Kacharo’s eyes wandered up and down the narrow twisting lanes of Kaneshie, ignoring the hubbub of people streaming past him incessantly. It had rained last night, and the parts of the street with potholes had already been churned to mud by the crowd, but muddy streets were nothing new to him.
None of the streets in his village was paved.
Shops and traders littered every corner of the main Street, with stalls and stands covered with goods, everything from plantain chips, to clothes, to cooking pots and door knobs. The sheer number of them was so overwhelming that, no one had ever bothered to try counting. Order judged itself according to every trader’s personal principles, and justice was meted out in accordance to the wrath incurred. Noise making was at its peak, and the ear-splitting cries of hawkers promoting their wares could be heard a mile away. Everyone seemed to be in competition to prove who was louder and though they made a righteous effort, none of them proved a point better than Kacharo’s Microphone.
This particular microphone, which he had fondly nicknamed “Pickpocket”, was
the most thoughtful investment Kacharo had ever made in his entire life. Before he received his “calling”, he used to rent it out to Pastors and public speakers each day at an exorbitant rate, which ensured he and his family, remained well-fed during the entire lifespan of that business venture.
Unfortunately for him, most of his customer’s had discovered along the way that his charges were inordinate, and so the monopoly he held had slowly slipped out of his grasp until he finally quit the business in order to salvage what remained of his reputation.
Life had not been easy for Kacharo during that brief period of unemployment. His house had been gutted down by a raging wildfire, his first son had drowned at sea, his wife left him and worst of all, the outrageous medical bills from his mysterious illness. Psychotic Depression. This particular illness had not been easy on Kacharo’s psyche and it had finally gotten to a point where he was
contemplating suicide. And then the miraculous occurred.
An Angel of the lord had appeared to Kacharo one night and told him his trials had been a punishment from the lord for the way he had exploited the men of God who had needed his help when his business was still lucrative, and this form of persecution would continue until Kacharo reformed and joined the ministry of God. And then the Angel departed from his presence.
Kacharo tilted the microphone slightly to ease the tension in his shoulders. His elevated platform gave him a view of the marketplace that was almost perfect, and though it was crowded, he could spot the movement of almost every living thing in a fifty-metre radius. He hadn’t planned any sermon for today, but he was hoping the good Lord in Heaven would grant him a message even as he opened his mouth to preach. The Lord rarely did that, but you never knew when His abundant mercies were going to surprise you. For now he would just continue to rant a few well-known scriptures and give his best human interpretation of them.
A quick movement to the left had caught his eye and Kacharo let his attention drift away for a fraction of a second. He had trained himself for so long that he had acquired the ability to separate his mind into two compartments at the same time, one that allowed him to to preach inattentively while the other was engrossed in the private thoughts. This way, he never let his emotions interrupt the work of God. It was no easy feat, and had he not been so meticulous in his training, he would have gone completely mad from the effort it took to maintain that state. So in simple terms, anything that could
make Kacharo’s attention drift even for merest fraction of a second, really pierced him deep down his soul.
It was a just a little boy running around in a red and white stripped school uniform. The colour of the uniform his little Tombolo had worn when he was still alive. Memories flooded before his eyes, right back to the day at the beach, and it took an exhausting amount of willpower to wrench his mind away from that particular scene. Tombolo was dead and gone, he still had his little diamond, Koliko, to worry about. She had been sacked for non-payment of her school fees and she was the only reason he was toiling under this scorching sun. He will remain strong for her, He will not shatter like some brittle piece of glass. The Lord gives and the Lord takes. The Lord will Provide.
The noise from the crowd hit Kacharo like a sandstorm as he snapped out of his little reverie.
He scanned the street wearily and noticed quite a number of people were standing near his platform.
In those few minutes he had been distracted by the forbidden memories, the compartment of his mind allocated to preaching had been semi-consciously discoursing scriptures from the Book Of Revelations, while his voice had acquired a passionate tinge to its edge. The effect had been quite dramatic and several people had stopped to observe the Man of God.
This was the moment Kacharo had been waiting for. The Lord had finally provided a message, and he would deliver it in its true and unpolluted form. Praise the Lord, for he is good and his mercies endure forever. The Lord will Provide for me. The Lord will Provide for Koliko. He reached out his hand and started praying.
Another quick movement in the crowd caught his attention again, and though he did not falter this time, his mind quickly registered the whole occurrence. A young man dressed plainly in a red t-shirt with khaki trousers had bumped hardly into a decent looking gentlemen, and both of them had exchanged venomous glares. Or that was how it looked like to any unobservant bystander. But definitely not Nathan Kacharo, incidents like this rarely escaped his hawk-like eyes. For in that very instance bodily contact had occurred between both young men, no one except Kacharo had seen the one in the Red T-Shirt slide his hand into the other one’s pocket and quickly withdraw his wallet. It was a sleek, nimble move, delivered with the proficiency of a master pickpocket. Things like this happened everyday in the market square, and it this wasn’t the first time he had witnessed such an event, but this particular one had intrigued him by far.
The young man who had been robbed, peeled his eyes away from his assailant, cursing silently while rubbing his shoulder. He walked to the roadside and made a furious gesture at a taxi, in what would have been regarded as a half-hearted attempt to flag it. Kacharo had seen enough. He cleared his throat loudly in the microphone and pointed his hands at the young man.
“Praise the Lord” he shouted loudly into the microphone “For he has just granted me the ability to see into the non-existent. I just received a revelation from the Lord, somebody say Hallelujah”
Barely a handful of people muttered hallelujah in response, but Kacharo didn’t despair.
“Gentleman. Gentleman in the black shirt” A woman standing a few metres away from the young man tapped him and pointed in the direction of the preacher.
“Excuse me but I don’t have time for -”
“Young man, listen to me” Kacharo cut him off “The Lord has just revealed to me that you were recently robbed of your wallet. Please make sure I’m wrong before you set foot in that taxi”
The young man look confused and angry at the same time. He was late for an appointment and this village prankster had chosen this particular moment to infuse some drama into his life. He reached into back pocket for the wallet, and almost immediately, the look of anger vanished from his face, leaving only confusion.
“Praise the Lord, O citizens of Ghana, For the Lord is good and his mercies endure forever” The preacher’s loud voice carried over the din of crowd “The Lord will not allow any evil to befall his people. The Lord protects and guides his flock. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the end of your problems, somebody shout hallelujah”
This time, the response was much louder as more people had suddenly taken interest in the ongoing proceedings. Some market women were pointing unabashedly at the young man, ignoring their wares for the sake of mere gossip, while the street hawkers zipped in and out of the crowd, trying to cash in some quick sales. To any slightly curious person in the vicinity, that kind of congregation was very beguiling.
“Don’t despair young man, all is not lost” Kacharo continued “The Lord has just revealed to me, where the thief is hiding. Praise the Lord, young man, for the Lord has been merciful unto you.”
“The thief was the gentleman that bumped into you a few minutes ago, and he is lurking right behind that green kiosk” Kacharo added, pointing at a green kiosk, a few metres away. “I would advice you not to assault him, but rather bring him before the Lord for prayers. Vengeance belongs to the Lord.”
The young man turned eagerly in the direction the man of God had pointed and ran over. The taxi driver got down from his car and accompanied him as he moved towards the kiosk. When they got the kiosk, they split and circled it until they found the thief hiding in the rear. A few seconds later the thief was pulled out and backhanded hardly across the cheek. The taxi driver in an unexplained fit of rage pounced on him and started hitting him mercilessly until the wallet dropped from his shirt. With the brief distraction that had come with the discovery of the stolen wallet, the thief had managed to shove his assailant backwards and disappeared behind the next building. The taxi driver gave pursuit, crying out loudly that a thief was in the vicinity. The young man picked up his wallet and checked the contents carefully. When he was satisfied with what he had seen, he walked back to the platform and had began to stutter thanks to Kacharo when he was cut short.
“It’s not me you should be thanking, because I have no power of my own” Kacharo said, reaching for his bible “It’s the lord God Almighty who delivered you from the snare of the fowler. The lord has also revealed to me that you have been jobless this past few months, but he wants me to tell you that all
your troubles are finally over. When you arrive at the bank later this afternoon for that interview, you will be handed your heart’s desire”
The young man looked stunned. How had the man of God known he was searching for a job? He stood gazing at the preacher for a very long time, and then took his wallet and emptied the entire contents into an offering bowl at the foot of the platform. This man had already saved him once.
What was the big deal in showing a bit of gratitude?
Kacharo now had the full attention of the crowd, and it wasn’t a chance he was going to allow go waste just like that. The Lord had given him an extra-ordinary brain, and he would be a fool to be modest about it. He would put the brain God had given him to good use, and would glorify his name.
The God of Kacharo will not put Koliko to shame. The Lord will Provide…