn out later.

The two started preaching, braving the hot sun in the market as some of the traders and passers-by listened.

At some point, a bowl was passed around for the offering.

Once work was done, it was time to share the fruits of day’s work. Unfortunately, the two could not agree on how much each was to get.

The translator claimed they should split the cash half way since the work was equal. The preacher thought otherwise as he claimed that the sermon was his, and he was the brain-child of the whole idea.


“I did the donkey work, you were only translating and I will take more cash than you,” said the preacher. In no time, a scuffle ensued with the translator demanding for his fair share.

They fought as traders looked on in awe. Minutes later, embarrassed members of public separated them and urged them to visit the area chief to solve the matter in a more amicable way.

On reaching the chief’s office hoping that their problem would be solved, they walked out even more disappointed. The chief gave them Sh50 each and remained with the rest, claiming he had taken the rest of the money as fine for disturbing peace and displaying unbecoming behaviour in public.

The two ‘men of God’ walked away angrily having wasted the whole day only to go home with Sh50. The preacher resorted to pleading with traders for some little money to go home with.

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