Pan-African publication New African recently named Zimbabwe’s Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa one of the 100 most influential Africans in the Religion/Traditional Leader category.

The 2012 edition of the ranking carried out since 2003 descibes Makandiwa as follows:

A self-proclaimed prophet, Emmanuel Makandiwa rose from a humble rural background to become one of Zimbabwe’s favourite pastors. His family were also devout; his parents elders of the Apostolic Faith Mission Church. In 1995, he teamed up with a local pastor on a gospel crusade. He travelled to Ghana to meet with his spiritual mentor, Prophet Victor Boateng, who advised him on how to set up his own church, the United Family Interdenominational Ministries. Upon his return from Ghana he assumed the title of “prophet”. Today, he fills the 60,000 capacity National Stadium in Harare every Sunday with congregants, but like many of his peers he is criticised for faith-healing claims.

Other leaders featured in this year’s Religion/Traditional Leader category of the New African ranking include: South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nigerians Enoch Adeboye, TB Joshua, Uganda’s Ronald Mwenda Mutebi and Ghanaians Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Mensah Otabil as well as Duncan Williams.

Interviewed by NewsDay, Makandiwa’s spokesperson Pastor Prime Kufakunesu had this to say about the ranking. “Like the Prophet always says, what people are recognising here are not human efforts, but the work of Jesus Christ.”

“It is unfortunate that this London-based paper can identify that Zimbabwe has a man of God of this magnitude yet we have some who choose to ignore,” added Kufakunesu.

According to the same NewsDay report, Makandiwa’s ministry takes care of more than 4,000 orphans and at least 3,500 widows daily, providing basic necessities such as shelter, food and payment of school fees for school-going disadvantaged children.

Earlier this year, wrote that Prophet Makandiwa was featured on the 50 Most Influential Africans List compiled by the Zimbabwean based on a poll among their readers.

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