By Mathias Mazinga
At a wedding reception a couple of months ago, I was humbled by the children’s choir that entertained the guests. The children sang with grace, energy, love and joy.
The choir, Neema Children’s Choir, is directed by Pastor Daniel Mutibwa, the senior pastor at Kajjansi Miracle Centre.
When Mutibwa planted the church, he was moved by the number of idle children in the neighbourhood, who hanged around church. He talked to them and many had really sad stories to tell.
“Most of the children, aged three to four years, were from a slum area called Line, behind Uganda Clays.
The place is notorious for prostitution, alcohol and drug abuse. I discovered that some were homeless orphans, whose parents had died from HIV/AIDS. Others came from poverty-stricken homes, while others had just been abandoned, or abused and thrown out of their homes by drug-addicted parents.
One of them was rescued after he was stabbed with a knife by his step-mother and thrown on a garbage heap, bleeding,” says Mutibwa.
“As a church, we decided to start a children’s ministry, which we called Kingdom Child Project, to look after these destitute children. We took them to school and provided for their material needs.
Later, we realised that a number of them could sing and wanted to express their pain and their deliverance through music. So, we organised them into a 40-member group, named Neema Children’s Choir,” adds Mutibwa.
Neema is Swahili for divine grace.
As a child, Mutibwa experienced some form of vulnerability. “My mother died when I was eight. I know well the experience of living with a step-mother. So, I could relate well with the pain of some of the children.”
Today, there are 150 needy children under Mutibwa’s care. He has built a primary school, Saving Grace Academy.
The children live in a home called Naioth (the place of rejuvenation) Children’s Home, Kajjansi. Mutibwa has also acquired 20 acres of land at Naluwembe, Mpigi district, where he plans to set up a multi-purpose centre for the children.
Until now, many of Mutibwa’s contemporaries still find it hard to believe that he is a Pentecostal preacher.
In secondary school, he was a break-dancer who did not miss out on any gig. He later became a successful businessman.
Mutibwa loved God from childhood. He would escape from his dad’s house in Gayaza during the night to attend overnight prayers at the Redeemed Church of Christ, Makerere.
But his real conversion happened in 1989, when God rescued him from a suicidal death.
“I had complicated diseases, which had made my life very unpleasant, so I decided to commit suicide. But before I implemented my deadly plan, God appeared to me as I was praying and ordered me to abandon my evil plans.
He then instructed me to go to Rubaga Miracle Centre, where he had prepared a person to talk to me. I walked to the church and found Pastor Robert Kayanja.
He was going for a meeting at Nile Hotel (now Serena Hotel Kampala), but when he saw me, he postponed the meeting to attend to me.
He counselled and prayed for me. God miraculously healed me of the complicated diseases. I accepted Christ as my personal saviour.”
Although his ministry is relatively young, Pastor Mutibwa has preached the gospel in Nigeria, UK, the US, the Caribbean, Switzerland, Germany and Canada.
trueAlbum Title: Through It All ,Ensemble: Neema Children’s Choir , Recording: Black Smith Studio, Nabulagala, Producer: Sam Namatiti
A song of deliverance
By Vision Reporter
After ministering in countries like Nigeria and Canada, Neema Children’s Choir has released a musical album, which is already enjoying fair public reception.
The songs on the album, Through It All reflect the testimony of these. Many led destitute lives in the slums of Kajjansi, following the death of their parents from HIV/AIDS.
The most touching item on the album is probably the Medley, a low-tempo three-piece track. It gives assurance of the steadfast love and protection of Jesus for those who trust in Him. The medley combines Through It All, Jesus is the Answer and Jesus We Are Depending on You in graceful progression.
Equally enjoyable is the chorus Hakuna, a jubilant afro-beat chorus with an infectious bongo flavour. The song also has captivating adlibs, which add to its beauty.
The Luganda song Kwata (hold firmly), adopts a typical Zulu vibe, encouraging those who have received the salvation of Christ, to remain firm and never to back slide.
Other songs on the album are Everlasting Arms, Alpha and Omega, Baniminyoso and Gonna be Alright, which is a rap song.
Neema Children’s choir was founded by Pastor Daniel Mutibwa of Kajjansi Miracle Centre Church.
The Neema choir children have also had major musical tours in Africa and Canada. In 2011, they performed before Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja at a State House Christmas concert.
They also performed at the International Mission Fest in Toronto, Canada in April 2013. The event was one of Canada’s biggest Christian gatherings. During the same event, the choir participated in Toronto’s Knights Table Feeding Our Future fundraising gala (organised to feed and empower vulnerable people).
The choir was given an award for their participation
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A ministry born of a child’s plight