The ecclesiological significance of the ‘African kraal’ metaphor in a context of urban poverty in Zimbabwe

  • Collium Banda North-West University
  • IJ Van der Merwe Stellenbosch University
Keywords: Urban poverty, urban ecclesiology, African kraal, Zimbabwe, church communality


The essay considers how the communal and empowering nature of the African kraal can be a metaphor of a liberating and empowering church in a context of urban poverty in Zimbabwe. Africans generally experience urban centres as foreign and hostile places where they ideally only live temporarily during seasons of urban employment. In Zimbabwe, poverty alleviation strategies that pay attention to the unique context of urban centres are few. This heightens the African experience of urban centres as foreign places. Urban churches often struggle to respond to urban poverty meaningfully. The African kraal, although a rural oriented metaphor, can direct the church in the city to meaningfully respond to urban poverty.
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