His website’s name is Repent and Prepare the Way; his radio station is called Jesus is Lord Radio. He claims humanity is on the brink of the apocalypse and must be ready for the second coming of Jesus. He also claims to have the gift of prophesy and healing, and draws thousands to his “Revivals” and “Crusades” at the three main centres of Christianity in Kenya: Kisumu, at Lake Victoria; Nakuru, in the great Rift Valley, and the capital Nairobi.
His name is Dr David Owuor but he’s also called “The Luo Prophet” by some (he’s from the Luo tribe in Kenya), the “Man of God” and “Prophet of Jehovah” by his followers, and a sham by others. Like many other celebrity pastors, he has flamboyant style – he rides in a Benz and wears long-tailed white suits. Owuor is overtly critical of the Church, orthodox or otherwise, for its corruption and money-making concerns. In turn, religious leaders have raised questions about his “activities”, called for him to be investigated and dubbed him the “prophet of doom”.
Videos of him on YouTube include prophesies, made at distant locations about distant locations. He’s been hosted in Venezuela, South Korea, Oslo and Paris.
In July 2009 he reportedly had a vision at OR Tambo International Airport of the Pale Horse coming to earth, thus breaking the Fourth Seal of the Apocalypse.
A year and a half later, on February 8 2011, as Egyptian demonstrators were crossing the bridge to Tahrir Square, something strange seemed to appear in the news footage of the day – a phantom horse. Owuor saw it and hailed it as his prophecy fulfilled.
His other self-proclaimed successes include summoning rain on June 5 2005 in front of a stadium crowd (video here) and predicting, back in 2004, the full scale and extent of Kenya’s post-election violence that occurred three years later.
While I am not a practising Christian myself, I am wont to believe that prophesies can come true, that miracles do indeed happen. So I thought it might be interesting to interview the man and see what he had to say about prophesy, healing and celebrity.
I tried to reach him on the numbers listed on his website and filled out a few ‘contact us’ forms, but received no reply. I dialled a number that a well-connected friend got for me. My calls were cut. Eventually I managed to get a separate email address for the ‘Repentance Office’ and sent my request there again.
The next day, I received this reply:
The Man Of GOD The Mighty Prophet Of JEHOVAH has just returned from THE ITALY NATIONAL CONFERENCE, and HE has ACCEPTED to set time for your interview. However, please get in touch with the ARCHBISHOP Dr. PAUL ONJORO who schedules THE MAN OF GOD’S MEETINGS, that a date my be localized for you. This is very important because THE MAN OF GOD will soon go into a seclusion of prayers and Total Dry Fast for the upcoming HEALING SERVICE and as the guests pastors from abroad begin to arrive, HE will be really tied up timewise.
Sent from my iPhone
I replied immediately via email, asking for the Archbishop’s contact details. No response. My repeated SMSs to the number I had already went unanswered. I gave up.
A few days later, I received a call saying that I could indeed interview The Prophet in a few hours, just before he left Nairobi for his Nakuru ‘miracle healing crusade’ held on 9 – 12 August. As I got ready to meet him, I received a text message cancelling our appointment.
I ended up watching most of the first day of Owuor’s event on television. I saw people claiming to have been healed of various diseases, including HIV. A ‘medical expert’ was on hand to testify to the HIV cures. He was holding what I assume were medical records so it’s not clear whether these miracles happened at Nakuru or before. Another man claimed to be healed of his blindness. He reported seeing “a blue sky with bits of white” for the first time. A woman in a new and impeccable suit had already removed her tatty back harness by time she got onto the stage. She jumped and down in joy, saying that previously she couldn’t even sit. She sat now, beaming. There were others who gave testimony too during that first day and each of them were rewarded with a bottle of Fanta, handed out by The Prophet himself.
The three-day event made the headlines not only for this, but because two people died while waiting to be healed. Whatever the case, about this incident and other things, it’s clear that the good doctor and his people don’t want to answer any questions.
Brian Rath was born and raised in Cape Town. He now lives and writes in Kenya, and recently had a novel published.