Esther Arunga Timberlake is back with a bang! And she is not just with her good-looking American accent husband but also has a two week bouncing baby boy called Sinclair Timberlake. A marriage certificate she showed to the press recently proves that she was married to Timberlake on 9th February 2010 and the two were joined together by the controversial Pastor Hellon of the Finger of God church.
But what is really amazing is that this time she is apologetic. She apologizes to Kenyans for belonging to the Finger of God church and being in all the drama that ensued as a result. She even calls the church she was a member of and defended so vigorously on National TV, a cult and she and her husband warn Kenyans to stay away from it because “it is a brothel” and “the things that go on in that church are shocking..”
And Esther even has an excuse for her behaviour. She says that she was under a spell from the dominating pastor Hellon who even wanted to be given the authority to name her child. It is not clear how Esther broke out of the alleged spell she was under.
Phew!!! What a turn around!! And once again Esther’s statement to the press leaves more questions than answered. For instance when did the Timberlake’s realize that the Finger of God church was in fact a brothel? Was it while they were there and allegedly under a spell? Or was it after they left? Also unclear is the fate of the woman who Mr Timberlake lived with for 11 years before he met and married Esther.
The Esther Arunga story held the nation spell bound for months on end last year. Many Kenyans asked themselves how such a bright talent destined for higher things in broadcast journalism would suddenly abandon her career and join a controversial church. More so because the multi-talented Esther was also a qualified lawyer.
Kenyans will already have forgotten the interesting way in which this whole soap-opera high drama first broke. The powerful Radio Africa outfit just wrote and talked about it and never quit until it became a national issue. Radio Africa is that outfit owned by a Ghanian that runs the notorious FM stations called Kiss and Classic. They also publish a daily newspaper called The Star which is where a nice lady reporter called Grace Kerongo first broke the story.
The approach taken by the chaps at Radio Africa was that they were concerned for “a friend and colleague” who had ended up in some cult. Now this is preposterous because if somebody who is your true friend goes AWOL, you don’t make her the subject of discussion on a popular breakfast show. You look for your cell phone call them and set up a lunch date or whatever. As it is none of Esther’s so-called friends and colleagues did that. Poor Esther, with friends like that she would be much better off in a pit and surrounded by the most dangerous snakes in Kenya. Methinks the chaps at Radio Africa were just doing their job in the current vicious war by the Kenyan media to grab the attention of the increasingly bored, distracted and better informed Kenyan audience who are a tad harder to con into some profitable media promotion.
But why did Ms Kerongo think that the Esther Arunga story was important and why did her editors agree? Let me start with the editors. From circulation figures most media managers already know that stories about Kenyan celebrities sell newspapers like crazy. Especially if it is a scandal of sorts and that is why Kerongo dug out all the gory details she could find (more on that in a second). Kerongo thought that this was a big story because Esther was a celeb who had resigned from her high-profile job at KTN as a news anchor to “go live with some pastor.” And this happened shortly after she had broken off her engagement to her finacee, Wilson Malaba in favour of (now the juicy gossip really begins) Quincy Timberlake Wambita Zuma who the press told us was already her lover. Timberlake is a Kenyan with an American accent and that is why hilariously it was at first reported that he was in the illegally according to the CID. But even at the time the cops were trying to get him deported, there were then unconfirmed reports that Timberlake's dad was infact a Kenyan of Luo origin.
And the soap got even juicer. The reason why Arunga broke off with her fiancée is because he reportedly made passes at 2 female members of the Finger of God church. Keep in mind the latest accusations from the Timberlake’s that this place is “a brothel.” And to make matters worse Mr Malaba had earlier used a log book of “one of Esthers’ cars” to get a loan from some loan shark. Meanwhile there were strong rumours that Esther was already pregnant from her new finacee.
At the time, she strongly denied those rumours which have now turned out to be true after all. Timberlake who is said to have changed his name several times over the years was already “married” (actually had lived with a woman for 11 years) and the union had produced two children.
Believe it or not, this “amazing” soap then swiftly moved from petty romance and office politics to national politics because Esther’s pastor Joseph Hellon suddenly declared that he would run for the presidency of the republic of Kenya in 2012 and Esther Arunga would be his running mate. Wow!!! Hellon now seems to have lost his running mate, if he still intends to stand.
Everything was going just fine for Joseph Hellon’s presidential campaign (can you imagine instant national attention and recognition for a man who had only previously been known to a very small clique of Kenyans as an amazing saxophone player inclined to Jazz) until the CID came calling and arrested Hellon, Esther and Timberlake. But fascinatingly Esther never made it to court and only Hellon and Timberlake were charged and then released on bail because the charge sheet was defective. It turns out that the fellows at CID did not do their due diligence and the Finger of God is in fact registered and yet the main charge against Hellon and Timberlake was belonging to an unregistered and dangerous organization. An interesting aside here is that I will never understand the law. Doesn’t freedom of worship allow you to worship who you want?
And so the amazing soap made in Kenya called Esther Arunga is still on. What will happen next? Who knows? Besides isn’t that what keeps otherwise intelligent and sane women glued to their TV sets like nothing else matters in this life?
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