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Lukau's stunt put my fruitful idea in danger

Vusi Nzapheza Straight & 2 Beers
Members of the Alleluia International Ministries were left astonished and paralysed last week as Pastor Alph Lukau prayed for a 'corpse' to rise from the dead as family members watched in disbelief.
Members of the Alleluia International Ministries were left astonished and paralysed last week as Pastor Alph Lukau prayed for a 'corpse' to rise from the dead as family members watched in disbelief.

On a hot summer day last month, I was hanging around with family and friends, cooling down with a watermelon.

I prefer my watermelon with a dash of vodka but could not impose it on teetotallers. Like most people, we ate the pink fruit and discarded the white and green parts.

My sister pointed out that the most nutritious part of a watermelon was in fact the white part.

We whipped out our smartphones to settle the argument. Google confirmed that, like its cousin the cucumber, the whole watermelon is edible. The rind of a watermelon can reduce blood pressure, can ward off prostate cancer and some research shows it may help with moderate erectile dysfunction.

I immediately had a light bulb moment. We could start a church and serve congregants the white of a watermelon as holy sacrament.

When the land is returned, we'd plant watermelon and our supporters would derive health benefits offered by pastor Nzapheza at FNB Stadium.

Unlike other churches that give people pure water claiming it's anointed, we'd actually be doing good, like that church that serves tea without sugar.

My doctor friend has confirmed that cutting down on sugar does improve health. We agreed that our idea needed pursuing because in SA, the quickest route to riches is either in politics or religion.

We were, however, stumped like the rest of the country this week when we heard of Pastor Alph Lukau's stunt where he resurrected a "corpse".

On the video, we all saw the modern-day Lazarus rise from an open coffin as Lukau prayed for him.

With his mouth gaping like a fish with advanced zombie syndrome, the man in a white suit made a U-turn when his spirit reconnected with his "lifeless" body. With his phone in the breast pocket, Elliot seemed prepared to send his friends a WhatsApp when he reached the Pearly gates.

Instead of running for dear life, the gathered crowd hailed Lukau's miracle when Elliot got on his feet and was served a hot seven-colours lunch.

The video quickly went viral with the disbelieving world saying Lukau had crossed the line with his gimmick. The funeral parlours contracted to handle Elliot's body were not amused and threatened to take action against Lukau.

I understand perfectly where they come from. Their business is death and the loss of spooky business as a result of an exuberant pastor who resurrects clients is not good for business.

Lukau did an about-turn after the resulting fallout and the church claimed Elliot was undead on arrival. All the pastor did was "to complete a miracle that God had already started".

Lukau's flashy lifestyle has come back to haunt him as pictures of his fleet of luxury cars and police escorts have been exposed.

As a budding watermelon pastor, I was also incensed that our religion can be brought into disrepute by a Lazarus stunt. Lukau could have gone for the old trusted wheelchair gimmick without anyone batting an eyelid.

Now even President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed concern with the conduct of some pastors. I certainly do not want magapu (watermelons) to come under political scrutiny even before I start serving the rind to the impotent.

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