Johane Masowe
Johanne Masowe.jpg
ChurchGospel of God Church in Zimbabwe
Personal details
Birth nameShoniwa Masedza Tandi Moyo
ParentsJack Masedza and Efie Masedza

Johane Masowe is one of the pioneering and most prominent founders of Independent African Churches in Zimbabwe. He is the founder of the Gospel of God Church in Zimbabwe although the religious sect has been popularly identified as Johane Masowe


Johane was born in Manicaland province, Gandanzara Village in Makoni District between 1914 and 1915.[1] He was born Shoniwa Masedza Tandi Moyo to Jack Masedza and Efie Masedza. Johane was the second born child in a family of six boys. The name Shoniwa Masedza Tandi Moyo was changed to Johane Masowe when he started his ministry around 1932.


It is not known for a fact when Johane started his ministry but records show that he caught the attention of colonial authorities after the young Johane Masowe shot to prominence without the proper documentation allowing him to go into ministry.[1] Despite running into problems with the authorities and being arrested several times, he still persisted with his ministry baptising people and preaching. It is said that he received his calling at Marimba Hill near Norton. Having started his ministry in the colonial era, Johane's preachings embraced several aspects of the African Traditional Religion while at the same time introducing some new elements from biblical teachings. In some of his sermons, he encouraged his followers to deny paying taxes to the colonial authorities. The Masowe brand grew to gain prominence in far-flung areas such as Matebeleland making it one of the first cross-cultural local churches. The movement crossed the border into other African countries such as Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya. One of the most legendary prophecies that is alleged to have been made by Johane Masowe was that Robert Mugabe would die in office as no one will manage to wrestle away power from him.

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Johane Masowe left an enduring legacy as a result of his religious activities. To date, the church has followers in many African countries as well as others in Europe like England. Legend has it that Johanne prophesied that his followers would one day worship in buildings and not under trees. If the prophecy is anything to go by, the religious sect now has built state of the art churches around the country.[2] Having been one of the pioneering independent African churches, the movement also inspired other independent churches which have a very strong resemblance to Johane's church especially when it comes to dress code. Madzibaba Johane passed away in Ndola, Zambia in 1973 leaving an indelible mark on the country's religious landscape.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Clive M. Dillon-Malone The Korsten Basketmakers: A Study of the Masowe Apostles, an Indigenous African Religious Movement, Manchester University Press, Published: 1978, Retrieved: June 9, 2015
  2. Johane's prophecy being fulfilled, The Chronicle, Published: October 19, 2013, Retrieved: June 10, 2015