Proponent Msawenkosi Ntshongwana was born and bred in a small town called Lusikisiki, in the Eastern Cape Province where he attended school at Luzupu Junior Secondary School and obtained his National Senior Certificate at Mqikela Senior Secondary School in 2004.
“I grew up under the hands of a praying woman, Vinah Ntshongwana, my granny,” says Msawenkosi. “She played a huge role in my spiritual life. I believe that she is the one who shaped and paved my way to the ministry. She would make sure that no one is left behind at home on Sundays. Everyone was forced to attend church at URCSA Lusikisiki Congregation.”
This is also the place where Msawenkosi, as a teenager and adult, became active in youth ministry and was elected as CYM (Christian Youth Ministry) chairperson on congregational and presbytery level. Later on he also served as the secretary of the CMM (Christian Men’s Ministry) of the Rietvlei presbytery.
“When you grow up you meet other people who can make a huge impact on your life,” says Prop. Ntshongwana. “I met the Meth family, and they became part of my life. I can say many things about this family, but the important thing is that I am where I am right now because of the role they played in my life. They sharpened what my granny had started in my spiritual life. Therefore, the support that I received from my family and the Meth family had motivated me to see that the high road is the best road to choose.”
He explains, “Serving the people of God has always been in my heart, and through the help of the Holy Spirit, I have realized that God has called me to minister amongst his people. I acknowledge the fact that this goes with being becoming entirely receptive to God’s divine will and to be humble, ready to become a servant of God and his people.”
Msawenkosi came to Stellenbosch University where he completed his undergrad (BDiv) in 2019 and his (MDiv) in 2020. His practical work was done at URCSA Scottsdene Congregation, under the mentorship of Rev. J.D. van Huffel.
On the question of what the topic of his thesis was about, he explains, “I am more interested in Old Testament; Wisdom Literature to be specific. For the past 26 years unemployment has been a thorn in the flesh of many South Africans. Unemployment becomes a human dignity issue and thus a social justice issue. My thesis, therefore, intended to combine the prophetic tradition and the wisdom tradition to engage the corruption of authorities and the irresponsibility of ordinary South Africans in relation to unemployment. My topic, therefore, was: UNEMPLOYMENT AS A MATTER OF CHAOS: INSIGHTS FROM THE BOOK OF EZEKIEL 34:3-4 AND PROVERBS 30:24- 28 FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN CONTEXT. I did this under the supervision of Dr. Rev. N.S. Cezula.”
So, what is his dream for the Church? He answers, “My dream for the Church is that it must live the Confession of Belhar. The Church must understand that actions speak louder than words. I dream of a congregation that is intensely aware of the mission of God. A congregation must understand that it has been called to serve not only its members but the rest of the community in which it is located.”
Wise words indeed …
Msawenkosi likes workouts to keep his body healthy and fit, and his mind sharp by reading about a variety of subjects in his spare time.
He has one son, Bubele (8 years), the light of his life.