An increasingly popular Zimbabwean cleric who draws crowds of up to 200,000 to his miracle services has opened up that embattled Nigerian Prophet T.B. Joshua is his ‘spiritual father’ and prophesied his ministerial calling.
‘Prophet’ Walter Magaya, in an interview with Zimbabwean newspaper Daily News, explained that he visited The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) in Lagos, Nigeria in 2009 as a beleaguered, frustrated business man.
“I ventured from one business to another and tried almost every project,” Magaya, the founder of Prophetic, Healing and Deliverance Ministries (PHD Ministries) explained.
“I tried venturing into the kombi business, butcheries, shops and all forms of businesses you can think of but it was not my calling,” he said. However, a word of prophecy from Nigeria’s most controversial cleric proved to be a turning point in his life.
Magaya’s official website sheds more light on their encounter: “PHD Ministries is a Bible-based Ministry which came to life after Prophet W. Magaya visited The SCOAN in Nigeria,” it states in the ‘About Us’ section.
“His mission was sorely for God to shed light through the anointed man of God, Senior Prophet T.B Joshua, on which business to take up from the eighty proposals he had written down. God had other plans as He spoke through a prophetic word informing him that he was destined to be in ministry. Prophet W. Magaya was obedient to the voice of God and dropped all his business interests to pursue his God given mission.”
From 40 congregants in 2011, the ministry has seen an astronomical rise in attendance, largely due to the purported miracles happening. “Now we get as much as 80 000 to our Sunday service and when we have special days like Big Sunday we get even more than 200 000 people,” Magaya told Daily News.
Unlike his flamboyant Zimbabwean counterparts, Uebert Angel and Emmanuel Makandiwa, Magaya is known for his simple dressing and charitable disposition, attributes he says he learned from Joshua.
However, Magaya has not been without his controversies, a lawsuit accusing him of adultery making headline news in Zimbabwe in August. However, the man behind the accusation, Denford Mutashu, later dropped all charges, the Zimbabwean media reporting his reconciliation with Magaya came after he ‘visited T.B. Joshua’ and received ‘deliverance’.
Joshua has featured prominently in the news of late due to the tragic collapse of a building within his premises in September that left over 100 dead, including 3 Zimbabweans.
The incident, however, has not seemed to sour Joshua’s influence and popularity, particularly in Southern Africa where he commands a huge following.
Magaya is set to hold an all night prayer vigil billed ‘a night of turnaround’ on Friday 7th November 2014, local media estimating 300,000 are expected to attend.
Ihechukwu Njoku – freelance Nigerian journalist