Everyone wants to ensure that justice is served or that the world as it is perceived is held to some “good-like standard.” If not the desire, people wish for a semblance of justice in a very unjust world at some point.
Morality and religion preach about an unjust world and the need for justice, and regardless of how different religions are — Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity — they all seek to make the world a better place.
However, in its fight against the unjust and sinful world, this religion offers a different version and history.
Tata Gonda is said to have accepted a call from God in 1989 to change his daily attire to a sack in the province of Central Congo. God is said to have asked Tata Gonda to dress in a sack used to package goods. The clothing is said to represent humiliation before God.
Decades later, the Prophet Tata Gonda, on whose life this traditional and Christian religion is based, has attracted followers who consistently live their lives dressed in sacks. These followers dress in sacks; the styles vary, but the material used to sew these styles is always sacks.
Tata Gonda is no longer alive and is succeeded by a new leader who leads a large number of disciples from both Congo and Angola. Tata Gonda’s followers live their lives away from prying eyes in Mbanza, Nzambia, where the Prophet Tata Gonda lived.
Aside from their special clothing, Tata Gonda disciples do not bathe with water; instead, they perform a morning ritual in which they cover themselves in ashes; ashes are thought to be antiseptics.
They do not consume alcohol or smoke. They don’t dress opulently, hence the sackcloth they wear.
Many may regard their way of life as strange in light of Western civilization and the fact that it differs greatly from the practices of other religions that are adaptable to modernization, but this community sees things differently.
Regardless of how different their lives are, they are very welcoming. This is how group members described it on kumakonda.com. “In our opinion, their lifestyle is more akin to an alternative hippie lifestyle than to a cult.” The leaders of the prophet Tata Gonda’s followers have extended us a warm welcome and hospitality.”
Tata Gonda’s followers eat what they produce. They work as a community to cultivate their farms and expand their fishery. Prayer is one thing they take very seriously. They celebrate with, for, and because of prayer. It is necessary; it is an integral part of their lives, and they do not avoid it. They are cut off from democracy because they live solely under autocracy, but they live in peace and respect.
They are open to visitors and are very hospitable, but at the end of the day, their unique way of life is not lost on their guests as was shared on kumakonda.com, “We are offered a hearty dinner with refreshments, rooms and a big breakfast. The talk goes on well into the night.”