Johane Marange
ChurchJohane Marange Apostolic Church
Personal details
Birth nameMuchabaya Momberume
Manicaland Province
ParentsFuleni Momberume (Father)
ChildrenAbel, John, Macbes, Judah, Oliver, Clemence, Tephros, Raphnos, Ignatius, Ambrose, Ebernezer, Israel and Cleopas
ShrinesBocha, Marange

Johane Marange is one of the most well-known pioneers of independent African churches. He is also credited for introducing the white garments that are now part of standard regalia for other apostolic sects dotted around the country. He is the founder of the Johane Marange Apostolic Church.


Johane was born Muchabaya Momberume to Fuleni Momberume (father). It is said that his father worked for Chief Marange whose daughter he impregnated but failed to pay the bride price. The chief went on to adopt Muchabaya as compensation for the unpaid lobola, thus Muchabaya came to be known as Johane Marange.[1] He had twelve sons, Abel, John, Macbes, Judah, Oliver, Clemence, Tephros, Raphnos, Ignatius, Ambrose, Ebernezer, Israel and Cleopas.

Ministry Background

It is said that Johane received divine visitation as early as five years old upon which it is alleged that he was to be John the Baptist. After he began speaking in tongues, people were said to have been worried such that they consulted sangomas thinking that the young Marange had been possessed by evil spirits.[1] Although missionaries had the monopoly on who could preach, Marange's church managed to get registration and the church was established in 1912.

Full Time Ministry

It is said that for a period of around 17 years, Johane Marange travelled far and wide preaching to people and performing miracles. The church attracted huge following from the downtrodden, mainly poor peasants. It is alleged that Marange at one prophesied that one-day white settlers would be defeated. He travelled on foot in the then Rhodesia preaching to people. He also travelled into neighbouring countries such as Botswana and Mozambique preaching.[2] It is estimated that the church has an estimated 3 million followers in the Democratic Republic of Congo alone.


The church that Johane Marange established in 1912 has hogged the limelight on numerous occasions for questionable behaviour. The most enduring controversy that has haunted the apostolic sect is the issue of child marriages. Some media reports even went on to claim that the children involved were as young as 14 yet they were marrying grown men as old as 50 years or more.This has seen the church crossing swords with the authorities and other organisations such as the Girl Child Network.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fatima Bulla The Origins of Johane Marange, The Sunday Mail, Published: March 29, 2015, Retrieved: June 10, 2015 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "herald" defined multiple times with different content
  2. Shingirai Huni Spare us from stereotypes, The Manica Post, Published: July 18, 2014, Retrieved: June 10, 2015