You can read part 1 of this story here
While living the life in Mombasa, Wanjohi got sick. He had measles, but it was first misdiagnosed as malaria at an estate dispensary. He hadn’t been vaccinated against measles as a child and as an adult, it got him proper. He was sick, so sick that he couldn’t move or do anything for himself. Being alone in the house made it worse. He was dying. It’s the neighbors who took him to hospital after noticing unusual quietness in his house and the fact that he hadn’t been out, or brought any girls into the house.
In his mind, Wanjohi thought he had HIV, he figured that his promiscuity had caught up with him. He could see the suspicion in the neighbor’s eyes as they arranged for him to be taken to hospital. His girlfriends’ came to visit him in hospital with depressed looks, as if to confirm if their suspicion was true.
When his cousin came to visit, he was extremely concerned.
He called Wanjohi’s mother, “Kijana yako ni kukufa anakufa. If you don’t come ASAP you might find him gone.”
She was on the next flight to Mombasa. She landed and went straight to the hospital.
He had a feeding pipe through the nose, couldn’t eat normally, was sore all over, had extreme fever, his eyes were gorged, his tongue had changed color. The situation was dire and grim.
The next day, after his mother had come, he improved significantly, to the doctor’s surprise.
“What happened yesterday?” the doctor asked the nurses.
“He was visited by his mother,” they reported.
He was discharged that very day and his mother took him home and organized for a relative to come and stay with him while he recovered.
Being heartbroken by Aisha, being made a supervisor at work (which he didn’t want, there was no side money there) made the decision to come back home easier.
In April 2010 he packed his bags and came to Nairobi. Two months later he joined Strathmore for CPA section five, paid by his mom. In January the next year he started section six.
But then his drinking hadn’t slowed down and it led to an incident that changed his life forever.
On that 27th day of January 2011, Symo, a friend he had made while living in Ayany, called him for a drink. Wanjohi’s mum had since moved to Adams Arcade. They were drinking at a bar on the Kibera side of Ayany. Symo mentioned that one of his girlfriends had found out that he had other girlfriends and was going to dump him, but he had recently bought her a new phone and needed to reclaim it.
She was living in a flat near Co-op Bank Ayany towards 42 stage. They psyched each other while downing some more booze and then went to the apartment. Wanjohi waited for Symo outside as he went in for the phone. What he didn’t know is that Symo was carrying a knife. In the house he threatened the girl with the knife while asking for his phone. There was another girl in that flat and they started screaming.
“In my drunken state, I saw through the window as one of the girls hit him and he fell down. I ran up to help Symo. I pushed the girl away from Symo and told him we had to leave. The knife dropped in the house as we hurried out. The girls followed us screaming “thieves! thieves!”,” Wanjohi recalls animatedly.
The shout of “thieves” echoed around the flat, the watchman repeated it and people on the street heard it.
Wanjohi managed to make it out of the gate and was met with a blow from a blunt metallic object while in motion. He couldn’t tell where it had hit him or where it had come from but he was down. Symo was luckier, he was locked inside the apartment while Wanjohi ran outside, into the hands of the mob.
One of the guys beckoned the mob to listen to him while another mentioned that Symo often comes to visit the girls in the apartment and that it was just a love affair gone wrong. It was too late since his leg was already broken. Symo had also been beaten but not as bad, just two teeth gone and an injury to the chest.
It could have been worse because as is the custom with thieves in Kibera, old tires and petrol were already on site to burn them.
His mother was called and she came very fast, took them to the police station for quick statements before being rushed to hospital. The mob had threatened to turn on the girls and the police needed to intervene quickly.
At Nairobi Women’s hospital they were told the leg could be amputated and so they needed to goto hospital with better facilities. He was taken to Karen hospital and straight to the theatre, the mother taking care of everything, perhaps paying back for her past neglect. After putting metallic plates in his leg, he was taken back to Nairobi Women’s to recover from there.
“You will be walking with crutches,” the doctor dropped the news one day to Wanjohi’s shock. He began accepting his predicament when he hit the floor one day trying to walk without crutches in the ward.
A few weeks later he was home and on course to recovery.
But a month later, after sneaking out for a rendezvous with a girlfriend in Nyeri, they boarded a bodaboda and unfortunately had an accident. The metallic plate in the leg dislocated but he didn’t realize it at first until that night after coming back to Nairobi and his leg was swollen like a balloon or a porcupine in attack mode.
He went back for surgery at Karen Hospital and the recovery process began all over again.
“Everyone at home knows I dislocated the plate after falling on the treadmill in the gym where I would go for physiotherapy,” he says smiling sheepishly, knowing his secret is out now.
He lets me feel the scar on the side of his left leg which explains his limp.
In July that year he went back to Strathmore to finish his CPA section six.
He would often attend the third service at Citam Woodley church, because it was near home, but also because the service was at noon, when his hangover would be fairly subsided. It was also a ground for picking up girls, sadly. One of the girls who couldn’t enter his box was Lucy. He liked her, somehow and they became acquaintances.
One day in November of 2011 he met Lucy in the street while in crutches.
“What happened to you?” she asked.
“I had an accident,” that’s what he told people to avoid many questions.
“By the way you need Jesus,” she said firmly. “I moved to a church called Chrisco in town, there’s a function this Sunday, you are welcome to attend.”
The Saturday before that Sunday found Wanjohi in a club in town. He drank so much, he was going home at 4am in the morning in a matatu, in crutches. Other drunkards would wonder why Wanjohi was doing that to himself.
He was almost beaten in the matatu going home for acting indecently to a girl in who sat with her boyfriend in the seat in front of Wanjohi.
“Usipige kiwete! Muwache tu ni mlevi!” people came to his rescue.
At 9am, Lucy called relentlessly. He picked the fourth time the phone rang.
“You remember there’s a function today in church, are you coming?”
“No, I can’t. I am drank and just came home this morning. I will come next Sunday.”
“No, it’s a function, you have to come,” she reiterated.
He decided to go. He sat at the back, with his crutches.
After what felt like forever, the first-time visitors were asked to lift their hands. It was noon. Chrisco is one of those churches where they take their time. They argue that if you can go to work the whole day, why not do the same in the house of God. They don’t have those structured 1hr 45min services with everything squeezed in between.
After raising their hands, the visitors were asked to go forward. Wanjohi didn’t budge. Lucy urged him to go forward from where she was seated.
“Say your name, where you go to church and if you are born again,” the pastor announced.
They started from the other end. The guy next to Wanjohi said he wasn’t born again but he had felt the presence of the Lord in that church and wanted to give his life to Christ. His openness was putting pressure on Wanjohi. He was led to Jesus even before it was Wanjohi’s turn to introduce himself.
“Samuel, before you go, stop stop stop. You said you love God; do you know him?”
Still nursing a hangover from the last night, with the mic in hand, he answered the pastor with a question, “do you know him yourself?”
“Yes I know him”
“I also know him the same way you know him”
“Samuel, what am asking in short, are you born again, are you saved?”
“If God healed your leg today, because I can see you are walking on crutches, would you accept him?”
“I would be happy if he healed my leg but about salvation, maybe when I get married in future”
“Samuel, you need Jesus, receive him today. And by the way your name is Samuel. How many times was Samuel called by God in the Bible thinking its Eli calling him”
“He went to Eli three times then the fourth time he answered to God,” Wanjohi knew his Bible alright.
“Do you want me to call you three times so that you know it’s not us who brought you here, it’s God who actually brought you here”
Getting frustrated, he answered, “Even if you call me 20 times I am not getting saved today.”
“Samuel, first time, give your life to God.”
“Samuel, second time, give your life to God.”
“Samuel, third time, give your life to God.”
Tension was growing in the church. Everyone was now fixated at Wanjohi wondering at this convert who was refusing to cross over. Others were silently interceding.
“I will not call you the fourth time because the fourth time Samuel answered directly to God. So, you will answer to God himself not to me”
Before Samuel could go back to his seat, someone called James was called and instructed by the pastor.
“James, I want you to take Samuel out there and ask him why he’s not accepting Christ. Talk to him, if he refuses, bring him back in we continue with the service”
While outside, unbeknownst to Samuel Wanjohi, the whole church was asked to rise up and intercede for his soul. That soul is not going to hell, the pastor declared.
Meanwhile out there, the devil was reminding him of his girlfriends and the dates he had planned for the coming weeks, the ‘fun’ he was going to miss out on. Voices were fighting for his attention inside his head, he couldn’t make out anything that James was saying. The internal turmoil was getting intense.
One of those voices became clearer than the rest. It reminded him of John 10:10, the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. Look at your life, it spoke, if you don’t accept the Lord today you are going to die. That was the turnaround.
His body began shaking as he quipped, “James James, stop. How can I get saved?”
James led Wanjohi to receive Christ right there. The church was celebrating when they walked back in.
“Samuel, come and give us the good news, what happened to your life?” the pastor beckoned.
“Praise God church,” Wanjohi took the mic. “If I gave my life to Jesus nobody can’t.”
With that he broke down, and cried and wailed and shook to the point that the church started singing because nothing else could be done because of his vehement and strenuous cry, even without the mic. God had caught up with a sinner, heaven was celebrating, the church was rejoicing, a runaway son was finally back home.
It was thirty minutes later when he quieted down.
In the midst of his wailing, the pastor had made a comment, “Today we have gotten even the gatekeepers of hell.”
Reflecting on the statement later Samuel realized how easy it was for him to get girls, they would rarely say no to him, even church going girls who proclaimed salvation. And it was hit and go and on to the next one. He would rarely keep a relationship. Isn’t it well serving that the girl who said no to him is the one who tenaciously sought and invited him to church where he eventually found the straight and narrow path?
That Sunday was the last day he used the crutches to walk. It was also the last day he carried a smell of alcohol. The thirst was completely quenched by the living water of Christ. Despite having a name – Wanjohi – which means drunkard, Jesus delivered him from alcoholism.
His mum was happy for him and even bought him his first bible.
He finished his CPA and wanted to do a degree course but it was not possible at the time.
He eventually got a job as an accountant and went on to pursue a finance degree and got a first class honors. He then resigned from the accounting job to join CAMP internship (a one-year CITAM ministry internship program for graduates who sense the calling of God), served in Citam Kisumu, then embarked on his accountancy profession. He eventually got married, finished his master’s degree and also became a Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP).
And that’s not all. God has revealed himself even more in Samuel’s family. When his wife was giving birth to their daughter, she inhaled meconium and she went straight to the newborn ICU after birth. The doctors were giving up on her because she wasn’t responding. They were going to disconnect the machines. My daughter is not dying, Samuel declared and even texted pastors in his contact list to keep them in prayer. The next day she improved significantly and was on course to recovery. Four nurses gave their lives to Christ because of her testimony. She’s now four years old and healthy.
Since his conversion, he introduces himself now as Samuel Aliyeokoka, a christening of his new identity, lest he falters from his new position or forgets where God picked him from, lest the devil tries to bring up his past. His previous name on Facebook was ‘King Mswati’ but since his transformation, he now directs the girls to Jesus.
Samuel is a Discipleship teacher who has graduated two new believers classes at Citam (he taught them for 3 years). He is also a counselor and a passionate evangelist. Many souls have come to Christ through his testimony to the glory of God.
“How would you describe your relationship with your mum now?” I ask.
“Much better, we are now friends, I was able to forgive her by God’s grace.”
Samuel has such a zeal for God and doesn’t shy from sharing the good news whenever he gets an opportunity. As it is written in Luke 7:47, He who is forgiven much loves much. He is authoring a book titled ‘Overcoming past addictions’ which will be out soon.
Also, my writing services for short stories, profiles, features, autobiographies, memoirs, Christian/ motivational books is officially open. Reach out for more info.