Christianity questioned in book

Themba Ngada with Sonwabile Dwangu.

An isiXhosa book that questions Christianity was launched at the Khayelitsha library in Site B on Saturday July 29.

In the book, Ubungqina bobuKrestu bama-Afrika, the late Archbishop Ndumiso Ngada unpacked the church’s relationship with its congregants and the lifestyle which they have to follow.

The renowned and outspoken archbishop said Christianity is unfair to people of African origin and their way of life.

He felt that even if missionaries did not come with the Bible, Africans would still have known God.

He said Africans had their way of praising God, which they call Qamata.

In the book, he says Africans were not only colonised but were robbed of their heritage too.

His son and the publisher, Themba Ngada, said when his father decided on what to write about, he chose something that would be interesting and intriguing.

“He felt very strongly that the West was being unfair to the way we praise. He felt it was unfair for Christianity to tell people how to lead their life, how to behave and what to wear. He questioned the Christian way of doing things. He felt Christianity was not real. He said how can’t one be allowed to be black in Christianity. He wanted to liberate Africans. The book is about that,” he told Vukani.

Mr Ngada said although the book was only being launched now, it had been written by his father a while ago.

After his father passed on in 2013, Mr Ngada took the manuscript to the printers and had it published.

However, he believes most of the things his father questioned have changed and churches are changing for the better.

“There is a change in churches now. For instance if you go to (the) Methodist (church) you can feel that Africanism. People are today beating drums. There are two services now in most churches. There is one for Africans and the other for white people. That shows a significant change in the churches. His wishes and struggle is being rewarded. But the truth is we are not really liberated,” he said.

Asked about who is going to read the book when reports are that people are no longer reading books, Mr Ngada dismissed such myth as nonsense.

He said a few days after the book was launched in other parts of the country, it sold like hot cakes.

“People would read what does not reflect on them and their aspirations. Those who say black people do not read and if you want to hide money from them you can put it in a book, that is nonsense. When I fly to the Eastern Cape, I sell more than 80 books on the plane to black people. It is because they relate to what is in the book. When we write we need to represent people and write what is in their interest. You can’t feed people with something they do not relate to,” he said.

He said black writers are still going to struggle for as long as they don’t have their own publishing companies.

He added that authors who rely on government will die with nothing because the current government is not interested in working with black writers.

Archbishop Ngada was a founder of the United Independent Believers in Christ Church, African Spiritual Churches Association and Spiritual Churches Research and Theological Institute and Federal Council of African Indigenous Churches.

The book was published by Amava Heritage Publishing. The foreword of the book is by Reverend Mzukisi Faleni.

For more information, call Amava on 074 580 9539 or email