In what could be best described as the mother of all provincial youth conferences in the history of the UAAC, approximately 2 thousand young people from all corners of South Africa converged at the Chief Mogale Community Hall in Kagiso on 08 to 09 February for their annual gathering.

The conference was graced by the presence of the newly appointed Archbishop of the UAAC, the Right Reverend Archbishop IJ Mureri and the Minister of Basic Education, Honorable Ms Angie Motshekga among others. Their arrival and grand entrance into the fully packed hall was greeted with deafening ululations and celebrations as they elegantly walked their way to their designated seats.

Under the theme, “It’s better to return to GOD than go forward without him”, the conference which was officially opened by Bishop Muzila, attracted members from other Provinces and Zimbabwe. A huge legion of youth from Limpopo led by the energetic Provincial Youth Chairperson, Mutakalo Mathoma, arrived at sunset on 08 February 2020. They were accompanied by Bishop Hlabangwana from Malamulele and other senior church members. Brigadier Gora from Zimbabwe was also in attendance. The Women ‘s League delegation was led by Jev Maluleke, National Head of the UAAC Women ‘s League, who was also accompanied by Limpopo Chairlady, Inspector Maudu and Head of the Inspector department, Chief Inspector Ramalamula.

Tears of joy couldn’t stop flowing through the chicks of UAAC faithful as they cast their first glimpse on the newly appointed leader. His maiden salutation through waving of hand threw the hall into unfettered jubilation. Camera flashes became the order of the day as both the young and old ceased an opportunity to develop some memorabilia of their most revered leader.

The theme of the conference laid the basis for a revelatory Word of GOD by Mr Michael Muravha, Evangelist Takalani Mammburu and Ma-Bishop Muzila. They all exhorted the youth to refrain from earthly conduct and return to what GOD wants, especially in the contemporary world with all challenges. “Walking aimlessly without direction is fatal for a Christian and as such we all need to turn to the Almighty at all times, they said.

Mpheni Choir were crowned champions of the choir competition trailed by Phuthalushaka, and Soweto on 3rd position.

Gauteng Youth Chairperson, Mr David Mudau, encouraged the youth to remain united as well as working hard as they are the church ‘s future. He also paid homage to the leadership for keeping the church together during a difficult period in 2019. National Chairperson, Rev Nelufhangani, echoed Mr Mudau ‘s call for unity and love for one another. He also indicated that the youth must feel being part of the church and should therefore not be dissuaded by anything.

The conference lived to expectations as the youth learnt much from an insightful and inspirational address by the Minister of Basic education, Hon Ms Motshekga. In her address, Minister Motshekga reiterated the department ‘s stance on various issues and encouraged the youth to prioritise their studies. The minister went on to avail herself to UAAC members for an exclusive session with the youth where she will be able to deal with specific challenges and offer solutions on various areas affecting pupils. Her address was preceded by an informative presentation by Mr Eugene Peltret of Reflective Learning who took the youth through the importance of Maths education in the contemporary world, especially in view of its role in the 4th Industrial Revolution .

When the moment that all were waiting for finally arrived, a tear-jerking atmosphere characterised the occasion as the youth engaged in non-stop singing. They altered their original song, “Vhagai naa Vho-Mureri (Where is our Spiritual Father Archbishop Mureri)” to “Vha hone Vho-Mureri (He is here) to signify the presence of their new leader who ascended into his Father ‘s throne. Program directors had a torrid time requesting the roaring young lions to take their seats, but the song and dance continued for extended periods as the youth illustrated affinity to their leader. A new era was clearly being ushered in and one could have been forgiven for thinking that the youth were eager to spend the whole afternoon with their Archbishop, forgetting that some came from other Provinces and were still going to travel hundreds of kilometers to reach home.

In his address, Archbishop IJ Mureri reminded members about the most important attributes that kept the church together for over a century. These are love, unity, peace and togetherness. “These attributes sustained the church for many generations since its establishment by Bishop Matsea Paul Mureri. It is therefore a challenge that you and I should take to ensure that the church reaches another 108 years”, he said.

The Archbishop also thanked the church for the support given to the Mureri family since the departure of Archbishop Dr EMM Mureri in December 2018 and throughout the year-long mourning period. He thanked church members for continuing with all services and maintaining unity during such difficult time, even traveling to Zimbabwe and Botswana to reinforce cohesion. He implored members to recall anyone whom they no longer see at church as “God says he is not pleased by those who abandon his fort”.

Turning his attention to the youth, the Archbishop encouraged them to prioritise education and indicated that whilst the country is experiencing high unemployment rate, such is low among graduates.

The Archbishop also thanked Minister Motshekga for her very inspirational address and pledged to ensure that all that she recommended will be implemented by relevant stakeholder. He also asked her to pass the church ‘s message to cabinet that the UAAC obeys the government rulers as per biblical teachings on Romans Chapter 13.

He concluded by asking the members to read the book of Philippians 4, a clear indication that he will continue with his father ‘s legacy of emphasizing that members must abide by Jesus Christ ‘s teachings, love one another, giving thanks and striving for unity at all times.

UAAC members were visibly delighted with their first conference of the year and wholeheartedly welcomed their Archbishop with huge anticipation and immeasurable optimism. They are surely poised to support him in growing the church and propelling it to greater heights.

Undoubtedly the conference left an indelible mark in the hearts and minds of many.

Peace be unto all!!