(VHO) ABEL MPHAGI – THE BAREFOOTED NATIVE 'PROPHET' AND 'EVANGELIST' OF VENDALAND: A TRANSITION OF INDIGENOUS BELIEF SYSTEMS AND CHRISTIANITY
This paper details the life and ministry exploits of prophet Abel Mphagi. Snowballing was used in identifying Key Informants. Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) were employed to gather data for this paper. Abel Mphagi was a powerful religious personality in the class of many other national religious figures who performed many outstanding miracles and fulfilled prophesies in South Africa in general. Despite Abel Mphagi's influence and exploits, he could not have received any interest or recognition from the various European missionary bodies which operated in the former Vendaland where he operated, because, first, Mphagi never was affiliated to any such organisations. Secondly, Mphagi was never a convert of the missionaries. Thirdly, Mphagi's practices were considered barbaric, unchristian and pagan with weird theology which the missionaries had associated with African witchcraft rather than Christianity. Although Mphagi was to stay celibate for most of his life, he ended up eloping a woman called Miriam who took him to Duthuni Village. Mphagi stopped his work as a result. Mphagi's grave site has been located at Ha-Mphego Village, Thulamela municipality, Vhembe District of Limpopo Province. Mphagi's grave site could be protected and proclaimed a heritage site, at least by the church.
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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)
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