Prop. Don-marco Algarth Jonaan loves playing soccer, hanging out with friends, hiking, swimming and surfing. He is also a keen reader and values silence and reflecting. But who is this proponent who has such an interest in theology, politics and above all – music?

Prop. Jonaan was born in the windy city, Gqeberha (previously known as Port Elizabeth) in the Eastern Cape on the 19th of September 1995. His parents are Abel Ambraal and Marlene Jonaan from Gqeberha. This is also where Prop. Jonaan completed his primary and senior education – at Parkside Primary and Chapman High School respectively.

“I was always raised among people that has dedicated their lives to God,” says Prop. Jonaan. “I had the opportunity to grow up in a God-fearing home, where we were taught to pray every night before going to bed, and also in the morning. My grandparents played a huge role in my life as a child. They also had a great influence on my faith. My grandfather was very strict regarding church and God. Everything needed to be in order. My grandparents were really fervent Christians that taught us the importance of reading the Bible and living a prayerful life in this world. They care for, support and guide each and every child that grew up in their house and encouraged them to do, and become better.

If it wasn’t for my mom and dad, I wouldn’t of been at the place where I am in my life, they have invested into everything that I am passionate about. Their continuous support, love and care is what carried me through my studies and my life, my parents didn’t have the opportunity to study because of the fact that they had to raise me, they have set the perfect example to me. And they always encourage me to follow my dreams. Words can never be enough, for how much they mean and have done for me to this day. My mom’s faith and perseverance, also through her struggles, inspired me a lot. Her cancer journey wasn’t easy but she was able to finish her studies and become something in life. My mom became independent, and encouraged me to chase my dreams.

“As a kid, I never dreamed of becoming a pastor or even being a full-time minister in URCSA. In fact I had the opposite experience . Some of us can recall the famous story of Paul on the Damascus road. That was my experience. During my confirmation years I decided to go to church and started a new journey. This is where I met Christ at the age of 16 years old, and devoted my life to church and God. This is when my calling was revealed in church, where I got a love to be in service of others and point people to Christ. My minister, Rev. Tromp who was just called to our congregation in 2013, became my mentor and spiritually guided me throughout the years to understand my calling and how to be in service of others. He played a huge role in my faith journey, especially my calling. At the age of 16, I developed a love for church and God, and nobody could understand it. I found myself in church praying for others and listening to others’ stories.

” My thesis was done under the supervision of Dr Marnus Havenga. It was a critical analysis of how forgiveness is formed and performed in a post-democratic era. This dissertation discusses the notions of theological aesthetics and forgiveness. Art, music and poetry play a huge role in the formation of many youth in society in terms of values and beliefs specifically in a post-apartheid era. This essay investigated the way in which art speaks to generations on issues such as race, inequality and further look at art as a tool to allow us to re-imagine a better place in society and help us with difficult conversations on topics such as forgiveness and justice in post-apartheid. By doing so, it highlighted certain artistic tools such as the musical, Hamilton, to show that art, music and theology makes a claim on us to rethink and reinterpret the way we think about notions such as forgiveness, reconciliation and justice.  

“My dream for the church is to embody what we believe in and confess it on a daily basis. Its important that a church is open to others. We need to be Jesus’s hands, feet, voice and heart in this world. The church must stand with those that suffer, marginalized and those that are on the outskirts of society. We must be a church that embodies the life of Jesus Christ and makes a difference in the lives of individuals and communities.

“When I am called to a congregation, as Prop. Gribble outlines: ‘Me going to a church, is joining where God is already at work.’ I agree with him. But when entering into a church I would dream and desire for a church that is vibrant, effective, loving and transformative. A church that creates a platform for the youth, where we are able to create a space for the youth to have a voice in church and society. Mostly I think is to be a church that is heavily involved in community development, and making a difference in this world.”

Contact Prop. Jonaan at [email protected] or call him at 066 220 2075