Lifestyle & Belief

'Map of heaven' drawn by South African man attracts big crowds


Worshippers hold up a banner reading "B16 - Highway to heaven" as they wait for the beginning of a mass to be held by Pope Benedict XVI on the grounds of the airport in Freiburg, southern Germany, on September 25, 2011, on the last day of the Pontiff's first state visit to his native Germany.



JOHANNESBURG — Worried about finding your way around heaven?

A self-proclaimed prophet from Mandeni, a small town near Durban, South Africa, has drawn a map of heaven on the wall of his house.

Locals have flocked to the home of Sibusiso Mthembu, 64, to see the map, which Mthembu said he created after visiting heaven four times, the Sowetan newspaper reported.

But making things more complicated is that Mthembu said there are actually 11 heavens, and he has visited each of them.

He even met God, on his second heavenly journey, while stopped at a planet called Jadalem that is covered in water and ice.

"Jesus is white and God is greyish in complexion," Mthembu explained.

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Mthembu told the Sowetan that in 1993, a white man arrived at his house and said that heaven needed him. When the white angel returned years later, he brought Mthembu to heaven.

"I was then taken to the fifth heaven, called Crista, where I met Jesus in a city called Sharomy," he told the newspaper.

Mthembu also said that Harold Camping, who predicted the end of the world in May last year, was correct, despite what you may think by, um, still being alive.

"Actually, what was happening on that day is that there was a big meeting in heaven, called Il-Banta to discuss the biggest war to fight Satanism," Mthembu said. "The prophet says that God's single day is equivalent to 891 years, so May 23 was the beginning of the count-down to the end of the world."

Since returning from his last trip to heaven, in 2008, Mthembu has drawn a map of heaven and its residents, which he would like the whole world to see.

"I don't know whether to believe this or not," a visitor to the house told the Sowetan. "I think it's about one's religion or belief. Some people are convinced that it's a true map, while others are not."

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