TEDDY KUYELA, Harare, Zimbabwe
POPULAR Zimbabwean prosperity gospel preacher Emmanuel Makandiwa has launched his ministry brand under his name, a move aimed at transforming the church in the market place.
The charismatic preacher and his wife Ruth, commands one of Zimbabweâ€™s fastest growing churches, the United Family International Church (UFIC), which is attracting visitors from within the continent and beyond.
The Emmanuel Makandiwa official brand launch was graced by the clericâ€™s spiritual father Ghana-based Victor Kusi Boateng who described Makandiwa as a â€œman who is a totality of perfectionâ€.
The branding exercise was held at a colourful ceremony held in Harare at the Rainbow-Towers-Hotel and was attended by several international dignitaries recently.
The function drew delegates from across the continent and local business executives.
The Makandiwa brand, according to the brand managers led by Randy Bediako of Ghana, seeks to celebrate Prophet Makandiwaâ€™s achievement through various products that are soon to be released on the market, such as books and branded wares.
The brandâ€™s icon which has an angelic feature on top of gold and purple stripes represents the global mission that God has sent the UFIC leader to carryout.
Prophet Boateng said he was proud of his spiritual son, as his â€œlegacy will live beyond his generation and his brand is beyond measureâ€.
â€œIn this generation, itâ€™s very difficult to get a man like Makandiwa. For me, Makandiwa is more than a brand, but a movement because he is a totality of perfection,â€ he said.
â€œLet us rise up and preserve what is ours and here it is… this is a movement called Makandiwa. I am here to challenge all Zimbabweans, let us rise and tell the world that we have a noble man, a man of principles, a man of love, a man of God, who is not just for us, but for generations to come.
â€œIt is starting as a brand, but in its totality, itâ€™s a movement. This is a movement that we canâ€™t match,â€ he said.
Already, under the Emmanuel Makandiwa brand, a book-Spiritual Fatherhood-authored by the cleric has been published and four more-How To Avoid Expiration, The Billionaires Mindset, and God Wants You To Prosper, are expected to be published in the near future.
Prophet Makandiwa who has also been co-authoring monthly devotional books with his wife also owns a free-to-air television channel ChristTv. As a businessman, he is into mining and also owns a company which trades on the Zimbabwean Stock Exchange.
The towering preacher told over 500 delegates that attended the launch that he was humbled by the honour that had been bestowed on him by his spiritual father and his church.
â€œPapa [father] I love you so much,â€ he said before he praised his biological parents, who also graced the occasion.
Prophet Makandiwa took time to also laud his wife, Ruth, saying she has stood by him even when there was no hope.
â€œAll I can say is God you are so wonderful and merciful . . . some of us are fearfully made, but she is wonderfully made. I understand I am not an easy puzzle to put together, but her ability, her commitment and her love is so amazing,â€ he said.
He follows in the footsteps of Celebration Ministries Internationalâ€™s Tom Deuschle, the Nigerian-based Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan) T.B. Joshua and Christ Embassyâ€™s Chris Oyakhilome.
The cleric is also planning to extend his religious tentacles beyond the Zimbabwean borders. Prophet Makandiwa has courted both controversy and administration from a cross-section of Zimbabweans as well as regional followers.
The preacher is also in the news over his mega Chitungwiza church and structure, which is set to accommodate about 60,000 worshipers once completed. The church is easing into shape and stands out in the sprawling suburb of Chitungwiza.
As one of the biggest prosperity gospel proponents where members are encouraged to live in splendour including owning lavish cars, Prophet Makandiwa has caught many peopleâ€™s attention with his healing and benevolence, especially among church members.
The Mashonaland Central-born evangelist is part of a growing band of younger generation preachers to come after the likes of Phanuel Chiweshe-his late mentor-the Zimbabwean Assemblies of God in Africaâ€™s Ezekiel Guti and the pioneering Andrew Wutawunashe, founder of the family of God Church.
TEDDY KUYELA, Harare, Zimbabwe