Salty Prayers…..

It was on a Saturday morning, I had just received my salary. Thoughts of how I would spend the money got me so excited that sleep became elusive. By 7:00am in the morning, I was in a Matatu heading to town.

My first stop was ‘back street’. By then hawkers use to sell their wares in the back street of Nairobi away from the city councils’ view. Being a Saturday, most of the hawkers had already set up. In a few minutes, I had managed to get a few blouses and skirts for work at very fair prices. The next stop was the supermarket  for some shopping to last my family a month.I couldn’t wait to get home and give the shopping to my mother; I could already imagine her smile of gratitude.

While heading towards the railway station to get a Matatu, I came across a seemingly elderly woman standing outside the bomb last park. She was dressed in a long flowred dress with a matching headscarf and wore a sad expression on her face. The woman looked lost and it was easy tell that she needed help. When she caught me staring at her, she approached me and asked  for help. I am normally wary of talking to strangers especially in Nairobi but the woman look old and harmless so ignoring her seemed a bit heartless.

 She explained that she was looking for a children home in Westlands where her church was taking some donations to the orphans. Her voice was filled with sadness as she explained how she had lost her way in the big city. I immediately volunteered to take her to the Matatu she was looking for. However, she gently turned down my offer, saying that directions would be enough.

After my directions, the lady did not seem to be in any hurry to leave. She instead struck a conversation with me, expressing her gratitude. She introduced herself as Wambui from Nakuru where she worked as a preacher. Talking to her was easy and in no time, I found myself introducing myself and really opening up to her. Due to her age, she looked motherly, someone trustworthy and easy to talk to. Wambui told me that she was a preacher .Then she started telling me how she could sense a good spirit in me from the time we met. For some reason, I stood and listened to her although looking back now, that was a stupid move that I being wiser now reckon shouldn’t have made.

After a short while, a gentleman walked to us and enthusiastically greeted Wambui while referring to her as Pastor. He told her that he had seen her on TV performing miracles, healing people and making people realize their dream. The man then turned to me and asked me if I had watched Wambui. By this time we were chatting like three old friends, we had even moved to corner so that we could have some privacy. Wambui then told the man how I had helped her and she insisted that she had to thank me by saying a prayer for me.

She explained that the prayer would help me lead a successful life. I eagerly joined the two in prayer for about five minutes. On opening my eyes, I found her staring at me with tears in her eyes. She said that God revealed something to her during her prayer. Apparently she had seen a vision of me , standing at a loved one’s graveside. The vision had shown her that I would lose a loved one in a very short while.

 At this point, I had started crying. Passersby were staring but they probably thought I was ok since I was with ‘my family’. The lady told me that I would require a cleansing prayer. She asked me to go to the nearest supermarket and buy a packet of salt; once I bought it, I was to say The Lord’s prayer three times. This would keep evil and grief away from me. She asked that I leave her my shopping and all my bags so that I may run. Evil spirits are dangerous; she explained you need to act first.

 I ran to the supermarket crying. I got my packet of salt and said my prayers, even backing  them with my own personal plea to God to spare all my loved one’s lives. I rushed to the counter and that is when I realized that, I didn’t even have any money to pay for the salt. I left the salt and ran back to get money from Wambui. However,she was gone .The man had disappeared too. I tried asking the security men at the bomb last gate but nobody had seen an elderly woman and a younger man leaving the area.

In my state of confusion, it still hadn’t yet dawned on me that I had been conned. Instead,my main priority was getting home first to ensure that my whole family was still alive  . Still in tears I explained to some men at the bus stop that I didn’t have money to get home and I was in a hurry. Maybe it was the crying or my confused look but they quickly gave me  bus fare and I rushed home. Hours later after I had seen my family ,it finally dawned on me that I had been conned.

Since that day; I never help anyone in Nairobi. I never stop to talk to strangers and am particularly wary of elderly people asking for directions.


10 thoughts on “Salty Prayers…..

  1. Sorry Diana, that was a very bad experience. But it has two sides, one of a woman who loves and cherishes people so deeply, to forget all, including the shopping and the new dresses. Here is a woman whose concern leads here to do her best and save loved ones. Trust me, such a woman is a jewel to those she loves, at the cost of all the money and the pleasing possessions. On the other hand is a woman whose trust, age, love and commitment is for unknown sums of money, earthly things and most importantly, respect for herself or anything else for that matter.

    Her biggest error however, coupled with that of the young man, is using the name of God vainly. Even fools and children know that it is better to ignore but never misuse that name. The love, mercy and grace of the Lord is in itself perfection, one that we inadequate humans should always learn to bow for and after, and not lie about. May God forgive her foolishness and bless her existence with a renewed spirit.

    Your love for family is so precious and worth all the money, and you demonstrated it when you forgot everything else and put it first, so do not ever be sad about the occurrence.

    1. Thank you very much Joel and what you said is so true. For the longest time, i kept going through the whole incidence and trying to understand why the woman would use God’s name and death just to get a phone and a few hundred shillings. The whole con took close to an hour.

      I have forgiven her and i also pray that God will open her eyes and that she will stop doing what she does just to make money. I know she must have hurt a lot of other people so hopefully she changes her way.

      Thanks though for what you said about me and yes i simply adore my family so much that i forgot to mourn the loss of my property and instead i was just angry that she used that particular lie to con me.

  2. I was beginning to think u got a pay rise Dee! this town is turning into a menace of beggars, thieves and con artists.When i get asked for directions by any old looking likely to be thug,i jst point them in the direction of the nearest policeman i can spot.When they are young men especially, i run; bcoz the next thing i expect to hear from them is ” niko na kisu /pistol,nipatie handbag yako ama….”.that happened to me once and its not happening again.Yesterday i meet one outside nation center.He asked for ten shillings and when i told him i didnt have he demanded for one thousand shillings instead!(I was with some people so i didnt run).Yeah, thats our beautiful city Nairobery!

    1. Woi Nairobi will turn us into heartless people. It is so hard to tell who is genuine and who is not. I also hasten my pace and simply ignore all pleas for help nowadays. Sad state of affairs but what can we do.

      Sorry about what you went thru tho, i can only imagine how terrifying it is when they actually pull a weapon on you and on the Nation center incident, that was a close one. Yaani uambie msee hauna 10 then he demands for 1000. That is a thug.

      We all need to be safe and simply trust nobody i guess. Aki and the way upcountry is so different.

    1. thanks dear and yeah that experience also made me wary of strangers though i know that not everyone is like that, someone people are genuine but…..

    1. Haiya, that’s quite a story, it’s the reason i dislike Nairobbery!! last month i met someone who almost had a similar tactic. she was elderly, she walked up to me while i was buying a laptop bag and greeted me like she knew me from somewhere…..for good measure she even asked about my family!! Then she is like “niko na mgonjwa hospitali am looking for money na niko na hii 200 peke yake. i just need like 300 more ifike 500 niweze kununua madawa……”. let’s just say i didn’t fall into her trap.
      Pole lakini, this things happen!! and i almost thought this was today’s post….kumbe ni ya 2013!!

  3. Woi pole sana…..I totally know how devastating it is…..Kwanza knowing that you willingly gave out what you had to them.
    I was conned of a new phone in first year in an almost similar way…It stressed me out so bad, I got to tell my family the true story several months later….

    1. Pole sana pia. These con men are so heartless. I have never gotten over the incident and especially the fact that I was conned by such an old lady who looked so innocent but she still targeted me. Nairobi will show us manenos

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