The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday Life Reporter
Its been unusual times for prophets.
The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted their way of life, healing, prophesy and gatherings.
Some like Prophet Mduduzi “Black Elisha” Dube have had to think fast and to come up with new ways to evade Covid-19 infecting them and being transmitted to their congregates.
And he has many of those people, who trek to a mountain in Bulawayo’s Pumula North suburb, Zimbabwe, for night vigils seeking healing, fortune, and the breaking of curses.
Black Elisha says due to Covid-19 he can no longer do night prayer vigils as before, because of curfews.
“In the mountain I pray for people and I then tell each and every one the genesis of their problem, the root cause of what is troubling them and from then we break whatever it is holding them back. It is strictly a one-day thing. Due to the fact that we have curfews, although they have been a bit relaxed nowadays, we have to be conscious of the time that we spend on the mountain. We can’t just allow ourselves to be carried away and start prophesying late into the night. We have to be restrained and rein ourselves in so these days every visit to the mountain is a one-day thing and we do everything that we need to do between 7am and 4pm,” said Black Elisha.
“I make sure that people come at the appropriate time for us to begin our journey. The earlier the better but given the current curfews we can’t gather at dawn like we used to. The mountain that we use for our sessions is in Pumula North.”
Due to the sheer number of people who come for his help, he has segmented them into groups of less than 30 and they spend at most five minutes with him.
“Every person who attends will have a maximum of five minutes with the prophet. It is within those five minutes that their lives are changed. For example, when I go there this time, I will be taking with me people who haven’t been able to give birth. I will be taking people that want their businesses to succeed, people who are looking for promotion at work or people who want to strengthen their homes. There are people from all walks of life and they’re all welcome under the banner of the church,” said Black Elisha, who added that everyone including himself will be wearing masks.
Laying of hands is part and parcel of the healing and impartation process, and with how Covid-19 is transmitted, this has posed a risk for both him and his congregates.
For Black Elisha a physical problem cannot disrupt a spiritual move to help people in their time of need.
“Yes, we are aware of the risks of coronavirus but there is no way for me to heal people without touching them. I do touch their heads when I’m praying for them. We know that Covid-19 is real but this is the way we work and things that are spiritual cannot be changed now.
Despite the fact that I do touch people, they are not allowed to touch each other.
“This is the reality for the prophet and the person that is seeking healing. I make sure that I take the necessary precautions in life so that I do not catch coronavirus and pass it on to the people that I’m praying for. After all, I am here to heal and not to pass on a deadly disease to people,” said Black Elisha.
This is where the hand sanitisers are used and he has helpers to make sure to protect the very people who are seeking help.
“We do our excursions in the mountains so the social distancing is easy to enforce and I have helpers that also make sure that people are sanitised and observe other rules that pertain to Covid-19. Whenever we journey up the mountain, the people will be spaced out for social distancing,” said Black Elisha.
When someone goes to prophets, they receive holy water or anointing oil, and Black Elisha says he is still dishing them out, but in a hygienic manner.
“When they get to the mountain, what they get from me is a bottle of sparkling water. Of course, times have changed and we just don’t hand people bottles of water willy-nilly. We do so in a hygienic manner and we make sure that it is 100 percent safe. That water is for chasing up spirits and even in these times when people are worried about coronavirus, it is still important,” said Black Elisha.
Some of these healing sessions one observes people carrying padlocks.
From previous reports about Black Elisha, he is famed for his “locking” unfaithful husbands.
But this is not always the case, Black Elisha said he was helping people “unlock” their destinies.
“When I take them to the mountain and tell them that everyone should spring a padlock, I’ll be unlocking things that are troublesome in their lives. When we get there and after our sessions of prayer, I then tell them to spring the padlocks that they would have got because that is, the way that they would release the things that are holding them back in their lives. So, I’ll be unlocking their destinies while we are there,” he said.
Many people have problems in life and Black Elisha said he does not discriminate, hence the large following he has.
“When I go to the mountain, I take everyone. There is no discrimination because when it comes to religious matters and when I go there everyone should feel welcome,” said Black Elisha.
Interestingly, other church leaders come to him for “powers”.
Indeed, these are unusual times in the new normal as what people took for granted like going to church to meet up with their churchmates could be taken away.
Healing crusades of the old are now hard to do because of Covid-19, and hopefully prophets likewise take a step to adjust to their ways, in order for people top receive their healing.