By Rehema Zuberi.
(The views expressed in this piece are the writer’s and in no way is the content meant to offend anyone. The writer apologizes for any aspects that might have been wrongly represented and points that it might not necessarily represent the typical SDA man.)
Seventh Day Adventist. A very practical name for a church that strictly observes Sabbath. Doesn’t a new week start on Sunday, making Saturday the seventh day? Advent means the return or coming back of Jesus Christ making an Adventist a person who believes in the same and goes to church a day before other Christians do. We are in line now, aren’t we?
The SDA man comes in three forms, ever heard that the great things things in life come in threes? No? You ought to respect the triangle. There is is the strict/staunch (usually very rigid), mid-level/flexible (can adjust) and the hypocrite/pretender (not very SDA). I’ll shed some light on the first, there isn’t much on the other two.
Hyper-religiousity. The guy believes that if he gets the Sabbath right, nothing else can go wrong. That is why in high school some folks refused to take exams on Friday evening after 6 or attend classes on Saturday. In his own circle and gatherings, he believes that he is spiritually higher than others. Nothing should come between the promised eternal glory. Everything else can wait until he is done with church, camp or choir. It doesn’t matter if he should make deliveries in the case of a business. Doctrines come first.
The SDA church is widely spread throughout the Nyanza region. An SDA man happens to be either Kisii or Luo (not trying to be tribalist) although a few other individuals are in the mix. The highest population of SDAs hail from Kisii. Apart from their tagged relationship with bananas characteristic of the Ugandan people, these folks have a very high-pitched voice.
They speak in a sing-song voice and I promise you, you do not want to get into a screaming match with them. Your ears wouldn’t last a minute. You know that screeching sound you get when the mic decides to cause mayhem?
With the media displaying the voices of those blessed to speak from within (bass), the SDA man is tossed in the bin with his soprano which only comes handy in their singing. I once attended an SDA service, with the singing that went on, I couldn’t go back for the afternoon bit. One minute you are standing and the next you are standing again for some more singing. No lady wants competition in the sound department. I rest my case.
In this day and age when women want to party from Friday to Sunday, the principled SDA man has started his worship at exactly 6pm. You can’t move him lest you be slapped with memorised Bible verses that are always awaiting an audience. This makes the SDA man unlucky with women outiside his church. The response he is most likely to receive the moment he reveals he goes to church on Saturday is Boy bye!
He does not know casual. The man is always dressed in khaki pants or those material trousers coupled with an official shirt complete with a tie and those ugly official sweaters. The worst day to meet him would be on the apparent Church day, they are in troops with those ill-fitting blazers and baggy pants. On to the worship of the Lord. The attire isn’t complete until they have on loafers. If not these sole-less shoes then it is the characteristic sharpshooter. Ukimwona unaona tu ushamba instead of the formal wear they try to parade.
If you are successful enough to grab one when you are not an Adventist yourself, you will be in for a rude shock. First, the alleged pastor to the church of your hubby-to-be will not perform the ceremony for you. They are highly advised not to join in holy matrimony man and woman of different faiths although it is not forbidden. But as SDA as they come, they would rather not.
Second, the man will be removed from the church simply because he chose to go ‘outside’. Anyone who marries from other faiths shall not live to see peace, if you are not removed by the members then they will ensure you somehow leave. Chances are this man will not risk his religion for you, you will get one of the other two types. Besides, are you ready to have the simplest of weddings when a girl’s whole life revolves around planning her wedding day?
While most employers would better have their employees working their asses off on Saturday at least half the day, the SDA man is in church singing his lungs out from sunrise till sunset. This makes him the least favourite employee and the relationship with his co-workers is likely to be poorer. Who wants to be working when someone else is no show because he is serving the Lord?
If the office plans picnics or weekends away, the SDA man bails out as they are scheduled during weekends. These meetings outside the working hours are intended to improve the relationship among the workers. Since he doesn’t participate, he is labelled the black sheep and is sidelined. Therefore, the SDA guy becomes more inclined to apply and work in places where others like him are. End result? He lacks diversity.
The nyama choma and beer Fridays and Saturdays have turned out to be a culture in Kenya. After work on Friday, you round up in one of the cars (this is the best day to use a matatu to work, free rides as well as promoting Uber guys) and head to a suggested joint. The Adventist takes a lone ride home because the ‘worship’ has began. Red meat should be highly avoided and if that is impossible, at least keep off it on Friday after sunset until Saturday ends. Caffeinated drinks are also a recommended no-no.
As much as this is a healthy way of living, what’s with this rigidity? Drinking alcohol as well as smoking fight for the top prohibitions and thou shall not associate with people who engage in these sinful acts. I know, I know the law of association, you are what you associate with but you expect to live fully by enshrining yourself to the church? Take time to understand why people do the things they do.
The SDA guy overrates himself with being too religious and seclusive!