Flash Uganda Media looks at Pastor Augustine Yiga Abizaayo’s biography, Age, wife, family, early life and education of ABS TV Founder.
Pastor Augustine Yiga is popularly known as Abizaayo (RIP) was a Ugandan pastor leading the Revival Christian Church based in Kawaala, a Kampala suburb and a businessman.
Abizaayo who started as a Kadongo Kamu Singer is best known for his entertaining comedy-filled sermons. He will be remembered for his jolly mood and drama during church sermons.
Early Life and Education
Pastor Augustine Yiga was born in Bukomansimbi District and grew up in a strong Roman Catholic family. While ministering live on ABS TV, Yiga once revealed that he wasn’t aware of the day, month and year he was born.
He said that he’s a real definition of Christian evolution because it has been God’s mercy for him to get where he is today.
The self-styled Pastor added that his mother died when he was young, she never revealed his date of birth and never was he baptized being a catholic by then.
“I was born deep in the villages of Ssembabule where no one ever imagined that I could live but just the same way Jesus was born in the kraal that had nothing but cow-dung. Today I’m also here rocking Kampala yet I never went to school,” Pastor Yiga said.
The late Yiga did not finish school; he dropped out of school while in primary four due to his unruly behaviour but emerged a successful man and one of the prominent persons on the land.
“After being idle at home for several years, I decided to join a group of musicians headed by late Livingstone Kasozi who came to perform in our village in 1995. Since I was too young to compose my songs, I worked as a houseboy for the group.”
By then, Yiga and the group would travel to different parts of the country but his responsibility was to cook, wash utensils, clothes. He says it was fun being part of the group but it was tiresome and not worth the money he was being paid so he left the group.
The late pastor is the proprietor of the famous Revival Christian Church Kawaala. He turned popular because of his comic preaching.
Yiga narrated how his journey to becoming a pastor began.
In 1997 when Kasozi was bedridden, by then he had learnt how to play the guitar. So, he started playing the guitar with the rest of the group but it was no longer making him money due to Kasozi’s sickness because he was the one paying him.
He thereafter decided to quit the group to try and survive on his own in Kampala City.
However, life became harder for the controversial pastor at the time and he decided to join witchcraft which he practised for two years. He bought calabashes, spears, coffee and backcloth and set up a shrine at his rental unit.
Anyone who entered his shrine could certainly leave satisfied that he was truly a native doctor, “yet I was simply gambling. I would change my voice whenever a client came in, pretending that the gods were really with me whereas not,” Yiga confessed.
Yiga in his revelation said that he made a lot of money out of witchcraft, but he realized that it was shameful and a bad thing for him. So he joined a group of fake stars as if this was a good activity, dealing in counterfeit notes, a craft which landed him in jail on several occasions.
Later, Yiga after being released from Mbuya where he was under detention for fraud-related crimes, arrested by Kalangala Action Plan and getting tired of committing crimes; he received salvation and became a Born Again Christian.
Yiga said he went straight to Pastor Sserugo of Revival Christian Church located in Kawempe Division after his release where he confessed his sinful deeds.
However, after turning Born Again Christian, life became more difficult for Yiga once again but he prayed to God to give him the powers to cast out demons and perform miracles and eventually he opened his church, titled Revival Christian Church Kawaala.
Yiga had believed that people were suffering because of witchcraft, and to him, it was best to return it the sender such that he/she feels the pain. This is where the name Abizaayo emerged from, meaning a return to the sender. His church has many followers with related troubles.
Yiga is believed to have performed several miracles. He also sold material things like trees, bread, rings and several others he claimed to be anointed for healing, success and protection against any sort of harm or witchcraft.
Yiga in 2018 moved to South Africa. In an announcement he made he said that he had moved to South Africa to start another ministry he allegedly named Great Revival Church in Pretoria West.
He purportedly announced three prayer points that included; rebuking the evil spirits following single mothers, releasing women from the bondage of being single mothers and enriching poverty-stricken families.
However, his return to Uganda, according to some of his critics, as a result of a failed mission in South Africa.
Upon Pastor Yiga’s return he said while appearing on a local TV station, Yiga accused other local pastors of working hard to tarnish his good name. He, however, vowed not to give up as he was back to continue spreading the word of God.
The pastor was the proprietor of the famous ABS TV which was once shut down by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) for broadcasting indecent programmes which promote immorality and later re-opened.
Pastor Yiga jailed
Pastor Augustine Yiga Abizaayo was imprisoned in April 2020 following a statement he made while on ABS TV before several journalists from different media platforms saying COVID-19 does not exist in Uganda and Africa in particular.
In his argument coronavirus is just the common flu, a statement that landed him in jail for one month.
The court ruled his case as “Likely to spread an infectious disease.” He was set free on May 5th by the Rubaga Grade One Magistrate, Timothy Lumunye on non-cash bail of shs2million while each of his sureties was bonded at shs5million after spending one month at Kitalya Prison on grounds of ill health.
He later accepted the crime and went into a plea with the State and the case was closed.
Pastor Yiga’s death comes five months after his release from prison on bail term following his arrest for allegedly uttering false and misleading remarks, spreading harmful propaganda about the deadly coronavirus.
His death was confirmed early Tuesday morning 27 October 2020 by his television station ABS. Yiga was first announced dead on 23 October 2020 by some media platforms and social media but his son, Andrew Jjengo came out quickly and dismissed the news of his death saying Yiga is still alive, though in critical health.
Yiga breathed his last at Nsambya Hospital, a Kampala suburb based hospital after fighting for his life for close to two months over liver complications.
Pastor Augustine Yiga was not married but survives with eight children from various women. Yiga who had been involved in various controversies had an intimate relationship with Maggie Kayima aka Nabbi Omukazi, Benna Namisinga, Nabbi Omukazi’s sister who was a singer in his defunct Revival Band, the Kalondoozi Presenter on ABS airwaves, Aisha the then-popular show.
Aisha has a baby girl claimed to be fathered by Yiga, but the two were reported to have separated after Aisha learnt that Yiga had another woman named Juliet Namutebi who later secretly introduced him to her parents.
Yiga also had sexual relations with the late Brenda Nalubega, whom he allegedly raped resulting in a pregnancy and then contracting Aids. Ms Brenda Nalubega succumbed to the disease in 2016.
Brenda Nalubega, dragged Pastor Yiga to court for child neglect and, raping and infecting her with the deadly Aids virus.
According to the deceased’s narrative given at the height of their troubles, Ms Nalubega said then that she first got contact with Pastor Yiga aka Abizaayo at his Christian Revival Church in Kawaala, while seeking ‘blessings’ for imminent giveaway and marriage around 2007.
He was then forced to take care of the child with a monthly commitment of 100,000shs which he accepted.
Yiga is allegedly believed to have engaged in various sexual relations with his female followers who came to seek prayers and counselling.
Again in 2019, Yiga was dragged to Kawempe Police Division Headquarters over defilement case by a 23-year-old woman who said he raped and impregnated her in the prayer room in 2014 when she had just joined Revival Christian Church Kawaala, at only 15 years of age.
Yiga was detained at Kawempe Division Police Headquarters after he turned himself in to record a statement on the matter.
Angel Ainembabazi, who joined the church at 15 years, accused the embattled pastor of sexually assaulting her instead of giving her spiritual redemption she thought for.
“Yiga raped and impregnated me in 2014, when I was only 15 years,” she told police at Kawempe Police Division headquarters, where she filed a case against Yiga. As a result, members of his church stormed Kawempe Police station to demand his release.
Ainembabazi said: “My friend told me that he was a strong man of God who would pray for me to attain my goal of going to work abroad in order to fend for my family since we are orphans. And I also wanted to support myself to go for further studies.”
“I travelled to Kampala for the first time from Sheema before it was curved out of Bushenyi district. When I reached at Yiga’s church, he told me that bondages upon my life were too much and I need a special cleansing prayer. After missing my menstrual periods for four months, I realized that I was pregnant. At the time, I had moved to South Sudan and started working in the home of a governor in one of the states. I was teaching his children at home,” she explained.
On realizing that she was pregnant after medical check-ups, Ainembabazi claimed that she called Pastor Yiga who instead laughed at her.
“He told me we shall see and since then, whenever I attempted to call him, the phone would be picked by his aides. The weather conditions in South Sudan became more unfavorable for me and I decided to move back home,” Ainembabazi narrated.
She added: “When I returned to Uganda, I attempted to call him again, but nobody could pick my phone. I had no other option but to go to the village and embarked on doing casual jobs in order to look after the pregnancy and the other people at home until I delivered the baby.”
Ainembabazi said her child has grown and that he is at school studying. “He resembles his father and we are going for DNA test to prove that the boy belongs to Yiga,” she noted.
RIP Pastor Augustine Yiga Abizaayo!