Zimbabwe is awash with churches.
There are probably more churches in Zimbabwe than there are bars in Las Vegas; and that should be very worrying.
Many have the hallmark of religious betting shops, easily making gullible ‘‘believers’’ part with the few mickles of money they will be having in their torn pocket all with the promise of assurances of prosperity should they ‘‘seed’’.
Which is why eyebrows were raised when iconic musical couple Baba and Mai Charamba said they were starting their own church, named Rooted in Christ Ministries, according to media pronouncements last week and subsequently held their first ‘‘service’’ in a rented auditorium.
And yet while many people always struggle with the launching of yet another church. Perhaps this is one gathering that was long overdue.
Fact is Baba Charamba in his humility will say he felt a need to grow and minister yet many would read into his time of leaving as pointing to the fact that perhaps he and his wife and family had enough of the prevailing drama at their erstwhile AFM congregation.
Madziyire incorporated, as it had become, was seeing more warring, fighting and explosions than Yemen, Syria and Iraq combined. Fighting in churches tends to leave people terribly fatigued and perhaps the Charambas were tired too. But that would be mere speculation.
Then there are facts.
Those who have observed the Charambas over the years will attest to the fact that there is one great take out from word that their church has finally taken shape.
Their ministry is one that certainly will not be factored around money. The Charambas have never been the type to be big spending gluttons.
It is the family values that the couple preaches that will no doubt be a draw-card.
In a country where divorces and broken homes are the norm, the institution of the family has been suffering and barely been addressed in the world of religion as many preach monetary benefit above all else.
The lived reality of the Charambas being a strong family that leads by example as a strong family unit is something that will make congregants learn from the best.
They have obviously seen their bad days.
They have obviously fought as any couple would. But their strong union has lasted and grown.
Their family and their children are evidence that they can weather any storm and in a nation that now needs strong marriages, a strong principled couple like the Charambas will teach a fresh type of religion that was badly lacking.
How he has his daughters bow their heads and lead in prayer before any journey, how he sits with them and takes them through the word.
How he preaches in song and how she submits respectfully to him is evidence of a strong union.
Even in her strong days when her career had gone ahead of his in terms of success, she was not narcissistic and thinking she was head of the pack but waited for her partner until his career became strong again.
In a nation that is lacking in love, respect and faithful relations, the Charambas have the best living word that it is still fashionable to be faithful, caring, stuck in the world’s oldest union and with a ring on the finger.