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Prophet Magaya and Makandiwa in media backlash: PR engagement required

HARARE – Believe or loathe them, current charismatic preachers possess swag. From sermon presentation, fashion and wheels – their flamboyan...

HARARE – Believe or loathe them, current charismatic preachers possess swag. From sermon presentation, fashion and wheels – their flamboyance simply dazzles.

Observably, their drawback is an oversight to invest in corporate reputation management.

The Makandiwa Debacle
A typical slip-up was of Prophet Makandiwa’s spokesperson responding to an achievement award won by Prophet Magaya.

“Initial professional investigations show that the advert is the work of another church trying to magnify and glorify the bogus award. More details will be availed as the investigations gather pace…”

If they knew the awards were bogus, then why exhaust their energy. Secondly, the word ‘bogus’ implies that the ‘church’ is also cheating its way to win people’s hearts. And they are not done with the investigations? Is this their business or police job?

Pastor Kufa blew it further saying, “And we assure the members of the United International Church that we are doing all that we can to make sure that the perpetrators behind this barbaric act which is tantamount to terrorism, are exposed.”


What a mouthful man of God. Speaking through emotions can be risky. Utilising indecent words such as, ‘barbaric and terrorism’ ceases to be Christian. Are these two individuals competing for recognition or they have other hidden agendas – maybe there is something deeper we don’t know. Why are leaders concerned about earthly titles to the extent of slaying one another in public?

'They Are After Me’
After Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) authorities paid a courtesy visit to Magaya’s offices, he claimed they “are after me”. After him in what sense because he should have known that running a business attracts certain laws, including tax remission. Such naïve statements need to be zipped. One needs consistence.

However, suspending church services whilst in South Africa then providing an unfounded reason raises more questions, prophet. Don’t get too excited when facing a camera. It is better to say no comment or remain silent. The media can offer free publicist but remember they are also news hounds.

As the brand grows, reputation management has to be swift and counter outward reactions. Dear prophet, not every word that you mention in an interview is paramount but just a few alien statements can create a news angle. Media mentoring is now a must.

What Experts Say
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.” These words by Warren Buffet should be considered by every brand.

Media is not a platform to lament one’s predicament – many don’t care and most are glad it’s you. While on social network, you are like a fish out of water, anyone can comment – but vengeance is not a solution. Haters are part of your audience. 

Accept them. Devise a proper way to address them. Remember you gain more by being humble.

Not every comment warrants a response, some of the critics have an agenda. Let your action do the speaking. Be careful of your diction in public – it may come back to haunt your brand. Brainstorm before you write or speak. Most of all, consult experts when in doubt. – The Aloe News

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