Apart from the erudite legal mind Emmanuel Mumia, I know of no other notable person who hails from land of Tongaren other than Eliud Wekesa popularly known as Yesu wa Tongaren. Indeed, a valid case may be properly made that Tongaren’s current legislator John Murumba Chikati is less known than Yesu wa Tongaren.
It is also a truth universally acknowledged that lessons of profound significance can always be drawn from such men who possess an allure to the public eye in a unique sense. Indeed, history has great examples like Miriam Makeba, Maina wa Nalukale, Fela Kuti and Fyodor Dostoevsky whose lives lessons of great importance can be drawn. In Yesu was Tongaren, there are drilled into his character some good lessons of plain commonsense – a rather unusual attribute of modern-day preachers.
Modesty. Of modest and content men of the cloth, Yesu wa Tongaren exemplifies modesty in his clerical and daily affairs. His clothes are characteristic of a man whose only concern is to cover his nakedness. He does not have a car. He is not flashy or pompous in his dress. While most preachers claim to have healed the sick, ressurected the dead and even cast our demons, Yesu was Tongaren only claims to have turned water into tea. A miracle nearly everyone has performed in their life.
Equality. Yesu wa Tongaren exemplifies the concept of equality in a unique manner. His disciples are strikingly female and male. In a peculiar fashion, his disciples adopt traditionally female and male names indiscriminately. For instance, one of his female disciples is named ‘’Nabii Benjamini’’ which normally is assigned to boys. How is it that a concept such as equality of opportunity has evaded the great minds of our country find solace in such a humble man from Tongaren.
Ascetism. Many Catholics like I understand the priestly vow of poverty and celibacy. Despite all priests taking a vow of poverty, the current love of materialism and love of money that pervaded the priesthood is shocking. This is also represented in nearly all protestant churches. Of all men of the cloth, Yesu wa Tongaren, may be the only one who does not have an M-Pesa paybill or till number which currently is charectaristic of modern-day preachers. Tongaren’s Christ is a man whose modesty of manners can be emulated in our world whose eyes are only fixed on material possessions.
Individualism. In our time, men who have dared to think for themselves and voiced their thoughts - the emancipated men - have been handful. To very few men, indeed, is it given to be emancipated. Yesu wa Tongaren ranks in the pantheon of Dave Chappelle, Diogenes of Sinope, and Wangari Maathai. Despite everyone, even his own family being critical of his message, he has remained consistent in his word. The man even refused to celebrate easter at the conventional dates and set his own in July. How many of such men are left among us?
At this time when the country is still overwhelmed by the alleged actions of Paul Mackenzie in Shakahola, Yesu wa Tongaren offers consolation by his way of life. Maybe it is this man whom we make jests about that we can find modest consolations. Sometimes what we seek is likely to be found where we less likely want to look.
Mr Memba is an advocate of the High Court