The ‘extracurricular activities’ of the good pastor

Matthew-Ashimolowo

There is an old, popular parable about a local pastor from the rural town of Dikeneng in Bophuthatswana, modern day North West. It is said one Sunday, on a hot summer morning the pastor woke up on the left hand side of the bed. To be precise he was livid. Rumours had been circulating in the area about the good pastor’s ‘extracurricular activities’ and they made him uneasy. Pastor John Nkweng was his name and the elderly members of the congregation referred to him as Moruti Johane Nkweng. On that Sunday morning the good pastor left in such a rush that he left his wife, MmaMoruti Sabina Nkweng behind, telling her that she would find him at the church.

It is said the good pastor began his sermon in a rather unorthodox manner. Usually Moruti would wait for the deacons and the members of the church council to finish reporting to the congregation what had transpired over the past seven days and what is new and so on and so forth and stuff like that. Moruti John Nkweng of the A.M.E church informed the deacons that this would have to wait until after his sermon. Although surprised by this suggestion they nevertheless obeyed and did as instructed.

Pastor Nkweng surprisingly had a large following considering that he still had three years before turning 40. He was articulate, a great public speaker and those who were there during those wonderful years of the Lucas Mangope reign say that he had such a powerful voice that even if you did not believe in the existence of a supreme being somewhere in the sky, you would suddenly repent upon hearing him. You can imagine me rolling my eyes at this fairy tale.

So the good pastor took to the pulpit and opened what would be an unusual sermon with a chorus. His loyal congregation followed and sang for a few minutes before taking their seats on his instruction. The men were seated on his front left while the women were seated on his front right. The Sunday school kids were seated between the men and women. This was purposely done so the elders could keep their parental eye on the kids. The deacons and members that formed the church council were seated just a little behind the pulpit; their chairs extended to where the women were seating, almost forming a circle around the pastor, but still maintained the space that divided the two unions. Just in front of the men the youth benches extended towards the members of the church council. Although next to the members of the church council, there was a space separating the youth from the council. They were facing the pastor, seating directly to his left.

It is said after the congregation ended the chorus; the good pastor took out his white handkerchief with brown and purples lines, wiped his forehead and began to address his followers, a large number of those being women between the ages of 18 and 55. The hot weather could not be blamed for pastor Nkweng’s sudden perspiration. Obviously something was weighing heavy on the good pastor, it would soon be revealed. The good pastor began thus: ‘Le fa dira di ka ntlhoya…’ He had been facing the men when he uttered these words whom majority were spouses of the women seated on the pastors front right. The weight had been lifted off his shoulders and he was flashing a smile of arrogance. He turned to the women and continued: ‘…ke tla ja monono.’ The smile had transformed from arrogance to desire, and some of the women among the church ladies began to drown in a sea of embarrassment. The rumours must have been true. And their husbands were boiling with rage, some not believing what the messenger of God had just said. The weight had been lifted off his shoulders and if anybody doubted the rumours, pastor Nkweng’s words were confirmation that indeed he had been engaging in ‘extracurricular activities’. Clearly the good pastor was a man of many talents.

What is the meaning of the words uttered by pastor Nkweng, you ask; and what were these rumours about the ‘extracurricular activities’ that the good moruti had been engaging in? The good pastor was saying, to borrow from the youth: ‘Haters will hate but I…I will continue to enjoy the honey’. And the ‘extracurricular activities’ referred to are what the pastor had been doing besides preaching the good word of the Lord. It appears the good pastor had been offering more than prayer to some of the ladies; in fact most of the ladies in the church. While the husbands and boyfriends were away, punishing the bottle or chasing skirts, the church was the only place where the wives and girlfriends found comfort and solace. The pastor had been generous with his organ of love and the ladies could not get enough. They shared the good news with their friends; and like an excellent plumber the pastor’s services were in demand. Moruti Johane Nkweng of the A.M.E church in the village of Dikeneng was spreading the love of his creator in many ways. This pleased a large pool of his female followers. They no longer cared about their husbands binge drinking and sexual escapades. Moruti Johane of Dikeneng was filling in for them and he seemed to have been doing a tremendous job.

The air in the church was stale with deceit and hypocrisy as those who were in attendance say the boyfriends and husbands exhibited signs of men ready to slaughter the good pastor right there, fortunately for him they were all in the house of the Lord, and to say they had enormous respect for their imaginary divinity would be an understatement. Obviously they would have to wait for the end of the service after the pastor had descended from the pulpit before he could answer for his transgressions.

As to what happened after the service nobody seems to remember. It is left to your imagination to figure out what happened. How the pastor’s wife responded to her ‘holy’ husband’s infidelity is unknown. Nobody seemed to care. Kgotsong!

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