Tata Gonda, a fusion of African religion and Christianity
In the depths of the province of Central Congo, the followers of the now dead prophet Tata Gonda live in total autarchy. Today, several hundred voluntary followers from Congo and Angola continue to follow the spiritual path of their "guru", their aim being to fight against an unjust and sinful world through continuous prayer and an austere, monastic life.
The alternative life of the followers of the Prophet Tata Gonda
We visit their headquarters, located far away from curious eyes. Two or three hours away from Kinshasa, a small signpost on the main road indicates the turn-off to Mbanza Nzambi, home of the fire prophet Tata Gonda Wasilua.
In total privacy, this community lives self-sufficiently according to their beliefs. They do community work, have vegetable gardens, a river with drinking water, a fish hatchery, prayer facilities, dormitories and everything else these "tropical Franciscans" could need. Prayer, of course, is an essential part of the daily life of the prophet's followers.
In our opinion, their life is more like an alternative hippie life than a cult. We enjoy a great welcome and hospitality from the leaders of the followers of the prophet Tata Gonda. We are offered a hearty dinner with refreshments, rooms and a big breakfast. The talk goes on well into the night.
The monastic life of the followers
The name of the religion itself comes from the late Tata Gonda, who accepted God's call in 1989 to dress in "Sack" (a special type of sacking used for goods) symbolising "humiliation" to the face of God. Like his prophet Tata Gonda, his followers wear sackcloth and always sleep in the open air and never wash themselves with water. They wash their bodies with ashes of burnt palm leaves.
Some of the prohibitions that the disciples of Tata Gonda have are not to consume alcohol or smoke, not to wear luxurious articles, and also not to wash themselves with water. That is why every morning, they perform a ritual in which they cover themselves with ashes, which they use as an antiseptic.
Are you interested in visiting this spiritual centre in the DR Congo?
We can organise your trip to Congo and visit the Tata Gonda Sanctuary at any time of the year.