“Make no mistake about it, if a man ever strikes a woman he will be judged harshly first by society which is the easy part then by God! Do unto others what you would want them to do unto you!”
Dumisani Sibeko, Reverend Sibeko to be more precise preached on the pulpit not two hours later after that warm clap he had given his wife.
“The new commandment He gave unto us, love your neighbor as you would love yourself because by this shall all men know that you are His disciples in fact right now I am feeling like I am worship mode choir please tell me you have that song close at heart!”
He turned turning to the choir. Bra Joe, Joseph was the choir leader and he immediately jumped up to the call,
“Yes of course Reverend, we are ready!”
He said as he turned to the choir to give them the cue to start the song. This choir was probably the best in the country Reverend Sibeko always told himself. They were brilliant and sometimes it felt people just came to church for the worship session because they knew how to get the congregation up on their feet.
He shouted as they sang. Looking at his Temple as that is what they called the auditorium they had built close to the shanty town they called Jerusalem by Delmore Park in Germiston he was impressed. On any given Sunday he had a thousand people in church and that’s excluding the children who took classes outside with other Ministry leaders. He had built this from scratch and if he was an honest man it was his wife, Sindi who had led him on this path.
“My love you can charm the pants of Mother Theresa if you wanted!”
She would tell him when they were younger. He was a radio presenter at a community radio station in Mhluzi a small township in Middelburg Mpumalanga. She on the other hand was the daughter of a doctor so she had grown up well be it in Shawela because of apartheid.
“Maybe one day I will end up on TV!”
He would joke with her but she had greater ambitions for him that. The first time she had mentioned him opening a church he had thought she was mad.
“Oh come on! You want me to go stand at the corner with all those crazy people and preach? I might want money but nope that’s not for me!”
He had told her. He had grown up with his grandmother who was a Christian of the strictest kind. She was serious about her God meaning every Sunday she would make sure that his brothers and sisters were up by 5am to warm the water and get ready for church. If that woman didn’t end up in heaven no one will.
“You already have the DNA for this in you. That voice God gave you is from God and you are wasting it on community radio!”
She would remind always when he was broke. That is how it had started and with her father’s money she had gotten them this stand and this is where they were today.
“Can the finance committee please stay behind? I want to have a meeting with you I promise you I will have you with your families within the hour!”
He said at the end of announcements. One of his jobs was to mingle with the congregants and there were so many of them that wanted to shake his hand. It’s something he had gotten used to and also something his wife insisted he do.
“That was an amazing service yet again!”
One lady came to him and said.
“Thank you very much Mrs. Mashamaite! I hope I did not go over time like I always do!”
He said and they laughed. Her husband was a government minister and it was through her and others like her that his church always got favorable press. He knew how to butter the VIPs and even at church important people in society want to be treated importantly. It’s like they believe in heaven there will be a hierarchy.
“I have no worries there. My husband will be home tomorrow night so I told him that you will be coming over for dinner!”
She told him.
“Of course I would love to. It’s been a long time since we have seen him at church maybe we can convince him to grace us with his presence again!”
He told her and she laughed politely because they both knew that would never happen unless it was electioneering. He parted ways with her as there were so many people to greet but he was swift in his movements meaning in less than 30 minutes he was in the boardroom with the finance team.
“Sorry to call you at such short notice please sit down!”
He told the 5 member team when he entered.
“No problem Reverend we are here to serve!”
Responded Mr. Mabasa. In every church there is that one over the top Christian who is the equivalent of a teacher’s pet and amongst the committees in the church it was him. Richard Mabasa had been a street kid when he came to the church. The church had taken him to school and given him menial jobs around the church until he had graduated with an accounting degree. It’s no surprise then his devotion and love for the Reverent was unquestionable.
“That’s good thank you. Bazalwane I have a delicate issue to discuss and I know its short notice but it has to be done!”
He started thoughtfully,
“You know that pastors like Mbhoro have brought wolves to our doorsteps with the government now questioning our finances and so on!”
He told them. It was not a secret that these televised inquiries on the religious fraternity was at the back of many people’s minds.
They all agreed.
“You know me I don’t like doing things without consultation but on this one I prayed to God for the way and this is what was revealed to me. We need an external auditor to do separate books on the church.”
He sensed the discomfort in the room but he was good at controlling a crowd,
“Do not be alarmed, we have to progress with the times. This committee remains in place and will do exactly what it’s been doing all along. This way with two books it will keep each side honest as to what we are doing.”
He announced to them. There was silence from the group until Richard raised his hand and said,
“You have always led us with dignity and respect so we trust you with this decision, praise the Heavens!”
He said. No one else moved or spoke.
“Are any of you opposed?”
He asked seeing that they did not want to speak for fear of being victimized. The one thing he knew about the committees was that they did not dare challenge him and even when they were opposed they would do what he wanted anyway.
The sheep answered their revered leader,
“Who is this person you are going to put in place?”
Lydia one of the committee members asked. He could sense the hesitance in her voice as she asked but oh well, his church his rules.
“It’s not a him, it’s a she. Richard can you ask the young lady outside to enter please!”
He told him. Richard dutifully jumped up and went to the door.
“Please come in!”
He said to her. The first thing he noticed was how beautiful this woman was. She was the type of woman who could stop traffic by just crossing the road. She was carrying her bible and an Ipad. When she walked in the men gawked with lust whilst the women’s envy was hard to mask.
“Ladies and gentlemen I would like to introduce you to Sister Mookgo Machaka. She is a chartered accountant and has a good resume which will be made available to you all.”
Reverend Sibeko told them.
“I am going to leave you now to get acquainted. Sister Mookgo when you are done you can always call I have another engagement!”
He said and he left them alone with her.
The shepherd had just willingly led the wolf into his own pen to save himself!
Part of her job was to mingle with the VIPs and this meant she got to rub shoulders with politicians and celebrities alike! Don’t be fooled the wicked come to church too to rub shoulders with the clergy so that they can justify their existence. She could not see her husband though because usually he would come with her to meet these people and it was fortunate that it was just B rated celebrities that had come so no one demanding. They all had similar requests, one on one with the reverend so he could pray for them but that did not come cheap,
“Tithe for your salvation!”
Was like the unwritten motto in the church and the VIPs were often very generous with their blessings. By the time she walked out there were fewer people outside.
“Mamfundisi how do you do it?”
A lady asked from behind her. She turned around but she did not recognize,
“How do I do what my sister?”
She asked her. She did not recognize her but she could be a journalist or a Tweleb and those people just love humiliating people with positions.
“It’s my third time at this church and listening to the Reverend speak is the most spiritually uplifting thing in my life!”
The woman declared. The joy on her face was palpable and this is what she lived for. Her husband might have been the face of the church but she was the spiritual base of it. She was the warm embracing figure that people wanted to be close. Dumisani was scary for most people to just approach especially by the women so she was that bridge.
“I promise you it’s not like that!”
She said smiling to the lady.
“What’s your name?”
I asked her,
“Tinita! I am new in Joburg from the Eastern Cape! I am only here for a month and for 3 Sundays I have been truly blessed!”
The woman said with tears in her eyes.
“Ah my child don’t cry. The Reverend is a man of God yes but he is not the one you worship for he is just a messenger! He is human like you and me which is good because like you and me he feels pain, love, joy and sorrow just the same! That is what makes him a man of truth!”
She told the girl.
“Come I give you a hug!”
She told and the young lady came in and got embraced by the older woman.
“Where are about in the Eastern Cape are you from?”
She asked her.
“Umtata! You don’t have a church there but know this, the day you open one, I will be the first one there!”
The girl and with that they parted ways. There was supposed to be a woman’s committee meeting but she could not see the ladies. They were supposed to meet outside and talk to the other congregants. The thought behind that was that they not appear isolated from the rest of the church. She could not see a single one of them though so she had to call.
“Mandisa where are you guys I can’t see you?”
She asked one of the committee members.
“We are headed to the boardroom already because the Reverend called the Finance committee back and made an announcement so we have been called to come pray for the new member!”
“I thought you knew!”
She said to her. A new committee member she did not know about? What was going on? She could not remember a time her husband had put a person without consulting her or the church. By the church she meant people that matter.
“Oh he has done it already, he said so earlier I have not met the member yet it slipped my mind that we were to meet in the boardroom!”
She lied. She was having to do it more and more lately. The most important think she learnt about power in the church was that she should never oppose her husband. They must always be seen as one. She hurried to the boardroom and found them already in. Much to her surprise a young lady she had never seen before was addressing them,
“…I believe we will be able to work together with no problems. I see the strength and beauty of this church hence why with this government regulations you, no I mean, we have to be ready!”
She said. The men clapped hands with glee whilst the women did so hesitantly. They were not sure what to think of it and it was not because she was this pretty but rather because she was so young. Sindi spotted this and immediately said,
“Ladies this is what we mean by giving youth a chance and a female too at that! This is the equality we have been talking about!”
She said walking in.
Richard jumped up immediately,
“We didn’t know you will be joining us. UBaba introduced us to Sister Mookgo but you were not here!”
He said cheerfully. You can’t love the husband if you don’t love the wife right? As for Sindi she was just relieved that Richard had said the name otherwise she would have looked stupid asking the girl for her name.
“Sister Mookgo is one of us now so please give her all the support you can!”
She said. As they were all still so eager to talk to the shiny new toy she allowed herself to slip out before anyone could stop her. She was angry right now. She picked her phone to call her husband,
“Dumisani where are you? I need to talk you right now!”
She said angrily on the phone when the phone rang all the way to voicemail. Was this the new girl he was cheating with?
“And Behold, I have given you the authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, nothing shall hurt you!”
She hissed her battle slogan as she drove out but even then she could sense something different. She had been here before several times and she had survived them all but never before had one of his bitches been given a post!
Michael Nkululeko Maphoto (fb)
I write to you today a broken person. Family I fell in love with my fiancé three years ago. I am from a small town but he grew up in the suburbs and I grew up in the township. He went to boarding school at an early age so he did not have a lot of friends around. He is three years older than me. We met at the mall as I was working in MTN and he was buying a phone for his father. We hit it off immediately and he took my numbers. He got a job in Jhb and he left but within 6 months he called me to join him. I had barely passed matric so he upgraded me and I passed well enough. I started University at 22 and got a scholarship. All this time we dated and stayed together he never introduced me to his parents because his father is very strict. He then proposed to me and that’s when the drama started. When he told his parents about me they were ecstatic. They were so happy his mother befriended me and we started calling. His father suggested that before we get the families together let’s just meet the six of us (my parents, his parents and us) to have dinner. I was a month pregnant which he knew of. The lunch was arranged for his house since they are the ones in the suburbs. When we got there his father took one look at my mother and all hell broke loose. My fiancé’s father turns out he is my father too. I grew up knowing the man who raised me as my father. There was never a whisper that my mother had a child before they married and he raised me like his own. That’s how I found out that he was not my father. Secondly my mother in law did not know he had another child since he had cheated on her to have me. Thirdly was the fact that I had been sleeping with my brother all these years. Our surnames our different and because it had been kept as a secret my mother had never revealed anything to me. She had met my fiancé a few times and I don’t know why it never clicked. Fast-forward, my fiancé punched his father, my mother in law is divorcing him and my fiancé broke up with me. I love this man so much and I know I have lost him but the thought of aborting my child scares me. It’s the only thing I have off him something which I can’t let go.
I am so scared I don’t know what to do!
Help me please