‘I was a good candidate for failure,” recollects Lusaka Anglican priests, Rev. Fr. Pepulani Mtonga
‘I WAS A VERY GOOD CANDIDATE OF FAILURE’
Rev.Fr Pepulani Mtonga [row][third_paragraph] Left Side Content [/third_paragraph][paragraph_right] Right Side Content [/paragraph_right][/row]responds to questions during an interview at his office at St. Peters Anglican Church in Lusaka . Photo/ Saliya Mangani/Zamcom
Born on the 10th of May 1987 in Lusaka at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) is Reverend .Fr Pepulani Mtonga whose childhood was mainly characterized by a burning passion of athletism, later developed a passion for law but currently is a Parish Assistant Pastor at St.Peters Anglican Church along Burma Road in Lusaka.
Third in the family of four, Rev.Fr Mtonga started his grade one in 1995 at Northmead Basic School in Lusaka till grade 9 in 2004. He then attended his secondary school at Kabulonga Boys from 2004 to 2006 where he completed his grade 12.
After completing his grade 12, He then pursued a certificate in entrepreneurship and computer studies at a Catholic College known as Orxiliam. Rev.Fr Mtonga who seemly had a unshakable focus for his education, it wasn’t time to rest after completing his certificate studies then switched to another course in mechanics at Lusaka Vocation Trade(LVT).
As the adage states, ‘‘A road with no obstacle leads no where.’’ Dark moments began to characterize his life as his brother who was sponsoring him in Engineering got married. Subsequently, as a result of his bother trying to balance the strings between family responsibilities and sponsoring him (Rev.Fr Mtonga) for studies, eventually he had to let go of one as the pressure on the financial muscle was being ripped into pieces.
Unfortunately, Rev.Fr Mtonga was let off the hook for sponsorship before completing his studies at LVT in mechanics which was a two year programme but only covered the first year before being shown the door in mechanics.
Rev.Fr Pepulani Mtonga smiles as he poses for a photo shoot with his wife farlecy Mtonga. Photo/ Pepulani Mtonga Facebook page
‘‘I left school and really tried a lot of things afterwards. I tried business here and there trying to see how I would earn a living,’’ Rev.Fr said while donning in a red golf T shirt.
He recalls how he then ventured into church activities and surprisingly, the more he stayed committed to church activities, the more he lost interest in other activities which he greatly had interest in when he was a childhood.
It was at this point in his life that seeds of being a pastor began to germinate at the heart of Rev. Fr Mtonga. However, this idea of begin a pastor did not resonate well with his mother who thought he would do other ‘prestigious’ career just like any reasonable parent would wish the very best for the child.
‘‘Mom really wanted me to get a good job perhaps do church later. So when I submitted my interest to become a pastor we had a tension for about two weeks
But eventually, God’s will prevailed and up to now she supports me,’’ Rev.Fr Mtonga narrated.
Upon receiving the support from the mother, Rev.Fr Mtonga had all the reasons in the world to wear an energetic smile on the face, as he was now going for studies in priesthood. He then pursued his Bachelors Degree in Theology at The Anglican University in Malawi.
Fast-forward, after his school in 2017, he came back to Zambia and he was now ordained first as a Reverend or as a Deacon according to the Anglican language. It was around that time when he was immediately sent at St.Peters to be a Deacon under Canon. Reverend Robert Sihubwa.
Rev.Fr Mtonga who is a highly committed Zanaco and Arsenal soccer fun, continued embracing principles of hard work and determination whilst at St.Peters Anglican Church which later saw him a year being ordained again but interestingly this time around as a Reverend and became an assistant Priest which is his current position.
He is inspired by people like Bishop Td Jakes and Joel Osteen on the international level and is locally inspired by his mentor and senior priest Canon Reverend Robert Sihubwa.
Asked about some of the challenges he encounters in his ministry, he said there were quite numerous and pinpointed out some of them. According to him, the major challenge he first encountered was when he became an active preacher but still was single.
‘‘There are a number of challenges I faced, one of them is when I was single. So the age plus being single was a big challenge. You see, there are certain things that people prefer to hear from a married person,’’ he said.
He also mentioned that having his own authentic self in ministering was also a challenge because at times, he would want to sound like people that inspired him.
Rev.Fr Mtonga recently got married in August 10th this year, to his long time friend Farlecy. He also took the opportunity to advise young people to understand the principle that God doesn’t not give you what you want but rather what you deserve.
Rev. Fr Mtonga, whose messages are mainly centred on the youth, visualizes himself on another level few years from now as he hopes to advance his studies by next year perusing a Masters Degree in theology next year.
In his free time, Rev. Fr Mtonga loves going out for movies, watch football and also loves socializing around especially among his youth members. He can somehow be called a flexible man noting the restricting perception attached being a man of God. For instance, most preachers are restricted in a box where people don’t expecting them to have fun (of course within the biblical principles).
‘‘Most men of God, moving under the anointing, are the loneliest people and end up dying from depression and the reason is simple. This is because they fail to marry identity and influence.
My social life is interesting; I do go out for comedy shows, play football and laugh around. I am not a judgmental person. Am just me! And I love being me,’’ Rev. Fr Mtonga passionately said.
At some point in the future, he hopes to write a lot of books as he has a passion for writing and movie script writing.