Today's Mapostori with swag

HARARE - A new generation of Vapostori has emerged, changing the narrative that used to be applied to members of the apostolic sect.

Back in the day Vapostori used to be looked down upon as paupers, shabbily dressed Christians with very little or no education.

Their white robes became an unmistakable way of identifying them.

But that narrative is changing.

Only last week, social media was awash with videos and pictures of Johanne Masowe eChishashu leader Madzibaba Moses driving the latest, top of the range Land Cruiser V8.

A visit to his base in Highfield on Tuesday was more revealing.

One would mistake the church for a car sales garage as congregants’ top-of-the-range vehicles were parked at the shrine.

These included an H2 Hummer, Land Rover Discoveries and Mercedes Benzes among several other vehicles.

Also at the shrine, our news crew marvelled at a nicely-built building, which we almost confused for a mansion only to find out that it was a classy toilet. 

In the old day narrative, Vapostori were known for relieving themselves in bushes where they worship but this is no longer the case.

“Those who think Vapostori are poor people are living in the past. If you come here during their church services it will be more than what you are seeing,” said a nearby resident.

Efforts to contact Madzibaba Moses were fruitless as he was not around when the Daily News on Sunday crew visited the shrine.

His mobile phones were not reachable but his church’s caretaker Madzibaba Dudzai said an appointment has to be made to see the man of the cloth.

“What you see there is not a house. It is a toilet for our congregants. It is just but moving with world trends. We are past the stage of bush toilets. People always speak badly about Masowe but this is a different case now,” he said.

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa once visited the shrine, taking the message against child marriages to members of the apostolic sect.

She also called for cervical cancer screening.

Apart from the First Lady’s visit, a number of high-profile personalities, including socialite Wicknell Chivayo and prominent boxer Derrick Chisora are among others who fellowship in the sect.

Mapostori also host lavish weddings for their congregants and Madzibaba Moses once gave one couple a vehicle as a gift.

“This is how things have changed at Johanne Masowe. We host weddings almost each year and they will be just like or better than some weddings,” he added.

A number of other madzibabas are now being seen in trendy clothes and vehicles, living in well-decorated houses contrary to popular belief that they are poor and shabby.

Those that quickly come to mind include Madzibaba Stephan, Madzibaba Spenlodge, Madzibaba Masango and Madzibaba Mateo among several others.

Some of them have broken several barriers to the extent of venturing into advertising their services on radio and newspapers.

Others have also started a number of businesses, employing several people.

Madzibaba Stephan of Chitungwiza hogged the limelight after opening a pub in Zengeza.

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