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Open letter to Reuben Tendai Mbofana

11 Apr 2020 at 12:12hrs | Views
Nomazulu Thata
Dear Tendai,

I have just finished reading your article that stood out from many other articles I have just read today in Bulawayo 24. Although your contribution was more of a religious Good Friday event, I did get the message of it that was evident in the title. I was indeed mesmerized by your message for many reasons. Firstly, I was just about to write an article cursing the false prophets you are highlighting in your work eloquently, right through. So, what you did, you took those words away from my mouth, exactly what I wanted to write about today. What I can do now is complimenting to what you have already said. It is not a bad idea, not only was your message about false prophets befitting in today's Good Friday. For the first time ever since I denounced my Christian faith, I found myself effortlessly reciting Catholic rituals and prayers I am wholly familiar with since childhood, that are associated with today's Good Friday celebration of holy Easter.

Prophets of doom will be present in our communities for a while. Evil and twisted members of our communities know how Christianity is deeply rooted not only in our traditional lives but also seated in our psyche, right inside our subconsciousness. If there is one aspect of colonialism that was successful; it is the bringing of Christianity in African lives. In some cases, our inability to think rational makes Africa societies victim of these prophets of doom. It is inconceivable how we Africans can believe irrational beliefs because of desperation in our daily challenges of life. How many times have we been cheated by these false prophets and Sangomas? Are we impervious to education despite this global scientific advancement in our time? What is the use of education and global advancement if it can't serve our lives when we need it most, to be relevant and abreast in all aspects of science-based human advancement?

When the epidemy of the mid 1980s: HIV/AIDS started affecting the African population mostly, the niche that started benefiting from our demise were not only pharma industries: the Sangomas (herbalists) and the false prophets benefited too, preached falsehood and satanic verses: told their congregations they are capable of treating HIV/AIDS and because we are gullible people we believed them. Rape as a cure of AIDS began to rise skyrocketing because those men started targeting young women and girl-children even babies were not spared. Not very long ago, Magaya came up with a concoction that could treat HIV/AIDS. To this day Magaya walks scot-free: no Zimbabwean government arrested him for this false invention of HIV/AIDS discovery treatment that would have made Magaya enormously rich at the detriment of gullible followers of his church. This false HIV/AIDS treatment was to attract more congregates for Magayas church no lees.

Press fast forward: Makandiwa is telling all and sundry that his followers will not suffer from coronavirus because he is going to protect them with his Christian magic powers. How many of his congregation are going to believe him? Again, our educated, literate people of my country compared to the whole of Africa are going to believe this false prophesy of doom. Thousands will flock to his church in the hope that the coronavirus will escape them, they are protected under the magic spirit of this prophet of doom. It is surprising that our societies do not learn; how does an educated society believe anything that has no scientific backing, but we are told we are the most literate country in Africa. Those evil, cruel, twisted men who have been bedding virgins, can they come forward, ascertain that their HIV/AIDS was cured for having sexual intercourse with virgins and raping several young growing up girl-children? This is how HIV/AIDS epidemic became a pandemic continentally.

When the coronavirus started spreading globally, the voices from the African continent were loud: the current pandemic does not affect Africans but Europeans only. No African will die of coronavirus, they said. This is racism pure. How many books and how many times did we read from colonial history books that highlight the distinct differences between blacks and whites, and we were dismayed by this kind of racism of those colonial heydays.  But here we are repeating the same narratives and notions from our colonial masters who bestowed that the difference between black man/woman and white man/woman is distinct and several light years apart.
Tendai, I am not going to repeat what I said to Advocate Miriam Majome regarding Sangomas and our belief in African muti/umuthi. I desperately lament our education system that taught us to read and write in some cases. The existing system of education that was wholly inherited from UDI/Smith administration is still not adequate to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Most nations are advancing exponentially, and we are deep seated in our medieval beliefs together with the packaged Christianity that robs Africans to develop investigative minds. It is not possible for the next 200 years to convince an African that she/he was cheated right, left and centre in receiving the bible and its teachings in their lives as the only truth.

Our inability to think analytically in some cases is the demise of some African nations. I have had the privilege to live in Germany for more than 40 years. I have visited Buchenwald several times. Buchenwald was a Nazi concentration camp that was erected near Weimar in 1937. Visiting this camp today will inform one what really transpired in the WW2. The first question I asked myself was: where was God when this was taking place? Is man capable of this magnitude of hate and human destruction? Is a human being capable to commit such atrocities, unimaginable crimes against humanity and genocide? How did the government of Hitler & Co manage to exist with their consciences during those dark days of the WW2? Was Jesus not supposed to have come earlier to alleviate all this human suffering. Why did he not come and put an end to these horrendous acts of absolute inhumanity and cruelty.

Most people: men and women alike, who visit this museum collapse and shed tears of despair. Most Germans I am acquainted to or spoken to, see no reason to be Christians considering the World Wars that shook this part of the world. I am sure our wars in Africa were not different, it's just that the atrocities related to genocide and crimes against humanity were not documented. Without deviating from my original sequence of my message, I lost all my Christian faith just by visiting Buchenwald. There can never be a god, a god I believe in from the "Holy Bible illustrations" that would let such human suffering happen. Let's be analytical and understand the concept of god differently, a god illustrated in the holy bible cannot exist by any stretch of my own imagination.

Coming back to you dear Tendai, our governments let the African race down and it is for this reason we are struggling nations immersed in absolute poverty, hunger and destitution. In our struggle to survive, our destitution is taken advantage of by the most cynical, cruel, back-handed so-called prophets who see yet another opportunity for a lucrative business: in a nutshell we are cheated by these false prophets. The Prophet Magaya and Mkandawire and Bushiri know exactly what business they can venture into in African societies: form a church and you get rich. Some people have realized the trick of opening a church that will bring in instant money just like any other business venture capital. Forming a church is like in Zimbabwe is like possessing a cash-cow that will generate revenues from the folly.

How many newly formed churches do we have in Harare, Bulawayo and all other towns and cities in Zimbabwe? The people fall into this trap because in our utter helplessness and immediate hunger and abject poverty, we want to be told something that will give immediate hope, something that will gives us sense of comfort. Every verse starts to have personal meaning in one's life and we will cling to that verse to see it performing wonders in our lives. If nothing happens, if there is no promised wonders happening: they go to the prophet again and say, "Prophet, I prayed and prayed but nothing has happened," the prophet will say in reply, "you did not pray correctly." Then private sessions begin to take place. This is where women and girls are sexually abused by these false prophet Magayas of our time. We have seen WhatsApp sex-orgie messages of these prophets in Zimbabwe making rounds, disgusting no less. But the congregates do not question these criminal acts, secret sex maniacs called prophets.

A good example is the journey the former President of MDC, Richard Morgen Tsvangirai made to Nigeria to see Prophet TB-Joshua. He may have gone there to consult him of his illness or win the pending general elections then. Nothing happened. I am, sure most people must have said Tsvangirai did not pray correctly, that is the reason he lost elections to Robert Mugabe! If the prayer failed, there is always a smart reason given. Again, Nelson Chamisa went to Israel before the harmonized elections of 2018 took place. Immediately after that pilgrimage to the holy land, I remember the photo-shots of Chamisa and Biti right in the selected wilderness of Zimbabwe. Chamisa was wearing a white garment, (not Black) white, a sign of cleanliness and humbleness. Biti had thrown his red hat down in reverence to the chosen bushy piece of land. A serious prayer was conducted at the glare of the cameras to sell to the congregates and party followers how religious Chamisa is and still is his political capital.   

In our utter needs of any kind it is human to trust and believe anything someone in authority tells us. Christian beliefs, just like believing in Sangomas and African juju are imbedded in our culture and deep seated in our sub-consciousness, it is not possible to untangle what our societies perceive as "correct" dubious Christian teachings meant to generate monetary advantage: some "clever" individuals take advantage of the folly. Prophet Bushiri owns a private jet. Magaya lives in posh homes and luxuries we could ever imagine. But the people surrounding those prophets never question why and how they got so immensely rich.

It is easy to know how and where Strive Masiyiwa got his riches from. They boy is smart, analytical in mind: he put his mathematics together and he made it to the global social mobility ladder. He is counted highly among many of those who are successful.

The other question we should ask ourselves is, why do African governments let prophets of doom exploit the African population for so long. Are these formations of many churches and religious groupings of any significance to political leaders and governments. When Advocate Chamisa became a Pastor, it was obvious to all that he knows what his audience wants to hear. His legal and religious titles are his political capital and he did that with full knowledge just like Magaya and other prophets, to capitalize on them. We need to take a close look at the US-dollar note, it states: "In God we Trust" I suppose it is not beautiful morals that put food on the table but sometimes to cheat your neighbour to get his/her last dollar so that your own children can survive is the way. It can also be their last dollar in the pocket sacrificed to the prophet that day, it will be subtly taken away.

Dear Tendai, I am sorry if my atheistic views are repulsive to you personally since you are devout Christian. What we share together is one thing, exploitation of mankind using religion in our societies we both abhor this act. This is what drove me to write you this letter. I have great confidence in you as a person. I have diligently read almost all your articles, most informative and insightful. But when it comes to Christianity, let's just learn to agree to disagree.  
Source - Nomazulu Thata
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