Abafundisi is a reality TV series that lends a gaze into the world of religion through the lives of different leaders in the Christian community. It delves into the daily issues that affect a lot of South African Christians when it comes to spirituality and religion, and the roles the two play in people’s lives. The show offers a fresh perspective on the men and women of God who are determined to meet people who they can inspire a resurgence of faith in.
Let’s meet Abafundisi, the teachers of the Word
Joshua Maponga is a 51-year-old family man and father of four from the Seventh-Day Adventist Ministry. He’s a motivational speaker, social entrepreneur, philosopher, musician and leader. Joshua spent years in corporate, religious and social spaces, a time that has made him, by his own words, “a creative powerhouse”. There are those who think in the box, there are those who think outside of the box then there are those who break the box and think. The latter would be Joshua.
He lives and breathes change, his dynamic thinking has surely broken social, religious, economic and national boundaries. Joshua is the CEO of the institute Farmers of Thought, whose core business is to build a consciousness and improve the quality of human experiences. He is a pragmatic African citizen with a global view. “Think globally and act locally,” he implores. He plays a dozen musical instruments in addition to being a writer, speaker, life coach and social entrepreneur – indeed a man of no limitations.
The birth of his two daughters and their growths have inspired him to develop tools for youth development and parenting. His latest book, Shopping Skills, has been well received and comes after his first book, So You Want to Be the Master?, which is a bestseller.
Reverend Doctor Tebo Moema is a 55-year-old married pastor and motivational speaker. His ministry is the Hope and Unity Metropolitan Christian Church (HUMCC). He describes himself as a revolutionary, care-free, articulate and extremely liberated pastor who preaches the gospel of love, unity and family support, which he terms the “vortex of power”.
Churches are known to “pray the gay away”, and this is where he is disrupting the norm and asserting his existence in spaces that exclude his kind. Several of the churches where Pastor Moema preaches are attended and administered by heterosexuals, many of whom believe any person from the LGBTQI+ community is an abomination.
Pastor Moema is not only famous for his sexuality but for his tireless work in the LGBTQI+ community and being the founder of HUMCC that was created as a safe space for other LGBTQI+ religious people. The church is situated on top of the then-famous gay bar known as Skyline Bar in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. While doing this work, Pastor Moema together with other religious gay people opened up more branches across South Africa to ensure more LGBTQI+ people had access to a safe space to worship God despite their sexual orientations.
He further states that part of the ministry was to train other pastors who were struggling to reconcile with their sexualities while also being religious. Dr Moema has been a victim of discrimination and his ministry, Dominion Life, has come under fire. He said he wanted Abafundisi to highlight people coming out despite cultural, religious and social attitudes.
“The church should be a school of love. I found my liberty many years ago and I never backed down. This show will bring a big change in the attitudes of people in South Africa” – REVEREND DOCTOR TEBO MOEMA
Pastor Enoch Phiri is the founder and senior pastor of the ministry Restoration House and a father of three children. He is a writer, radio and TV personality, mentor and a kingdom preacher, and has touched millions of lives through his Taking Dominion TV and radio programmes across South Africa, as well as the entire continent. Pastor Phiri is well-known for his exciting sermons at Restoration House Church in Soweto and his helping hand across the greater Johannesburg area, but more so for his television shows on ONE Gospel and TBN.
He describes himself as an apostolic strategist, communicator, teacher, thinker and progressive leader. He possesses a passion for ministering the Word of God in a clear, provocative and revelatory manner that is well received by all generations and cultural groups. Pastor Phiri has been preaching and training people all over the world for the past 15 years. He has travelled extensively in Europe, Africa and North America, impacting people’s lives with the message of hope.
He holds a degree in theology and social sciences. On his TV show, he has been open about the issue of land restitution, vocalising his belief that the challenges facing South Africans today are because land and economic transformation were not properly managed by the government. He’s also been very forthcoming on his marital woes which have been publicised by the tabloids, especially when his estranged wife allegedly celebrated their separation by going out to a tavern for a drink.
Watch Abafundisi season 1 on Tuesdays on Moja Love (DStv channel 157) at 10pm
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