When The Almighty says yes, nobody can say no. Fitting words to describe the events on 3rd of February 2018. The day of the official ordination of 6 servants of the covenant, solidifying their ties as servants of the Lord and anointed bearers of the word.

For Preachers Okuhle Njiyela and Z Soni, Evangelist S’bonga Mthembu and Pastors Thembile Khambule, Thami Masikane and Mapule Ngobese, this truly was the day the Lord has chosen.

The Durban Art Gallery was the venue for this historic and grand occasion, which coincided with the Homecoming Exhibition of Sir Zanele Muholi being held in the same venue. Sir Muholi is a prominent South African photographer and visual activist whose main objective is to document and rewrite the visual narrative of the LGBTIQ+ society in South Africa.

The ordination was conducted by Apostle Zenzi Zungu of the Victory Ministries International Church (VMCI) at the DAG under the banner, Religion and Spirituality in LGBTIQ+ community. Its purpose is to educate, inform and engage the public on the psychological challenges facing the growing and evolving community focusing on LGBTIQ+ and the grand narratives of religion and spirituality. VMCI is a well-known gay friendly church in Durban with 8 branches around the country.

The event was well attended. Pastors from various non-LGBTIQ+ churches, church members came in full support, donning the beautiful church colours and the general public. The key speakers of the day were Mr Thembinkosi Ngcobo, Head of Parks, Recreation and Culture for eThekwini Municipality, Pastor Ndabanhle Myeza, also a motivational speaker and psychologist.

Evangelist Menzi Nxumalo was the programme director, who led the programme with such aplomb.

Mr Ngcobo, opened the proceedings and welcomed everyone, with a heartfelt, powerful speech, elaborating on how pre 1994 our country was divided by racial and religious discrimination. He also drew attention to how in our societies today, these divides still exist now in the form of discrimination by sexual preferences. He also outlined the role of Museums as placing for engagement and contradictions. Pastor Myeza gave an insightful look at the origins of black people and highlighted the godly power of black women and how these powers have undermined and scorned gender discrimination while correcting the myth around many religious constructs within African spirituality.

After the speeches guests were treated to worship and praise worthy of such an occasion. The artists were absolutely amazing, you could feel the spirit flowing through the gallery. Ps Sibisi delivered the word of God. The signing of the oaths was conducted by Magistrate Q Khuzwayo, also a member of the VMCI church.

The ordination process commenced, with Apostle Zungu leading it. The Apostle read a few verses from the bible, before the washing of the feet and donning of the church regalia. As each ordainee went through the process, clapping and ululating was heard reverberating through the gallery.

The ordained pastors were than given a chance to reply.

Evangelist Mthembu spoke about the gospel of Matthew where disciple Peter said to Jesus “If it is you Lord, call me unto to you”. Peter walked on water, because of his faith but faith has limits because when his feet were starting to sink he was afraid and Jesus reached out his hand and said “You of little faith, why do you doubt me”. Sometimes it can seem like Jesus is not responding to your prayers but all he is doing is waiting to see if you have faith in him.

Ps Masikane opened Exodus 14 verses 9-14.

Ps Soni further re iterated what Ps Sibisi preached, he spoke faith through trying times that even when the waters are rough, he knows he will survive them, if he walks with the Lord. Even when people talk bad about him, he will keep his faith in the Lord.

Ps Khambule opened the book of Numbers 21 verses 4-9

Ps Ngobese preached on the power given to every human being: taken from Genesis 1:26, she encouraged everyone to stand up and act. The power is within.

Closing remarks were given by church elder Zonke Zulu. There after everyone was mingling and taking pictures with the guests of honour and also enjoying a nice lunch.

All in all the event was truly blessed from above, God and His word were the true guests of honour.

Apart from a rather grim article in one of the publications about the ordination, which threatened to dim the light of the whole event with its uninformed and insipid reporting, focusing on one individual and their lifestyle, defeating the whole purpose of the event.

As UniqMag we are launching a campaign to banish the use of the word ‘isitabane’ in the Zulu language publications, we feel, actually the word is derogatory, we don’t even know how it originated. We have started a petition for this, to send across the country for signing. Pushing to make the use of this word illegal, especially in written publications.

We can’t change people in the blink of an eye but we can educate them to move towards change. Our main aim and purpose for this campaign is to promote tolerance for the homosexual community, to be treated fairly and equally. Being homosexual doesn’t mean one is handicapped, we are more than capable human beings, yet we still meet resistance and ridicule just because of our sexual preference.

By Uniq Reporter