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LAVUMISA – There was a mad rush to get to the Nazareth Church leader and receive ‘blessings’.

Residents of neighbouring communities around Lavumisa Border Gate, where the church leader came through into the kingdom, did all possible to get his attention, with the hope that he would pray and bless them. The residents, most of whom are members of the same church, which is also known as Shembe, brought their children and informed the church leader, Unyazi Lwezulu, about their sicknesses, immediately after he had crossed the border and he had a moment to greet his congregants. Unyazi Lwezulu arrived around 11am at Lavumisa Border Gate. It is worth noting that the leader was setting foot in Eswatini for the first time since he assumed the leadership position. He will be in the country for the two-week festival, which will be held at Esabelweni at Mahlanya.


Upon arrival, the leader had a convoy of over 50 cars, including those of congregants from South Africa (SA) who will be joining the same festival. Some congregants were on board Toyota Quantums and Sprinters. The actual number of the congregants could not be immediately ascertained. There were congregants who came from SA just to accompany their leader until he reached the border gate. At the border, they sang and danced outside, while their leader was busy with immigration officers. Having completed the immigration process, he stepped out to address the congregants, who, when he showed up, went down on their knees and started shouting; ‘Amen, moy’ oyingcwele’. After every sentence the leader would say, the congregants would shout the same phrase of praise towards their leader.

Briefly, the leader told the congregants that he was headed to Eswatini and that they were supposed to have hope. “Do not lose hope, stay alert, if God so wishes, we will see each other again,” he said. He further wished that God bless them. Upon arrival on the Eswatini side, the Nazareth Church leader lowered the front passenger window and remained in the car as congregants approached on their knees with their sick children. They would first put money in a container before stating their challenges and prayer requests, after which Unyazi Lwezulu would respond to each one of them. One was heard, after putting the money in a crafted wooven dish, that she wished for her child who had difficulties walking to get healed and grow like other children. In response, the leader would tell them their prayers had been heard. Others came to report their own sicknesses, requesting for jobs, their children’s successes and financial breakthroughs.  Unyazi Lwezulu would also respond by saying; ‘God bless you’ to others.

Some of the congregants came with petroleum jelly, which was given to the assistants who would take it into the car and later hand it back. It could not be established what was done to the petroleum jelly but speculation was that the Shembe leader had blessed it. Also, some brought water and they would have it mixed with water that had come with the leader. Unyazi Lwezulu later stepped out of the car for a few minutes on the Eswatini side of the border and told the congregants that God would bless them, after which he went back into his car and left. Even along the way to Big Bend, there were believers who were kneeling by the roadside as the convoy passed through, lifting their hands and shouting; ‘Moy’ oyingcwele’ .
The leader was received by Shiselweni Regional Secretary Mzwandile Mthethwa, as well the Lavumisa Town Board mayor and Lavumisa Police Station commander, among others.