Boarding a taxi in the morning a Voice reporter finds the taxi and passengers discussing the state of the Christian Church and here is how the conversation went.
Taxi Driver; Dumela mma, long time no see. where are you hiding these days?
Purple Blouse; I am around tsala(friend) where can I go these days except church.
Striped T shirt: (frowning) wareng? Did you say church? Not you dear; parting with Hunters gold, ae!( shaking his head).
(Other passengers in the back giggle at the remarks)
Purple Blouse ( Laughs) Heela rra, stop going on about my drinking habits you make it sound like I am an alcoholic. I now attend one of these English churches.
Taxi Driver: ijo! ijo! Those are mathatha. What is it with you women? Just last month one of the pastors with a church at Chedu Choga was chased out and locked out for failing to pay rent!
Other passengers: Wow!
Taxi Driver: These ‘fire fire’ churches have torn families apart, husbands and wives no longer talk to each other because of the tithes and never ending offerings.
Purples Blouse: Wena kana! You have started rumbling, nothing positive comes from your fat mouth.
Man in brown cap: Even on Btv they said our country has a high number of churches being registered daily, especially these ‘fire fire’ ones.
Taxi Driver; You hear that. It’s true batsadi, these days when we give our girlfriends money to buy food and clothes for the family they take all of it to church and before long you be told there is no relish! Eish.
Neon Top: I am also a member of those churches and I feel sometimes the pastors over do it and their demands are too much.
Old man in brown cap: That’s it my girl! Especially if you can go to the industrial site there’s one church there which has its all night prayers every month end..( Laughter) the amount of noise they make on those nights you won’t like it.
GreenTop: Oooh that one! The pastor is said to have snatched someone’s spouse! Those church members are in trouble, they part with a lot of money every month.
Taxi Driver: You hear that? These days when I meet a lady and she tells me she attends these English churches, I part ways with her even if I wanted to propose love to her. I abandon the mission.
Fat Mum in back seat: ijo! Dikereke! especially these which congregate in these former movie houses, or in the malls and industrial sites. Icheke papa!
Driver: Auntie you are not getting my point. When they pray they shout ‘fire’. when preaching its ‘fire’, fire there’s fires everywhere!
Passengers burst out in laughter
Short lady: So could this fire has anything to do with the scorching heat which almost removed the sole of my high heel too? (as she applies lip-gloss)
Driver: Ehe! Maybe the unbearable heat is actually caused by the fire that all these Pentecostal churches are always shouting and screaming for.
Turban Style Scarf: Hela stop blaming your sin on sincere Christians. You are a fool. Have you not heard of climate change? It’s now upon us. These are the fruits of neglecting the environment.
Driver: (Peeps into the rear mirror to catch a glimpse of the sister) Sori mma, It seems we have stepped on your toes, but these churches that you now follow are weird and so demanding. Every week my mum calls me for money to buy holy water from her church. Aah! These days I have learnt to switch off m phone!
Fat mama: Ehe! My point exactly, churches are profit making businesses. I hear there’s a church in the industrial area, the pastor used to sell a 500ml bottle for P100 now the price has reduced to P20! Daylight robbery. After church service the wife brings out bags of clothes and shoes and sells them to the members.
Old Lady: Hehehe! What is so special about this water, is it not just the same as the one from my tap. The city is now full of thugs!
Fat Mama: They say the water has healing powers, drives evil spirits away, brings luck and fortune! Word around town has it that the water is from some sacred sea and has been prayed for by the prophet, endless stories.
Taxi joins the winding endless queue of taxis waiting for their turn to ferry passengers to their various destinations.