It is no longer news that most prophets capitalise on what their congregants’ hearts are aching for by preaching the gospel of prosperity rather than the true gospel of the Lord.
This behaviour has been attributed to the pentecostal churches’ prophets who have been making profits from selling ‘annointed oils, water, wrist bands amongst others.
Open air churches have always been commented for preaching the true gospel of Christ with the exclusion of money.
Churches such as Johanne Masowe echishanu and Johanne Masowe nguwo tsvuku are the major examples of open air churches.
With Johanne Masowe echishanu it has always been free healing and deliverance. Methods used vary with pointing to the east mabvazuva, use of leaves of the hissing tree, singing and using stones (muteuro) whilst with the latter has always been about healing and revenge going hand in hand.
However, with these churches growing and having crossed the boarders of Zimbabwe, it has become emotional blackmail to extort money and other possessions from unsuspecting believers.
The Patriot writer toured shrines around Polokwane, South Africa investigating how these churches occupying almost every open space in South Africa are operating.
A prophet is biblically defined as an individual who is regarded as being in contact with a divine being and is said to speak on that entity’s behalf, serving as an intermediary with a humanity by delivering messages or teachings from the supernatural source (God) to other people.
The understanding of the value of a prophet has sadly become the fall of many to the benefit of a few.
The majority of the prophets here got their calling as soon as they crossed the Limpopo, they also are unemployed and are available 24/7 to help people.
The question here is how do they survive?
First we unpack how the nguwo tsvuku prophets are surviving in South Africa.
In Polokwane the Johanne masowe nguwo tsvuku is the less popular one.
It has been criticised for its revenge antics thus the attendance at church is low. However, at the prophets’ homes believers are always queuing seeking healing.
In an interview with the wife of a the church’s prophet, I discovered that the methods of healing include bathing with chicken blood, breaking clay pots, using goblins known as tokoloshe and salt amongst others.
The wife claimed that they make these things easily accessible to their patients by selling them at their home.
She is in the business of chicken rearing and almost everyone is encouraged to buy a chicken to remove misfortune.
The chicken blood used on the patient but the chicken is left in their care. They later eat or sell the dressed chickens.
The prices of the other items are overcharged but they persuade patients that they must not waste time going far since their case is a matter of urgency.
This forces one to buy milk, salt and eggs from the prophet at an exorbitant fee.
The recent attacks on foreigners became a winning ticket to these prophets.
A certain prophet in Seshego, Polokwane of the Johanne Masowe echishanu prophecied that xenophobia is coming back, urging everyone who did not have a church uniform to have one for protection. Your guess on uniform supplier is correct.
The uniform costs R350 to R450 was sold by his relative.
One only needed to hang the uniform behind the door and safety was guaranteed.
With the growing unemployment rate in South Africa many cannot afford to buy these uniforms thus one is always in fear believing that he or she is lacking a protective barrier.
Just after one buys the uniform the list of demands grows one needs a clay pot (mbiya yeraramo).
This mbiya is compousary and is sold at the church again.
Many unnecessary all nightprayers (zvoto) have been hosted. Cash contributions have been made for firewood and transport with believers being overcharged.
Journeys have also become part of the package. The prophets’ are always visiting Zimbabwe and travelling around South Africa for free.
The issue here is not to question the truthfulness of their prophecies but the reason why they overcharge congregants’ items they claim to solve their congregants’ problems.
Surprisingly the congregants majority are foreigners.
Are these men prophets or are just milking gullible people living on the edge of fear.
This article was written by Pamella Machimbidza, in , SA. Pamela writes on her personal capacity. She can be reached via,
SA line is 0027845766775
Zim line is 00263779176263