Of life under Chidhumo, Masendeke shadows, and turning to God

TAKAWIRA Masendeke (25) lived his life under the shadows of the guns and knives of dishonourable criminals as his brother Edgar Masendeke and his partner in crime Stephen Chidhumo.


At 10, while his friends struggled at Sunday schools with understanding the Biblical stories in the books of Genesis and the synoptic gospels, he had become a master of debauchery in the streets of Kwekwe. When he turned 12, he was smoking marijuana and four years later he had become a gun-totting robber.

At 17 when other boys of his age were struggling for “A” Level places, he was among hardcore criminals behind bars. He was to be there for four months after being exposed to vice by Edgar and his close ally Chidhumo, who killed and robbed.

Ever since Edgar met the hangman’s noose on May 31, 2002, amid relief throughout the country, the Masendeke family brothers have been in the news all for the wrong reasons.

Just as the nation dreaded the mere mention of the Masendeke family, an almost unbelievable miracle has happened.

Takawira has swapped his old ways for the wise words of the Bible and is now a student pastor at the Tavonga Vutabwashe-led Heartfelt International Ministries.

“I have done everything bad from robbing people, womanising, drug abuse, fighting people and lots of things. I regret doing that, but I will never regret the day the Man of God (Apostle Tavonga Vutabwashe) was sent to me,” Masendeke recalled. “I started stealing at 10, then at 17 I fell in the hands of police for armed robbery. It was my first time to be in jail. I went for four months in jail and was out after they considered my age. My accomplices spent more than two years behind bars.”

Masendeke painfully conceded there was a spirit in the family that needed to be exorcised.

“I had many fights. They were not just ordinary fights, and I had a spiritual back up of some sort, (mangoromera). I started living my life the way I wanted. I was into prostitution and all sorts of evil. I had a mental disorder at one time and my family gathered it was an avenging spirit,” he said.

“Edgar started misbehaving when he was very young. He was friends with Stephen Chidhumo in Kwekwe and they started engaging in minor crimes.

“I think there is a demonic influence in the family. Every family member can fight. It’s natural,” said Masendeke, who appeared emotional and in deep thought when he explained what he thought was behind the family’s notoriety.

“Police started looking for Edgar and they would come home armed. I was going to school then and with such a brother, I could admire. I grew up in a violent set up and if you grow up like that, you would think violence is the right thing.

“He started teaching me to drink at age 10 and to take mbanje at 12. Then came the days when police were looking for him and he stopped staying at home. Then issues started arising on Masendeke having raped there, Masendeke having robbed someone and him again having shot someone,” he said. “His escapades continued and eventually he was caught, and hanged.”

Masendeke was hanged together with Chidhumo after the duo went on a robbing spree. They were once arrested and staged a dramatic escape from prison, marking the beginning of a spat of robberies and killings.

The younger Masendeke feels God wants to use him and thanks Apostle Vutabwashe, Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa and Prophet Uebert Angel for what he is now.

In an interview with NewsDay, Masendeke’s phone could not stop ringing after giving away his number on a national radio during a live programme.

“I have received more than 500 calls from people wanting to talk to me. I feel God wants to use me for something and I am ready to be an instrument to show that with God, lives can change,” the soft-spoken Masendeke said.

“I don’t regret being a Masendeke at all.”

But, how did he change his behaviour from being a criminal to a “fisher of men”? “I stayed in Amaveni, Kwekwe, and would go for crusades, but with a different agenda. One day, I attended a crusade where Apostle Vutabwashe was preaching. He preached as if he was targeting me. He spoke as if he knew my life. Touched on the evil I was doing and the spirits,” he said.

Masendeke had mental challenges and was prayed for by Apostle Vutabwashe during the church’s crusade. He is now undertaking a two-year diploma in Theology at Heartfelt Institute of Ministries in Harare under the mentorship of his spiritual father.

The born-again Masendeke spoke glowingly of the men of God, Vutabwashe, Emmanuel Makandiwa and Angel.

“I went back to work (stealing) after that, but when Apostle opened a Bible school, I spoke about it and went to the school. I was homeless, he gave me a home. I
faced rejection, but he took me as his son. He took me from scratch, no clothes, no shoes and he provided until I am where I am today,” Masendeke said.

“This Masendeke you see today is a product of Apostle Vutabwashe. When I went to Heartfelt Institute of Ministries, I continued fighting people. I could steal from people and was out of control, and the man of God was patient with me and he is still patient with me. Prophet Angel and Prophet Makandiwa come to lecture to us at school and they prophesied to me to stop what I was doing because God has something for me,” he said.

“The three Men of God have taught me lots of things about life and it is unbelievable even to my family that I’m now a pastor. I was a really bad guy. I would plot evil while seated and map out a plan to succeed in that evil thought. We would steal and run away for months.

“I now want to teach life. I now want to help people, help orphans. I want to use my life’s experience to preach the word and help those deep-rooted in sin and think there is no more redemption.”


  1. It shows the power of God who converted Saul (Paul) is still very active today. God does not discriminate.

    1. Mbavha imbavha. Wait a minute!

      1. You suffer from negativity syndrome

  2. Kubata kwaMwari kunoshamisa.Mwari rumbidzwai muranda wenyu arambe achikuzivai.

  3. Praise to the Almighty living GOD. Anosimudza marombe kubva muguruva, pamberi naro vhangeri!!

  4. praise God and his chosen servant Pastor Vutabwashe

  5. thanx be to the Almighty thank u God for saving yo child

  6. what a living testimony! you are going to be God’s instrument for the salvation of many. God bless you.

  7. what a living testimony. many shall see the goodness of God through you. God bless you.

  8. Amen, glory to the Power of God. we live next door to this guy and wen he told us he was going to be a Pastor we couldnt stop laughing (secretly) in case he hears us

  9. I think this guy will go to his old ways. lets pray it doesn’t happen but I smell a rat

  10. Handikaoni mushe kanogona kungo backslider. Katarisei manhingi kana ngozi yadzoka batai munhu!!!! Kamambara!!!!

  11. Sounds like a publicity stunt filled with lies. He is using his surname.

  12. hehehehehe kakuda kuba nembavha huru ana makandiwa ummmm pashata apa

    1. Amen!! Mbavha have teamed up to steal!! Very soon he will be talking like Angel, Makandiwa and Bwutawashe, etc. The language of money! At least instead of stealing with a gun like your departed brother, you steal with a bible – just as lethal only that the bible kills the mind of the brainwashed if used wrongly. Watch this space!

  13. Ini handisati ndagutsikana totendesesa yavira shambakodzi yedemhe , tinoziva zhara ikakacha mwanana akazopiwa chovuviri neKereke unonyepedzera regai timboona . Handirambi kuti Mukuru ariko asi ini pachangu handisati ndagutsikana ndinongohlira zvimwe angaba mariyose yezvipo . Ndinovimba haasi kuita hwegwaivhi auya zvachose muzhira tsvene .

  14. Chihuri muchenjere mhani musavhagwa avekuda kuba negemenzi manje pliz ziso isai paari 24/7 kusvika tagutsikana .

  15. Sounds great. A query though: The man is talking about Men of God, God but not once mentioning Jesus Christ the real deliverer. It would be greater to lead people to Christ. I hope that is where he is ie. in Christ.


  17. Willard Mubvumbi

    A monkey in silk is a monkey no less. The guy is the same and his true colours( murdering, rapping, stealing etc) were temporarily erased but as time goes on this same man will continue with his old ways. When a demonic spirit is exorcised it goes to a far place where there is no water. It will come back to check and find out whether the former host is strong or weak in prayers. The man is the same, the evil spirits are still in him. Shiri ine muririro wayo hairegedze.

  18. Mwari ngaakushandise shamwari even vapaul went thru the same way. Paul killed not for money but those who had the testimony of christ ska keep it up brother.

  19. At that time when the son of man shall descent from heaven, we will get to see the likes of David with his story of Uria’s wife, Paul will be there also telling how he used to destroy those who had the testimony of christ, im sure the woman at the well will also be there telling her story on how he met Jesus and changed.

  20. I always enjoy reading other people’s comments without contributing anything (a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise: and he that shuts his lips is esteemed a man of understanding) but I sort of cannot help myself on this. Good for Takawira if he has truly repented of his ways. It is indeed possible for us to be found by God. However, if I did not misread the article and if the journalist did not mix facts then there are still issues with the guy such as continuing to fight and steal even when he was at the theological institute. I am not saying that I have no flaws, I have many and that is the reason I am not training to be a Pastor or a leader in church. I understand that we continue to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” but kuzoramba uchiba kunyanya waita sarudzo yekushumira Mwari hazvizoita zvakanaka, ndiwo mafungiro anguwo. I think I am not being heretical if I were to recommend Brother Takawira to read 1 Timothy 3 especially about being blameless as an office-bearer. What he did before knowing Christ is water under the bridge but kuzotaura kuti ndairamba/ndinoramba ndichiba nekurwa nevanhu wava mushumiri zvinoita sezvinonyadza.

  21. there are worse criminals in church today than you find on the street,so don’t be fooled

  22. Indeed this man sounds like he received man and man he uplifts,but God knows the truth .Accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour,accept the gift of eternal life.

  23. vanotadza zvizhinji vanoregererwavo zvizhinji

  24. Mbiri kuna Jesu

  25. Once a thief, always a thief. Doesnt sound convincing. This is a hard core thief beyond redemption. Watch this space.

  26. Luke 6:37 ► New International Version

    “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

  27. its not our place to judge this man,thts the problem with people today,the man is trying to change,lets support and pray for his redemption,the Lord will save him,no one is beyond redemption

    1. mabasa amwari anoshamisa,rumbidzwAI JESU

  28. Mbiri kuna Jesu zvakare.

    When the son of God sets you free, you are free in deed.

  29. I thank God for such improvements in the life of an convict ,this boy must not follow after a man but God.He must give glory to God who has seen him while he was yet far away and recognised him.This is where we miss it we honour the vessels that God uses and not him.Makandiwa,Angels,Utabwashe&Me are all vessels.Vimbai naJEHOVAH.

  30. Hey please people you have to know that God is not like men who can not forgive, Thank you Masendeke God has already forgiven you when you confess with your own mouth that you are a sinner before God he will forgive you do not mind some people who don’t believe that there is God who transform people’s lives. the bible says Come Let us Reason Together. Well done Masendeke. Ngirozi dzirikupembera kudenga.

  31. God wil surely strike u for moking his servants..

    U will die if u dont repent..gamuchita Jesu

  32. Masendeke is a man of God

  33. Our GOD is awesome. One encounter with HIM can change your life

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