Happy Endings - Bikozulu
4 months ago, 6 Feb 13:07
Some folk think it’s gotten too dark in here. They say that lately I write only stories of death and suffering and gnashing of teeth. (Okay, that I added. It has been awhile since I used it). They say they don’t want to have to come here and read things that make them have a bad day. They ask, why can’t you just write “happy things” with “good endings?” Which made me seriously consider writing about gardening. Or recipes for smoothies. I even got an email from a pastor. A pastor for chrissake! A first for me. I was convinced that he was one because he started the email by saying, “Greetings, Brother Jackson.” Brother Jackson! Well, I have been called worse, I have been called Bwana Biko. This pastor wrote to invite me to church. He said – “We are all serving the Lord in different ways. I think you are doing God’s work in a different way than I am. However, I feel that because you write about suffering you also need to cleanse your spirit once in a while to lighten the burden.” (To be honest, I don’t feel burned, just a little stung by being called Brother Jackson). He invited me for a prayer session “for just a few hours and then lunch.” I wrote back and said, “Thanks, pastor, you are kind but where is your church, tell me a little about your ministry.” He wrote back and said it was in Embu, 12km from the town, and it’s a small church that they like to call a “family of faithfuls” not a church. He also said that he studied literature in Uni before starting this church and so perhaps I can also help him reach out to many through his ministry. I was wary. I didn’t go. Not that I don’t like a good prayer from a man of God, I do as much as the next guy. I wasn’t adequately seduced by the words “small” and “family of faithfuls” because it conjured up an image of a small church of about 27 people, perched atop a hill in Embu with a pastor who always wears a colourful wide tie and walks around with a blade of glass sticking from the corner of his mouth. I was enticed by the lunch though, which I was sure would have warus in it. Also there was the element of time. There has also been the occasional email or comment about the misery that lately abounds on this blog. Stories of people losing loved ones, of people eating human flesh, of children – children! – dying leaving bereft and hollow-eyed parents. It’s not exactly a groundswell, but the concerns have been expressed in some quarters. “Biko, why so dark? Are you sure you can’t find happy stories that we can enjoy reading?” a reader emailed. Sigh. Happy stories? Like of what? Should I interview red-nosed clowns who entertain children in restaurants with bouncy castles? What was your ...
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