The Preacher Man

As the evening turned to night, those assembled for the memorial we were catering filled a marquee. A preacher was shouting, aided by ladies from the local church. At times, he spoke in tongues, at times people shouted hallelujah as they rose out of their seats. The night was filled with religious fervour.

Later, some local drummers came out into our fenced off kitchen to heat their instruments on our cooking fires. “They’re just not giving the right sound in this cold air”, one told me.

Moments later, the sound of hymns—in the local dialect—filled the air. Women’s soft voices sang in harmony as tambourines and the wonderful Kenyan drumming provided the rhythm. The sound of the crickets that had previously seemed deafening was drowned out. This was the sound of “Africa” I had always imagined, and it felt rather special.