Joshua Maponga is a Zimbabwean born public speaker, author, philosopher, leader, musician, and social entrepreneur. He relocated to Zimbabwe from South Africa where he had spent over 20 years saying he had bowed to pressure to leave the country.
He is the firstborn and the oldest of five children. Maponga moved to South Africa and Swaziland and then flew into London, United Kingdom at the end of 1998.
Maponga lived in Birmingham, Norfolk and then South Essex with his ex-wife. He moved back to South Africa and started a new job in Marketing, Consulting and Construction.
Maponga has two daughters from his first marriage.
He enrolled as a theologian at Andrews University (Berrien Springs Michigan USA). Maponga said he had wanted to do engineering or medicine, but his father steered him down a different path.
Joshua’s father was a pastor and minister who had been released from prison and death row in the 1979 Amnesty and until that point, he did not know if he would ever see his father again.
His father moved to a religious environment following his release, staying away from politics, and warning his son that he needed to as well. This lead Joshua to continue his studies in theology and philosophy, and went on to work in the church for the last 33 years.
Maponga holds a Degree in Philosophy (BA theology) and Personal Ministries. He went to attain his CET (Construction Entrepreneurial Training) - an ILO (International Labour organisation) initiative to develop local consultants and support for emerging contractors and manufacturers.
Maponga was a Pastor for 33 years and was conferred the title of Bishop from the Pentecostal and Evangelical community.
Joshua Maponga has a wide range of experience in branding, banking, non-profit organizations and the project management space with multinational companies such as Vodacom, SAPO, Absa World Vision, PRASA, SALGA, Milpark College and SAPS, to mention a few.
Maponga has also written, developed, produced, presented and anchored on TV Programmes. In 2010 his show Joshua was added by One Gospel on their list of shows.. His other show, Behind The Gospel, also aired on DSTv channel One Gospel. He has other shows Late debate, and Education Channel “ED” and others. 
Maponga is the CEO of the institute Farmers Of Thought. He also has two organisations; Zimbabwe Indigenous Movement (ZIM) and "AIM” – Africa Indigenous Movement, which looks to house all of the intellectual property of how to transform Africa, a template for every other nation.
In 2020, Maponga was suspended by the SDA. In a letter signed by Southern Africa Evangelism, Personal Ministries and Nurture and Retention Director, Michael Rugube Ngwaru, the SDA said it was concerned about the content of the gospel Maponga preached and the manner in which he communicated it.
Maponga was banned from attending, speaking, preaching and officiating at any function of the Church in Southern and Indian-Ocean regions.
Comments on 'White' Jesus
In one of his sermons, Maponga says:
"...the day a white Jesus will die for black people, I will believe in a white Jesus".
He further says,
<blockquote"...they(white people and their white Jesus) promise Africans gold in heaven while they are taking gold from Africans. It doesn't make sense at all that you are being promised to walk on gold in heaven while they are taking gold from you."
There is a video clip that circulated on social media where Maponga said the black man is still hanging on the cross, with one thief on the right hand and the other on the left hand.
In this analogy, he says Africans are hanging on the cross and the Chinese and Europeans are the thieves on right and left sides. He claims that Chinese and Europeans are the thieves that are stealing minerals from Africans.
In 2018 Maponga appeared before the Port Elizabeth Equality Court in South Africa over claims that homosexual people are lower than animals.
Joshua Maponga admitted he may have gone too far but reiterated that he saw no reason for him to be “hanged on the cross” and expected to change church policies or the Bible.
Maponga was criticised by the South African Human Rights Commission and ended up in the Equality Court for utterances he made during a service at the Seventh Day Adventist church in KwaMagxaki on January 13 2018.
The church distanced itself from Maponga’s comments, saying he was not a church official. In his complaint, church member Zolani Simayi, 43, of East London, claimed during Maponga’s sermon the charismatic preacher used derogatory terms about homosexual people and insinuated that dogs were not as confused as gay people in that when male dogs wanted to mate they looked for female dogs.
Asked for a response to the allegations, Maponga simply said that he had apologised to Simayi on two separate occasions and did not understand what more Simayi wanted. He said:
“I sent him [Simayi] two apologies, now he wants another – does he want an interdict to stop me from preaching? He wants to educate the church but he cannot hang me on a cross – I cannot change the Bible."
In his apology, directed to the SAHRC, Maponga said he had quoted the book of Romans and argued that homosexual relations were unnatural. Part of Maponga's apology to the SAHRC read:
It is unfortunate that I used the illustration of ‘dogs’ to make the point about this Bible text. I am sorry for the pain I caused and I understand the seriousness of the issue of the right to be treated with dignity and the preaching of the gospel without dehumanising other people. The extent of the damage caused by the debate and the sermon cannot be revoked.
Alleged Marital Affair
In April 2021, an unnamed 29-year-old woman from Newcastle, Kwa-Zulu Natal told Daily Sun that she was having an affair with Maponga.
She alleged that Maponga impregnated her but she miscarried. Daily Sun reported that it was in possession of medical records which showed the unnamed woman had a miscarriage in February 2021 when she was nine weeks pregnant.
Narrating how the alleged affair started, the woman said she sent Maponga a message on social media in October 2020 asking for spiritual guidance for her calling.
She said he introduced her to one of his associates, a sangoma.
However, he kept checking up on her regularly. She said:
“I dreamt of him one night and thought it was a sign from the ancestors he’s the right person to help me. I began to feel comfortable. He invited me to Joburg and paid for my travel expenses including the hotel. He said he wanted to marry me as his second wife.”
According to her, she used to travel to Johanessburg at least twice a month and stay for a few days.
She said Maponga gave her dried mushroom to have on an empty stomach while she fasted and to introduce him to her ancestors. She said on one of her visits in December, he told her he suspected she was pregnant. She said when she had the miscarriage Maponga showed her no sympathy. She said:
“The results came back positive. But one morning I had severe cramps and started to bleed. My mum took me to a clinic and I was told I had a miscarriage. I was heartbroken and more hurt that he showed no sympathy. I then realised things are not what they seem. I no longer had visions and dreams."</blockquote
Daily Sun reported that it was in possession of Maponga and the woman's alleged intimate WhatsApp conversations, which include conversations about rituals for their dead unborn child.
The woman’s mother said she knew about the affair and expressed her disappointment.
When contacted for comment, Maponga said he knew the woman but denied allegations of infidelity, pregnancy and using muthi. He said the woman was trying to extort money from him and accused her of harassment.
“The woman called me asking for spiritual guidance. She said she had a calling. I used my network from the Sankofa TV programme to introduce her to relevant people because I’m not a sangoma. However, she began sending me lots of long messages regarding her calling and demanding money for things she needed for her spiritual ceremony. She was harassing me. I supported her T-shirt business and she wanted more money for her spiritual goals.”
When Daily Sun asked Maponga to respond to the screenshots of their intimate conversations and pregnancy, he asked to meet the publication for a comprehensive reply.
On the day of the meeting, he asked the publication's journalists to meet him in the presence of his attorneys. Daily Sun opted to send his attorney an email of the inquiry, whose receipt was acknowledged.
The attorneys had not responded to the inquiry at the time of going to print on 25 April 2021. The woman denied Maponga's allegations. The publication reports that further attempts to get a comment from Maponga’s attorneys were made without a response.
Relocating To Zimbabwe
Joshua Maponga relocated to Zimbabwe, after being pressurised to leave South Africa by #PutSouthAfricansFirst campaigners who did not want him to be involved in South African issues. He said that his family was still in South Africa.
Some media publications and Twitter users reported that Maponga had been deported but in a video, he mentioned that his relocation was in response to the wishes of South Africans.
Watch the video below:
- Going Places In The Spirit
- So You Want To Be The Master
- Shopping Skills
- Joshua Maponga: Looking To Carve Out A New Future For South Africa, The Phoenix Newspaper, Published: October 7, 2020, Retrieved: January 30, 2021
- About the Author, RedOystor, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: January 30, 2021
- Title, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: January 30, 2021
- BREAKING. One Gospel adds a talk show for Joshua Maponga; decides to make Sarah Ngubeni the new face of the channel., TV with Thinus, Published: September 23, 2010, Retrieved: January 30, 2021
- SDA Church Suspends Famous Pastor, Joshua Maponga, Zambian Observer, Published: July 27, 2020, Retrieved: January 30, 2021
- 'A white Jesus didn't die for black people', says a bishop, Opera News, Published: 2020, Retrieved: January 30, 2021
- Devon Koen, Bishop in court over homophobic slur, Herald Live, Pub;wished: November 25, 2018, Retrieved: January 30, 2021
- Lethabo Khambule, BISHOP MAPONGA VS NYATSI!, Daily Sun, Published: April 25, 2021, Retrieved: April 26, 2021