Confessions of a Nunsí Driver

By David Odongo
The Standard
February 19, 2012

DAVID ODONGO lifts the veil on the secret life of renegade nuns

When a community proudly gathered to celebrate the ordination of their first son into priesthood at a lavish outdoor ceremony in Western Kenya, a little secret ripped through the audience: "He has a son!"

Strangely, there was no reproach but some sort of secret triumph ó a tacit acceptance that even though the celibate young priest would now serve Jesus, his lineage, in true African sense, would never end.

Two decades later, when he was elevated to head a parish, he had filled out into a handsome middle-aged man. At a Ďhomecoming partyí held in his parentís home, two nuns ó one a primary school headmistress ó openly clashed, with one shouting, "This is my house!"

Two wives

Old women lounging on the grass smiled knowingly. The word quickly spread: "Our son has two wives!"

So whereas the Vatican maintains that celibacy is here to stay, in Kenya, the sexual transgressions of many a priest are quietly known and accepted so long as they are heterosexual. After all, they are just men ó African men!

Little, however, is ever said of nuns who, by design of ancient chauvinist monks, are ensconced inconspicuously behind high walled convents in drab-coloured habits, stockinged feet in simple shoes.

They wear plain cardigans, no lipstick, no manicure or perfume ó every effort made to banish and mask their feminity.


No wonder in the movie Virgin Territory, a nunís convent only employs deaf and dumb gardeners.

Thatís the special skill that the gardener must have because apart from the gardening job, he also has other duties and as you are aware, a deaf and dumb man hears and speaks no evil.

But *Timothy Mburu (not his real name) was neither deaf nor dumb. Now a school bus driver, Timothy, who has never been married, worked in a convent for 22 years.

Timothy isnít married. He doesnít even desire to have children. Though he doesnít drink or smoke, his paunch is a bit on the heavy side.

His clothes are well pressed, his shoes clean and his cheeks rosy. He has the aura of a well-fed man.

"Yes, its true, I have been well taken care of. Thatís why I donít need a wife," reveals Timothy with a chuckle.

The 41-year-old man says he joined the church as a teenager in 1985. He started as an altar boy.


"It was a white priest. He liked me because I was so dedicated to the church. When I turned 18, he took me to a driving school. I was initially his driver and worked in his house until he died in 1992.

"When the new priest came in, he was an African and he wanted his own driver, so the nuns asked me to join the convent as a worker and driver," says Timothy.

Having been in the convent for over 15 years, Timothy has seen it all.

"When I joined, I didnít look at the nuns as Ďwomení because I knew they were holy. Even the thought of having an affair with one never arose. But within weeks, that perception had changed dramatically because of this trainee nun in her second year who was hardly 20."


Timothy explains that a friendship blossomed between him and the nun and within weeks, she began sneaking out of the dormitory to his house, which was at the far end of the parish, well outside the convent.

"The thought of doing something forbidden scared me. I used to vow every time that tonight would be the last, but come the next morning, I would be waiting for her. She used to come at eleven and stay for two hours. It was scary but fun," says Timothy, his ample belly rippling as he laughs.

He continued seeing the novice nun for almost four months before she disappeared.


"I think she got pregnant and ran away. I have never heard from her since," says Timothy, shrugging his shoulders.

He, however, says he could tell a few senior nuns were aware of his dirty little secret and whatís more, he suspected they also had designs on him.

He was not wrong. During his stay in the convent, nearly half of the nuns would troop to his little house, he claims.

"To be frank, some were very pious and never even looked at me. Some were not very pious although they worshipped and did everything by the book, but at night, they would be in my house," Timothy reveals.

But one incident nearly stopped his little arrangement. A senior nun he was seeing came to his place unannounced. He refused to open the door since another novice nun was already in his bed.

"That made her really angry. She could guess I had somebody in the house, because I talked to her through the window, lying in a whisper that my mother had visited," recalls Timothy.

The senior nun went back to the convent but kept vigil, waiting until she spotted the novice sneaking out of his house back into the convent.


"There was some kind of confrontation between them. I then came to realise the novice was now being given the most difficult of chores, work I used to do. I think she was being punished. The problem with the convent is there was no one she could complain to. But I just couldnít resist. The senior nun was a little bit mature while the novice was young. How can a man resist such temptations?" asks Timothy.

"Like all women, jealousy stalked them. No woman wants to be slighted. No woman wants another woman to take her man. They couldnít agree to share, which they were doing anyway! So they would sulk and stop talking to one another. Alternatively, they would gang up against the most beautiful or the one who visited my house more often," Timothy adds.


Although he quit the convent last year, Timothy doesnít think he wasted his life when he was at his prime.

"I had a good life. At that age, what else does a man need? I was fed, clothed and well taken care of. I am sure I have many children out there," Timothy discloses flatly.

He says most of the nuns he slept with never gave him any trouble. "I was never nagged. I was treated like a king.

Even when the relationships stopped ó because of pregnancy, the nuns generally held themselves accountable, since they were the temptresses, the seductresses.

"Nobody ever came to ask me to cater for a baby," says the former convent driver.

Itís not just a Kenyan thing. Recently in Italy, A 79-year-old Roman Catholic nun pleaded no contest to two counts of indecent behaviour with a child for alleged sexual encounters with two male students at a church convent and school where she was principal during the 1960s.

The nun, Norma Giannini, faces a maximum ten years on each count if sentenced.

One man said the nun told him in 1965, when he was 13, to open the buttons of her clothes, but he was shaking so badly he could not do so.

He said she then unbuttoned her clothing and had him touch her breasts, the complaint said. The first incident was followed by 60 to 80 others.

Another man said he had sexual contact with the nun more than 100 times, beginning when he was in seventh grade. At least one incident involved sexual intercourse, the complainant said.

So now you know. But like the deaf and dumb gardener, hear no evil; speak no evil.








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