By Mthabisi Tshuma
In every decade rock and roll, things change with time and start to get very serious and every once in a while it kind of needs a kick in the pants in order to fully prosper.
That is in simplicity the depiction of Bulawayo’s popular prophet Thabiso Ngwenya, who has stood all out and managed to survive in the gospel field for the past 30 years.
Having started to preach in 1989 when Prophet Shepherd Bushiri was just five years old, Prophet Ngwenya rose to fame at the age of 14 with his church Faith In Christ International while making history, same as Hollywood’s Leonardo DiCaprio most known for his role Romeo in the William Shakespear’s motivated “Romeo and Juliet” blockbuster who also surfaced as a celebrity at the same age.
The year 1989 seems to have been a breakthrough in his life and coincidentally it also holds world history events like the Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern California, the inauguration of President George H W Bush, the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and much more.
As true popularity comes from acts of kindness rather than acts of stupidity, the Pumula South-based prophet through his on point prophecies has become a darling to many.
Famous philosophy has it that nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm and herein rests the phenomena of Prophet Ngwenya. In a wide-ranging interview with Sunday Life, just after a church service last Sunday at the church’s headquarters in Pumula South, Bulawayo, Prophet Ngwenya said the journey has not been all rosy as he has been faced with certain criticisms.
“I started this journey of working for the Lord when I was a teenager as the calling had arrived. I have faced challenges along the way in the form of criticism from people who say I am a fake prophet, but, that is not true.
“With November being a month mostly for testimonies, you saw for yourself how people are happy with God’s work that is being initiated by me. I have managed to soldier on from the criticisms and focus on working for the Lord and assisting people,” said Prophet Ngwenya.
The seer has managed to do this through the inspiration that character cannot be developed in ease and quiet, but only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
As the famous Chinese philosopher Conficious alludes that, “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure,” Prophet Ngwenya has managed to create a brand for himself and the church that started with only 10 congregants. The church has grown to be one of the most attended in the city as the number has doubled, tripled and multiplied to over 5 000 congregants who throng the church headquarters every Sunday.
“I remember when I started we were just 10, with people who believed in the calling I have. Now I cannot believe that I have thousands of followers who everyday are making testimonies of their prayers being answered. I have gone the extra mile in ensuring that I do not only preach at my church but I also hold crusades every week around the city as I want the people of Bulawayo to prosper.
“On Tuesday I am at Nkulumane Hall, on Thursdays at the same time I am at Njube then on Saturday at Beit Hall in Luveve then at Stanley Square in Makokoba I preach. For the headquarters I hold the prayer sessions on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday,” said the charismatic prophet.
His success heading prophecies have seen him lure people from as far as Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, Botswana, South Africa and Namibia, among other countries.
Fruitful testimonies have followed after their visits and this has earned him trust to many who believe he is really a God sent angel meant to upraise the nation and the world at large. The self-styled prophet gained popularity from performing miracles, particularly using holy water to heal and reverse hexes (bombing).
“The rumour that I bewitch people is false and unproven as what I do is guided by the hand of God, not satan. God is the one who helps me to work and all the success that has been prophesied and become true are the work of the Lord.”
Quizzed on if there are fake prophets, Prophet Ngwenya said, “As a man of God, I only focus on my work and I do not criticise any church. They may have their own way of doing things different from mine and that does not make a difference if it is God’s work.
“The way I conduct my work will not change because this is how God wants me to do it. It has yielded results as not only do the prophecies come true by the congregants Godly wishes do come true.”
Prophet Ngwenya has made headlines in both local and foreign media specifically South Africa after it was reported that gospel diva Rebecca Malope consulted him over problems relating to infertility. It was also reported that one of former SA president Jacob Zuma’s daughters also consulted the famous healer.
Among notable local members who have sought for his services are Zimbabwean international striker Teenage Hadebe who started attending the church at a tender age with his late mother and was prophesied that he will don the Highlanders black and stripes and Kaizer Chiefs gold and black stripes. His prophecy has come true and he is now flying high in Turkey where he plies his trade for Yeni Malatyaspor.
Mbo Mahocs (real name Mbonisi Mahonondo) who went to the church in 2009 and is living success of the prophecy which entailed that she would land a role in the soapie Scandal, a programme that is watched by six million people daily, and that she would wed. SundayNews