Small

There’s something about passing by the Maaī Mahiū Catholic church which is the smallest church in Kenya and most likely Africa. Kneeling on the pews as you say a prayer brings out something awe-inspiring from within the depths of your soul. It also brings back old times memories when that old time religion was good enough for us. Also the place has washrooms so if what happened to me on the drive happens to you 😂 you can download here👇


http://thechroniclesofnyarkaheti.com/2022/01/02/the-drive/
First of all I’d like to let you know that going to Church school was not an option but the only option. Born and raised by staunch Presbyterians the only way you’d escape going to church was if you fell sick which was a rare occasion.
So on Sunday morning, ‘ruoro rwatema’ all roads lead to Sunday school. Upon arrival we’d sometimes find that we were the first to arrive and that the church was not yet open. Fun fact is that the post outside the back door also served as a key safe and we’d lift one of us to grab the it and open the church door. Sometimes though the key was nowhere to be found and we’d go round the church premise hitting on the windows to find out if one was not closed. Lady luck would often smile on us and we’d find one open and one of us would enter through the window and open the vestry door. All of us would rush inside grabbing various instruments from the ndarama to the manyanga and the kayamba. Yeah those days manyanga was a musical instrument and not a matatu or a girl. If you don’t know these music instruments you may need to grab a copy of George Senoga Zake’s, ‘musical instruments of Kenya.’ There you’ll find the likes of Kimeng’eng, Wandīndī, Bul, Obokano, Obukhana, Coro, Bum Bum and Bum Bum Vumi among others.
So once settled it was everyone with their instrument making all sorts of noises in an attempt to make a musical note. This noisy charade would go on until the Sunday school teacher appeared. The good thing with Sunday school teachers is that they were warm and smiley as they tried to mold our young hearts in the way of the cross. They’d ask us to sit close together, ask one of us to lead in a word of prayer and the class would commence in various songs and choruses e.g wenda wendo wa Jīsu ti wa magoto yaani if you want the love of Christ, its not the love of banana stalks, take those banana stalks to the market, they’ll buy for you. What a rude way to start the class. Then there was this one of Caitani wa Airitu niarangwo, yaani step on the devil of girls. Imagine those days braiding hair was considered a sin brought about by the devil maddening you with beauty. I can imagine the same song being sang today and what would be considered a sin. It would go kīndu like this, ‘niagūrūkitie airītu na fare, kurīa and then niagūrūkitie anake na fare gūtūma.
Besides those crazy songs there were deep songs like, ‘Kuna chemi chemi kwake kuna chemi chemi x2, ile ya uzima kwake ile ya uzima x2, ile ya uzima ni Bwana Mwokozi. Then of course there were the silly songs like, ‘dry bones these these these are to hear the word of God.’ We’d make all sorts of faces as we showcased the various bones, the leg bones, the thigh bones, the hip bone and so on. It was a stress free life.
Songs would be followed by various scriptural admonishings, rebukes and encouragements from the various teachers and then we’d conclude by reciting memory verses and end with a word of prayer. Once outside it was a marathon to hit the bell to inform the adults that it was time for the adult class. It was also magical to watch the procession of the elders and sometimes the parish reverend adorned in his priestly cloak as they debued the service with, “he nyūmba njeega thīini wa andū na ndīari njega oo mbere, yaani there is a good house inside people which was not good before.’
Sometimes we’d get Patcos from our brigadier Sunday school teacher may his soul rest in eternal peace. It was magical and our souls were extremely nourished. Kudos to all Sunday school teachers and thanks to small beginnings. As the good book says, ‘do not despise humble/small beginnings.’
If you want to read more about the small Maaī Mahiū church, here’s a link. 👇


First of all I’d like to let you know that going to Church school was not an option but the only option. Born and raised by staunch Presbyterians the only way you’d escape going to church was if you fell sick which was a rare occasion.
So on Sunday morning, ‘ruoro rwatema’ all roads lead to Sunday school. Upon arrival we’d sometimes find that we were the first to arrive and that the church was not yet open. Fun fact is that the post outside the back door also served as a key safe and we’d lift one of us to grab the it and open the church door. Sometimes though the key was nowhere to be found and we’d go round the church premise hitting on the windows to find out if one was not closed. Lady luck would often smile on us and we’d find one open and one of us would enter through the window and open the vestry door. All of us would rush inside grabbing various instruments from the ndarama to the manyanga and the kayamba. Yeah those days manyanga was a musical instrument and not a matatu or a girl. If you don’t know these music instruments you may need to grab a copy of George Senoga Zake’s, ‘musical instruments of Kenya.’ There you’ll find the likes of Kimeng’eng, Wandīndī, Bul, Obokano, Obukhana, Coro, Bum Bum and Bum Bum Vumi among others.
So once settled it was everyone with their instrument making all sorts of noises in an attempt to make a musical note. This noisy charade would go on until the Sunday school teacher appeared. The good thing with Sunday school teachers is that they were warm and smiley as they tried to mold our young hearts in the way of the cross. They’d ask us to sit close together, ask one of us to lead in a word of prayer and the class would commence in various songs and choruses e.g wenda wendo wa Jīsu ti wa magoto yaani if you want the love of Christ, its not the love of banana stalks, take those banana stalks to the market, they’ll buy for you. What a rude way to start the class. Then there was this one of Caitani wa Airitu niarangwo, yaani step on the devil of girls. Imagine those days braiding hair was considered a sin brought about by the devil maddening you with beauty. I can imagine the same song being sang today and what would be considered a sin. It would go kīndu like this, ‘niagūrūkitie airītu na fare, kurīa and then niagūrūkitie anake na fare gūtūma.
Besides those crazy songs there were deep songs like, ‘Kuna chemi chemi kwake kuna chemi chemi x2, ile ya uzima kwake ile ya uzima x2, ile ya uzima ni Bwana Mwokozi. Then of course there were the silly songs like, ‘dry bones these these these are to hear the word of God.’ We’d make all sorts of faces as we showcased the various bones, the leg bones, the thigh bones, the hip bone and so on. It was a stress free life.
Songs would be followed by various scriptural admonishings, rebukes and encouragements from the various teachers and then we’d conclude by reciting memory verses and end with a word of prayer. Once outside it was a marathon to hit the bell to inform the adults that it was time for the adult class. It was also magical to watch the procession of the elders and sometimes the parish reverend adorned in his priestly cloak as they debued the service with, “he nyūmba njeega thīini wa andū na ndīari njega oo mbere, yaani there is a good house inside people which was not good before.’
Sometimes we’d get Patcos from our brigadier Sunday school teacher may his soul rest in eternal peace. It was magical and our souls were extremely nourished. Kudos to all Sunday school teachers and thanks to small beginnings. As the good book says, ‘do not despise humble/small beginnings.’

StillTheChronicler.

Published by Nyar Kaheti

Born and raised on the picturesque slopes of Mt Kenya, Nyar Kaheti is your girl next door vibe kind of girl. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and listening to country music among other things.

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