Durban — More than 10 000 Nazareth Baptist Church devotees embarked on a march through the streets of eThekwini on a spiritual pilgrimage to the Moses Mabhida Stadium where the Unyazi Lwezulu provided spiritual guidance to his sheep.
The biggest religious congregation of KwaZulu-Natal province was engaged in the gathering to mark its inaugural eThekwini prayer, an occasion the church is planning to make an annual event, in order to pray for peace, harmony and safety of the KZN citizens.
The initial prayer session, which the church, in collaboration with eThekwini Municipality aimed at holding annually, was held on Thursday.
The ANC said that Thursday's Holy Walk, and prayer, was a reminder of the rich history of the Nazareth Baptist Church.
KZN ANC spokesperson Mafika Mndebele said: “We recall that the founder of Ibandla lama Nazaretha, uBaba Isaiah Shembe arrived at the Durban Station – which is now called the Workshop Shopping Mall on March 10, in 1910.
“We appreciate the fact that through this Holy Walk, Inkosi yamaNazareth aseBuhleni and the entire leadership of the church reminded all of us that Shembe lived opposite Sahara Stadium in a two-story wooden house, in which he stayed there until 1911.
“In 1914 he baptised, for the first time, thirty people at the beachfront. This baptism ceremony was observed by a guard assigned by the Durban City officials”.
Mndebele stated that they have been informed about his interaction with the Durban City officials, who respected him as their spiritual leader.
“It is this rich history that we must celebrate and preserve for future generations,” Mndebele added.
Mndebele further stated that as the ANC in the province, they appreciated the fact that leaders of political parties and ordinary members of society across all political lines displayed unity throughout the day, during the prayer session.
“We thank Inkosi yamaNazaretha aseBuhleni – Unyazi LweZulu for being a unifier and our father,” Mndebele said.
He added that the display of unity of leaders across all levels and society was made possible through this Holy Walk, and said it must be sustained in order to build a stronger province socially and economically.
“It is the unity behind a common vision of building a prosperous future that will earn us a place in the community of nations.
“We remain grateful and we always feel warm in the presence of such a great leader who treats all of us equally as his children,” Mndebele said.
KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube said that they were at the prayer to pray for peace in the province.
“We pray for the peace and tolerant through all our people. We also pray for our learners and the youth to be able love each other and have peace. We also urge that the ongoing GBVF perpetrated on women and children must come to an end.
“We also pray that our province must create enough job opportunities for all its people, so that the rampant poverty is ended,” prayed Dube-Ncube.
Nazareth Baptist Church spokesperson Thokozani Mncwabe said that they were happy that the pilgrimage to the Moses Mabhida Stadium went without any glitches, and felt that the first of the many yearly-prayers at the stadium was a huge success, and marked the beginning of the much-needed peace, harmony and safety of the people of KZN.
In the lead-up to the prayer, devotees walked from the beginning of Dr Pixley ka Seme Street and turned into Samora Machel Street, towards Masabalala Yengwa Avenue, and ended at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Metro Police ensured the smooth flow of traffic during the walk, and around the Moses Mabhida Stadium precinct.
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