Shadreck â€˜Mtifi Zagonjaâ€™ Khamulera did not get his name for nothing. Back home at NjeteVillage in T/A Mthiramanja in Mulanje, he was known for his knack in charms. So what happened for him to change from peddler of charms to a carrier of Godâ€™s word? James Chimpweya had a chat with him at Chichiri Prison where he was jailed in 2007.
How did you find yourself at Chichiri Prison?
I am here because I fell in love with a certain woman in 2007. Because of her age, this did not please her relatives who reported me to police. I was arrested in August, 2007. Our relationship started when she came to me to seek traditional medicine.
What was your life like before you were jailed?
Those who know me from home will tell you that I am a witchdoctor. As a witchdoctor, I was dispensing traditional medicine and charms to people from as far as Mozambique. Apart from this, I was also a magic teacher who was teaching people how to get into the world of Satanism. I spent time under the sea several times. I was not an ordinary witchdoctor. I would challenge people whose relatives were arrested by police that I would help them secure the release of their relations.
But you are in prison now, why canâ€™t you use the charms to free yourself?
You see, the knowledge of the world is silly. Look, I was challenging people that I would help them, but now I failed to save myself from arrest and imprisonment. I swallowed charms so I could be untouchable, but this did not help. I have realised that it was foolish to put my faith in charms.
Now that you received Jesus Christ as your saviour, what kind of a person will you be now and after leaving the prison?
I have seen how good it is to serve the living God. After serving my sentence, I will continue preaching the gospel of salvation to the people who were coming to me to receive charms. Apart from this, I am also planning to form my ministry, known as Chisomo Evangelistic Ministry, because for me to be saved it was because of Godâ€™s grace. After my relatives disowned me, CCAP members from Blantyre City Presbytery are taking care of me and meet my daily needs. I donâ€™t feel a sense of loss and abandonment.