The Observer (Kampala)

Uganda: Take Five - Pastor Irene Manjeri

interview

Pastor Irene Manjeri is the senior pastor of Bethel Healing Centre Church in Kitende, Kajjansi. She filed five questions with Immaculate Wanyenze.

Tell us about yourself.

I was born in a small village called Kapyanga in Bugiri district. I grew up in a humble peasant family. With God's grace, I was able to travel as a child, which helped me get better education and look after my siblings. I am married to Dr Vincent Katongole and we have three children - Nissi, El-shadai and Isaiah.

Is it true that you visited heaven at 11?

Yes, on January 12, 1982 when I was 11 years. It was captured by national and international media about a young girl who spent an hour in heaven with Jesus. I was so prayerful that is why I visited the Lord. Since then, I became born-again and started preaching the gospel. People witnessed signs and remarkable miracles when I ministered.

Besides your pastoral work, what else do you do?

I carry out farming, although I do not personally dig. I visit my farm once in a while and supervise workers. I rear chickens and pigs. I also have bridal boutiques in different countries and a few taxis.

You are a styled-up woman. How often do you make your hair and where do you buy your clothes from?

I make my hair twice a month and usually at Ultra [Oasis Mall], Sparkles [Garden City] and J&V opposite KPC [Kampala Pentecostal Church]. I do not shop in Uganda since I am in and out of the country; I buy most of my clothes abroad.

What do people find strange about you?

I rarely smile but that doesn't mean I am a bad person. For example, I make a lot of jokes while ministering to my people but I do not laugh. Some people mistake me for being unfriendly and rude because I don't smile.

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