CHRISTINE CHISHA, Lusaka
SHE is a woman of faith, confident and understands her heavenly fatherâ€™s plan as well as her role to bless others.
A woman who gave up her job as an attorney to serve the Lord as a minister of the gospel, Prophetess Mwakawaza Nyirenda Twagirayesu, popularly referred to as Mwaka, is also a prolific preacher, International Conference speaker and author of the book â€˜Unlock your destiny through the power of prayerâ€™.
She is married to Darius Twagirayesu, a Rwandan and they have five children , whom she says came as a result of Godâ€™s miracle.
â€œWe have a powerful testimony because we waited for seven years before God remembered us,â€ Prophetess Mwaka, who has been married for 24 years, said.
She was born in the late 60s to Kabuka Nyirenda and Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika. She is founder of Fresh Aroma Ministries, a church based in the United States.
Mwaka, who wears many hats, is also a mentor and entrepreneur. She went to St Maryâ€™s Dominican School in Lusaka for primary education and did secondary school at Loreto Convent Msongari in Kenya.
Upon completion of her secondary school, she enrolled at Buckingham University where she obtained her LLB. She has also done a number of theological short courses and is a holder of a Masters degree in Sociology.
Before leaving Zambia, Prophetess Mwaka did her internship at Chongwe and Company. She said her biggest dream was to be a family lawyer, because she was an A-plus student.
However, when she went to United States, her course of life changed when she reunited with Apostle Darius who she first met in Kenya and they got married. She had worked as a legal advisor, human resource officer and social worker.
While pursuing her masters at Boston University, the couple started a Christian inter-denomination fellowship.
She said it was in 1990 when they started an African fellowship that grew and they used to conduct outreach programmes in hospitals, home care homes and prison.
â€œPeople in Boston started to call upon us because we were passionate about ministry and on fire for God. After a year, the fellowship blossomed and 1993 saw the birth of our first church for not only people from Zambia and Africa but Asian and the Caribbean,â€ Prophetess Mwaka said.
The couple became pioneers in the African community and led a church of 700 members with 30 nationals, a feat that was not common that time.
The clergywoman and her husband held crusades and spoke at international conferences during the 17 years they lived in Boston.
Their plans to come back home were put on hold when their mentors suggested they go to Dallas, but they know one day, they will relocate to Zambia.
Prophetess Mwaka said over the past five years, they have been holding conferences in African countries.
â€œWhen Zambia turned 50, the Lord laid upon my heart to hold the first Fresh Aroma conference and he told me take the fresh aroma in the year of jubilee. Our first meeting was at Intercontinental and last year we held the conference at Government Complex,â€ she said.
Prophetess Mwaka last week hosted another womenâ€™s conference, â€˜Distinguished Womanâ€™ at Government Complex which attracted a number of women from all walks of life.
Together with her husband, they will be hosting the annual Fresh Aroma International Prophetic Conference at Government Complex.
She shares uplifting and inspirational messages every Tuesday 2130 hours on Radio Christian Voice. This has made her listenership and following in Zambia grow.
Prophetess Mwaka speaks every Sunday at 07:00 hours at One Love Radio and she shares inspirational messages on Solweziâ€™s Beats FM Radio.
She said she has received a lot of testimonies from Zambians who have been impacted by her preaching of the word of God.
â€œMy ministry in Zambia has been so fulfilling, rewarding and I am aiming at empowering women with the word of God so that they can be able to raise strong families and I believe it is our season as women to shine, a time to step up and work with men as co-partners,â€ she said.
Prophetess Mwaka believes it is a responsibility of every Zambian wherever they are to make a positive contribution to the development of the nation.
She said Zambia is a blessed nation, hospitable and believes the hand of God is upon this nation which has never experienced war and famine since gaining independence in 1964.
The prophetess draws her inspiration from her mother who is Zambiaâ€™s former ambassador to the United States Dr Mbikusita-Lewanika whom she described as a woman of excellence and a woman of her word who practices what she preaches.
â€œMy mother is my role model. She is very courageous, the first woman to form a political party. She is a patriotic Zambian and where she has served she gives it her best and has instilled those values in me to work hard and do my best,â€ Prophetess Mwaka said.
In her ministry, prophetess Mwaka is inspired by Theresa Wairimu of Kenya who she says has been consistent in ministry and she describes her as a beautiful woman who is also passionate about the gospel and highly respected in her nation.
Prophetess Mwaka also follows Gloria Copeland and Juanita Bynum the women she admires for their boldness and have taken their place as women who know what to take to the table.
She said she is passionate about Africa becoming a super power, because the continent is rich in resources, its people are intelligent and living in America has opened her eyes to see its bigger picture.
Prophetess Mwaka said Africans are also very knowledgeable but people in other continents are very ignorant and ask silly questions like â€˜did you swim to reach Americaâ€™ the reason she wants to see Africa become a super power because there is so much potential in Africans
She said it is high time Africans changed their mentality that everything Western is the best because these other countries only offer material but they have no family support.
â€œIn Africa, we carry each otherâ€™s burden, we mourn with friends and relatives unlike the Western world were people are so busy and have no strong family system,â€ she said.
She said she wants to see Africa celebrate its culture, the reason she is doing ministry where people have respect and reverence for God
The prophetess also loves travelling, reading, swimming, hosting and entertaining people.