CONGREGANTS and other followers yearned for more without realising that time had come for the young prophet, Emmanuel Nyirongo to bid his farewell.
Born and bred in Kitwe, Prophet Nyirongo, who died last Sunday at the age of 30, in a road traffic accident has left many with questions that will never be answered, surrounding his prophetic life.
Prior to his death, Prophet Nyirongo, who was put to rest yesterday, was in the limelight for having turned water into paraffin, something that has drawn attention from many.
The tragic accident happened on the Ndola-Kitwe dual carriageway near Baluba area and claimed two other lives, all clergymen, leaving other passengers battling for their lives.
The writing on the wall was clear when news filtered through people’s ears on that fateful Sunday morning that the demise of Prophet Nyirongo caused devastation among not only his faithful followers, but also many others who knew him and those that heard about the man’s tales of having miraculously turned water into paraffin.
The Copperbelt Times had an undertaking to obtain an insight into Prophet Nyirongo’s life on earth.
Born on December 10, 1985, in Kitwe’s Ndeke Township, Prophet Nyirongo is the second-born in a family of four, with their father being Netson Nyirongo and mother Christine Chulumanda.
Prophet Nyirongo enrolled for school at Justin Primary School and later transferred to Rokana where he completed his primary education.
For his secondary education, Prophet Nyirongo went to Mukuba and later Ndeke High School where he completed his grade 12 in 2003, as school headboy.
According to his younger brother, Masuzyo, Prophet Nyirongo’s character during his early life was more on the reserved side.
Masuzyo explained that Prophet Nyirongo demonstrated maturity in his character as he mingled much with the elderly than his peers.
It was while at Mukuba Secondary School that he developed the desire to serve God by devoting much of his time reading the Bible and watching more of religious programmes such as that of Been Hinn and others on television with Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) channel then being his favourite.
“After school, prophet Nyirongo surprised all of us by declaring that he was not going to pursue tertiary education but would rather go into ministering the word of God,” said Masuzyo.
This declaration did not go too well with family members who felt it was a misplaced priority.
From then onwards, Prophet Nyirongo started devoting more of his time to God by attending over-night prayer meetings and other Christian activities sometimes even at the disapproval of his parents.
“At times, Prophet Nyirongo would pick me up for overnight prayer meetings and our parents would rebuke us for not prioritising education,” Masuzyo narrates.
Prophet Nyirongo in no time shamed his critics by establishing his own ‘Prophetic Faith Mission’ congregation which started small and conducted church programmes at Wesley Nyirenda School in Ndeke where he rented a classroom.
By then, the number of congregants was small and at times only comprised not more than 10 people who mostly where family members.
This however did not deter him, who with his eloquence, charisma and bravery, slowly but steadily began to attract more followers who believed in his prophetic life and this saw them relocate to Matete Primary School in 2005 in Nkana East where the church continued to register growth.
It was until 2009 when the church relocated to UNZA premises within Nkana East where they rented a hall which in no time started recording a high turnout.
Supported by many including Zambia National Soccer Team player Francis Kasonde among others, Prophet Nyirongo’s rise to prominence began to take shape as he started running weekly Christian programmes on ZNBC TV1 called ‘30 minutes of power with Prophet Emmanuel Nyirongo’.
Prophet Nyirongo’s eloquence, charisma and bravery saw him becoming an established international figure, causing him to travel abroad to countries such as South Africa, Malawi, Ghana and Nigeria, for prophetic duties.
Prophetic Faith Mission Church vice-chairperson Elison Sakala described the death of prophet Nyirongo as a big blow to the church.
“We have lost a real vibrant leader who interpreted the Bible in a unique way,” said Mr Sakala.
Mr Sakala said the turning of water into paraffin was not the only miracle Prophet Nyirongo performed as they were many others which did not attract attention.
“I remember at one time during church prayers, there was a lady Prophet Nyirongo called in front and prophesied to her,” Mr Sakala said.
According to Mr Sakala, the prophecy bordered on the lady’s brother who everyone in the family thought had died and yet was still alive and living in Ghana.
“During that prophecy, Prophet Nyirongo said to the lady that if she had doubts: “dial this phone number and talk to your brother” and when she did, they talked on phone and thereafter, the family arranged transport money to enable the brother to return to Zambia,” he said.
Mr Sakala said the church had taken the death of Prophet Nyirongo as a big blow but this would not make them fold as they were determined to forge ahead.
Their belief was that after Prophet Nyirongo, God will provide them another leader to lead the church and follow in Prophet Nyirongo’s footsteps.