After beating Liberia with a second-half goal to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday, Congolese football fans at the Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa were ecstatic as they cheered their team.
The joy later became euphoric after they spotted a bearded white man in a Democratic Republic of Congo football jersey at the stadium whom they called “Jesus”, referring to Jesus Christ of Nazareth in the Bible.
A trending video shows the fans swarmed around the “white Jesus” as they walk the streets outside the stadium singing: “YEZU AZALI AWA NA BISO”, meaning “Jesus is here with us” in the Lingala language widely spoken in the Central Africa region.
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This is one of many instances where Africans have been spotted hailing white people they believe could be the Jesus Christ of Nazareth seen in movies – the typical white narrative of Christ handed down by the colonial masters to African captives from the 1500s.
In 2016, another bearded white man thrilled Kenyans who clamoured for photo opportunities while he was walking barefoot on the streets of Nairobi. The man who was later identified as Daniel
“I arrived in Kenya less than 2 weeks ago from Ethiopia and have been welcomed with so much enthusiasm like I’ve never experienced before in my life. In fact, it’s been so extreme that it’s been a little overwhelming. Every single corner I walk on in Nairobi I have noticed someone either taking a photo or video while hundreds of times a day I hear people calling out ‘Jesus!’” the tourist told local media.
“I am not Jesus! I have never pretended to be. I am a traveler who has come to your country as a visitor, I would hope that one day if Jesus does return you treat him with a little more respect than you have treated me. To everyone else, you are a beautiful people, I love you!” Christos responded to critics who wanted none of his publicity stunt.
Days later, other white people dressed as Moses and Elijah as seen in Western biblical movies equally gained attention in the country. The phenomenon has occurred in other African countries too and in different forms including the spotting of white Jesus in the sky and in smoke as well as on water.