On a cloudy and windy morning in July 2011, Zenzo Ncube got a visit from a friend. It became a turning point in his life, because that day he was converted to Satanism. Now, he’s a Christian again. But he has no regrets about the days he claims to have run with the Devil.
By Thabo Kunene, Bulawayo
Ncube, a 23-year-old university student in Bulawayo, agreed to be interviewed on the condition of anonymity. Satanists have been accused of being responsible for many deaths in the area where he lives.
Two years ago, when his friend visited, it was the first time they'd seen each other for a long while. What Ncube didn’t know was that in the meantime his friend had become a Devil worshipper.
His friend went to great lengths to try to lure Ncube into the dark world of Satanism, promising him lots of money and other riches if he would join the Satanist movement. At the time, Ncube’s family was struggling to make ends meet. After several days of relentless pressure from his friend, Ncube gave in. He became a Satanist.
Ncube says the first day he went to worship the Devil with other Satanists in a house in Cowdray Park, a Bulawayo suburb, he had a vision at night. “I saw a bottle. Inside there was blood and a voice told me to drink it to receive powers," he says. Ncube claims in the vision he also saw people dying in road accidents and Satanists drinking the blood of the victims.
The following day, one of the companies where he had applied for a job called him for an interview. "Life was hard, but when I became a Satanist, things started changing for me,” says Ncube. “It was easy to find work.”
Ncube was offered the position of marketing officer for a local company with operations in neighbouring Botswana. After landing the job, his friend told him that no one is poor in the Devil’s kingdom. “All the Satanists I got to know during my time in the movement had comfortable lives,” says Ncube. “No one suffered or was poor. This is why many youths are joining these movements.”
Ncube wasn’t only doing well financially, his love life also improved considerably. “The powers inside me attracted beautiful girls to me. I am not good looking as you can see. I am actually ugly, but I got all the beautiful girls," he says.
His sudden success didn’t go unnoticed and his relatives became suspicious. But Ncube told them that being a devout Christian had turned his life around. "I knew I was lying because lying is one of the Devil's trades," he says.
Ncube and other Satanists would allegedly worship the Prince of Darkness three times a week at midnight. During these sessions, the group leader of the movement led the members into incantations. Ncube claims “spirits from hell were called out to fill the worshippers with power.”
One day Ncube's secret life was exposed when a self-proclaimed prophet of a local Pentecostal church exposed the house in Cowdray Park as a Satanist church. His relatives confronted him and he was forced to confess that he was indeed a Devil worshipper. They called in the prophet to banish the Devil’s spirit inside him.
Ncube says he is recovering well from his time as a Satanist, although he does not regret joining the movement, because it made him richer than he had ever been before. Charismatic Pentecostal priest and evangelist, Reverend Emmanuel Hlabangana, says youths are attracted to shortcuts to riches because they “see their [political] leaders acquire wealth using evil powers. That’s why some of them try to do the same by becoming a Satanist.”
Satanism is not considered a religion in Zimbabwe. Samora Moyo, a resident of Cowdray Park, says people should be allowed to worship whoever they want including Satan. “Satanism should be treated like any other religion. I don’t see anything wrong with it as long as Devil worshippers don’t go around killing people to drink their blood,” he says.