During the mid 90s, a certain fellow who was commonly known as Mr. Celibataire found himself at the altar in an awkward situation. No, he was not tying the knot – instead, he was at the altar of this church to partake on the Holy Communion. Mr. Celibataire happened to be an ardent church attendee. His favorite moment during the church service was when people were invited to the altar area for Holy Communion. That is when Bwana Celibataire would really put on a wide smile.
This smile was not because of the opportunity to confess his sins. No way! Instead, his smiles would be as a result of the nice tasty red wine that he was about to receive. When the Reverend gave him the cup to sip, Mr. Celibataire would instead take in a serious gulp. This would force the church clergy to go back behind the curtains so as to re-fill the glass for other waiting Christians.
Being his good friends, Aggrey and I would always go with him to church on Sunday mornings. Having had several liters of booze the previous night, we felt that it was only befitting that we headed to church so as to wash away our sins. For Mr. Celibataire, there was no better way of washing away the sins than taking Holy Communion. So anyways we would escort him to church on the Sunday mornings. Mr. Celibataire would compose himself and act as if he was a VIP himself. He usually stored away his best attire for his Sunday church visits.
The clergy respected him so much. That is why they ushered him along to the very front bench. As for us, we were taken to the back seats since we were never considered as VIPs. Being the stubborn guy that he was, Celibataire would occasionally request for a chance to give a testimony. With his bloodshot red eyes, he would stand in front of the congregation and speak “Ladies and Gentlemen, I am here to confess to you that I have been derailed by Satan himself! He has been teaching me bad manners such as boozing and smoking. But today, I am here to tell you that I am going to be a changed man! I really need your prayers so that the demons can leave me once and for all. Alleluia!”
At this moment, the Reverends and church elders would kneel down to pray for this lost sinner. First they would ask him a question “Which demons would you like us to chase?” He then answered “Please try to chase away the demons of amoeba from my stomach! If you chase them away, I promise that I will never visit Béa’s joint again” The clergy then moved in to lay hands on him.
They prayed and requested the Holy Spirit to come and wash away all of his sins. And as a sign of this, all confessing Christians such as Celibataire would participate at the holy table whereby they would drink some red wine that would symbolize the savior’s blood.
Since Aggrey and I were too afraid of confessing our sins in front of the congregation, we were not allowed to join Mr. Celibataire at the altar for the Holy Communion. We just sat back singing Christian songs as the clergy offered red wine to all sinners who had confessed all their dirty deeds. From where we were seated, we could see how Celibataire gulped the whole cup of red wine in the name cleansing away sins. According to him, the more wine he swallowed meant that more demons would flee from his body. After the church service, Celibataire would be seen hugging parishioners exchanging blessings and generally having a wonderful time.
But on one particular Sunday, all his plans were dashed. You see, he had been boozing a lot the previous night that his head was still in a confused state. That is why he actually never realized that he was in church when the clergymen approached him at the altar to give him his usual cup of wine. For him, he was sure that he was being served beer at Bea’s joint by the barman. So in his usual cordial spirit, he looked up at the Reverend and produced the following words; “Unzanire zingaro ebyiri ni’sahani ya chips”……..
Everyone was shocked as he was escorted out of the church building.