Opinion

Pastor Ng'ang'a, Sonko are products of our complacency

Pastor Ng'ang'a, Sonko are products of our complacency
  • Each time we queue to vote for men and women who have demonstrated all along that they can't be trusted, we are creating monsters.
  • Each time we refuse to hold men of the cloth to account for their actions, we are endorsing their misconduct. Ng’ang’a and Sonko don’t need to change.

Frankenstein’s monster is a fictional character in Mary Shelley’s book, Frankenstein. In the novel, a young scientist called Victor Frankenstein creates an unsightly, intelligent creature in an unconventional scientific experiment.

Frankenstein later rejects his own creation. He is unable to endure the ugly sight of what he has created and the monster turns his wrath against the scientist’s family and friends, generally bringing insurmountable tragedy to his life.

The fictitious story is the perfect metaphor for the recent happenings in Kenya starring two theatrical leaders: Pastor James Ng’ang’a of Neno Evangelism Centre and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko.

Pastor Ng’ang’a was recently caught on camera in an all-too-familiar outburst, this time directed at his bishops.

In the foul-mouthed rant, where he was allegedly defending his wife, he reminded them that they came to his church with nothing, their wives spotting matutas (hair style) on their heads.

One of his bishops later resigned, saying he had felt “attacked and offended” by the pastor’s remarks.

TAKE BLAME

Sonko, on the other hand, caused a social media storm when he told off Nairobi woman rep Esther Passaris for, among other things, calling him incessantly. “I’m not your husband,” he said.

Many Kenyans have rightly condemned the two men’s actions and both have refused to apologise. Nothing surprising there.

But just like Victor Frankenstein, the two men might horrify and disgust us with their actions, but we created them; so, we are responsible for whatever they choose to do.

The pastor and the politician owe us an “I told you so” more than they do an apology; for they have shown us who they are all along yet we still filled the church pews and queued up to vote.

NO VISION

Five years ago, when he was still a senator, Sonko responded to then-radio presenter Caroline Mutoko’s question and insistence on what plans he had for Nairobi by unleashing a steady stream of insults.

Sonko’s leadership style has been described as erratic and unorthodox by many and the incident with Mutoko was neither the first nor the last, so let’s brace ourselves for more.

Nairobi’s Health docket nominee, Dr Stellah Bosire, when rejecting her nomination, cited Sonko’s abrasive leadership style, lack of respect for professionalism, lack of integrity and sensationalisation of issues as factors that needed to be addressed before she could accept the nomination.

Ideally, we should be incensed at ourselves for voting him in as he has never shown us a different side of himself.

THREATS

Pastor Ng’ang’a is an even bigger product of our complacency as Kenyans and Christians.

That his followers stayed silent as he ranted in church recently is quite telling but not anything new.

Two months ago, he was charged with threatening to kill journalist Linus Kaikai. The latter’s “sin” was that he called for pastors to be regulated because they were fleecing gullible Kenyans.

In 2015, Mr Ng’ang’a was charged with causing death through dangerous driving, giving false information and failing to report the accident that left a woman dead.

He denied all the charges and was acquitted but the State appealed. Media reports showed that after each controversial incident, it was all business as usual in his church. No indignation. No repercussions. Nothing.

RELIGION

Karl Marx’s assessment of religion, that it’s the opium of the people, has never been more apt.

Like other pastors of his kind, Ng’ang’a knew that the only antidote he needed was neatly tucked in the tired phrase: “It’s the work of the devil” and all would be forgiven.

One would think that a full-fledged confession should be the precursor for forgiveness but no, not in Ng’ang’a’s church or any other Ng’ang’a-like church.

Each time we queue to vote for men and women who have demonstrated all along that they can't be trusted, we are creating monsters.

Each time we refuse to hold men of the cloth to account for their actions, we are endorsing their misconduct. Ng’ang’a and Sonko don’t need to change. We do.

The writer is the editor, Living Magazine,