• July 9th, 2020

‘Rise, take your mat and walk’… Namibian women prayer for Zimbabwe a resounding success

March 7 2020 will go into the annals of the history of Zimbabwe as a special day when women all over the world prayed for the woes this beautiful southern African country is facing to come to an end. It was therefore befitting and in line for Namibian women to organize a prayer for Zimbabwe at the Lutheran Evangelical Church in Khomasdal, Windhoek last Saturday. When I arrived at the event, it did not surprise me to see masses of women who had filled up the church to the brim. I was one of a handful men that attended the occasion. I realized that it was a women’s business affair, although men were also welcome. It was a organized affair with a distinguished woman parliamentarian leading the proceedings so well.

 Throughout the day, the spirit of sisterhood prevailed as scores of Namibian women gave spellbound prayers dedicated to Zimbabwe and its people. The carefully chosen theme of the women’s world day of prayer exhorted Zimbabwe to “Rise, take your mat and walk” (John 5:1-9a}. As if there was a rehearsal before the event, each of the women’s prayers revolved around this theme, and drove home the plea that Zimbabwe must be delivered from the all the challenges that are bedevilling it as a nation. In their prayers, the Namibian women expressed solidarity to their Zimbabwean counterparts. In the wake of a plethora of challenges facing Zimbabwean women, prayer after prayer encouraged them to keep faith and trust in God. There was hope that one day Zimbabwe would restore its breadbasket-of-Africa status. Taking the cue from Jesus when he asked an invalid man who had had this condition for thirty-eight years, the women’s underlying message was that Zimbabweans must rise, take their mats and walk. The prayers, punctuated by melodious songs, drummed up this message of salvation in such a persuasive way that the congregants chanted “Zimbabwe, rise, take your mat and walk” incessantly. Justifiably, this became the mantra of the day that drove the women masses into some emotional spells during the whole proceedings – all that for the love of their Zimbabwean fellow women. The love that radiated throughout the whole proceedings was real and tangible – true Namibian love for Zimbabweans.

Visibly showing that she had been emotionally touched by the prayers and the messages of solidarity delivered at the colourful event, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Namibia, Her Excellency Rofina Chikava had this to say: “The message and the prayer resonate with my fellow country women as they encourage us to trust the Lord and believe in his power, that he will always intervene where we think there is no solution, Today is the day we call to God and ask him to guide us through all the challenges that Zimbabwe is going through and to make us rise up to the occasion and conquer the adversaries in our lives and country.” She thanked the organisers of the day of prayer for Zimbabwe, adding that she felt honoured to be part of the women who had gathered to pray for Zimbabwe.

Besides this prayer day, the crowd learnt that the Zimbabwean First Lady, Auxillia Mnangagwa, had launched the Zimbabwe National Day of Prayer in October 2019. “This day is celebrated by women of interdenominational churches to pray and ask the Lord for guidance, prosperity and peace for our people,” Chikava said.

Chikava told the women that the economic challenges Zimbabwe is facing were worsened by the debilitating sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West. She hailed the European Union for easing off some sanctions it had imposed on Zimbabwe and said such a move was welcome as it would result in the economic development and prosperity to the country and its people. It was in a similar vein that Chikava expressed hope that that other countries like the United States would soon follow the EU example so that in the end Zimbabwe would rise and walk to restore its glory days. 

Some of the challenges women prayed for included droughts, wars, climate change, uncurable diseases like Covid 19, HIV/AIDS, cancer and many inequalities, especially gender inequality. These and other challenges have ravaged mankind and continue to be risks that need to be contained before it is too late.
Senior government officials, ministers, members of parliament and councillors, members of the diplomatic corps, women from different churches and Zimbabwean women living in Namibia attended the glorious women’s day of prayer for Zimbabwe. Learners from Sunshine Private School Marimba Band, symbolically all girls, played scintillating music at intervals. The marimba sounds, a new phenomenon in Namibia from Zimbabwe, fascinated and enthralled the women prayers. 

To all intents and purposes, the Namibian women’s prayer day for Zimbabwe was a huge success. Judging from the jubilation during and after the prayer session, it can be concluded that the prayers had brought confidence, trust and faith in the women that Zimbabweans are going to rise, take their mats and walk. As they parted, the women repeatedly said to one another “Rise, take your mat and walk.” Literally and metaphorically, I found this verse or mantra to be applicable to many trials and tribulations that we experience in our lives. Tribute goes to the Namibian women and the women of the world for setting aside a day of prayer for beautiful Zimbabwe, the “house of stones”, (originally, dzimba - houses; dze - of;  mambwe - stones).

*Professor Jairos Kangira is the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Namibia. He writes on his own accord. Please send your comments to: kjairos@gmail.com

Staff Reporter
2020-03-13 10:32:09 | 3 months ago

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