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FOUNDER and general overseer of Eagle Life Assembly Church in Bulawayo Prophet Blessing Chiza is no doubt growing in his celebrity status as evidenced by his lavish lifestyle although little has been fed to the public. With his roots in Rusape in Manicaland Province and the third born in a family of six, Prophet Chiza was born in Mabvuku in Harare where he grew up in the dusty streets of the high-density suburb. He went to Mabvuku primary and high schools from where he started receiving his calling.

Growing up, he said he never thought one day he will be counted as a Bulawayo based celebrity, a prophet for that matter.
Although he comes from a Christian background he said he never planned it. And yet it was not an accident, neither was it by coincidence but purely God’s case that he could not appeal against. Drawing comparisons with the Biblical Prophet Jonah on the Nineveh mission, he said he refused at first, but was forced by circumstances beyond his comprehension to adhere to the word that was speaking to him.

He had to leave his job at Time Bank where he was working as an assistant accountant to come to Bulawayo where he was to become a Lazarus. Such is part of the unknown life story of the now well-followed Prophet Chiza whose fortunes seem to be growing.
Yes, the popular Bulawayo soccer prophet now fits comfortably in the country’s league of millionaires.

Recently he acquired a 120 000 square metre stand at a cost of $175 000 and intends to build a 50 000 seater church which by all standards will be the biggest in the country. The church will at least, according to him have a hotel, shopping mall, an orphanage and a 24-hour emergency clinic. It will also be built in such a way that its top will have his personal helicopter’s landing pad from where he will through an elevator enter the church.

Prophet Chiza said most of the paper work has already been done, adding that the project would start soon.
The prophet is also planning to buy a franchise in the Premier Soccer League. Apart from the church developments, Prophet Chiza is  building two, two storey houses in the plush suburb of Parklands and they will have 22 rooms each. The two houses are expected to be completed by September this year. These two are besides the spacious one he is living in that is also in Parklands.

The prophet also owns commercial stands in Figtree, Esigodini and Gwanda. He has also bought another piece of land in Maun, a high value property centre in Botswana where most of the properties are owned by an elite white community where he intends to build an international standard hotel.

Prophet Chiza said he was not focusing much on investing in wheels although he drives a Mercedes Benz S430 and owns five other top of the range vehicles that include two BMWs after giving his X5 BMW to his spiritual father who is the founder of Faith In God Ministries, Archbishop Asa Gurupira where his church falls under. He is also in the process of shipping a Range Rover sport from the United States valued between $80 000 and $100 000 while his house is well furnished.

His six piece level one executive leather lounge suite is a personalised one designed by Dollar Shaun in Asia and it cost him more than $30 000 including shipment.

It can also be dismantled into pieces and has cabinets and drawers at the back as well as a steel base.The man used to own more than 200 suits most of which were tailor made in South Korea and several pairs of shoes but has been giving them to people while his wife gets most of her clothes from Dubai, Hong Kong and China.

Their lifestyle is a lavish one and is punctuated by family holidays to countries in Asia where they usually spend a fortune.
"God has blessed me in several ways. The church has continued to grow and I am happy that I did not go and fish people from other churches. Most of them were new converts and now we have more than 4 000 congregants and we are having two services every Sunday. In terms of investment I would say through God I am making some major inroads considering that I started from nowhere.

"I am happy that God anointed me a soccer prophet and to date we have more than 200 soccer players, some from PSL teams such as Highlanders, Chicken Inn, Dynamos, How Mine, Bantu Rovers and other small teams who are attending our services and God is speaking to them in wonderful ways. Some are bringing in their families while some who were into clubbing have given their lives to God," he said in an interview at his church office on Wednesday.

He, however, refused the Sunday Leisure to get pictures of his house in Parklands saying he would allow that after he has completed all the transactions of buying it.

Prophet Chiza said he had managed with so much ease not to indulge in love affairs with congregants and women who come to his church for counselling through the simple principle that he does not do the counselling in the absence of his wife.

"I love my wife so much although this is not to say I am not human. I am human and it is human nature to have feelings but I have managed to avoid such temptations by counselling women in the presence of my wife. There are some who come wearing mini-skirts and revealing clothes but I have prayed for self control.

"I have told myself that my zip should be open for two things only – my wife and toilet. I have also prayed to have the ability to control power, for the ability not to abuse the power that God gave me. The other thing I do is to honour and fear God. I do not pay lip service but I am genuine. I am not fake, which explains why I admitted that I did not see clearly when I missed the prediction of the Warriors match against Libya in South Africa," he said.

The now popular Bulawayo prophet was a no-one when he came to Bulawayo in 2003. He was even lesser than an ordinary man and could be mistaken for a vagabond as he knew virtually no-one and had nowhere to stay. And what exacerbated his plight and made his situation more complex and an enigma  even to those who wanted to assist him was that he was not looking for a job. He had no academic certificates.

He had lost all his academic certificates right from his Grade Seven, O and A-level and his professional qualifications in a vehicle that he boarded on his way from Harare and he was never to find them again, neither did he find their replacements. What remains of his academic and professional qualifications are photocopies.

However, he said some Good Samaritan took custody of him after he met him at Sekusile Shopping Centre in Nkulumane where he was preaching and like many street preachers, people could not take him seriously. Rather they thought of him as a lunatic. The Good Samaritan who he preferred to call Swimsuit stayed with him at his home in Nkulumane for some time before he moved to Number 1525 in Old Luveve where he at one time lived on mulberries from a tree that was in the yard together with his wife Prophetess Tatiana Chiza.

By then, the couple had no children, having married in 2001 they stayed for seven years without a child and only had their first born in 2008. He, however, said despite their lame financial status they presented themselves as two young, carefree honeymooners who were seen and admired by many as they wandered all the boulevards holding hands and as happy as there was no tomorrow.

The couple now has three children, two sons and a daughter.
After their first born Joshaviah Jorai in 2008 the couple was blessed with another one Shiphrah Joan and their last Eliadah Jedidiah. The names, he said, are Hebrew and the first one means powerful rich person, the second means the beauty of God and the last one means a prophet whom God loves.

He said he has built a suburban house for his mother in Rusape. His father is late.
This is the story of Prophet Chiza who is a Bulawayo equivalent of Harare prophets such as Emmanuel Makandiwa of the United Families International Church, Uebert Angel of Spirit Embassy and very recently Walter Magaya whose rise to fame was not so much because of the miracles he performed but rather his religious intercourse with raunchy dancer Beverly Sibanda "Bev" who has since left the church.

The number of prophets in the capital, however, gives the impression that the city has a monopoly of prophets and little is known about prophets elsewhere although sceptics have raised a lot of questions on the genuineness of the prophets and where they derive their power from.


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