Back to Africa Check

Beware of another Facebook page impersonating Kenyan church

IN SHORT: Popular Kenyan preacher Ezekiel Odero and his New Life Prayer church are frequent victims of impersonation online. This Facebook page offering prayers in return for money is yet another example of this.

The Facebook page New life prayer center and church mavueni claims to offer prayers to Facebook users. When they reach out, the page tells them to send money as an “offering” first.

The page uses the photos of Ezekiel Odero, a popular Kenyan preacher who runs the New Life Prayer Centre and Church.

One of its posts, dated 16 February 2023, reads in part: “Umeteseka kwa magonjwa ya cancer, HIV, diabetes, ulcers, kuumwa na mgongo, pralysis, arthritis, shida ya tumbo, leo hii nina habari njema kwako.”

It adds: “Mungu atakufungua mara moja mwanangu, iwapo una magonjwa yanayokusumbua, nipigie simu/au uniandikie ujumbe mfupi au watsap kwa 0770986436 nikuombee upokee kufunguliwa kwa jina la Yesu Christo.”

This translates from Kiswahili as: “You have suffered from diseases like cancer, HIV, diabetes, ulcers, back pain, paralysis, arthritis, stomach problems. Today I have good news for you.”

“God will heal you immediately, my son. If you are ailing, call, write me a text or contact me on WhatsApp on 0770986436. I will pray for your healing in Jesus’s name.”

Similar posts on the page have attracted hundreds of likes and comments.

But does the page really represent Odero’s New Life Prayer Centre and Church? We checked.

OderoProfile_Scam

Signs the Facebook page is fake

We searched online for the New Life Prayer Centre and Church and found its YouTube channel, New Life TV KENYA

It has more than 416,000 subscribers. All the preacher’s activities are posted on the channel.

The YouTube channel lists the church’s phone numbers. The phone number listed in the Facebook posts in question is not among them.

We reached out to the number on WhatsApp and we were told to deposit KSh2,000 first to the number, before prayers could be “given”. 

Legit Facebook page

The church’s YouTube channel includes a link to the website newlifeprayercenterandchurch.org

The website, in turn, links to the church’s official Facebook page, “Newlife TV KENYA”, which has more than 232,000 followers. The page transparency section shows it was created on 5 December 2020. 

The fake page was created on 28 December 2022. It has only 40,000 followers.

It is unlikely that the preacher would run two Facebook pages at the same time, with different contact details.

This is just one of the many Facebook pages and accounts Africa Check has exposed impersonating Odero and his church.

In 2023 alone, Africa Check has at time of writing exposed four other Facebook accounts that use Odero’s name and photos to scam people out of money.

To help protect yourself against online fraudsters, see Africa Check’s guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on africacheck.org.

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.