Original Research - Special Collection: Theology and Economy and Environment

African Neo-Pentecostal capitalism through the lens of Ujamaa

Daniel Orogun, Jerry Pillay
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6577 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6577 | © 2021 Daniel Orogun, Jerry Pillay | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 February 2021 | Published: 19 August 2021

About the author(s)

Daniel Orogun, Department of Historical and Systematic Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Jerry Pillay, Department of Historical and Systematic Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

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This article engaged in critical analyses of the capitalistic nature of the practices of African Neo-Pentecostal leaders with a focus on a few but most popular Nigerian and South African Neo-Pentecostal leaders. Using Julius Nyerere’s African moral philosophy called Ujamaa, the article viewed and critiqued the narratives with an emphasis on how antithetical such practices are to the communitarian nature of African society which provides for people-centred servant leadership. Progressively, the article discovered that such capitalistic practices promote manipulative, exploitative and inhuman culture and therefore engenders gross socio-moral and socio-economic abuse of the rights and privileges of millions of Church adherents. It further deduced that amongst others, lack of love towards the adherents and surrounding communities is at the heart of such bankrupt practices and therefore recommended the three principles and three factors of Ujamaa’s philosophy as essential values needed for the transformation of the Neo-Pentecostal religious organisations or nations. It is the conclusive remark of this article that every leader needs to adopt Ujamaa’s philosophy as a basic leadership requirement for communitarian and people-centred service to humanity.

Contribution: Aligning with HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies focus and scope, this article contributed to an interdisciplinary religious aspect of research as it brought forward the interplay of African Moral Philosophy and African Pentecostal Theology aimed at discovering pathways to improve the African Christian leaders’ socio-moral and socio-economic services to adherents and African communities at large.


capitalism; community; leadership; prosperity gospel; socio-moral; socio-economic; theology; African Neo-Pentecostalism; Ujamaa and African moral philosophy


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