From Mama Mzigo to Mama Kanisa

Tell how someone you know in your country was spiritually transformed by the written word. Vestine Umubyeyi of Kenya responded with this submission to the LittWorld 2012 writing contest:

Mama Mzigo’s former job was to carry people’s loads to earn a living. Hence her name Mama Mzigo, which means “Mother Loads” (or the mother who carries loads for people). She tells how her nickname, along with her spiritual status, was changed to be “Mother Church,” thanks to a church that was built near her home.

In her childhood Mama Mzigo was abused by her four stepmothers. She had an early [singlepic id=38 w=320 h=240 float=right]marriage when she was only twelve and found herself with three of her husband’s concubines. Although she became a widow with six children to raise by herself, the heaviest burden she carried was her nickname Mama Mzigo. She felt compelled to respond to it because she needed money to raise her children. She had no other choice.

One day her children, who had been attending a church newly built near their home, came singing an English song that stirred her: “I’m no longer the same, I’m no longer the same; He has changed my name and given me a new name, I’m no longer the same.”

Mama Mzigo could understand the meaning of the song but she wondered in her heart, “Who is that who can change someone’s name and behavior?” She was curious to know this person and this led her to go to the church.

That day the preacher preached in the Gospel of Luke 10:20 where Jesus was urging his disciples to rejoice because their names were written in heaven. The preacher went on to show how the Lord had changed Simon Peter and Paul’s names and lives. She longed also to see the Lord change her and her name. Her prayer was answered. Due to her zeal to work for the Lord, she was appointed deacon in the church and people started calling her Mama Kanisa, which means “Mother Church.”

Learn how you can submit articles and win cash in the LittWorld 2012 writing contest, “Blogging for Global Impact.”

This article was originally submitted in French. The English translation is by Benjamin Kisoni.

Photo above courtesy africa

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