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.
1Why I have beef with Raila Odinga- Mutahi Ngunyi We both grew up in Eastlands and one person I used to admire was Jaramogi (Raila’s f...
2Sonko hearse 'killed' with kitchen salt while collecting body in Kisii A hearse belonging to the Sonko Rescue Team associated with Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko (pi...
3Driver jailed for killing 'horny' girlfriend in horror crash while getting intimate at the wheel A motorist who became intimate in his car with his "horny" girlfriend moments before he cr...
4Oh please! Losing 27kgs has nothing to do with falling in love- Radio presenter Kalekye Mumo adio host Kalekye Mumo had always made it clear she loved her ‘big mama’ body ...
5TNA's disciplinary committee suspends senator Gwendo President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party, The National Alliance (TNA) has found Senator Joy ...
1TNA's disciplinary committee suspends senator Gwendo President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party, The National Alliance (TNA) has found Senator Joy Gwendo (no...
2Clash of the gospel titans to happen at Mwafaka Awards this Sunday With male celebrities Willy Paul, Bahati, Chris Eeh Baba, Guardian Angel, L Jay Maasai, Papa Dennis ...
3Mohamed Ali: Kama si sasa ni sasa hivi Kuna aina mbili ya mbwa. Mbwa wa kubweka bila kungata na mbwa koko. Wote ni mbwa ila huyu wa kubweka...
4Liverpool and Tottenham find out their opponents in Europa League Four-times European champions Ajax, beaten by Rapid Vienna in the premier competition, and Celtic, w...
5No sacking of civil servants, says CS Waiguru The Government has denied allegations that civil servants who did not meet the criteria put during ...
1Juju Central: Why Kikuyus are turning to witchcraft for business The Nairobian has learnt that business rivalry, matters of the heart, disputes between neighbours an...
2Shock as Lang’ata cemetery resorts to recycling infants’ graves Nairobi’s Lang’ata cemetery cannot take more bodies — it has been full for more th...
3EXCLUSIVE: Why Kenyan rapper Abbas kept his second wedding a secret Abbas Kubaff and his girlfriend, Ann English, walked down the aisle this week, the rapper’s se...
4American RnB star August Alsina denies working with Kenyan rapper Octopizzo on 'This Could Be Us' Awkward! The management of American recording artist August Alsina has denied working with Kenyan ra...
5Why I have beef with Raila Odinga- Mutahi Ngunyi We both grew up in Eastlands and one person I used to admire was Jaramogi (Raila’s father). I ...