When the government enacted the ‘Look East’ policy as a way of bringing relief to the country’s deteriorating socio-economic status we had no idea just how further east we would be looking.
The Chinese man known as Wei-ping or simply Madzibaba Mabnech (most vapostoris use angelic appointed names when doing the work of God) has taken the vapostori religion by storm for being the first Chinese madzibaba as well as opening his own holy shrine where he ministers to members in prayer.
Forget the tailor made suits and the bling accompanying modern day prophets because this new prophet is humble as they come.
“When I first came to Zimbabwe I was astonished by groups of white robed people I saw along the highway and I had to ask my companion what they were doing” he said, explaining about his first exposure to the vaspostori sect.
“I attended a lot of sessions and I was humbled, by the simplicity of it all and the sacrifices they make braving the sometimes unfavorable weather conditions. I thought this must be the purest form of the love for God and I never looked back after that” he says with a smile.
Weiping, who was born Buddhist finds no qualms in his new conversion to Christianity.
“What we do here as vapostori is not really that different from the Buddhism experience. As you’re well aware, Buddhist monks also shave their heads and wear robes as well and have chosen a life of simplicity and seclusion”
Madzibaba’s shrine is the first of his kind, not only because it is led by a foreigner but Weiping has incorporated some of his Buddhist ideologies in the way he ministers.
“When people come to me to get help for their problems I first tell them to relax and calm down. It is important that people achieve inner peace before they seek to fix their problems and I’m there to help them with that”
Perhaps this is the reason why his ‘kirawa’ has become so popular with members, it’s a far cry from having your head shoved back and forth while the prophet ministers to you or being doused with large buckets of water and left to dry out in the blazing sun. Madzibaba Mabnech has a much calmer approach to religion.
Even upper class people can be seen making pathways to his shrine in their flashy vehicles with hopes of finding salvation from their woes.
“At first we thought he was one of those con-artists seeking to make quick money but he asks nothing of us. He’s very humble and listens to us as he tries to help us. There’s been a tremendous change in my life since I started coming here” one young woman who refused to be named said.
Asked how he overcomes the language barrier Weiping laughingly tells us he is learning Shona but in the meantime he has an assistant, another madzibaba who functions as both an interpreter and overseer of the gathering. They don’t like referring to themselves a religion but as a gathering of people who love God and want to make their lives and the world a better place. – iHarare