Back to Africa Check

Sex church? No, photos don’t show dodgy Tanzanian pastor opening new branches in Kenya or Malawi

IN SHORT: Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi tend to be conservatively Christian. A pastor running an against-the-grain church in these countries would be unlikely.

A claim that a Tanzanian pastor has opened a “sex church” in neighbouring Kenya continues to circulate on Facebook.

Most versions include five photos. Four show a man in priestly clothes taking turns to kiss two women. One of the women also wears a cassock. The other is in everyday garb.

The fifth photo shows a man who looks a lot like the man in the other photos. He’s holding an open bible – and swigging a bottle of beer.

The caption begins: “The world is coming to an end.”

It continues: “Tanzanian pastor opened an s*x church in Kenya, In this church, they drink beer have one hour of s*x with whoever is seating next to you, exchange wives and husband for sexual desire, teaching women not to be jealous when the husband wants to have s*x with other ladies.”

A similar post claims the pastor is planning to open “sex church” branches in South Africa and its Southern African neighbour, Malawi.

The claim has been circulating on social media – with photos and videos – since 2018.

“Pastors”, “preachers” and “prophets” in African countries have over the years attracted unflattering headlines. They have been reported to be robbing, inciting, and misleading congregations.

Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi are reportedly deeply Christian, with populations conservative in their beliefs.

Who is the man in the photos, and where is he from? Would his supposed “sex church” attract believers in Kenya, Tanzania or Malawi? And does it exist? We checked.


Nabii Tito from Tanzania

A Google reverse image search of some of the photos led us to an article published on the Standard’s website on 27 January 2018. The Standard is a Kenyan newspaper. 

The article says the photos show controversial 44-year-old self-proclaimed prophet Onesmo Machibya, popularly known as Nabii Tito. Tanzania’s police have found him to be mentally ill, the article says. But it doesn’t explain how this was established.

The Standard identifies the two women Machibya is photographed kissing. The one in a cassock is his wife. The other is the couple’s domestic worker.

The man in the photos is indeed Tanzanian, but there have been no reports that he has established a “sex church” in Kenya – or any other mainly Christian African country. If he had, it would have caused an uproar.

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

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.