Nairobi hot? No! Nairobi sweet! Or Nairobi Raha! But raha sounds better when placed immediately after Mombasa. Nairobi can either be hot or sweet. Or both! Whichever you choose, one thing stands – John prays tonight!
Our father in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Your Kingdom come, but not tonight. Tonight, we just want your will to be done in heaven as you forgive us down here on earth. Forgive us Ooh Lord! For tonight, tonight we will sin!
I did not make it on time to the men’s conference this year because (and this is not an excuse) the conference was scheduled to take place a day after my birthday. I had to stay behind and clean up. I have tried to keep this as a secret but truth be told, I did it that night. After you guessed it right, I didn’t find it important to continue with the story. Do you remember when she woke up with those “we need to talk statements?” That morning, she was mad and didn’t want to talk. She wanted to go. So I opened the door and we haven’t spoken since. But I am a King and Kings don’t eat from where they spit.
So while John and company left for the big conference, I was nursing my lungs over and over and over again. John has since returned and considering he knows not how to keep secrets, especially when his appetite demands attention, he has briefed me on the key highlights of the conference. He came to my place yesterday in the evening and found me preparing some ‘bachelor like’ fried eggs. The scent alone was enough to make him tell me everything. From delegates’ arrivals to the opening ceremony, to the discussions, the resolutions and even how some guys were reluctant to return home on the final conference day. John has briefed me on how he was erected (sorry, I mean elected) to lead intercessory prayers, taking over from Brian. I think it’s a good move considering how mean Brian gets at times, especially when his pockets are loaded. He’s broke most times anyway.
“Brian was moved to Westlands Branch. There, he has been tasked with ensuring the house of prayer in Westy starts operations. Westy registered low delegate turn out at the conference and as such, he needs to find out why and ensure things change going forward. Ken will take up the coordinator role along Ngong road branch while Kelvin will remain in Thika branch. His work as far as mobilizing young men from Thika to attend prayers did not go unnoticed”
“And you?” I ask. “Where will you be based?”
“At the head office.” John says. “In Roysambu!” He adds. This time, with a smile. Roysambu is like the cradle of mandem. The best house of prayer is found there, at least according to John. Roysambu is a mega jackpot not only for its large number of prayer rooms but also for its amazingly young and assorted prayer warriors. “Roysambu has rural, urban, local, national, international and global houses of prayer!” John says. I giggle, not knowing what he wanted to imply. Then I ask.
“So this prayers, mmh, do they also resurrect the dead?” It was supposed to be a rhetorical joke but he laughs anyway. Then he responds with a poetic tone.
“They resurrect the soul! They awaken every part of you and make you feel alive. They heal internal wounds and fix broken joints! They make you feel whole again.”
“You sound like a false prophet!” I joke. I try not to say Mightiest Prophet of the Lord Prophet you know who at least. (You don’t say that to friends – especially when they are faithfuls). John takes his phone, launches the browser, types something and asks me to check out the results. I smile and look away. Then I look back again like a teenager would when you flash a porn clip in front of their eyes. “Let me see that again!” I think out loud.
John shows me one house of prayer after another. Every house has amazing pictures and some videos of what he calls prayer rooms and prayer warriors. Beneath each picture of a prayer warrior is a short summary of the problems they pray for. He asks me if I am interested in checking out how his favorite house of prayer looks like. Since most men who attended the conference had also taken time to visit that particular house of prayer, I oblige. “But I have no prayer request!” I exclaim. “You’ll have one when we get there.” John teases.
Cold chills start to run inside me as he calls to say we are at the entrance. I have not been to church for almost a year and here I am going to the house of prayer. My mind keeps repeating the words ‘God forgive me for I don’t know what I’m doing.’ Perhaps I will go and pray for my girlfriend to come back. We didn’t like break up like officially so I think we are in this complicated situation. But she is still my girlfriend and I need her to come back to her King. I Love her, especially when she’s quiet and less worried about what I am thinking about.
A young lady opens the gate. She is beautiful and in her pajamas. She looks like some USIU material. “Come in, please” she says. And in after her we follow. (Whoever called it a ladies first society was right). All this while, I am just smiling. You don’t go to pray with a Ruto face anyway. I never expected John to know any beautiful girls. I was supposed to be the King. Not John. I should have known better.
I don’t know anything about prayer rooms in Roysambu or prayer warriors. I know Kenyan gospel musicians and Christians in particular have some form of prayer partners but they don’t qualify to be warriors. I was anxious to meet one warrior. To see how they look like, hear how warriors pray. Do they start with the Lord’s prayer? Do they say the grace silently like I do or are they like those loud rebuking ones you find at Uhuru Park and along Archives?
I can feel my heart telling me to turn and go back home but the beats in my head are already creating a rhythm. Something along the lines of “I’ve got a feeling, that tonight’s gonna be a…” and while I have turned up for many blind dates in my life, this is the first blind prayer meeting I was walking into. 9.25pm.
The desire for intimacy fills my heart as the lady ushers us into the house. A large, fully furnished house and the smell of sweet food with young beautiful ladies (in their 20s) sited comfortably in the living room couches. Whatever prayer this is, I definitely am in. JJ Heller’s Control was playing on the stereo.
I should have known this is how the house of prayer looks and feels like. Maybe I would have dressed better if I knew I was coming to King’s landing. But the queens did not seem to be bothered. They are not driven by looks or appearance. In their world, every man is equal to the other, at least as long as he can afford to pay the offering they ask for. They warmly greet us, show us to some nice leather sofas and serve us a glass of red wine. (A King is in the building). Then they tell us to choose.
John loves the big ones. He also fancies the small ones I think. So he chooses two and together, they make their way to a separate room. Now I am there all alone in the company of three angels. Adabra cadabra! You can say one magic word you learnt in school. I think Expecto-petronun! is the one that separates one from the world of the living to the night walkers. I am there thinking I want them all. All to myself. But I had left my offering at home. John had not mentioned that one needs an offering to pray there. In a loaned economy, paying 2k to have your prayers answered is no joke. (Heri ata wangesema 310 sasa). What if the Lord says wait? Do I get my money back? Or He say no! Do I get a chance to pray again?
“Let me go get my offering. I will be back shotly.” I tell them
“We will be here waiting for you handsome.” One warrior responds with a firm grip on my balls.
John comes to the house at around 10pm. That’s like 30 minutes after I had left. He is mad at me. Mad either because I left him there or because I left without telling him. I try to cheer him up by joking on how I expected him to last longer considering John is a legendary name.
“Why did you leave?” he asks
“I told you I have no prayer request.” I respond as I scroll though the Nairobi Hot web page he had shown me up there.