Inside the flashy, lavish world of rich pastors in Africa

While the 19th century marked the coming of Christianity into Africa, a lot has changed over the years about the mission, giving rise to what would easily pass as ‘for-profit’ churches across the continent.

And while at it, the self-styled shepherds of the flock are making a fortune, leading flamboyant lifestyles that leave their followers green with envy.

Following the rise of grandiose houses of worship in African cities, many pastors continue to derive immense material wealth, making it to the privileged club of the filthy rich people in an otherwise poverty stricken society.

Although it is hard to know how much pastors make and their total net worth, on account of their lifestyle and the kind of assets they own, you can do the math.

Some pastors in Africa, thanks to their unquestioning and ever-growing following ever thirsty for miracles and quick fixes in life, shuttle between cities by private air charter, sampling the finest things in life.

Bishop David Olaniy Oyedepo, who is worth an estimated $150 million, is the founder of living faith church worldwide popularly known as winners’ chapel. The Nigerian runs an establishment that has 300 plus branches across the world.

Malawian Shepherd Bushiri, 38, who is worth $150 million is perhaps the youngest to make it to the privileged list.

He’s the prophet and convener of the Enlightened Christian gathering that has headquarters in South Africa.

Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, with an estimated net worth of about $65 million, is a prolific author and head pastor of Redeemed Christian Church of God based in Nigeria.

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Moving on swiftly to Kenya’s Bishop Allan Kiuna and Reverend Kathy Kiuna, the couple’s net worth is estimated to be over KES5 billion. They are the founders of Jubilee Christian Church commonly known as JCC.

In Nairobi we also find brother Paul Kamlesh Pattni, Hindu by origin who converted and founded a church in Kenya which has gathered a massive following. Pattni’s estimated net worth is over KES3 billion.

I’m a PK (preacher’s kid) and I am always intrigued by how life in the ministry is portrayed. How it affects the family members and wives of the person who has been chosen or called to go into the ministry because, ultimately, the children and to some extent, the pastor’s wife, didn’t choose this.

Pastors are often in the spotlight, so when well-known religious leaders (with the above information on their net worth at the back of your mind) allow cameras inside their mansions and let us catch a glimpse of their personal lives, we sit back, pick up the popcorn as all the juicy insights and stuff is told.

In the brand-new reality show on Pan-African lifestyle DStv HONEY Channel 173, we get a rare look at the lives of some of Africa’s well-known religious figures and of course, their story as told by their glamorous wives.

The pastor’s wives introduce viewers to the glitzy women holding it all together in their religious households.

From the first episode of ‘pastor’s wives’, it is clear that the women are struggling finding the balance between being ‘a first lady’ and just being a woman, who wants to live life on her terms. And trust me, this can become a heavy cross to bear.

Right from the beginning, the wives are clear that they are not your ‘typical pastor’s wives’. The first episode introduces us to the group with each wife giving their back story and glimpses into their lives in and out of the church.

As much as I can’t give away any spoilers, or even good quotes, the show’s purpose is to let people know that these religious leaders are human, too, well that is very clear from the very first episode.

Catch pastor’s wives on HONEY, DStv Channel 173.

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