In different parts of the world, we have famous public squares that are associated with monumental times in history. In New York City, we have the Times Square which is known for its dazzling neon lights and New Year celebrations glitz. In China, we have Tiananmen Square where thousands of people died during pro-democracy demos in 1989. Russia has the famous Red Square in Moscow. In Kenya we have Bishop Square.
I am sure you might want to know which bishop died at that square for it to be dedicated to him. But far from it-no bishop died in that square. Rather, a randy bishop’s car died in that square. And so did his career but since God’s grace is always sufficient, he went back to the pulpit later.
Most squares are located in the CBDs of big cities. But not so for Bishop square. The square is found bang in the middle of Kenyatta University, on your way to Ngong Hostels which are ladies hostels.
It happened that back in the day, a man of God got smitten with young campus lass from Kenyatta University who was taking English/Lit.She was his desire, he was her prisoner. Anytime he was not on the pulpit preaching fire and damnation to the laity, he was down at Ngong Hostels in KU, whispering amorous sweet nothings to the sophomore student. Why do people always fall in love with things, or people they can’t have?
One weekend back in the 90s found the man of God yearning to see the girl of his dreams.His heart was crying out like a siren for her. Some primordial soups were hissing in his loins like those geysers of Lake Bogoria-looking for release. The man of collar couldn’t bear it any longer. He told his wife that he has been summoned at the church headquarters In Nairobi. And sure he had been summoned-by the young lasses love.
He fueled his Isuzu Pajero and headed to Sarit Center to do shopping for the girl. Isuzu Pajero was the equivalent of Toyota Harrier of today so that tells you that our man of collar was doing well. It’s also probable that that days tithes and offerings were the ones he used to buy shopping for the girl-but let’s not think evil of the man of God. Is it not written ‘do unto others what you would like them to do unto you’?
Our Bishop was a man of caution. He knew that parking his big car at the hostels might raise eyebrows. So he left the car down a bit at an open square. Then he hauled the shopping up the stairs of Ngong hostels, headed to room number 323 where the apple of his eye was.
‘Mueni, my sweet doll’, he greeted the young lady who was pretended to be reading.
‘Karibu sana Deacon’.The young lady wasn’t sure whether his old lovers title was bishop, deacon or the Pope. All she was sure was that she loved the goodies the old man brought him.
The man of collar made himself comfortable on the bed and the lady of the house served him Quencher juice. After slaking his thirst, the bishop was happy,though another bigger thirst remained. It was time to engage his love line gear:
‘Mueni,your two breasts are like two fawns.Like twin fawns of gazelle that browse among the lilies.’ The bishop started,plagiarizing the Song of Solomon with abandon.
‘Aiyee’.Mueni protested in Kikamba.But she couldn’t protest for long-because the man of Gods hands had already crossed the Rubicon in the map of his body.
The Bishop felt his pocket for a box of prophylactics (Google that, will you?). When he felt them cackle promisingly, he knew he was safe. Or rather they were safe.
Bishop,why did you choose to love me? The young lady asked the man of collar as she lay in his holy chest. His Savco jeans lay on the floor. Her Pepe jeans lay even further on the floor.
Love is rarely a choice my fawn. The man of collar answered. The young lady tried to absorb that deep sentence. And then absorb something else that was getting deeper and deeper.
With no time, she was an ocean, leaping and wide and beckoning. And the man of God was a sinking soul lost in in her waves. Like a ship taken by a pirate called lust, the man of God tossed in the waves as they rose and rose till they reached their zenith. The waves then crashed in a dizzying crescendo, then started all over again.
Unknown to the two, another wave was rising somewhere else. The young lady happened to have boyfriend who was taking Political Science. Kids who take Political Science in college read about abstruse concepts like Natural Justice and Liberty and thus are no push overs. The young lad had caught wind that a certain geezer comes calling on his girl. So on that day, together with his Political Science comrades, they planned to teach the holy dirty man a lesson.
After chanting Comrades Power, they started off to the girl’s hostel. They had one Molotov cocktail-that ancient tool for arson beloved of rioters and anarchists. In addition, between them they had enough stones and boulders to finish a ten by ten room house.
We don’t know what souls are made of, but yours and mine are made of the same things, the Bishop was now preaching to the young lady, beads of sweat shining in his kipara like a melon that has been rained on.
Before she could answer, a boulder hit the room’s flush door, sending the room shaking with comrade terror. Before the man of God could say a prayer, another boulder hit the door, making it come off its hinges. Twelve angry Political Science heads reared into the room-with red Tupac bandanas on them.
The bishop was a now a cornered man.He was in the unenviable position of a rat in a gourd. One young man started looking for match to light the Molotov cocktail. The end was nigh-and the man of collar and been caught with his loins ungird.The bishop peered through the window and realized that they were in second floor. With one mighty move, he heaved himself through the window like a suicide bomber into the darkness, not knowing where he would land.
The Political Science lads followed the stairs to catch the bishop-screaming murder. When they came to the ground floor, the man of God had already disappeared in the bush that separates KU and Kahawa barracks. The devil takes care of his because at this juncture, we cannot say the man of the collar was with God.
The comrades were now baying for any blood. Their leader, a lanky fellow with Patrice Lumumba spectacles and a Marxist beard stood on a stone and addressed them:
Comrades,we are going to burn the bishop’s car now. Every man is expected to do his duty-from each according to his abilities. Comrades, charge!
The first bang of Molotov cocktail sent the bishop’s Pajero rocking like a ship about to capsize. Then the second one lifted it of its tyres, before it lay on its side. The comrades then watched as the fire consumed the car with anger, just like its owner had been consumed with illicit love for a young lady.
The Bishop sought forgiveness and walked back to the pulpit-until his parishioners could get enough money to buy him another car. The young lady graduated and went back to Matuu where she taught English Lit in rural school. The space where the bishop’s car got burn became Bishop Square.
For a long time, the incidence was talked about in campus, until it gradually became a fairy tale about forbidden love.Up to date, Bishop Square still stands, like a spatial totem to impossible love.