A monthly column in which Kwakanya Nazo shares stories, interviews and testimonies of people from all walks of life who are radical for Jesus and live to see change and transformation in and around them.
Welcome to the Chosen Kwakes Corner this 2017! It’s been an absolutely busy year and so many people have been doing life-altering things, stepping out in faith and flying the Jesus flag as high as they possibly can. For the first feature this year, I had the wonderful privilege of communicating with Swaziland’s very own, Apostle Bakhe Dlamini.
“I never wanted to be a pastor, back in the days, pastors were often poor and I didn’t want that. After completing my high school I went to college and wanted to be a chartered accountant. After completing my first year at college, I dropped out and had to respond to the Lord’s call which had intensified.”
Dlamini is an author, motivational speaker, international conference speaker, counsellor, multi award winning artist (SABC Crown Gospel Awards), brand ambassador of MTN Swaziland, Times of Swaziland helpline columnist and senior founding pastor of Yonder Worship Centre.
How important is family to you?
Dlamini: Family is quite important to me, comes first. Family is what one can fall back to when everything (career) crumbles.
I have seen that you are married, how long have you been married? Do you have any kids?
Dlamini: I have been married for six years, with two lovely daughters, Owayo (3) and Olubanzi (7 months).
What are the passions that get you out of bed each morning?
Dlamini: I’m quite artistic and intuitive, so creativity, leadership, touching lives, fun gets me out of bed. I’m not the kind that could be employed; I love my freedom and liberty to initiate, invent. Even if I would be given a job offer of R1million per month, I wouldn’t be happy doing it.
Take us a bit on your journey with Jesus and how you came to know the Lord.
Dlamini: I gave my life to Jesus in 1998; I had just started my grade 8. My life was getting out of hand; I had started drinking and smoking but I had a divine intervention right on time. Miraculously, I decided I want to give my life to Jesus. Many at school thought I was joking, but from then, I never looked back. In no time, everyone saw that I meant business.
My walk with the Lord has been about fearing the Lord ever since 1998. I’m not being self-righteous or boastful but I took the Bible seriously when it spoke about holiness. I ensured I lived a life above reproach and I got married in 2011 as a virgin.
What were the challenges or advantages that came with being born into your family?
Dlamini: My dad was not always at home; he eventually left us, later returned to evict us from home. I had to overcome pain, lack, rejection, bitterness, to be the man I am today.
What are some of the misconceptions you had (as a young person) about the role/s you play today.
Dlamini: Misconceptions — I thought that if you are caring and loving as a pastor every congregant will love you. I’ve learnt, especially now that I’m a church founder and senior pastor, that some won’t like you or the work you do.
Let’s talk about your book, ‘The Good Man’.
Dlamini: I told my wife one weekend, ‘Sthandwa, I’m writing the book. I got on my laptop, started drafting. My wife was heavily pregnant at that time with our second born, Olubanzi. It took me a month to complete the book! Once I start something, I don’t stop.
What makes a “good man”?
Dlamini: What makes a good man is exhibiting qualities of a gentleman. We need to teach our boys, young man, and men to be gentlemen, and most of our domestic problems would be solved. The good man protects, loves, provides and is responsible.
What inspired the book and title?
Dlamini: My book title was inspired by the work I do. I have a column on Times of Swaziland (our leading newspaper), where I respond to people’s questions on a weekly basis. I realised that most of the issues I tackled related to women complaining about their men. I realised, I need to write a book that would help men be good men, and help women to identify good men (so they don’t fall into the many relationship traps). The Good Man seemed catchy as a title; so, I adopted that title.
What is your favourite chapter in the book?
Dlamini: ‘He’s a Man, Not a Boy’. The chapter tackles the major challenge we have in our society, of many male persons we regard to be men, who are in actual fact boys. Being a 60 year old male, does not automatically make one a man. To be a man, one has to have certain noble qualities. One could be a 25 year old, but a man, because of his level of maturity. The greatest mistake a lady could commit is to hook up with a boy, instead of man.
Briefly give an overview of the book.
Dlamini: The book has 10 chapters, is a 150 page book. I intentionally made it not too short, neither too long. The first chapter is, ‘He Understands the Definition of Love’; I get to speak about the definition of Love. Other chapters are: ‘He Protects’, ‘Is a Gentleman’, ‘He Provides’, to name a few.
Encouragement from Apostle Dlamini: Go out there, be the best you can be, dream BIG. You’ll meet opposition, but keep going!!