Original Research

Towards a postmissionary review of mission station names in the Church of Christ in Zimbabwe

Gift Masengwe, Bekithemba Dube
Theologia Viatorum | Vol 47, No 1 | a170 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/tv.v47i1.170 | © 2023 Gift Masengwe, Bekithemba Dube | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 July 2022 | Published: 15 February 2023

About the author(s)

Gift Masengwe, Department of Curriculum Studies, Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, QwaQwa, South Africa
Bekithemba Dube, Department of Curriculum Studies, Faculty of Education, University of the Free State, QwaQwa, South Africa


Christian missions are historically captured in the construction of mission stations that facilitated religious instruction to advance the gospel with unintended consequences, such as an extension of missionary-colonial ideologies and attitudes. This article discusses how these were captured in mission station naming, inclusive of erroneous or misspelt names. This makes it necessary for the Church of Christ in Zimbabwe’s (COCZ) rural membership, commonly around mission stations, to rename these centres. The distortion of history on mission stations like Dadaya calls for the renaming of the station so as to recover lost values and culture, and the significance of the ecology to Africans. Our discovery of Dadaya macrops, an Asiatic marine species of water flea found in freshwater in this study, denies the assumption that Dadaya was a misspelling of Dayataya. This makes us assume that Dadaya was an idolatrous symbol for missionaries that rhymed with local isotopes to mentally drawn local communities. Norming the mission station, missionaries named Dadaya to transmit images, symbols and meanings known to New Zealand supporting churches. Dayataya Hills has been used as a scapegoat to validate their Dadaya macrops symbol. This study probes into the need to correct and guide people in renaming the mission station. Renaming transforms Dadaya into an African mission station. The article used critical discourse analysis (CDA) from purposive snowball interview results and a hermeneutic of suspicion to probe into naming the mission station.

Contribution: The article is interdisciplinary involving missionary history, humanity, socialisation, missiology, literature and education. it contributes to knowledge through decentering on African discourses, contextualisation, christianisation and decolonised church of christ positioned for healing and transformation where church names are not used for perpetuate Westernisation in African context.


mission names; missiology; the Church of Christ in Zimbabwe; religious education; Dayataya Hills; Dadaya macrops.


Total abstract views: 1505
Total article views: 1565


Crossref Citations

1. Retrospective and Prospective Approaches to Christian Education in Church of Christ Schools in Zimbabwe
Gift Masengwe, Bekithemba Dube
Religions  vol: 14  issue: 9  first page: 1120  year: 2023  
doi: 10.3390/rel14091120