Howard Feldman

On resurrections and superstitions

2019-04-17 18:00
The 'resurrection' by pastor Alph Lukau. (Screengrab/Twitter)

The 'resurrection' by pastor Alph Lukau. (Screengrab/Twitter)

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The death of anyone is sad. The death of a young man is even sadder. But the death of a young man twice in a matter of weeks is actually quite tragic, writes Howard Feldman.

I am totally freaked out, and I am more than a little surprised that others aren't. Remember Elliot Moyo? His name was really Thabiso Proud Mlanje, and he was the bloke who was "resurrected" by Pastor Alph Lukai at the Alleluia Ministries International Church a few weeks ago? We all saw that video of him waking up from his dead state as he lay more or less peacefully in his coffin. Turns out that he is Zimbabwean.

And he has died. Again. I kid you not. You absolutely cannot under any circumstances make this kind of thing up.

Bad news is that this time it appears to be a lot more serious. And the pastor is not currently in Zimbabwe to lend a hand.

Whereas details and the cause of Thabiso's first fatality are somewhat scant, on this particular occasion, he appears to have died from a terrible case of food poisoning whilst back in Zimbabwe. His family in fact confirmed that he died on April 3. And from what I can understand, this time his death is almost certainly irreversible.

He genuinely has to be the most hapless guy in the world. It's bad enough to shuffle off the mortal coil once, but do so twice in a matter of weeks has to be the worst kind of luck I have encountered. It's like being in two plane crashes in a year or being struck by lightening twice in a season. Of course, it can happen, but it rarely does.

I can't help thinking of what his poor mother would say. I know that my late mom would have had zero sympathy had this been me. "If you want to climb into a coffin and play dead that's fine," she would tut-tut, "but don't come crying to me when you actually do die!" It's pretty much the English version of "jy wil mos!"

I have so many questions about this that I am almost beside myself. I keep wondering if he kept the coffin the first time around, if the pastor felt a little guilty about not being available and of course if he is really dead, or if this is just an attempt to make us feel guilty about sharing the video of death (1.0).

The news was confirmed by eNCA who quoted his brother Stanley who confirmed that it was indeed Thabiso in the resurrection video and that he had died shortly after arriving back in Zimbabwe.

I am not of the Christian faith, but I also am a bit unnerved that the whole story is playing out so close to Easter. It can't be a coincidence, can it?

The death of anyone is sad. The death of a young man is even sadder. But the death of a young man twice in a matter of weeks is actually quite tragic. It's almost too much to handle. Even for me.

I don't know if there is a superstition about climbing into a coffin and playing dead. I don't know if Thabiso is more dead today than he was the first time he perished. I do know that he and the pastor have somewhat of a credibility issue and that makes me somewhat sceptical. All that aside, if he is still alive and living in Zimbabwe, I wish him a long and happy life, and if not, then may his dear soul rest in peace (again).

- Howard Feldman is a keynote speaker and analyst. He is the author of two books and is the morning talk show host on ChaiFM.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

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