This first is an article found in a Zimbabwean weekly newspaper, The Sunday Mail of 3 to 9 of May 2009. It talks about a girl who claims to be Jesus Christ reincarnate. See my response and analysis at the end of this article.
The Sunday Mail, 03 May 2009
‘Girl Jesus’ back with a bang
By Roselyne Sachiti
A BELL faintly rings from a room as The Sunday Mail crew’s car slowly drives into the home of Tepsy Nyanhete, Guruve’s self-styled "Jesus" reincarnated.
It is 11 am and members of the Mudzimu Unoyera cult at Chatiza Village move in different directions while others continue with their chores.
The "cult village", formerly a hive of activity with children who were Girl Jesus’ followers three years ago, is deserted though painted buildings, a boat and effigies of a three-headed snake still remain a major attraction. A frail-looking woman being treated at the "cult village" sleeps on the lawn while a group of eight children, mostly five and six-year-olds, play with mud and water under a tree. Clearly, the cult has weathered the storm and is getting stronger by the day.
Upon explaining the purpose of our mission, three men offer us seats under a tree and tell us that further instructions on what we would do next would be communicated.
"It’s true that Girl Jesus has resurrected following a lot of negative things that have taken place at this church. It was mainly because of a bad cloud that had covered our church, but what I can assure you is that our saviour is back and more powerful. She will be conducting healing sessions at Britten Farm in Mazowe from May 18 to 21 to prove her improved power," said one of the cult followers.
For three years, Girl Jesus (now 17 years old and grown into a fairly beautiful teenager) had "disappeared", following the arrest of her mother Entrance Nyanhete (also known as Mai Maria) and father Okinebheti (Joseph) after they beat up policemen who had come to rescue children kept at the shrine.
"Mai Maria" had to exchange her white satin clothes and all luxuries for green prison dresses when she served a seven-month jail term at Chikurubi Female Prison after she was found guilty of assaulting policemen.
Girl Jesus’ younger sister Gimos (now 14), also known as "Moses", is in the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and staying at Hupenyu Hutsva Children’s Home in Highfield. She visits her family during school holidays and expects to permanently join them this month when her probation ends.
At six years "Moses", the last born in the family of five, shocked a news crew that had visited the "cult village" after they failed to lift her up and concluded "she was like a piece of iron stuck into the ground".
After sitting on a wooden bench under the tree for an hour another bell rang producing a different sound from the first. Inquiries revealed that the second bell signalled that Mai Maria was ready to see us.
We were told to form a beeline and follow a handful of cult members who sang praise songs in their titinoia piridia language.
The singing and dancing continued at the entrance of the temple until Mai Maria gave us permission to enter. Trees and shrubs in the room have grown taller and thinner while new ornaments brightened the room.
More rituals were performed before we could see Mai Maria, who was seated on a bed in a cubicle surrounded by veils and mosquito nets, beads, Christmas decorations, a doll, bouquets of flowers and many other appurtenances. It took a while before our interview began as the cult members had to sing more songs like "Tambirai Maria akapiwa simba" (dance for Maria who was given power) to "raise" Mai Maria’s spirit so that she could come out.
Sporting a pair of white satin slacks, a matching blouse, light blue scarf, and several beads hanging from her headdress, Mai Maria, who finally agreed to come out of her "nest", sat on a stone-sculptured chair in their "temple". She opened up and said her arrest in 2006 made her daughter stronger and it did not weaken her faith.
"Our arrest made our church stronger than before. The arrests made our followers believe more in us because my daughter had told us that something like that would happen.
"She told us that she saw a small jail ahead of our church and we were arrested just like she predicted. I also continuously read a verse, which says Jesus predicted war would come. I knew this was the war," said Mai Maria as a young girl sprayed perfume on her clothes.
She claimed that the seven months she spent in jail were interesting though adapting to the new life and environment was rather painful. She was initially placed in a cell with other female prisoners but was later transferred to her own following a series of problems with fellow inmates.
"I faced serious communication problems as I failed to communicate with prison officers and other women who were in my cell. They told me that continuing to speak in titinoia piridia would result in me being taken back to a doctor for more mental examinations. Things went back to normal after they put me in my own cell," she said.
While in jail, Mai Maria said she had thoughts of "escaping" but Girl Jesus sent a letter to her telling her to be patient and finish her term.
"I wanted to fly and escape from prison, but she told me that I would have broken the law if I went ahead with my plan. She sent me letters while I was in jail and it made me stronger because I knew she was guiding me," she said.
After completing her sentence, Mai Maria went back to Guruve where she met with Girl Jesus who had "prophesied" her release and return the previous day. She said their life went back to normal and their cult "grew stronger". She said a lot of developments took place as the church anticipated the return of Girl Jesus.
"A new bedroom had been built for her while she was away," said Mai Maria.
The bedroom contains a bed surrounded by mosquito nets and lace. In the bedroom there is also a large mirror, glass tables and a chair made of soapstone. A small radio, CD player, kwaito CDs, perfumes, trays containing sweets and soft drinks are also on the table.
Though small, the major attraction in the room is a small doll named Dilliard dressed in baby clothes. Despite it being 2pm Girl Jesus lay on her bed covering herself with a thin white fleece cover. Her doll lay beside her when Mai Maria uncovered her.
While the manner in which the doll was handled like a real baby was uncommon, a white wardrobe meant for the doll’s clothes left us stunned. A picture of the doll, which was in a frame and placed on a table, revealed the close and unique relationship between the two.
"This doll is my toy and I have had it since I was young. I like my doll just like any other child would like theirs," said the soft-spoken Girl Jesus.
Girl Jesus, who has never set foot in school, said she tried to enrol in Grade One after her followers were removed from the shrine in 2006 so that she could lead a normal life.
"We went to the Department of Social Welfare to ask them to help us enrol in Grade One, but they could not help us. Instead, they told us to look for a private teacher for home-schooling and I was hurt. I realised that going to school was rather a mistake and continued with my faith," she said.
Girl Jesus, with manicured nails and sporting a bandana on her head, said even though she has grown up, she has not changed her mind on getting married.
"I will never marry because I follow my teachings. My sister Moses will also never get married, so men should not try their luck," she added.
To make sure that no man tempts her when she travels, Mai Maria said she makes sure that Girl Jesus moves around in the company of other people all the time.
"Men might try their luck because she goes everywhere, even to the Harare Agricultural Show, to the growth point and many other places. She even plays soccer and their team was about to go to Namibia for a tournament when our church was temporarily destroyed. She moves around with many other people so that men do not tempt her. I do not know whether a boy has asked her out before because she has never told me," said Mai Maria.
Girl Jesus’ sister, Moses, said she is doing well in school but wants to return to Guruve and attend a nearby school. She said she behaves like any other child while at the children’s home and does not practise her faith there. "I want to come home permanently and learn at a nearby secondary school. I am not happy where I am," she said.
l Let’s chat on roselyne.sachiti@zimpa
MY RESPONSE AND ANALYSIS TO THIS ARTICLE
Jesus Christ actually said, and promised his disciples that he would come again, for the second time. In John 14vs 1-3, Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in Me. There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with Me where I am. If this weren't so, I would tell you plainly. And you know where I am going and how to get there." This just point out that Jesus is in heaven, and when time is ready, he will come again. However, the question still remains, how is Jesus Christ going to come back?
This has been a matter of many ideological arguments, but the bible makes it clear in the following verses, in Acts 1 vs. 10-11, "It was not long afterwards that He rose into the sky and disappeared into a cloud, leaving them staring after Him. As they were straining their eyes for another glimpse, suddenly two white-robed men were standing there among them, and said, 'Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has gone away to heaven, and some day, just as He went, He will return!' This means therefore, that Jesus Christ will not reincarnate but will come back, in the same way he went up. However, the following verses can also help, Luke 21 vs. 27, NIV. "At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory."; Revelation 1 vs. 7, NIV. "Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him."; I Thessalonians 4:16-17, NIV. "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." This means that everyone will see him when he comes back. There would be no forgery reincarnations.
The bible actually warns about these things in Matthew 24 vs. 23-26, NIV. "At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ! or 'There He is! do not believe it. For false Christ's and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. So if anyone tells you, 'There He is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here He is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it." and Matthew 24 vs 36, NIV says "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." The time that Jesus is returning is unknown, he will come like 'a thief in the night'. However this girl Tepsy Nyanhete is not the first one to claim to be Jesus Christ, history is awash with so many people who actually claimed to be Jesus. If one goes to http://www.wesh.com/news/13265514/detail.html a man named Dr. De Jesus Miranda, claims to be Jesus Christ, actually claiming that,"he is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. He said the 666 is a sign of prosperity, a transition from the first Jesus who walked the earth and the spirit, which he claims is in him".
There is a long list, which includes so many people, if one goes to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_who_have_claimed_to_be_Jesus there is John Nichols Thom (1799-1938), a Cornishman who claimed to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and his body temple of the Holy Ghost. He was killed by British soldiers in battle on May 31, 1838 in England, Hong Xiuquan– self-proclaimed "little brother" of Jesus Christ. He formed an army that fought in the Taiping Rebellion, which ultimately caused the deaths of over 25 million people; Ahn Sang-hong – South Korean man worshiped by World Mission Society Church of God; Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda– organizer of Growing in Grace who claims that the resurrected Christ "integrated himself within me"; Sun Myung Moon– founder of the Unification Church, who considers himself the second coming of Christ, but not Jesus himself; Jung Myung-seok– founder of Providence Church, who also considers himself the second coming of Christ, but not Jesus himself; Matayoshi Jesus – in 1997 he established the World Economic Community Party based on his conviction that he is the God and Christ; Arnold Potter, schismatic Latter Day Saint leader; called himself "Potter Christ"; Charles Manson – founder of "The Family" and Sergei Torop – a Russian who claims to be "reborn" as Vissarion, the returned Jesus Christ. He founded the Church of the Last Testament and the spiritual community Ecopolis Tiberkul in Southern Siberia.
There are so many similarities between Tepsy Nyanhete and many of her contemporaries listed above, usually people who do this are possessed by demonic spirits which are bent on diluting the word of God and misleading people through many abilities. People who do this have unnatural abilities to do unnatural or supernatural acts which can sway people to follow them, in the story of Tepsy Nyanhete, we find that, it is said '... She will be conducting healing sessions at Britten Farm in Mazowe from May 18 to 21 to prove her improved power," and also
At six years "Moses", the last born in the family of five, shocked a news crew that had visited the "cult village" after they failed to lift her up and concluded "she was like a piece of iron stuck into the ground". All these unnatural acts are consistent with the powers of the devil, who is bent on misleading people through performance of miracles. Satan can also perform miracles, and can be a white angelic figure to fulfil his purposes. The cult targets young children because they can be easily brainwashed before they can know anything about the world's cruelty. They are being taught a new language, titinoia pridia language to confuse communication between them and other people, such that when they grow up in the cult, there would be little or chance of the children gaining the knowledge of their situation. People who share the same language are easy to control, if we look at the tower of Babel, God had to make people speak different languages because, with one language there was the danger that they would succeed in building the tower. Communication is vital.
Symbolism and iconography is also very important in religion. Usually symbols of snakes are associated with devil-worshipping. The colour white here is manipulated to absorb some measure of genuinity that these people are incarnations. The measure of secrecy shown by the cult leaders is synonymous with all religions which use fear as a tactic to make people subdue and even be more curious to find out more. If one becomes involved with these kind of cults, its difficult to move out, mainly because of fear of the unknown, since cult leaders claim to have supernatural powers. One actually wonders how Mudzimu (Ancestral Spirits) and Jesus go hand in glove. The cult's name Mudzimu Unoyera (Sacred Spirits, usually ancestral spirits) all speaks of someone possessed by a 'shavi' (demonic spirit) which has the power to imposter, or to deceive to be something else.
Its highly probable that, the girl Tepsy, has a spiritual husband, since she is not allowed to marry or do anything with boys. If she is not interested in marrying, why would she get a doll at the age of 17, it defies logic. She is almost of a marriagable age, yet she continues to behave like a baby. This is the same person who is going to perform healing miracles in Mazowe from 18 to 21 May 2009; it all shows the evilness of this cult. The doll, which is dearly loved by Tepsy Nyanhete, may not be a real doll per se, but something spiritual, like a spiritual child.
Tepsy Nyanhete's younger sister Gimos, is also known as Moses. This is a symbolic represenatation of this world. Here in South Africa, same sex marriages have been legalised, a man saying 'I do' to another man, women now are wearing trousers in the name of human rights, people trying to run away from their gender. Jesus was a man, taking the Bible's perspective, and for Tepsy Nyanhete, a woman, a girl for that matter, to be Jesus Christ seems to be a blasphemy. According to, www.freedictionary.com reincarnation means, embodiment in a new form (especially the reappearance or a person in another form) or rebirth of the soul in another body which makes this cult very bogus.
My advice to the government is to close down this cult, but as a Law student at Wits University, I know it can be difficult since everyone has freedom of worship, and everyone has rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights. However, in the interest of public policy this matter should be looked into seriously.