Zone 5 – English speaking Africa

Zone Representative: Lutfiyah Murray from South Africa
Approximateliy 160 members, 5 countries
Welcome to the beautiful countries of Zones 5 with a myriad of peoples, cultures and languages. Subud is active mainly in South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia, and Tanzania. Travel is a challenge between groups in some of the countries and even more difficult between countries.
Photo: 2013 International Helpers visit ISI UZO group and AGM in Nigeria
Membership is concentrated in three main groups: Johannesburg, Capetown, and Durbin. In October 2008 South Africa celebrated their 50th anniversary in Cape Town and held their 25th National Congress in 2009 in Johannesburg. Many members feel rather isolated in South Africa, in part because of the geographic distances and they very much welcome visitors. A strong team worked hard on a 2009 bid for the World Congress, a very successful international enterprise meeting was held here in 2004, and they hosted a pan-African Meeting in 1995.
Is the most populated African country. One in five of all Africans are Nigerians. People are welcoming, friendly and generous. The sub-Saharan north and the tropical south of the country are very different. Presently, all the Subud groups are located in the south, though in the past there were groups in the Muslim north.
In the five or so years prior to 2007, there had been little contact between the groups; the national committee and helpers had been largely inactive and some of the local groups found it difficult to meet. A National Congress was held in 2008, (photo) the first in eight years. Following this there were three consecutive international helper visits between 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. The visit in 2007 was instrumental, with the international helpers being accompanied by Garrett Thomson, who was WSA Executive Chair, Lateef Dada-Bashua, the Zone Representive from Lagos, and Muchtar Martins as MSF Trustee. At this time approximately 20 people were opened, six new candidate helpers were tested, and meetings were held in every group.

Subud Nigeria’s National Committee accompanied by a National Helper visited Cotonou, the capital of Benin Republic on the west coast of Africa where there is now a Subud group. Four members were opened during this long awaited and much appreciated visit. Three founder members of the group had travelled to the WSA sponsored Subud Nigeria National Congress in 2008 and were opened. As of 2010 seven members were meeting together in a member’s home for latihan.

Photo: 2008 International Helpers visit Tanzania and Heloise Jackson with members from Malawi, 2012

In December 2008,  International Helpers were invited to come to Mwika and open several people who had expressed an interest in Subud. Mwika is the home town of Roland Maanga.
They were joined by an older gentleman from Kenya named Musa Ittiso. Over the course of the next five days a remarkable bond grew between Roland, the newly opened members and the International Helpers. All told 10 men and 3 women were opened meeting together for latihan in a local hotel.
Malawi, a small country in Africa, sandwiched between Tanzania (in the North), Zambia (in the East) and Mozambique (in the and South), is the newest Subud country.
In 2010, a young man, Muhammad Raidhan, discovered Subud through reading the preface of a book on the works of an eleventh century Muslim saint, Abd al-Qadir al-Jalani. This preface had been written by Ruslan Moore, a Muslim Subud member living in Florida, USA, who had discovered, through Rofe’s book ‘The Path of Subud’, that Bapak had mentioned that this particular saint had received the latihan.

The encounter, between Ruslan and young Muhammad, led to many men of the Raidhan family being opened. Soon, the women followed suit, and Héloïse Jackson, UK Subud member, travelled with Ruslan to Malawi, where another five ladies were opened. Some members of this extended family live in the UK and also belong to the Leicester/Derby groups (Héloïse’s group).  By the end of July 2012, twenty four members from the same family were opened.

Many of them travel back and forth between Malawi and the UK and due to their increasing number, two of the men, Rashid and Farook Raidhan, were made emergency helpers.  There are now 26 members in total who are opened between the Leicester and Malawi groups; 15 men and 11 women.  We have just had another two enquiries recently from two more ladies from Malawi who live in England at present. These members are extremely dedicated and we hope that Malawi will become a major Subud country in the near future.

Country Chairperson/Contact Groups/Centers Members
Nigeria Charles Ekene Mamah Lagos, Ijebu Ode, Ibadan, Calabar, Calabar South, Isi Uzo, Umuahia, Enugu 90
South Africa Lambert Kriedemann Capetown, Johannesburg 53
Tanzania Roland Maanga 12
Benin Gildas Hondolou Cotonou 9
Malawi Mhd Raidhan Blantyre 24
In addition there are members in Zambia, Ethiopia and Kenya. Further Zone contact informations.
South Africa and Nigeria regularly hold National Congresses and two pan-African Zonal Meetings have been organized, one in 1995 in South Africa and the other in 2005 in Kinshasa, RDC.
2013:  South Africa

2011: South Africa by Sharif Quiblier, April; Nigeria Congress, from National Secretary, November;