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Gospel music couple shakes market – NewsDay

Ellard Cherayi and wife Sharon Manyonganise-Cherayi.

FORMER Zimpraise choir singer Ellard Cherayi who now fronts the New Dawn gospel ensemble, says making music with his wife is “an amazing experience” as they preach the word of God through song.

Cherayi is married to fellow gospel singer and ex-Zimpraise Choir member, Sharon Manyonganise-Cherayi.

To complement his efforts to spread the word through ministry, Cherayi has graduated to be a pastor with the Apostolic Faith Mission of Zimbabwe Church.

“For us, making music together is incredible. I think it is about knowing your spouse’s strength and letting the other shine in their potential, not to be a stumbling block to them,” he told NewsDay Life & Style.

“For instance, Sharon is so gifted in the knowledge of music and art and when that time comes, I let her be. I give her room to spread her wings and even guide me on what I should sing and do.

“On my part, I am a pastor, so the spirituality of music and worship is my expertise and she lets me shine from there and by doing so, we complement each other.”

He added: “To my name, I have one album called Atmosphere Of His Presence and my wife has two. However, we have worked on other projects that we have directed and produced, for example, New Dawn Zimbabwe live DVD recording with 13 tracks, AFM of Zimbabwe Kingdom Praise live DVD recording and, our own live DVD recording, God The Lifter of Men, which has 14 tracks of which two Anosimudza and Hallelujah have been released to the public.”

The Cherayis are not the first gospel music couple to emerge from Zimbabwe.

They are just following in the footsteps of Charles and Olivia Charamba, Ephraim and Respina Patai, Tamuka (now late) and Elizabeth Chinouriri, Tom and Bonnie Deuschle, among many others.

Commenting on what he believes makes them unique on the gospel front, Cherayi said the uniqueness of their ministry could only be identified by those who listen to and love their music.

“Although the fans are the ones that can really pinpoint what they see in us, we believe that it is very rare to have two gifted people coming together to be husband and wife and continue to work in the same field complementing each other as musicians,” he said.

“We both love the Lord passionately and have different strengths musically and appeal to different age groups and the combination is very rare to come by.”

The couple is currently making waves with its duet Fara Iwe Moyo Wangu, arranged and produced by Michael “Tiki” Manyika with the help of Cherayi’s wife.

Cherayi said they were happy that Fara Iwe Moyo Wangu had been well received on the market.

“The song Fara Iwe Moyo Wangu was written by Michael ‘Tiki’ Manyika and my wife. Its inspiration comes from someone who is going through a difficult phase in life, but they begin to find comfort in knowing that God is right with them,” he explained.

“God wipes away our tears when we cry and comforts us when we are hurting. People, therefore, encourage themselves by knowing that Jesus is alive and is a light that shines in darkness and this is the inspiration.”

Cherayi said he was grateful to God for His love and mercy in his life and music journey.

“I started off singing in church in the praise and worship choir. I later joined the renowned Zimpraise Choir in 2014, which signalled the start of my music career on that platform,” he noted, adding that it had been an amazing experience as there had been growth despite the road being bumpy over the few years.

He said despite the challenges, God had been faithful.

“In the Zimpraise Choir, we learnt a lot and it contributed to what we are as musicians today. Obviously then, you will be following a vision, but now you are the vision that is a part of you and you dictate where you want to go.”

He added: “Being the vision, it, therefore, means some of the songs you sing you write on your own. You dictate how far you want to go and the pace you want to have to reach your goal. Now that experience is priceless.”

Cherayi took his career to another level when he launched his debut album titled Atmosphere Of His Presence in 2017.

“The journey has been full of ups and downs, but in all things, I give honour to God for sustaining me as I later got married to a spouse who also has a music passion like mine, and I am totally grateful to God,” he noted.

“I really thank God for the success of my career and the grace that has carried me this far as a music composer and performer. Together with my wife, we have done projects, live DVD recordings, collaborations, tours, concerts and have even worked with different artistes over the years.”

With unwavering support from the fans, Cherayi promised to continue producing more music.

“For 2023, God The Lifter of Men live DVD recording will be made available on all digital stores soon. We have a number of concerts lined up for the year including overseas tours and in neighbouring countries,” he said.

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CBC showcases Black voices, stories and experiences in honour of Black History Month – CBC.ca

Being Black in Canada Graphic

CBC is celebrating BLACK HISTORY MONTH throughout February with a wide range of programming across its platforms featuring Black creators, storytellers and changemakers.

Highlights of CBC’s Black History Month programming include the following:

CBC British Columbia

CBC British Columbia limited series Revelations.

REVELATIONS 
Every Saturday in February

Starting February 4, CBC Vancouver is proud to feature Revelations, a limited series for Black History Month. Every Saturday in February, tune in at 5 p.m. to CBC Radio One or CBC Listen in British Columbia and listen to prominent Black voices from Vancouver hosting music specials that cover a variety of genres, from gospel to hip-hop to Afrofuturism.

Revelations will be hosted by Dawn Pemberton (Feb 4), Marcus Mosely (Feb 11), Krystie Dos Santos (Feb 18) and Khair Wendell McClelland (Feb 25).

CBC News

CBC websiteBEING BLACK IN CANADA highlights the stories and experiences of Black Canadians year-round, providing a wide range of content celebrating the culture and achievements of Canada’s Black communities while also offering a window into their struggles.

Black man and woman in a purple and beige faces with the word Black in red and the word changemakers in orange - with the black CBC logo underneath. (Poster for the CBC Black Changemakers series)

BEING BLACK IN CANADA – BLACK CHANGEMAKERS 2023 
Launching February 1

Black Changemakers is a Quebec and Atlantic Canada editorial series that recognizes individuals who are creating positive change in their community through actions big and small. From creators and community organizers to students and entrepreneurs, the series highlights current-day changemakers, helping shape our future and inspiring others. Meet the Black Changemakers:  cbc.ca/beingblackincanada

BEING BLACK IN CANADA: FRIENDS & ALLIES 
Available throughout the month of February at cbc.ca/beingblackincanada
Being Black in Canada presents a special four-part series about Black Canadians and their trusted allies, offering inspirational intersectional stories which showcase allyship in action. 

An interview will air every Wednesday in February on CBC News Network’s CANADA TONIGHT and all four interviews as a half-hour special on CBC News Network and CBC Gem on Saturday, February 25 at 4:30 p.m. ET, 9:30 p.m. ET and 11:30 p.m. ET.

CBC TV and CBC Gem

Two black men, one with with a beard smiling, wearing a beige jacket and a knitted had talking on a bench. The second man also has a black beard and hair.
The Nature of Things features Secret Agents of the Underground Railroad as host Anthony Morgan, Saladin Allah and a team of archaeologists from the University of Buffalo unearth an emotional journey to freedom. The show airs February 3 on CBC TV and CBC Gem. (Courtesy of Attraction / CBC)

THE NATURE OF THINGS: SECRET AGENTS OF THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
Friday, February 3 at 9 pm (9:30 NT) on CBC TV and
CBC Gem
SECRET AGENTS OF THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD is a revealing, scientific exploration of how a Niagara Falls hotel, The Cataract House, became the focal point for a 19th century North American Black Resistance movement. Using strategic scientifically focused investigations, we follow host Anthony Morgan and a team of archaeologists from the University of Buffalo on an emotional journey as they recover parts of the hotel’s foundation. The archaeological dig unearths stories about how the hotel’s head waiter, John Morrison, and his seemingly innocuous wait staff covertly orchestrated Freedom Seekers’ escapes to freedom.

Black and white photo of a mural with the face of a Black man painted on a brick wall. He's wearing a hat. The words in Dear Jackie over the mural in black.
(Documentary Channel/CBC)

DEAR JACKIE(feature documentary directed by Henri Pardo)
Sunday, February 5 at 8 pm (8:30 NT) on CBC TV and
CBC Gem 
After a stint with the minor-league Montreal Royals, Jackie Robinson was the first Black man to play in Major League Baseball and a key contributor to the civil rights movement in the United States. When Robinson broke the colour barrier in professional baseball in 1946, the impossible seemed possible in a segregated North America. All Montrealers Black and white cheered him on and treated him like a hero. But did the white majority use the historic moment to perpetuate the myth of a post-racial society?

several colourful show posters of films in the CBC GEM Black History Month Collection - two of the prominent posters in front are of a Black woman walking through a field in a white shirt and pink skirt;  and a Black man dressed in black walking in front of red film reel.

CBC GEM BLACK HISTORY MONTH COLLECTIONS

Titles launching throughout the month of February 

CBC Gem offers four Black History Month collections – BLACK STORIES, CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY, BLACK ART & MUSIC, and MUST WATCH BLACK LEADS – featuring over 60 series, films and documentaries that explore Black history and culture, and celebrate Black success. 

Highlights include Season 2 of Emmy-winning fictional musical variety series SHERMAN’S SHOWCASE created by Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle and executive produced by John Legend; multiple Oscar-winning film MOONLIGHT directed by Barry Jenkins; and poignant drama THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO directed by Joe Talbot. Canadian premieres include two-part documentary RIGHT TO OFFEND: THE BLACK COMEDY REVOLUTION (directed by Mario Diaz and Jessica Sherif), about the progression of Black comedy and the comedians who have used pointed humour to expose, challenge and ridicule society’s injustices; and documentary BLIND AMBITION (directed by Rob Coe and Warwick Ross), the inspiring story of four Zimbabwean refugees who conquered the odds to become South Africa’s top sommeliers.

The CBC Gem collection, CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH (KIDS), showcases kids series and specials featuring Black talent in front of and behind the camera, and celebrates diversity and inclusiveness. 

CBC Podcasts

Poster for podcast series The Africas Vs. America -  black helicopter flies over a collage of farmland, industrial-looking factories with pink, and various hues of grey skies. With the words The Africas Vs. Americas

THE AFRICAS VS. AMERICA
Weekly starting Monday, February 6 – 7 episodes on CBC Listen and everywhere podcasts are available 

In the spring of 1985, the City of Philadelphia became the first in U.S. history to drop a bomb on a family of American citizens. The attack killed 11 people, including five children, and the ensuing fire set an entire neighbourhood to ruins. The targets that day? A family of Black radicals known collectively as MOVE, who found themselves ensnared in a city — and nation’s — domestic war on Black Liberation. Over seven episodes, host Matthew Amha investigates the events that culminated in the MOVE bombing, and the long afterlife of a forgotten American tragedy. Through intimate conversations, THE AFRICAS VS. AMERICA offers an unseen look into MOVE’s origins and dynamics while looking ahead to the group’s uncertain future.

CBC Arts 

On February 1, CBC Arts will unveil a new Black History Month-themed logo from artist Jimmy Baptiste as part of theirmonthly logo project, with an accompanying Q&A. Features in February will include an interview with artist Esmaa Mohamoud regarding her currentArt Gallery of Alberta show, and a new episode of Here and Queer with the filmmakers behind the Jackie Shane heritage minute, Pat Mills and Ayo Tsalithaba.

CBC Books

In February, CBC Books will unveil its annual Black Canadian Writers to Watch list, including emerging and exciting Black Canadian writers, authors and poets poised to make waves in the national and international literary scenes. Notable names on past lists include award winners such as Ian Williams, Canisia Lubrin, David Chariandy, francesca ekwuyasi and more. Throughout the month, CBC Books is featuring reading lists of recent and notable books by Black writers, for genres including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, comics, children’s books and more. CBC Books will also feature Q&A interviews with established and emerging Black Canadian authors all month long.

Two Black women with broad smiles, black hair, one wearing a bright yellow jacket and multicoloured shirt the other with a purple shirt trimmed with a pattern of red, orange, black, yellow. Standing in a studio with the word WOW light up in lights in the background.
Cassandra and Janaye of CBC Kids’ Studio K. (CBC Kids)

CBC Kids

CBC Kids celebrates Black History Month with grooves and moves: new videos for CBC TV and social media feature Studio K hosts Janaye and Tony as they honour phenomenal Black Canadians, and learn amazing Afro Dance moves. CBCKids.ca (ages 6-10) and CBC Kids News (ages 9+) offer age-appropriate context on the history and significance of Black History Month. 

CBC Sports

New original CBC Sports video features in February will focus on Black runner Phil Edwards, a five-time Olympic medallist for Canada, who went on to win the first-ever Northern Star Award for Canada’s top athlete in 1936; and the racial disparity between the Canadian men’s national soccer teams at the FIFA World Cup in 1986, the team’s first appearance, and their second in 2022. The video features will be available at cbcsports.ca and on the CBC Sports app. 

Banner that reads Being Black in Canada with five fists raised in different shades of brown with an orange frame
(CBC)

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

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CBC showcases Black voices, stories and experiences in honour of Black History Month – CBC.ca

Being Black in Canada Graphic

CBC is celebrating BLACK HISTORY MONTH throughout February with a wide range of programming across its platforms featuring Black creators, storytellers and changemakers.

Highlights of CBC’s Black History Month programming include the following:

CBC British Columbia

CBC British Columbia limited series Revelations.

REVELATIONS 
Every Saturday in February

Starting February 4, CBC Vancouver is proud to feature Revelations, a limited series for Black History Month. Every Saturday in February, tune in at 5 p.m. to CBC Radio One or CBC Listen in British Columbia and listen to prominent Black voices from Vancouver hosting music specials that cover a variety of genres, from gospel to hip-hop to Afrofuturism.

Revelations will be hosted by Dawn Pemberton (Feb 4), Marcus Mosely (Feb 11), Krystie Dos Santos (Feb 18) and Khair Wendell McClelland (Feb 25).

CBC News

CBC websiteBEING BLACK IN CANADA highlights the stories and experiences of Black Canadians year-round, providing a wide range of content celebrating the culture and achievements of Canada’s Black communities while also offering a window into their struggles.

Black man and woman in a purple and beige faces with the word Black in red and the word changemakers in orange - with the black CBC logo underneath. (Poster for the CBC Black Changemakers series)

BEING BLACK IN CANADA – BLACK CHANGEMAKERS 2023 
Launching February 1

Black Changemakers is a Quebec and Atlantic Canada editorial series that recognizes individuals who are creating positive change in their community through actions big and small. From creators and community organizers to students and entrepreneurs, the series highlights current-day changemakers, helping shape our future and inspiring others. Meet the Black Changemakers:  cbc.ca/beingblackincanada

BEING BLACK IN CANADA: FRIENDS & ALLIES 
Available throughout the month of February at cbc.ca/beingblackincanada
Being Black in Canada presents a special four-part series about Black Canadians and their trusted allies, offering inspirational intersectional stories which showcase allyship in action. 

An interview will air every Wednesday in February on CBC News Network’s CANADA TONIGHT and all four interviews as a half-hour special on CBC News Network and CBC Gem on Saturday, February 25 at 4:30 p.m. ET, 9:30 p.m. ET and 11:30 p.m. ET.

CBC TV and CBC Gem

Two black men, one with with a beard smiling, wearing a beige jacket and a knitted had talking on a bench. The second man also has a black beard and hair.
The Nature of Things features Secret Agents of the Underground Railroad as host Anthony Morgan, Saladin Allah and a team of archaeologists from the University of Buffalo unearth an emotional journey to freedom. The show airs February 3 on CBC TV and CBC Gem. (Courtesy of Attraction / CBC)

THE NATURE OF THINGS: SECRET AGENTS OF THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
Friday, February 3 at 9 pm (9:30 NT) on CBC TV and
CBC Gem
SECRET AGENTS OF THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD is a revealing, scientific exploration of how a Niagara Falls hotel, The Cataract House, became the focal point for a 19th century North American Black Resistance movement. Using strategic scientifically focused investigations, we follow host Anthony Morgan and a team of archaeologists from the University of Buffalo on an emotional journey as they recover parts of the hotel’s foundation. The archaeological dig unearths stories about how the hotel’s head waiter, John Morrison, and his seemingly innocuous wait staff covertly orchestrated Freedom Seekers’ escapes to freedom.

Black and white photo of a mural with the face of a Black man painted on a brick wall. He's wearing a hat. The words in Dear Jackie over the mural in black.
(Documentary Channel/CBC)

DEAR JACKIE(feature documentary directed by Henri Pardo)
Sunday, February 5 at 8 pm (8:30 NT) on CBC TV and
CBC Gem 
After a stint with the minor-league Montreal Royals, Jackie Robinson was the first Black man to play in Major League Baseball and a key contributor to the civil rights movement in the United States. When Robinson broke the colour barrier in professional baseball in 1946, the impossible seemed possible in a segregated North America. All Montrealers Black and white cheered him on and treated him like a hero. But did the white majority use the historic moment to perpetuate the myth of a post-racial society?

several colourful show posters of films in the CBC GEM Black History Month Collection - two of the prominent posters in front are of a Black woman walking through a field in a white shirt and pink skirt;  and a Black man dressed in black walking in front of red film reel.

CBC GEM BLACK HISTORY MONTH COLLECTIONS

Titles launching throughout the month of February 

CBC Gem offers four Black History Month collections – BLACK STORIES, CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY, BLACK ART & MUSIC, and MUST WATCH BLACK LEADS – featuring over 60 series, films and documentaries that explore Black history and culture, and celebrate Black success. 

Highlights include Season 2 of Emmy-winning fictional musical variety series SHERMAN’S SHOWCASE created by Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle and executive produced by John Legend; multiple Oscar-winning film MOONLIGHT directed by Barry Jenkins; and poignant drama THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO directed by Joe Talbot. Canadian premieres include two-part documentary RIGHT TO OFFEND: THE BLACK COMEDY REVOLUTION (directed by Mario Diaz and Jessica Sherif), about the progression of Black comedy and the comedians who have used pointed humour to expose, challenge and ridicule society’s injustices; and documentary BLIND AMBITION (directed by Rob Coe and Warwick Ross), the inspiring story of four Zimbabwean refugees who conquered the odds to become South Africa’s top sommeliers.

The CBC Gem collection, CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH (KIDS), showcases kids series and specials featuring Black talent in front of and behind the camera, and celebrates diversity and inclusiveness. 

CBC Podcasts

Poster for podcast series The Africas Vs. America -  black helicopter flies over a collage of farmland, industrial-looking factories with pink, and various hues of grey skies. With the words The Africas Vs. Americas

THE AFRICAS VS. AMERICA
Weekly starting Monday, February 6 – 7 episodes on CBC Listen and everywhere podcasts are available 

In the spring of 1985, the City of Philadelphia became the first in U.S. history to drop a bomb on a family of American citizens. The attack killed 11 people, including five children, and the ensuing fire set an entire neighbourhood to ruins. The targets that day? A family of Black radicals known collectively as MOVE, who found themselves ensnared in a city — and nation’s — domestic war on Black Liberation. Over seven episodes, host Matthew Amha investigates the events that culminated in the MOVE bombing, and the long afterlife of a forgotten American tragedy. Through intimate conversations, THE AFRICAS VS. AMERICA offers an unseen look into MOVE’s origins and dynamics while looking ahead to the group’s uncertain future.

CBC Arts 

On February 1, CBC Arts will unveil a new Black History Month-themed logo from artist Jimmy Baptiste as part of theirmonthly logo project, with an accompanying Q&A. Features in February will include an interview with artist Esmaa Mohamoud regarding her currentArt Gallery of Alberta show, and a new episode of Here and Queer with the filmmakers behind the Jackie Shane heritage minute, Pat Mills and Ayo Tsalithaba.

CBC Books

In February, CBC Books will unveil its annual Black Canadian Writers to Watch list, including emerging and exciting Black Canadian writers, authors and poets poised to make waves in the national and international literary scenes. Notable names on past lists include award winners such as Ian Williams, Canisia Lubrin, David Chariandy, francesca ekwuyasi and more. Throughout the month, CBC Books is featuring reading lists of recent and notable books by Black writers, for genres including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, comics, children’s books and more. CBC Books will also feature Q&A interviews with established and emerging Black Canadian authors all month long.

Two Black women with broad smiles, black hair, one wearing a bright yellow jacket and multicoloured shirt the other with a purple shirt trimmed with a pattern of red, orange, black, yellow. Standing in a studio with the word WOW light up in lights in the background.
Cassandra and Janaye of CBC Kids’ Studio K. (CBC Kids)

CBC Kids

CBC Kids celebrates Black History Month with grooves and moves: new videos for CBC TV and social media feature Studio K hosts Janaye and Tony as they honour phenomenal Black Canadians, and learn amazing Afro Dance moves. CBCKids.ca (ages 6-10) and CBC Kids News (ages 9+) offer age-appropriate context on the history and significance of Black History Month. 

CBC Sports

New original CBC Sports video features in February will focus on Black runner Phil Edwards, a five-time Olympic medallist for Canada, who went on to win the first-ever Northern Star Award for Canada’s top athlete in 1936; and the racial disparity between the Canadian men’s national soccer teams at the FIFA World Cup in 1986, the team’s first appearance, and their second in 2022. The video features will be available at cbcsports.ca and on the CBC Sports app. 

Banner that reads Being Black in Canada with five fists raised in different shades of brown with an orange frame
(CBC)

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

Continue Reading

gospel

Economics of mega churches and prophetic schemes – Chronicle

The Chronicle

Marshall Rufura Ndlela, Opinion

AFRICAN spirituality basically concedes that norms, religion, practices and standards inform and define every façade of humanity, human life and culture. It is undoubtedly evident that Africans have a high propensity to believe in any well-orchestrated religion that spiritually uplifts them.

The ancient social ecosystem of Zimbabwean humanity evolved around spirituality, Ubuntu, and cultural orders from the ancient rulers, the likes of Mambo, Monomotapa, Mzilikazi and other tribal leaders. The religious practices were of paramount importance as they were used in various facets of their lives, ranging from rain making, healing, praying and accurate prophecies. The practices were free of charge and provided a spiritual need that could still satisfy the spiritual appetite of the society at large.

A South African preacher made congegants eat grass to be closer to God. (File photo)

The colonial forces that descended on Africa in the 1800s muddled the whole African value chain of humanity and economic system. Africa witnessed a mass inflow of Christian evangelical migrants or colonisers who systematically enforced their religion upon Africans. As the economic system was disoriented, thousands of missionaries in the form of

Roman Catholics, Dutch Reformed, Anglican, Methodist and Lutheran, to mention a few, introduced various social support structures to fill the gouged African spirituality and “civilisation”.

Their perfect competitive missionary worship practices required funding and financing.  Indeed, whoever feeds you controls you; that was the new revolutionary order of African societies. In order to advance their cause, schools, hospitals, NGOs, universities and clinics were built at a better service or close to free fees. The result was a concoction of Christian faceted or minded people who always used their doctrine to make any decision ranging from business, economic, political and family wise. To some extent, the system created religious cabals that could and can control an economic sector, government sector or a societal format.

Zimbabwe celebrated its independence from white minority rule in 1980. The economic system to be adopted was of a mixed economy, leaning more towards socialism. The then Government under the late Mr Robert Mugabe, a renowned Catholic, promoted spiritual democracy and independence. This saw either the birth or growth of traditional churches that was an infusion of the traditional and the imported religious practices.

Zimbabwe witnessed the growth of Apostolic sects, Zionist  sects and Pentecostal movements and  several other Christian pan-traditional churches. These churches came with a significant proportion of controversy ranging from awkward deliverance methods, praying styles, dressing, voodoo, fetish practices, child abuse, human rights abuse etc. Most of them emphasised on the teaching of mosaic laws as a fundamental principle that could bring solutions to all sorts of problems to their members or new members. In business, we say it was an uninsured spiritual insurance policy. The solution to the personal problems of members was compensated by a conditional faith-based prayer.

As the political volcano of 1999 erupted, leading to other political formations applying for sanctions to be imposed against their citizens, Zimbabwe was hit hard in all aspects of life. The signs of macroeconomic illnesses were visibly and globally noticeable. Some pastors preached the gospel of punishment, curses and patience. International spiritual missionaries saw the opportunity to invade the ‘‘poor’’ country. Zimbabwe witnessed the entrance of satellite broadcasting churches, and many others. As if that was not enough, young pastors or followers of these churches started to visit Nigeria, Benin, and Ghana for spiritual anointing or baptism.

With the third industrial revolution, satellite broadcasting, internet and social media was the best platform to spread the gospel of miracles, prophecies, deliverance, healing and “True caller tricks”. Zimbabwe became one of the major producers and exporters of such prophets. The movement of these pastors grew rapidly, became very influential and advanced what I would describe as scams. What is painful is that the poverty of an ordinary Zimbabwean is fundamentally not caused by spirituality but by the economic sanctions, attitude of the Zimbabweans and external forces.
Spiritual Democracy is regarded as putting the ideas of democracy back to where it belongs, as a shining example of the human spirit at work in the evolution of human culture and social architecture. I do applaud African countries for allowing spiritual democracy even with its shortcomings. Mega churches and these prophetic schemes or scams are being offered a heaven on earth democracy at the expense of their followers.

The aggregated revenue collected by all these churches, can surpass the gross receipts of Zimra. They are running a state within a state and not accounting or presenting a church budget to their members, showing them the revenues collected, disbursed and the resulting balance. Most churches are registered as non-profit organisations (NPOs), meaning that they exist to make neither a profit nor loss and they should transparently disclose their incomes to their members, auditor general and surrender the surplus either to the state or to their members.

The Government, as the chief regulator of all economic, social and environmental affairs of the nation, needs an efficient toolkit to be developed, guided by the ethical considerations, fairness, respect of Ubuntu, respect of human rights and respect of financial laws of a country. If left uncorrected, these churches or pastors will pose a serious economic, political and national threat to the security and welfare of the citizens.

We cannot forget that the apartheid and colonial forces used the same pastors and church leaders as an instrument to advance their evil deeds.  Each church should have a registered accountant, supply chain manager, church manager and so forth thereby reducing unemployment.

The Government should develop or enforce donations tax, NPOs tax and employee tax to all the church employees and also collect all surpluses for development programs around those churches. The money could be used for construction of streetlights, repairing roads, security costs and schools in those areas where those churches exist.

It is only in America where church founders and pastors of mega churches are sued for tax fraud, laundering and tax evasion. In Zimbabwe, pastors of these mega churches are left hunting all corners of the country with baskets and buckets of unaccounted money collections from the poor masses who are investing all their energies in expecting a miracle to happen.

* Marshall Rufura Ndlela is a scholar, researcher and an economic and financial expert based in South Africa. He holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chichester, England. He can be contacted on [email protected]

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