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HTS Theological Studies

versión On-line ISSN 2072-8050
versión impresa ISSN 0259-9422


MUJINGA, Martin. African women, religion and COVID-19: The bedrock of Sipiwe Chisvo's periphery-centre leadership ascendance. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2024, vol.80, n.2, pp.1-7. ISSN 2072-8050.

Although women are the centre of African society, not much scholarly attention has been given to these conduits of human development in the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe. The stories of individual women have never formed part of Methodist historiography, ecclesiology, or theology. Methodist scholars exercised this pigeonholing even though women contribute to the life and mission of the church in a formidable way. Moreover, the ministers' wives who are the leaders of the women's movement that has the majority of church membership in the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe have also not received scholarly attention despite how they have dedicated their lives to supporting their husband's ministry. As a result, lay members of the women's movement would not be expected to be celebrated as most Methodist scholars are male ministers who have never celebrated the work of their wives. This article was motivated by the appointment of Mrs. Sipiwe Chisvo, an ordinary member of the Women's Fellowship from the low-density suburb of Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe to be the first black President of the World Federation of the Methodist and Uniting Church Women in 2022. Chisvo actively participated in the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe's interventions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and presumably, this contributed towards her visibility and recognition in the international arena. CONTRIBUTION: Although African women often remain in the peripheries of culture, Sipiwe Chisvo is an example of a religious African woman who gave hope to the hopeless people during COVID-19 and this role contributed immensely to her appointment as the president of the World Federation of the Methodist and Uniting Church Women. With this identity, Chisvo represents selfless services rendered by African women to communities during pandemics and these services do not go unnoticed

Palabras clave : African women; bedrock; COVID-19; Leadership ascendance; periphery-centre; Sipiwe Chisvo.

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