Jowane Masowe Chishanu
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Originated in Zimbabwe in 1931, Jowane Masowe Chishanu is a religious sect formed in 1931 by Shonhiwa Masedza. The sect has approximately six million followers.
Background[edit | edit source]
Jowani Masowe Chishanu is the largest religious sect in Zimbabwe. Jowani Masowe Chishanu meaning holy trinity, Jowani meaning the Angel of John the Baptist, Masowe meaning the Wilderness and Chishanu meaning the day of Sabbath. In the beginning there was only one man who was anointed by the holy spirit. Shonhiwa Masedza lived under chief Makoni in the village of Gandanzara. When he was old enough to find a job he went away to look for a job and he ended up in Norton. He settled in Norton where he was known by some people as a cobbler. On his spare time he used to enjoy doing some carpentry. People in the area called him by a nickname of Sixpence, this was because every time he does a job for someone he only requested six pence and nothing more.
It was at this place that Sixpence was mending a pair of shoes that a white thread appeared from the sky and somehow he raised his hands to receive this white thread. Upon receiving this white thread he was taken ill and was sent to his house were he fell ill for days. He could not walk, talk or eat for weeks. After three weeks whilst still ill he was reported to have been inside the house and he would appear outside the house. The event was difficult to explain since he somehow didn't use the door. Many people were shocked by this event however they continued to look after him as he was at this house.
One morning he appeared to have died and after a few hours he was awake and he was given porridge to revive his strength. Somehow he regained his strength and began to feel better. As this happens he started talking about the holy trinity, the father, the son and the holy spirit. The holy spirit told Sixpence that from that moment he was to be called Jowani (John) the Baptist, kana kuti Baba Jowani and he came to be known as Baba Jowani. The holy spirit asked him to teach the humankind of Africa to respect each other, prepare the path for the end, signpost African humankind of the heaven awaits and to abide by the ten commandments which was made to be the backbone of Baba Jowani teachings. After this Jowani was filled with the holy spirit he went to a mountain in Marimba which has come to be known as Mount Marimba.
It was whilst he was in this mountain Jowani started praying and the whole mountain was covered in mist. Whilst he was praying in this mountain with the mist that had gathered a surprising thing happened, voices of unknown sources was heard singing Hosanna mudiki. It was in this mountain that Jowani was handed these things by the Angel Gabriel, White cloth (Nguwo chena), Sheppard stick (Svimbo)and Hosanna. His objectives were given were to ask the African community to repent and follow the righteous path of God, Healing the sick and finally he wanted everyone who have repent to be baptized. Whilst in the mountain, the singing was heard over a long distance and people were very much surprised.
One person who was surprised was the farm owner in which the mountain was situated in his farm because he had heard of him praying for forty days. He came to see what was going on in his farm and to see how can a black man trespass in a white man's farm. Jowani was summoned to come down the mountain by the farm owner who wanted to make enquiries as to how this man had come to trespass in his land. I was a criminal offence to trespass in a white man's land. Jowani told the farm owner that he was sent by God to save the African race and points them to where the heaven was and how one can achieve eternal life through the father, his son and the holy spirit. The farm owner was so moved by these words that he called a local catholic priest to come and talk to Jowani.
Because Jowani was filled with the holy spirit he had the ability to prophesise things in the future. After a long conversation with the local priest, a decision was made to contact the Salisbury church diocese for Jowani to talk to Archbishop. After a long conversation with the Archbishop of Salisbury a telephone was dialed straight to the Vatican to report the finding and to discuss about the African man how is calling himself John the Baptism who is sent to save African people from their sins and witchcraft. After this Jowani was arrested because of trespass laws. Something strange happened, as the police put chains on his arms, the chains fall off. They forced him to get into a police are and somehow he appeared outside. After a while the police were not sure how they were going to arrest him however Jowani told the police that he will be waiting for them at the police station. This was very surprising because the police decide to go back to the police station in Marondera and somehow upon arrival Jowani was waiting for them at the station as he had said. This was how he became to be in Marondera, they decide to put him in jail and the felt that this was a good punishment for a crime of trespass.
It was whilst in jail Jowani was seen to have appeared out of jail every morning and this happened everyday without fail and there was no explanation as to what was happening. Police chiefs thought that the guards were letting him out every morning however they decided to keep guard all the night and realize that they were wrong. There was no explanation as to why this was happening. Every time around Jowani Hosanna was heard and every morning he appeared outside and praying. As a form of punishment for escaping jail every morning Jowani was ordered to dig a big wide hole in the ground. On this day people were so flabbergasted by the events that followed. The guards were not sure what was going on.
It was observed that when Jowani was sent to dig the hole as a form of punishment all the digging equipment, wheelbarrows and shovels were on the move without any human intervention. Hosanna was heard singing in the air and it was as loud as a thousand people singing. In no time a big hole was dug and this was never seen that some of the police officers run away and never came back to work. The police chief decided to let Jowani walk because they were not sure what he was going to do next. On his release Jowani was filled with the holy spirit and was asked by the holy spirit to go to a place called Nyamweda in Mondoro. This place was well known for the spiritual medium well known by the name of Matangira.
It was when he arrived in the village of Nyamweda when he became aware that all the villagers were at a medium party in celebration for rains to come that season. It was whilst he was walking toward the general area that he surprised the headman by attaching fallen fruits back to the tree. The elder headman invited to join the crowd as this was a big event. He sat there observing what was happening however he did not take part in any rituals nor did he drink any beer. Whatever that passed his was, he passed to someone else without actually using or drinking. This went on all night until early hours in the morning the spirit medium Matangira only spoke a few words. He told the villagers gathered that amongst them was a men of God, he had seen this men in his visions and he was so bright, brighter than the sun. Everyone should follow this man because he is the one who knows how to get to heaven. He said, l Matangira don't know anything compared to this man, l can ask God for rain but this man talks directly to God and he knows were the human soul ends up after death. So please l ask you to follow this man because he has been sent by God to you African people.
After this Jowani asked the elder headman to speak and he advised people who were there that he was unable to say what he was sent to say because he needed to be in the wilderness and not around the houses. So the elders asked everyone to follow Jowani to the wilderness and some complied and others did not. Those who followed him were asked to take off their shoes and leave their smoking pipes and dogs at a distance.It was whilst in the wilderness Jowani fainted and was unresponsive for three hours and all the villagers wanted to run away but somehow everyone how had come was filled with the holy spirit and in the mean time all this is going on Hosanna was heard singing in the air. After three hours Jowani woke up and told all the people who were worried that there was no need to worry, he was talking to the ancestors who had crossed over so that they let the African children follow the righteous path of the Lord God. Following this, the church Jowani Masowe Chishanu was born. In the beginning Baba Jowani never used the bible in his teaching.
At some point whilst he was confronted by a priest and was handed a bible, something mysterious happened, the bible caught fire whilst in his right hand and the ash was sucked into his blood vessels. He said to the people who had gathered, l have been sent to you by the Lord God and the bible is burn and the ashes are in my blood so now listen to me the Holy spirit as l am your bible in your daily lives. Baba Jowani had seven church of Jowani Masowe Chishanu, namely the first church is Nevanji meaning the first. the seven churches are Nevanji, Domboshava, Guruve, Murehwa, Negomo, Mutumba (Mt Darwin), Mzarabani and they paved the way for the six million followers of Jowani Masowe Chishanu sect up to this day. Up to this day the followers still don't read the bible and the bible is the holy spirit.The holy spirity will guide throughout every gatherings.
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