The Million Dollar Industry Sucking the Life out of the Ordinary African


There are two ways to get rich quick in Africa without having to work your butt off; you become a politician or you become a pastor, either route would get you sitting in a pile of free money quicker than you have ever imagined.

The first route, despicable as it might be, is more conventional. Politics have been the domain of societal elite for a long time, dating all the way back to those scholars in ancient Greece who somehow pioneered the concept of democracy we have all become saddled with this day.

It is expected of the politician, to be rich and to an extent to be corrupt; anyone who makes their living talking people into things they would otherwise not do is seen that way.

But the issue is with recent times pastors in Africa who have joined this bandwagon, and what was in the past the domain of the politician is now being shared equally with a new breed of ‘Men of God’ who are more politician than religious leader.

You know the type; they often turn up to church dressed as if for a ball, they spend non-working hours sometimes covered in bling like a hip hop star, they perform signs and wonders every Sunday, and charge through the roof for consultation, healing artefacts like holy water and handkerchiefs and the like.

This is the new age pastor, and the continent is full of them now. Nobody knows when or how they got their ‘calling’; seemingly all you need is to gather a few friends around you, find a building to start your church, and get that first batch of gullible followers who would grow your church exponentially for you.

This kind of pastor also never moves around without an entourage.

Fundraising is a very common sight in the church, as are ‘fire sales’ for the otherwise ordinary looking products which have been somehow infused with supernatural powers. These are supposed to help you in anything from recovering from an ailment to landing your dream job or spouse.

Offertory time is a big deal in these churches, and is often arranged in a way to encourage competition, such as via day or month of birth. Church members enthusiastically participate, eager to make sure their day or month triumphs because it would bring them what, exactly?

Often the second in command of these churches is a close friend and confidante of the head pastor, one smooth talking individual who sometimes has even more presence than the pastor himself. This one is often heavily involved in any event organised by the church, keeping the mysterious aura around the pastor by making him make as little appearances as person.

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The charisma of the second in command ensures the congregation is kept enthralled despite the absence of the pastor at many events.

Prophecies, miracles, and deliverance are very common place in this church. Often after every service there is a full hour, sometimes more dedicated to this time of extremely well choreographed theatre. People get healed miraculously; others writhe around on the ground and confess their grandiose sins against the lord, whilst most others are told about what would happen in their lives ranging from any time period between a day and a year.

Getting face time with this pastor is a task on its own worthy of a CIA black op. Intense negotiations has to be undergone with the second in command to find any free time for you to be slotted in, but that’s for those who have the presence of mind not to charge anything to meet members of their own flock.

For the others, it’s as easy as raising whatever price has been placed on ‘consultations’ with this modern day Jesus Christ.

It is a whole industry, well choreographed and brilliantly executed that leads the masterminds to riches as sure as night follows day. The pastor often turns up to service opulently dressed, his vice-president just a little less so; the spotlight must always be on the top dog.

This ‘Man of God’ often commands a fleet of vehicles, a house or two, and a well furnished church building that belies their humble beginnings in a poorly lit shack with about fifty church members. It is at this point that you know they have finally arrived.

You see them every day, littering our Television screens with their poorly crafted sermons, barely convincing deliverance and miracle sessions, and ill-advised flashy dressing that sharply contrasts the penury their congregation is condemned to.

You hear them in the news all the time, jumping from one controversy to the next. They are the ones who vandalise public property, or who impregnate some poor teenager and come and tell us it is God’s way of showing their congregation that they are also human, or who have the shamelessness to engage in public feuds which they say should be settled by a public display of powers ala a hip-hop rap battle.

Or maybe they got that one from the bible, when Elijah or Elisha or some other prophet took on the prophets of Baal in a very public pissing contest between God and Baal.

They are the ones who move on from one faux pas to the other, yet somehow maintain their credibility to their incredibly dedicated followership. They are the ones who can do no wrong, and are defended to the death despite their very obvious flaws by a followership who are more reminiscent of brain washed sheep than anything else.

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They have no sensitivity, they revel in the god-like status bestowed on them by their congregation, and often times their true nature shines through, but at that point they are at the messianic stage where they are safe from any rational scrutiny.

They are scum and only thrive through the express permission of a public that refuses to think for itself.

Jesus Christ himself was furious when he found some people trading in the temple, the sacred ground of the religion. No pastor who sells artefacts designed for healing or whatnot at exorbitant prices to a congregation already scratching the bottom to keep up with the tons of offertory and tithes and ‘pastor’s appreciation’ and all the countless extortion schemes deserves any followership.

No pastor is God, no matter how much they try to fool their congregation otherwise. The arrogance to think that anyone needs to pay anything just to get a session with you borders on a messianic complex, or a narcissism Cersei Lannister would be proud of.

Depending on your pastor to get everything done in your life is the quickest way to get nothing done in your life. Always sitting down waiting for the pronunciations of wealth, happiness, jobs, wives/husbands, visas etc; then within the next breath half your meagre possessions are stripped off you in the most legal scam ever, at the same time depriving you of a big part of the means needed to achieve all these dreams, money.

It also ensures you come back the next week for more pronunciations, after which you leave a little poorer than when you entered. The cycle continues indefinitely, whilst the only one who never leaves the church poorer than when they entered is the pastor and his entourage.

These modern day pastor/politician are kings of psychology, keeping their congregation hooked so they come for more the next Sunday. It is a whole new tax free portion of the economy, and it is at the detriment of no one but the ordinary African.

The next time you are in church and it’s time for the fourth money giving activity of the day, take a good hard look at your pastor and at yourself, and try to figure out what ideals they espouse which deserves your meagre earnings whilst they strut around in opulence.


AkosuaGhana says:

Hmmmm this so true. But things can only change of those of us going to church begin to use your heads too. Not just follow these men of God or so they call themselves. We must be able to apply a lot of common sense to their actions and what we call God or worship