Cementing his legacy

Kabelo Dipholo
LEGEND: Pastor Cement

Popular Mathangwane elder to get a new house as the people say ‘thank you’ to Pastor Mundihya

He’s an immaculate dresser, a free-spirited soul whose sole mission over the last four decades has been to convert people to Christianity.

70-year-old Robert Cement has attained legendary status in the small village of Mathangwane, located some 25 kilometres west of Francistown.

Ask anyone in the area about Pastor Mundihya, as the man of God is popularly known, and they immediately wax lyrical about a silver-haired elder whose never seen without his briefcase, a bible nestled safely under his arm as he trods door-to-door preaching the Gospel of Christ.

A descendant of the Lozi tribe from Zambia, despite his dedication to the Almighty, Mundihya has lived in squalor his entire life – not that he minds!

“Poverty has never been a hindrance in his life. He has never cared much about material things, but was ever focused on cheering people up and consoling the grieving through the word of God,” explains his uncle, Charles Kebarakile.

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The old man describes his nephew as ‘a people’s person’, a patient, humble being who always makes time for his fellow villagers.

“He’s not one to boast about material things, but he has been a rock for many families. He has been a pastor of choice, the leading pastor in many night vigils for grieving families,” a proud Kebarakile told The Voice.

Although he’s not an ordained pastor, this staunch member of the Seventh Day Adventist has been largely welcomed as a pastor in the village.

Kebarakile sums it up perfectly: “He’s a pastor for united churches.”

In recognition and appreciation of his unconditional love for the people, residents have come together in an effort to build a modern house for their pastor.

In a steering committee led by Councillor, Samora Gabaake, villagers are hopeful of handing over the still-to-be-built house before the end of the year.

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“For as long as I’ve known him as a young boy growing up in this village, Mundihya was always carrying his briefcase and bible. He’s loved by many and has been such a calming figure for many who lost loved ones,” gushed Gabaake.

HELPING HAND: Cement with Mathangwane leadership
HELPING HAND: Cement with Mathangwane leadership

The councillor revealed the committee intend to approach the Social Worker’s office and request a special dispensation in order to get the aged pastor his own plot.

“He currently stays in his younger brother’s plot, but he deserves a place he can call his own, with a modern shelter over his head. Lucky for us, he’s 70 years old but still fit because he leads a very healthy lifestyle. He also walks a lot. We’ve to honour him while he still lives,” concluded the politician.

The pastor’s neighbour and Village Development Committee (VDC) Vice Chairperson, Utwang Fani said he’s been to the four corners of the country but has never met anyone quite like Mundihya.

“The idea of building him a house is befitting for someone of his stature, and in line with Vision 2036 ideals,” Fani noted.

For his part, Pastor Mundihya was the epitome of calmness, choosing to say very little and showing no emotions at all.

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“I thank them. If they manage to complete this project, I’ll thank them greatly,” he told The Voice in the same laidback, soothing manner that has seen him become such a comfort to the people of Mathangwane.

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