Upon arriving at the entrance of the New Jerusalem sect, I encountered three cheerful women and an enthusiastic gentleman who, based on my observation, appeared to be approximately 23 to 25 years old. They greeted me warmly and extended a warm welcome.
Holding my phone in my left hand, a pen and a notebook hidden in my sweater, Nabii Joel who I know the real first name as Sammy, enquires whether I want to see Mwalimu( Yesu wa Tongaren) and directs me where he is.
Ambling towards him happily, I pass by a mud building (church) coated with sand and found him seated on a wood- bench attending to one of his female follower.
Early Life And Education
Born Eliud Wekesa in a small village called Lukhokhwe, Milima Ward, Tongaren Constituency in Bungoma County; shows me a place to sit which is on the same wooden bench he’s seated on with his follower. I sit in between the two and three minutes later, the female follower leaves the stage.
Mr Wekesa, 42 takes me through his works and ministry. According to him, schooled in Mukuyuni Primary and in high school, joined Mukuyuni Secondary School but unluckily; the favour for schooling was never strong in his life. He dropped out of school while in form two and started farming.
The father of eight married to Nabii Benjamin (pictured below), received a divine calling for the gospel at a young age but after a certain age, the calling sprouted in 2009 in the form of an illness that called for spiritual intervention.
After spiritual intervention, Mr Wekesa officially started preaching the gospel, exorcising demons, praying for the sick and healing them through the word and prayer.
However, as the ministry started growing, he opted to found a church and founded New Jerusalem which has come to limelight and made him famous just like the biblical Jesus.
Mystery Behind The Name ‘Jesus of Tongaren ‘
Despite his teachings focusing on the life and ministry of the biblical Jesus, in 2014, one of Kenya’s national media houses featured him on a TV screen and made a punchline, ‘Jesus of Tongaren’ and that made his debut into media but at a lesser percentage till Post COVID-19.
According to Yesu wa Tongaren, God promised to make his name known after a global pandemic which has been fulfilled.
Tribulations And Prophesies
Since he started his ministry, Mr. Wekesa( Jesus of Tongaren) has been arrested and arraigned to court seven time.
The recent arrest happened after the Shakahola Massacre in Kilifi County where the state was monitoring cult religions in the country.
While appearing before the Bungoma County Commander of Police Mr. Francis Kooli for investigation; he pleaded not guilty to: money laundering, leading a cult religion, stopping children from going to school, and stopping his followers from seeking Western medication when feeling unwell.
During Easter, 2023; hence he is a self -acclaimed Jesus; some Kenyans on social media threatened to crucify him, making him seek governmental security over his life.
Further, in response to his crucification because of claiming to be Jesus; he told the press via biblical reference (Revelation 7) saying their thoughts and plans were of the Old Testament and he; belonged to the New Testament.
On the question on why he married yet he is ‘Jesus’; Mwalimu Yesu as his followers call him; quoted Revelation 21: 9 ” adding that he’s of the earth and human body has its own ‘weakness’.
On the last day, he said “Mzee” – God told him that only 168,000 people in the whole world will go to heaven.
Two people will come from Nairobi, Kenyan City, the whole of the United States of America will have four, South Africa 5 and Nigeria will produce no person.
Concerning The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), he claims, Mzee told him will produce none to heaven and that made him ask Mzee( God) as to why not even children?
And Mzee responded: “Their houses will be craves for hyenas and their children, firewoods to consume others.”
In addition, Mzee added: ” my son, preach the gospel. Tell people of western (Kenya).”
How He Curbs Challenges And Situations He’s Happy Of
Yesu wa Tongaren is proud of himself because what God reveals to him always come true. He says God told him that his teachings will reach nations and now, many from western continents are paying him a visit to listen to the gospel.
Facts About Yesu wa Tongaren
- Arrested and arraigned to court 7 times
- Before becoming a preacher, used to be a farmer growing cabbages, tomatoes, sukumawiki and rearing cattle.
- Before entering his main church, there’s a small house near the gate where people cleanse themselves through prayer and repentance before being allowed into his main church.
- He has twelve disciples just like biblical Jesus.
- His visions and prophesies are written in a book and shared with his disciples.
- He has a special chair, table, garments and a bible.
- He prays, exorcises demons, and heals the sick without payment. He does it freely.Z
N/B. At the period of writing this story (22nd, Sept 2023); he had told me during the interview that “in 2024, Kenyan government will experience numerous strikes from different governmental ministries and departments. “