Inkululeko Yesizwe Association (IYA) hosted its first workshop at its Head offices in Johannesburg. The workshop served as an introduction to a sequence of workshops that will soon follow. These workshops are aimed at bringing order to all African religious boards registered under the association. The programme was directed by Bishop N Mbhele of Sufficient Grace of The Lord church and the Secretary General of IYA.
The introductory workshop took place on the 14th of September 2019 with a total of 33 churches represented. The workshop proved to be a major success as only a sizeable few members rendered their opologies for being unable to attend the workshop. The workshop was birthed after the IYA executive members realized that a large number of its members have no formal structure in their churches. The role of the upcoming series of workshops will be to educate IYA members on the importance of project management, constitution, policy and procedure and Brand management to name but a few.
"In 2017, the chairman of Inkululeko Yesizwe Association, Dr Prophet UzwiLezwe Radebe had a vision of uniting Africans. The Prophet realized that in order to have a way forward, we need to unite all spectrums of African Religion. Prophet UzwiLezwe did not sit on the vision instead the prophet worked towards making it a reality, the first step being forming a panel of executive members" said Ms Thembi Tulwana- of IYA
It was befitting that before the formal workshop began, the journey of IYA be presented as a reminder of how and when IYA was conceptualised. Ms Thembi Tulwane reminded the church and religious representatives of the struggles the association had faced and continues to face and also to reminded them of what IYA stands for. Inkululeko Yesizwe Association stands to unify the Africans who want to see a better Africa, a Africa where the African indigenous people are emancipated in all sectors of life.
"IYA has found a niche, there are many religious associations, however these associations are one sided." Said Dr Prophet Uzwilezwe Radebe, chairperson of IYA. The prophet further went on to say that the purpose of the introductory workshop is to outline topics which will be discussed in depth in workshops to follow and also allow IYA members an opportunity to suggest topics they would like to address in the following workshops.
Those in attendance were given the platform to share their views on the issue of decolonisation of religion. Such in attendance was Arch Bishop Skhosana from Indumiso church which is based in Soweto, the Arch Bishop commented and said that " an identity crisis results in a lost soul. The adoption of another nation's identity is an insult to ones bloodline and surname. Black people should learn to respect their family traditions and failure to do so should result in them being stripped off their surname."
The issue faced by many religious bodies is the unwillingness to support black founded organisations by the African people was also addressed. We can never shy away from the importance of money in any organization. In order for any organization to grow, members of the organization must dig deep into their pockets to ensure the success of the organization.
However it is important to also not that, a church must be all rounded, a one stop station where people don't only find spiritual relief but are also emancipated in all areas of their lives through programmes rolled out by the church. Dr Prophet UzwiLezwe Radebe mentioned the importance of understanding what one follows. The success of an association lies in its members standing together and speaking with one voice. It is in this way, that Africans can be fully liberated from the laws of the Colonisers religion, traditions and culture.
The prophet also gave credit where it was due and acknowledged IYA as a distinct organization that at the tender age of one year, the association has already gained international recognition and believes that it can only grow bigger from that. African Religion is the only religion that can return the former glory of Africa. It's teachings of the respect of spiritual beings is exactly the place to start.
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