Who is the Prophet of Doom?
You can make phone calls without a SIM card, says Doom-spraying preacher
The Doom-spraying prophet, Lethebo Rabalago, may only be at the start of his social-media trending spree, but in and around Zebediela, his home village in Limpopo, the streets are awash with many more stories about the 24-year-old man’s controversial “healing methods”. From dropping stones the size of gem squash on his congregants to making them drink petrol, and making a woman eat powder soap, villagers have tale upon tale to tell about Rabalago.
City Press drove around the village and randomly asked villagers about their “prophet”. And the reactions were invariably similar. “Oh, you mean the guy who sprayed people with Doom [insecticide spray]?”
“Lots of people from around here, and far, love that boy,” said one villager. “Some call him the prophet, detective, or general ... It is all confusing. He has become the biggest cause célèbre [from here],” said one middle-aged man, who added that some of his relatives would attend Rabalago’s church services.
“I don’t know what he does to these people who allow him to hit them with stones and to sit on their body, telling them they will be healed,” the man said.
Another villager, a male youth, laughed when asked about Rabalago. “All I know is that he is definitely enjoying the attention he is getting in the media right now. He loves it. His Facebook account is full of his stories, where he boasts about all his healing and deliverance methods,” the man commented.
“I have not seen him around in a while, but people are always talking about him, even before the Doom story. I just wish he was for real, then he could pray for all of us, the unemployed youth, to get jobs – but without any Doom, or making us drink petrol ... I could attend his church. But I can’t take any chances with my life,” the young man went on saying.
As much as Rabalago is not appreciated by some villagers, there are others who seemingly believe he is a “gifted young man”.
On overhearing a group of youngsters discussing Rabalago with City Press, a woman, who appeared to be in her early sixties, walked up to the group and tried to change their perceptions about Rabalago.
“Don’t talk about things you don’t know and only hear about in the news,” she warned. “The prophet has healed people and helped others in many ways ... Come to his church and stop gossiping on street corners,” she admonished.
Asked if Rabalago had ever helped her in any way, the woman commented: “Yes, I feel much healthier since I started attending his church services. He had once prayed for me, and told me that my right knee problem will end, and that was the end of the pain that I had lived with for many years.”
The woman showed her chagrin at some of the comments the young men made, which were less appreciative of Rabalago.
“He is your age and making a difference in the community, while you boys spend time drinking alcohol. You need prayers, you really need prayers,” she warned sternly, and walked off.
This is the kind of defence Rabalago gets from community members, even on his Facebook page, where he is very active. He would habitually post on his timeline but never comments, even when attacked by detractors. He seemingly leaves the answers to his supporters. Rabalago’s entry sports pictures of his church services and descriptions by himself of how he prophesies and heals the sick. In a recently posted video he defends his unconventional services, in a soft-spoken manner, citing “unlimited faith” as a main ingredient.
“That is why one can drive a car without petrol; one can make a call without a SIM card or phone battery,” he says on the Facebook entry.
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CONTROVERSIAL ‘Prophet’ Lethebo Rabalago has claimed that using Doom insecticide on people heals them of their illnesses