In 1989, Daniel Kolawole ‘DK’ Olukoya, a recent University of Reading masters graduate, summoned a prayer meeting in his Lagos living room. He was already a devout man and an adherent to the Pentecostal wave that hit Nigeria in the 1970s.
24 people showed up. Soon after, according to the church’s website, they began to experience miracles. Olukoya held more meetings. Attendance rose. Pretty soon he was a minor celebrity, and in 1994 he opened the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries: a church whose name, he says, was revealed to him during prayer.
Today MFM is a global sensation. Headquartered in Ponder’s End, London, it has branches on six continents and millions of followers. Its spiritual home is still Lagos, however – specifically a giant former slum in the historic district of Yaba, just yards from the spot where it all began. It is devoted to “the revival of Apostolic signs and Holy Ghost fireworks”.
To the side of the church, in a tiny, one-room office, sits the headquarters of Mountain Of Fire And Miracles FC, a football club owned entirely by the ministry.