Photos and videos of Michael Job, a US preacher whose appearance mimics the conventional image of Jesus Christ, have caused a stir on social media in Kenya and other African countries.
Job is currently visiting Kenya. His long hair, beard and clothes make him resemble the Jesus shown in bible stories and movies. The look has attracted debate in Africa and internationally. He has been called a “Jesus imposter” and his followers ridiculed.
On 30 July 2019 Africa Check debunked social media claims that Job is or pretends to be Jesus Christ.
African news sites have since reported that he has been deported from Kenya. Some Kenyan media even claim he has died.
Versions of the story have been published on Nigerian blogs and Facebook pages. The rumours have spread to Zambia and Zimbabwe, and been posted in Kiswahili.
Deportation is ‘fake news’
But a quick look at Job’s Facebook timeline shows him still meeting Christian congregations in Kenya. He has also scheduled “crusades” in the country from 8 to 11 August 2019.
On Facebook, he called stories that he had been deported “fake news”.
“Some people, known as ‘internet trolls’, have made false reports about me claiming to be Jesus, Jesus' second coming starting in Kenya, me being found and worshipped in churches, and me being deported with pastors from the country, all of which are ‘fake news’,” he posted.
“I have gotten many messages and just wanted to let you know that I am still here in Kenya, preaching in schools.”
‘Alive and well’
Five days after first being reported dead, the preacher was still active on his Facebook page, updating his followers on his visits around the country with photos and videos.
He responded to reports that he had died from pneumonia, saying he was alive and well.
“I am very much alive and preaching the gospel,” Job posted on Facebook.
The reports quoted doctors at “Heyn Hospital” as the source for their information, but a Google search could not find any hospital with that name. – Dancan Bwire
Mhubiri wa USA ‘Yesu’ anayetembelea Kenya hakufukuzwa, na yuko ‘hai kabisa’
Picha na video za Michael Job, mhubiri wa Amerika ambaye muonekano wake unalingana na picha iliyosambaa ya Yesu Kristo, zimesababisha mshtuko kwenye vyombo vya habari vya kijamii nchini Kenya na nchi zingine za Afrika.
Kwa sasa, Job anatembelea Kenya. Nywele zake ndefu, ndevu na nguo zinamfanya afanane na Yesu aliyeonyeshwa kwenye hadithi za Bibilia na sinema. Muonekano wake huo umevutia mjadala barani Afrika na kimataifa. Job ametajwa kama “muigaji wa Yesu” na wafuasi wake wamedharauliwa.
Mnamo tarehe 30 Julai 2019 Afrika Check ilifunua uongo wa mitandao ya kijamii ilivyodai kuwa Job ni Ysu Kristo mwenyewe au anajifanya yeye kuwa ni Yesu Kristo.
Tangu wakati huo, tovuti za habari za Kiafrika zimeripoti kwamba amefukuzwa nchi Kenya. Tovuti zingine huku Kenya zimedai kuwa amekufa.
Matoleo ya hadithi hiyo yamechapishwa kwenye blogu na kurasa za Facebook kule Nigeria. Uvumi huo umeenea kwa Zambia na Zimbabwe, na umechapishwa kwa Kiswahili.
Kufukuzwa ni ‘habari ghushi’
Lakini orodha ya Facebook ya Job yamwonyesha bado akiwa katika mikutano ya Kikristo nchini Kenya. Pia amepanga “kampeni” nchini kutoka 8 hadi 11 Agosti 2019.
Kwenye Facebook, aliita hadithi kwamba alikuwa amefukuzwa “habari ghushi”.
“Watu wengine, wanaojulikana kama ‘waongo wa mtandao’, wametoa ripoti za uwongo zinazohusu mimi kujidai kuwa Yesu, kuja kwa Yesu mara ya pili kukianzia Kenya, mimi nilkpatikana na kuabudiwa makanisani, na mimi kufukuzwa na wachungaji kutoka nchi,... zote ambayo ni “habari ghushi”, aliandika.
“Nimepata maujumbe mengi na nataka kuwajulisha kuwa nipo hapa Kenya, nikihubiri mashuleni.”
‘Yuko hai na mzima’
Siku tano baada ya kuripotiwa kuwa amekufa, mhubiri huyo alikuwa bado anachapisha kwenye ukurasa wake wa Facebook, akijuza wafuasi wake kuhusu ziara zake kote nchini kwa picha na video.
Alijibu ripoti kwamba alikuwa amerfariki kutokana na pneumonia, akisema alikuwa hai na mzima.
“Niko hai sana na ninahubiri injili,” Job aliandika kwenye Facebook.
Ripoti hizo zilitaja madaktari katika “Hospitali ya Heyn” kama chanzo cha habari yao, lakini utafiti wa Google haukuweza kupata hospitali yoyote iliyo na jina hilo. – Dancan Bwire
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