Chatting to Ziba Mbense about the journey to planting in Langa, Cape Town


Tell us about the neighbourhood of Langa?

Langa is a township and suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. It was established in 1927. Similar to other townships in South Africa, Langa is one of many areas in South Africa that were designated for Black Africans during the apartheid era. Langa is rich in history, culture, diversity and enterprise. However the area also has a dark shadow of crime, unemployment and poverty.

What is your history with the community of Langa?

I previously worked for Common Good’s job readiness and placement programme, The Zanokhanyo Network (a community development non-profit founded by Common Ground Church).  Most of our students were from Langa and I was privileged to provide pastoral care for them.  My family moved into the area in 2016, so that I could be closer to our training center, and closer to the people we were working most closely with.

How did you come to be leading this church plant?

At the The Zanokhanyo Network, I worked as the Discipleship Coordinator. I was responsible for the discipleship of those who had made a commitment to Christ during their time with us, and aimed to connect them with healthy churches in the area. Some of the students were looking for spiritual community closer to where they lived and so some of my friends from my congregation (Common Ground Bosch PM) helped me start a small group in 2016.  We met on Sunday morning in Epping, at the Zanokhanyo Network premises.

What is amazing is that we thought we were just meeting a need for a small group of people, but it was actually a small step of obedience that was to lead to something much more impactful.

The Life Group grew, and we moved it to Langa in January 2018, where we met at a local school. God has used that small group, and our small step of obedience, to establish a new church that is serving the whole neighbourhood!

What can we pray for?

  • Please pray that God would open the door to a great venue
  • Pray for new believers to join us
  • Pray for men to join us
  • For wisdom and God’s guidance in the development of men and women from the area into leadership in our congregation.