Growing up without a father is a huge blow to a boy. Pastor Simon Mbevi knows this too well and that why he left lucrative ventures to focus his efforts on empowering the boy-child,
Who is Pastor Simon Mbevi?
I am a professional pastor, a human rights lawyer, author and relationship counsellor. I mentor boys and men on leadership. I am also a professional clergyman because I have never stepped in a theological college like majority of pastors and priests. I am married to Sophia Mwende and we have three children.
You have been a champion of men taking their fatherhood role with a lot of seriousness. Why did you choose to preach the gospel of fatherhood?
I come from a polygamous family. My father had two wives and 20 children. I was the 18th born with only three brothers. So, in essence, I grew up among girls. The situation worsened when I lost my father at the tender age of eight years. I had no one to help me transit from boyhood to manhood.
How did this affect you?
I became withdrawn, quiet and I focused more on my education. I did not know how boys are meant to behave until I joined Machakos Boys High School, and found a father in the name of my music teacher. He was the first man to hug me and show me fatherly love. I passed my examinations and later joined the University of Nairobi in 1992 to pursue an undergraduate degree in Law.
Tell us about your life after campus?
After graduating in 1996, I practiced Law for 18 months but quit and joined Destiny Worship Centre in Thika as an assistant pastor. I later moved to Nairobi and joined the International Christian Centre then Nairobi Chapel. I was in the team that founded Mavuno Church.
What made you quit the courtroom for the pulpit?
From a tender age, I felt my calling was to serve in the church to help people be the best that God created them to be. However, in 2002 at the age of 29, I resigned from my position as a pastor at Mavuno and joined politics. I vied for a parliamentary position during the 2002 General Election, but did not win. I am very passionate about leadership. I later started a mentorship programme for boys and men after completing my masters in Leadership from Pan African Christian University. Four years ago, I also established Transform Kenya Initiative whose role is to equip leaders who would spearhead societal change in the country at home and national level.
From a lawyer, to a pastor then to politics, and now a mentor; what prompted this shift of careers?
After my childhood experience of being brought up in the absence of a father, I realised that the family, society and the world at large suffers in many ways because of the absence of fathers. I have also authored eight books, most of which are on fatherhood, family and sexual purity.
Why are you so passionate about fatherhood and the boy child?
A father’s shadow follows you wherever you go. Whether your father is (or was) present or absent, abusive or passive, good or not so good, you owe it to yourself to understand yourself better. Without responsible fathers in our society, our generation is doomed. We are bringing up a society full of pink men or mama’s boy. I was a mama’s boy until I met my wife and she changed me.
You talked about pink men; could you expound on that.
Unlike the girl child who has been empowered, the boy child has been neglected and no one is talking about him or even affirming him to be a leader as the society dictates.
Tell us what we do not know about you?
Three years ago, I did a survey among 200 members of the illegal Mungiki sect and what I discovered when I asked them about their fathers was shocking. Only two out of the 200 young men who had been recruited to the sect, came from a complete family of a father and a mother. We did another result in all the prisons in Kenya and the results were shocking too. Seventy eight per cent of the prisoners (male and female) were brought up in a single family set up with no father in the picture.