Adieu Paul Kim

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Friday May 27 found me in Watoto Church attending Paul Kim’s funeral service. I had not been in this particular church or any other church for that matter in a long time. Blame it on the fact that I do not find the sermons by most of today’s crop of Pastors intellectually stimulating. I guess I would like answers to whether tithes are not affected by inflation and a more functional gospel in which I should not expect an SUV to drop from heaven. It is strange how it is the pastors that prosper from merchandising the so-called prosperity gospel while their flock find itself in the opportunity cost situation of giving their transport fare as an offering to God.

Friday however was about celebrating a life well lived if the eulogies that stretched the funeral service to three were anything to go by. I would have loved to give my own eulogy, and in it, I would have spoken about Paul’s tenacity in the face of a bunch of Christian fundamentalists that were interpreting the Bible more as a law book than the Christian guidebook Jesus had meant it to be. I met the hyper Paul while trying my hand at being a singer in the now defunct Youth Music Ministry at the then KPC. Paul may be better remembered as a singer and record producer but he sure had admirable dance talent.

It was his desire to start a dance ministry- the term Pentecostal Christians use for being on His Majesty [Jesus Christ]’s service that put him on a collision course with the fundamentalist lot that castigated him for “bringing the world into the church”. When he was finally allowed to do a toned-down dance, the choreography looked more like a weak aerobics session than one from an acclaimed dancer that had set the [worldly] breakdance stages and Afrigo Band “semaddongo” sessions alight. Paul had the last laugh regardless even as he seemingly hang-up his dance boots. He would later steer a revolutionary urban Contemporary Christian Music male outfit First Love. Perhaps music was his first love and in the four lads he made music together with he probably found his first love where dance had been nothing but an adolescent phase.

His post-First Love singing vocation had seen him start a recording studio with the laborious job of hatching new gospel talent. The most prolific was the Able 4 male quartet and he was in the final stages of unveiling a female trio a la The Supremes before his passing. It is a pity he never got to see what would have been the jewel of his life, his first child Keisha who was born posthumously. Luckily for the tot, she has her mother Olivia Kimwanga and the numerous lives Paul touched to get a taste of her dad’s magic. If there was anything to take away from the service as Paul’s sky blue casket was wheeled to the hearse, it was a mourner’s reminder that what counts the most is not the quantity of life but the quality one lives. Fare thee well Paul Kim.

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