Zombodze Apostolic Faith Church(Phans'eMdzimba)

Zombodze Apostolic Faith Church(Phans'eMdzimba)



Rev. DT Ndlela & Mam'fundisi Ndlela

Rev. DT Ndlela & Mam'fundisi Ndlela

About Zombodze AFC

Zombodze Apostolic Faith Church email address: zombodzeafc@gmail.com. Zombodze AFC website: www.zombodzeafc.com

Download Zombodze AFC App on the following links; Android App or iOS Apple App

To write to Zombodze AFC please use the following mailbox number as shown:

Zombodze Apostolic Faith Church
P.O Box 4454

Background(AFC in Eswatini)

The church has a constitution (which is undergoing a review process) which outlines the appointment of its leadership and how it should function in the African Continent.

Presently,there are 13 circuits in Eswatini, the church had 9 circuits in 2017(when this extract was compiled) with an estimated membership of about 700(in 2017), with its local headquarters located at Gege, Western Swaziland(Eswatini). The Apostolic Faith Church is led by the Country Overseer in Swaziland, working with the Board of Trustees for the church. 

The State of Religion in Eswatini

Christianity has a history of over 100 years in Swaziland, dating back to the 19th century, brought to the country by missionaries most of who came to South Africa, then extended their mission to Swaziland, except for a few who came straight to Swaziland in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

From that time, a number of religious or church groupings entered the country broadly categorized as orthodox or mainline churches, protestant/Pentecostal churches, as well as traditional grouped under three umbrella organizations namely; the Council for Swaziland Churches, Swaziland Conference of Churches and the League of Churches respectively.

In recent years, with the introduction of the Swaziland Constitution (2005) that declared freedom of religion in the country, Swaziland has witnessed tremendous growth in the arrival and operation of different religious sects such Islam, Buddhism, and a new dimension of Christianity commonly known as “ministries”, a number of which have broken away from mainline or Pentecostal churches.

The 1990’s and 2000s have been characterized by a number of divisions within the Christian churches, resulting in the birth of the majority of these ‘ministries’. However, the Christian faith remains dominant in the country, led by orthodox set-ups such as the Roman Catholic Church, Church of the Nazarene, and a few of the Pentecostal churches.

It is important to note though that the country is predominantly focused on traditional religions which are based on ancestral worship which transcends beyond church setups and largely and openly practiced in the traditional churches under the League of Churches and secretly practiced by members of the orthodox and Pentecostal churches.

The AFC in Swaziland(Eswatini)

Considered being one of the orthodox or mainline churches that arrived in the early 1900s, the Apostolic Faith Church is well-known in the country and boasts of its uniqueness of worship, dress code and music. In recent years, the church has experienced challenges that have stifled its growth and resulted in divisions that has led to the hemorrhage of membership. With an estimated about 700 members in about nine (9) circuits in 2017 or branches in the country, the church has not grown as expected or in the trend other similar churches have grown.

The AFC remains popular in the country, with popular figures having featured in its membership, particularly alongside the church music groups. The Swaziland chapter of the AFC remains an integral part of the African AFC setup which is led from the Republic of South Africa. The church has its local structures led by the Country Overseer, the Board of Trustees, and other structures at country and circuit levels. 

AFC’s Mission(Eswatini)

Again, the church leadership worked on crystalizing the core mandate of the church in Swaziland and agreed that the church stands for: Preaching salvation through Christ using unique and effective teaching, healing, worship, music and prayer ministries, positively impacting our communities.

The church also agreed on the vernacular version of the mission statement being: Kushumayela insindziso ngaKhrestu sisebentisa tindlela tetfu letehlukile naletiletsa umehluko etinkonzweni tekufundzisa, kuphilisa, kukhonta, kuhlabela nemthandazo kusitakale umango. Credit to:(AFC Strategic Plan 2017 – 2020[Background - AFC's Mission])

Zombodze AFC Geographical Location

For directions/physical address on google maps please copy and paste the following coordinates: 

-26.432651,31.278229 or click on Announcements page then click on the map at the bottom, it will take you straight to Zombodze Apostolic Faith Church. You can also click on this following link to open google maps automatically: Zombodze AFC Map

Zombodze Apostolic Faith Church is located in Eswatini(Swaziland) at Zombodze under Mdzimba mountain. Mdzimba mountain is one of the historical mountains in Eswatini, Mdzimba hills historically have had strategical importance and contain many caves in which locals would hide during raids.

The church is loosely referred to as; Zombodze waMagugu phans'eMdzimba. It is under the leadership of Rev. DT Ndlela who took over Rev. PL Mtetwa who has departed this earthly life. Rev. DT Ndlela was fully ordained in September 2023 by Chief Overseer Rev. EJ Bhembe at Zombodze Apostolic Faith Church.

Zombodze AFC History by AM Mtetwa

A group of Christians from Gege approached Labotsibeni Mdluli also known as Queen Gwamile enquiring about a place of worship for Royal members.

Queen Gwamile then contacted the then Chief of Zombodze waMagugu Umphakatsi(Royal Village) Chief/Indvuna Mandanda Mthethwa to search for a suitable place of worship that was convenient to the Royal members.

Zombodze AFC was established primarily as a worship place for the Royal families/homesteads(Siguco sebantfwa beNkhosi) such as Nhlanhleni Umphakatsi(Boyane), Thunzini Umphakatsi(Ludzeludze), Zombodze Umphakatsi(Zombodze phans'eMdzimba) and many more. We still have descendants of the Royal families who still attend Sunday services at Zombodze AFC such as Ms Tengetile Dlamini who is a full member of Zombodze AFC.

After the place of worship was identified and  located by Indvuna Mandanda Mthethwa on the commands of Queen Gwamile, Mr. Malinga a preacher(Umshumayeli) from Gege was then approched to lead Zombodze AFC.

Mr. Malinga

Mr. Malinga led the church well but his only challenge was the distance from his homestead and the church. He was worried about the church being left under no guidance or protection while he was away so he suggested that Mr. Hlophe, also a preacher(Umshumayeli), was also brought on board from Gege as one of the leaders of Zombodze AFC.

Mr. Hlophe was also a son-in-law to Mr. Malinga, the members of the Umphakatsi(Royal Village) agreed and supported Mr. Malinga's suggestions. Mr. Hlophe came to stay at the mission residence and to look after the church, the mission residence belongs to the church not to the Hlophe family, it was once referred to as  kaMalinga before Mr. Hlophe came on board.

Mr. Hlophe and Mr. Malinga co-led

Mr. Hlophe and Mr. Malinga co-led the church and they both shared the Word of God every Sunday on schedule. In short they were both leading the church for a certain period of time as preachers(Bashumayeli) not as pastors, the church had no pastor ordained at that time.

When there was a Quarter Meeting, the Chief Overseer would come to lead the meeting together with some pastors from Gege(Siyendle) and to conduct Holy Communion. Then came a time where there was a division of the Apostolic Faith Church where Gwamile Apostolic World Faith Church was formed.

Mr. Mlipha was then appointed to be the Chief Overseer of the Apostolic Faith Church that remained from the division of the AFC. C/O Mlipha took over and led the Quarterly Meetings at Zombodze and also conducted Holy Communion.

Rev. Hlophe

C/O Mlipha while he was in Daveyton South Africa(AFC Head Office) then requested that Hlophe must be ordained as a pastor of Zombodze AFC. Mr. Hlophe was then ordained officially as the first pastor of Zombodze AFC while Mr. Malinga remained just a preacher(Umshumayeli) not promoted to be a pastor, this was due to Mr. Malinga's children misbehaving, this misbehaving led to Mr. Malinga being overlooked for the pastoral position and he was blamed for not reprimanding his children.

Formation of other branches by Zombodze AFC

Under Rev. Hlophe, a new branch of AFC was formed in Mphembekati which is known as Central Eswatini today. Mr. Kunene was the leader of the church and was responsible for the building of the first church structure at Mphembekati.

Zombodze AFC Amadodana(men) used to go preach at Mphembekati on schedule every Sunday before Mr. Kunene was appointed to lead the church as a preacher(Umshumayeli). Mr. Kunene was a member of Zombodze AFC when he was appointed as a leader of the Mphembekati AFC branch by Rev. Hlophe.

There were three(3) Amadodana from Zombodze AFC who were assigned to share the Word every Sunday at Mphembekati, these were: Mr. AM Mtetwa(who narrated Zombodze AFC history), Mr. Jonas Shongwe who was also known as Ndingi and Mr. Sifohloza Ndlela.

Another AFC branch was established in Ngonini, Mr. Simelane who was a member of Zombodze AFC and also a preacher(Umshumayeli) was appointed to lead the Ngonini branch which is also known as kaWater in Matsapha.

Mr. Simelane ascended from being a preacher to be the Reverend of the church after the church relocated from Ngonini to kaWater where it is currently located.

At the time of compiling these historical events, Zombodze AFC was at a verge of establishing another AFC branch at Sigombeni.

The land has been allocated to the church and half the settlement was paid to the Umphakatsi(Royal Village), only few formalities need to be agreed on in order for the church to fully own the land and the church building construction can commense.

Mr. G Ndlela was appointed to lead the church at Sigombeni as a preacher(Umshumayeli), Mr. G Ndlela is a full member of Zombodze AFC.

Rev. PL Mtetwa

After Rev. Hlophe passed on, Rev. PL Mtetwa took over as a leader of Zombodze Apostolic Faith Church and became only the second pastor to be ordained in the history of the church. Rev. PL Mtetwa contributed immensely to the vision and the success of building the new Zombodze AFC building that is currently being used as a place of worship. 

The old church building is still being used for other church activities, the old church building is very small in size compared to the size of the new church building.

Rev. PL Mtetwa also contributed to the vision and the formation of Siyakhula(loosely translated to we are growing/expanding). He was also one of the founders of Siyakhula an organization that is still in existence which its aim is to build relationships amongst other Christian denominations.

Rev. PL Mtetwa was also part of IINDUMISO ZABAPOSTILE, a successful AFC music group which comprises of Amadodana(men) from different AFC branches in Eswatini.

Rev. DT Ndlela

After Rev. PL Mtetwa passed on, Rev. DT Ndlela took over as the leader of Zombodze AFC and became the third pastor to be ordained in the history of the church. As stated in one of the sections above, Rev. DT Ndlela was fully ordained in September 2023 by Chief Overseer Rev. EJ Bhembe at Zombodze Apostolic Faith Church.

Rev. DT Ndlela's vision to expand AFC still continues, he is playing a huge and important role in making sure that the formation of the Sigombeni AFC branch becomes a success.

He fully supports the establishment of the Zombodze AFC Media group/committee which aims to be the multimedia section of the Zombodze AFC.

Zombodze AFC Media

Zombodze AFC Media aims to make use of a computer or any other input devices to present and combine text, graphics, audio, and video with links and tools that let users to navigate, interact, create, and communicate.

Zombodze AFC Media will be responsible for:
[ 1 ] the creation and maintenance of Zombodze AFC website
[ 2 ] Audio, graphics, text and video recording.
[ 3 ] IT equipment maintenance e.g projector, sound system, security cameras, computers and recording equipment.
[ 4 ] Social media maintenance including Zombodze AFC facebook page, YouTube page, the website and also be responsible for managing the Zombodze AFC email(zombodzeafc@gmail.com)

The Need for a Media Section

Most Zombodze AFC members were not able to attend Rev. DT Ndlela's ordination ceremony and there were no formal streams of communication available to view the ceremony remotely hence the suggesion of a Media group emerged.

We are certain that Rev. DT Ndlela will have more success in the future and when new information regarding the history of Zombodze AFC appears, this page will be updated accordingly as history has no blank pages.

In Addition

NB:For more information on the history of Zombodze AFC please click on the green button at the bottom of this page to listen or to download the audio file i.e; Zombodze AFC History by Mr. AM Mtetwa. This interview is in SiSwati language and it was conducted by BS Mkhonta on the 30th of March 2024 at Ben Marais Hall, in Rustenburg, North West Province, in the Republic of South Africa at about 12h30 CAT.

The translation from the SiSwati audio to English text was done by BS Mkhonta, the translator takes full responsibility for any mistranslations and misinformation from this translation. If you spot any mistakes on this translation, please don't hesitate to contact the website designer and editor.

The contents of this interview is considered accurate as of the date and time mentioned in one of the above paragraphs. Any historical events pertaining to the history of Zombodze AFC that will take place after this interview was recorded will be updated accordingly and accurately.


Prayer Service: 10AM to 10:45AM

Main Service: 11AM to 1:30PM