The daughter of Christian parents, Kafutshi was a second-generation Christian of the Eglise du Christ au Zaire, Communaute Mennonite (now Communauté Mennonite au Congo). She was educated in the 1950s in the schools of Mukedi Station of the Congo Inland Mission (Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission). She was married in her teens to Kakesa Khakha, the son of Christian parents from the same station. In the late 1960s she moved with her family to the Tshikapa church headquarters where her husband served as the first legal representative of the Zaire Mennonite Church. At the end of his term the family moved to Kikwit in Kwilu Province and became active in the local Mennonite congregation.
When asked to join a special traveling teaching team which was to hold seminars in a variety of Mennonite regional church centers, she at first declined. While she was eager to speak on the topic of Christian marriage and family life in the African context, she was concerned about disapproving reactions she would encounter. Strongly encouraged by other members of the team to accept the invitation, she finally agreed. Kafutshi was an excellent speaker and her presentations to groups made up mostly of men had a sharp impact and, as expected, stirred agitated response. Kafutshi, however, was quietly affirmed and encouraged by both the team members and her husband. Convinced of the justice of her call for a larger role and voice for women in the Zaire home and church, she did not yield ground.
In 1982 Kafutshi, almost single-handedly, convinced the General Assembly of the Zaire Mennonite Church delegates to recognize the women's organization as a department of the church in its own right.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 474. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bertsche, James E. "Kafutshi Kakesa." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 18 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/K18.html.
APA style: Bertsche, James E. (1987). Kafutshi Kakesa. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/K18.html.