By D. Gumisiriza Mwesigye
I had set my day to end with a visit to the famous Zoe Grounds [Lugogo, Kampala], to hear for myself what is in store for 2020 from Prophet Elvis Mbonye.
The event has been so hyped on social media by his followers (who identify themselves as The Remnants) that one would think it was the week before Christmas all over again. Never mind that it was actually that… Orthodox Christians mark 7 January as Christmas.
But for the Remnants, it was the great date for 2020 revelations and prophecies by their Father (as they at times refer to him).
The late afternoon downpour almost made me change my plans. But my curiosity and anxiety got the better of me. I hate the thought the morning after of F.O.M.O (to hear that he said this, he said that yet I was so near the area).
So I trekked from Bugos, by MUBS and down to Lugogo. After security checks at the entrance, I was there at Zoe Grounds. On the well-lit stage was the band playing while the choir sang.
Also, on the set up were videos for playback and live feed. The sound was just right; the speakers were crisp and clear. The grounds were almost full that there were more people than the chairs.
Shortly afterwards, a Remnant from Kenya, Tess Maina gave an eloquent testimony of how she was able to start her company and how she got out of a sticky situation when her container of goods she imported from China was denied entry into the country.
How she has met with success upon success in her journey of faith and “invoking the grace”.
A few speakers followed, collections were done, the choir sang and band played on.
Throughout there were cheers and shouts from the crowd, which provided a backdrop to the goings-on. Then, the anticipation heightened with the announcement that the Prophet was on his way.
It was a grand entrance. But I guess this is how he comes in every Tuesday when the Remnants gather. A police lead car and a convoy of white Range Rovers.
He jumped out of one when the door was opened and walked fast on the carpet laid out, headed straight to the podium, and joined in song.
And there were several songs as the mood built to the main event. The Prophet sang along though he seemed a bit off-key in some places.
Then he started to talk about what he saw when he went into a prophetic retreat and communion with God. He used an around-about way to get to the point.
He asked about the flags that were being waved in the crowd. He pointed at one, Canada!! was the response.
He said there would be change of government. And that? US!! He said they needed to pray for the great nation. Kenya!! He foresaw some political disturbances. Urged on by the crowd, he turned to the Ugandan flag to a round of applause. The excitement was probably due to the fact that we were more keen on what is in store for us than other nations.
The Prophet told his followers that they need to pray for the country. He shook his head, touched his chin, and with sarcastic laugh as he paced the stage.
From what he said… let’s brace ourselves for scandals, exposes, drama and controversy.
From a mess at NIRA, to scandals in property or real estate sector to a top politico being hospitalised to a top scholar being caught up in a situation. Who did he see? I don’t know neither did the Prophet mention names. He pointed at a little black book he came with. He only commented that if he was to reveal all that is in it… then laughed. He left us hanging there.
He told his followers that a great door has been opened unto them, they would be showered with opportunities and blessings in this year in all sectors: politics, business, entertainment, industry, trade, etc.
After the prophecies were done, there were more songs as we wound up the night.
Prophet Mbonye then left the stage and sat on a sofa chair that was set facing the stage. Maybe to relax after the session or meet and greet with selected persons. I didn’t know what was to follow but the crowd started to leave.
For a while, I felt like getting near the sofa but decided to move with the others for the exit. I asked myself what is it about this man that has built a fervent following and attracted keen interest along with intense scrutiny in his ministry.
He is not a fire-and-brimstone preacher; he is actually measured in tone and speaks carefully pausing often for effect. Neither is he a giant in stature nor does he have a famous family name.
There is no discounting the fact there is a well-oiled PR machinery that manages his public image. The mystique is enhanced by what is called X factor. Prophet Mbonye has the mystique and X factor that makes the who and what questions hard to answer in a way.
His appeal perhaps comes from the audacity to embolden the Remnants. The chutzpah to tell them that gold and silver is theirs to inherit. To make them believe that if they are children of an Almighty God, then they can surmount earthly limits because of His Infiniteness.
In a society that makes us believe that our destinies are guided by fate, religious leaders who seemed disconnected from the desires of their flocks and timid of authorities, the Prophet’s message finds a fertile ground in a mostly youthful population.