2015 Dec. 24: Remembering Magesh Zungu

by Lerato Dumse

Dry eyes were scarce inside Denis Hurley hall, when Wandile Mkhize asked to speak during his mother’s memorial service. Diakonia Council of Churches Centre hosted Nombulelo “Magesh” Zungu’s memorial service, on Sunday December 20, 2015. Magesh is popularly known as “Mam’ Mfundisi or the first lady of Victorious Ministries Church International (VMCI) and was recognised as the mother of the church. Months after she had been admitted to hospital, she succumbed to illness on December 17.


2015 April 25 MaGesh _ frown_1040

2015 April 25: MaGesh in Brooklyn, New York.  Photo by Zanele Muholi 

Inkanyiso media has been documenting the church since 2012, and was requested to document the memorial service. The crew arrived 30 minutes before the service was scheduled to start. Only a handful of mourners had arrived, and sat in awkward silence, filled with grief.

2015 Jan. 11 MaGesh Boysie Zonke & Menzi _6492

2015 Jan. 11: Durban, MaGesh in an emotional state during church service with Boysie, Zonke and Menzi

Some of the church’s staunch members were finalizing arrangements, Mfundo completed covering the chairs, Nonhle Kunene sprinkled pink petals on the stage, Inkanyiso prepared documenting equipment and assisted with the projection and light setup. Mbali Biyela worked on the sound system, one of the speakers seemed uncooperative and sounded as if it had “cried” a lot, mourning the passing of “Isiwiliwili” as she was fondly called.

When I received the call about Magesh’s death I was in a grocery store with my grandfather. I was overwhelmed by grief, forced to fight back tears, I spent the rest of the week with a lump on my throat. So as Wandile stood and addressed the congregation, my tears finally fell. “I am a man today because of you, Thank you for loving my entire family, I have never seen any man love a woman the way you loved my mother, Wandile said during a heartfelt declaration of love for Pastor Zenzi Zungu.


2015 April 29 Fran Hlonipha Zungu MaGesh_1663

2015 April 29: R-L: Brooklyn Museum, New York. MaGesh + Pastor Z. Zungu with Prof. Hlonipha Mokoena (Wiser, Wits University) and Prof. Fran White (NYU)


L-R: Pastor Z. Zungu and the wife MaGesh Zungu during the VMCI Easter service

2014: L-R: Pastor Z. Zungu and the wife MaGesh Zungu during the VMCI Easter service. Photo by Charmain Carrol


2015 Jan. 11 MaGesh & Pastor Zungu_6513
Menzi Nxumalo was the MC for the day; he recalled a conversation with Magesh days before her passing, in which she announced to him during a telephonic conversation that she was leaving. The first item on the programme was Khumbuzile Xulu. She reminisced about how she met and became friends with “Magatsheni” in Grade 8, then standard 6. While they were still in High School, “Magatsheni” offered Xulu a glam look. The friend said she was received well by the Ndlovu family, which is Magesh’s maiden name, giving her comfort when her mother died. Xulu thanked Pastor Zungu for being supportive to Magesh, even sleeping at the hospital. Xulu described her friend as “creative, with a pure heart, sharing love wholeheartedly, she added.


2014 Dec.21 VMCI pre xmas service best photo_0027

2014 Dec.21 VMCI Durban, church service featuring MaGesh in a royal blue dress…  Photo by Zanele Muholi

Speaking for the elders of the church, Ndosi Cele reminded everyone that the memorial service was a celebration of life, and that Magesh would not want people to be sad. “She has left a mark, she fought for life and fought for everyone.” Cele reassured Zungu of the elder’s undying support.

Another church executive followed and pledged support to Zungu. D Mkhize sent condolences to the pastor’s family saying Magesh “had time with her God.”

Noxolo Biyela represented Idwala, she explained that she understands the vision carried by Magesh. “We spent time together at conferences, and she would share the word with us, leave us revived.”

The long list of praises for Magesh, included how she was responsible for the many homes built by her through marriage. S Magutshwa spoke for the Ushers at VMCI. Echoing previous speakers, Magutshwa noted that Magesh was like a biological mother to many, and spread her love to the church.

After worshipping and shedding tears for our Mam’ Mfundisi, we received the main word of God from Thabo Ngwane. He read from John chapter 12 verse 22 and Genesis chapter 39 verse 6. Congregants continued praising the word of God, and remembered Magesh Zungu.


Previous links


2015 April 6:  VMCI Baptism at 2015 Easters in Durban



2015 Feb. 16:  VMCI is a home away from home




2014 Dec. 21:  Sealing the union of love




 2014 Dec. 14:  The kiss that moved the church



 2014 Aug. 2:  Vuyisile and Happy’s umembeso




2014 June 23:  The lovely couple on vacation in Cape Town




2014 Feb. 4: Newly ordained pastors of VMCI church 



2014 Jan. 5:  Ishaya ngolunye unyawo i-VMCI kulonyaka




2013 Sept. 21:  Easter Weekend with VMCI worshippers 



2013 Sept. 19:  Ikhiphe icwecwe layo lokuqala i-Victory 




 2013 Sept. 1:  Bafake umfaniswano omama nobab’ umfundisi




 2013 Sept. 1:  The VMCI Times



 2013 Sept. 16:  The day Ndlelas got married  




 2013 Jan. 6:  Victory Ministries Church International (VMCI)




 2013 June 15:  The Durban Lesbian Wedding of the Year



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9 Responses to 2015 Dec. 24: Remembering Magesh Zungu

  1. Ramazan says:

    Indeed she left a footprint in our heart lala Nkosazane sobonana ekuseni sekukhala icilingo

  2. Ramazan. Ngobese says:

    Indeed she left a footprint in our lives lalake nkosazane sobonana ekuseni sekukhala icilingo.

  3. Lalake nkosazane sobonana ekuseni sekukhala icilingo indeed you the footprint in our heart

  4. milton mathonsi says:

    God tie and godalso take, maibongwe igama lakhe. Sibonga ihuba osiphe lona siphila naye kulohlaba.ubuntu nempilo abeyiyo eluntwini, imfundiso enhle asiphe yona. Today we said to her rest in pie magesh. We wil always love you. You will be in our mind all the time. I pray to my god to keep postor zungu in a good hands of his. I know the pain that he go throgh. But our god is the god ongenelelayo esikhathini sobunzima. Amen

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