“Ngubani othe abazalwane baya bhora?” (who said church people are boring?).
These are the sentiments of TikTok sensation Linhle Ngcongo who posts Christian content on the app to show that church is not boring and to entice young people to go to church.
Lihle (30) was raised in church and believes that young avoid going to church not because they do not want the message of Christ, but how it is delivered is not appealing to them.
“There is so much that goes on in our churches, often you’ll hear people say they do not go to church anymore because of how certain things are done or what so and so said, not because of Christ. So I would like to shift the focus back to Christ.
“A lot of people ask if I am a pastor’s wife, pastor’s child or Sunday School teacher and I am none of those things. I just grew up in the church and I know the dynamics of what goes on there,” she laughs.
She is a medical technologist by profession, and she says she enjoys TikTok because it is different from the seriousness of her day job.
“In the lab there is no room for error and everything is structured. Here I can be playful and talk about Christ, which is something I am passionate about. This is fun and flexible.”
She has done videos about the different types of people in church, how different people greet depending on what is going on in their lives or visiting pastors.
Her latest series of videos has been telling Bible stories in modern or colloquial IsiZulu.
“I had been doing a lot of Christian content and I decided to level up with the Bible stories. I started with Noah’s Ark which was one of my favourites as a child and now I take requests from people who ask for stories.
“So much preparation and hard work goes on behind the scenes for those short videos you see. So even though I know the stories, I go back to the Bible before recording. I reread the stories all over again and I read them in English and IsiZulu. Then I prepare outfits, make up and props,” she says.
Her 6-year-old son is her camera man. She refers to God as “Bro G”, children as “bundle of joy”, disciples as “iskeem sika Jesu”, women as “u girl” and men and “u guy or razo” just like people do in day to day conversations.
“I do not change or disrespect the Word in any way. I just retell the stories just as I would if I was talking to a friend about something that happened in town or something, very conversational,” she adds.
She’s done stories about virgin Mary being told she would be pregnant by the Holy Spirit, Jesus walking on water, Cain and Abel, the wedding in Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle and Judas betraying Jesus to name a few of them.
“I think 2020 has been a good lesson even for those conservative pastors who usually speak against social media because they have had to do virtual services. Social media is all about how you use it. There have been people who have told me that they have removed the dust from their Bibles to read these stories again,” she says.