Exiles united by faith in the 'promised land' of KiambaaUpdated Monday, October 22nd 2012 at 00:00 GMT +3
|A carpentry shop where men are actively involved as per the belief of their religion. [PHOTO: JOE OMBUOR].|
By Joe Ombuor
Kiambaa is a shopping centre off the Nairobi–Nakuru highway. Gikuyu language is widely spoken here, but occasionally, an outlandish language hits your ear.
It is neither Kiswahili, English nor any of Kenya’s better known ethnic dialects. The strange tongue could be anything from Shona to Ndebele, Chichewa, Bemba, Lozi, Lunza, Zulu and other tongues in Southern Africa.
Kiambaa, where rusty iron sheets and tin tablets dominate the roofing pattern, is home to Zambians, Malawians, Mozambicans, Zimbabweans and South Africans living harmoniously with their Kenyan hosts. They speak Kikuyu, Kiswahili and blend easily with the natives.
So accepted are these foreign folks that during the unprecedented 2007/2008 election implosion, they went about their chores peacefully when other “foreigners” were hunted down with dreadful consequences.
Almost without exception, they are members of the Gospel of God Church that traces its origins to Zimbabwe.
Membership of the church today includes Kenyans identifiable with their clean-shaven heads and bushy beards for men. Women on the other hand have to dress and cover their heads in white gear.
Known commonly as ‘Masowe disciples’ after founder leader Johane Masowe, Gospel of God Church adherents irrespective of their nationalities or ethnic background avoid working for other people according to the dictates of their faith that requires followers to engage in own businesses to make a living and contribute to welfare of the group.
Wherever they are, ‘Masowe disciples’ have workshops or other work outfits where they engage in gainful occupation that includes carpentry, weaving and other trades. Women are generally in knitting.
Moffat Nguabi, 83, an elder of the Church who migrated to Kenya from Zimbabwe in 1977 says ‘Masowe’ who hated seeing his people “work for white man like slaves” championed the practice
Born on October 1, 1914 at Gondanzara in Eastern Zimbabwe, Masowe was named Shoniwa Masedza by his Shona parents.
He later changed his name to Johane (Shona for John) in the belief that he was the Biblical John the Baptist reincarnate.
The second name, Masowe means ‘wilderness’ in Shona as he spent much time in the wilderness in the initial stages of his mission.
Masowe’s apostles treat his date of birth, October 1 as their most important day in the annual calendar, equivalent to Christmas for Christians. He died in 1973 in Ndola, Zambia.
1Meet woman who has slept with 75 men from 22 countries in quest to meet her soul mate From an obnoxious banker who called her stupid 37 times, to a man who thought he would ma...
2Why Uhuru camp cops can’t have sex in peace Cops at the Administration Police camp sandwiched between Highrise and Ufunguo estates alo...
3Singer Gloria Muliro- I moved on after divorcing money-loving husband- Gloria married Pastor Eric Omba Miko in 2009 in a colourful wedding, but walked out of the...
4Elders summon MP Keter for fronting Waiguru's impeachment Nandi Hills Member of Parliament Alfred Keter has been summoned by elders over his planned...
5Brace yourselves for a close encounter with massive asteroid moving towards Earth at eye watering speeds Conspiracy theorists were left bemused when the giant asteroid predicted by the Blood Moon...
1UN proposes unity government for Libya's warring factions, Tripoli balks The United Nations proposed a national unity government to Libya's warring factions on Thursday to e...
2Why am I only attracted to men who aren't interested in me? Meanwhile, I’m getting attention from men I’m not interested in – i.e. an ex-colle...
3MP charged with assaulting governor’s aide Mwingi Central MP Joe Mutambu has been charged with assault and squeezing the private parts of Kitui...
4Why Uhuru camp cops can’t have sex in peace Cops at the Administration Police camp sandwiched between Highrise and Ufunguo estates along Mbagath...
5Witchdoctor charged Sh 2 million to make MCA win 2013 elections A witch doctor in Kakamega County is demanding Sh1 million for ‘making’ an MCA get elect...
1Singer Gloria Muliro- I moved on after divorcing money-loving husband- Gloria married Pastor Eric Omba Miko in 2009 in a colourful wedding, but walked out of the marriage,...
2Bishop Kiuna: Having a secret phone password does not mean you are cheating Having a secret password is probably not a good thing for married couples, but it does not necessari...
3Oscar winner Lupita reveals her love for Mavado “Oh! So Special by Mavado,” she responded. So Special is one of the most popular songs f...
4Minister's wife conned me Sh 20 Million- Cancer patient Soares says she has been too sick to follow up on the matter. “I am very old, and I have had b...
5Why Deputy President William and Governor Isaac Ruto should kiss and make up There seems to be no end in sight to the supremacy battles between DP William Ruto and Bomet Governo...