The People vs Shepherd Bushiri, the Malawi Prophet based in SA

Love him or hate him, but you cannot ignore Shepherd Bushiri even if you tried, and believe me, I have. The pendulum of his appeal in the court of public opinion has swung from one extreme to the other, oftentimes, within the space of a day.

Bushiri: Major 1

Bushiri: Major 1

From the fantastic to the exaggerated, from fact to myth, from public darling to social media pariah, he is just one rumour shy of being declared the illegitimate offspring of Barack Obama and whoever TB Joshua’s wife is.

No matter what side of the fence you are on, when it comes to this polarising young fellow, you have to hand it to him—he has captured everyone’s attention. Be they Men of God who have been ministering to the flock longer than Bushiri has been alive or gospel artists pointing an accusatory finger at the speck of sawdust in Bushiri’s eye or paranoid politicians and an insecure incumbent government suspecting ulterior motives; everyone has been taken, shaken, stirred and irked by this man of mystery.

And the one thing that his gob-smacked critics fail to realise is that they have fallen for the oldest trick in the book: all publicity is good publicity.

Whether justified or not, politically correct or scripturally endorsed, all the criticism being levelled against this overnight sensation, whose wealth is rumoured to be of Solomonic proportions, is only fanning the fire of his intrigue, mystery and bank account.

But of all the things that have been said, one thing is undeniable: without a shadow or inkling of doubt, Bushiri is a master showman who has grasped the artistry of marketing and spectacle to capture our imagination. Like every showman before him, Bushiri knows his audience, probably, better than they know themselves. Bushiri is giving this audience what they crave for most: a polished and well-packaged product —hope.

One wonders, with all the other things going on in this sick and dying world of ours: where politicians promise and do not deliver, where fathers abandon their responsibilities and where God sometimes feels distant, is giving people hope such a bad thing?

But even before we attempt to answer such a question, let us take a few steps back from all the cacophony of spectacle and speculation. Let us remove ourselves from all the clamour and din of public mudslinging and ask one simple question: What does all this really mean?

Is Bushiri just another passing craze like Gangnam-style choreography or platform shoes from the 1970s? Or, is Bushiri merely a reflection of our own internal turmoil as a failed country that has lost the resolve to solve its own problems and is now listening to anyone who offers alternatives-real or imagined? If the latter be the case, one wonders if that is a safe place to be.

Strangely enough, it has only dawned on me, as I write this, that we are witnessing a new phenomenon in the Malawian experience courtesy of Bushiri. A phenomenon we have often associated with far distant lands and cultures, but it is unfolding right before our eyes.

Bushiri, more the brand than the man, has transcended the faith and God to whom he pledges his allegiance and has become the centre of his own universe, a universe we all, critic and disciple alike, have had a hand in creating. Bushiri, with branded soaps and lotions to boot, is our first real celebrity.

Ultimately, just as the high noon sun journeys to the horizon, every show comes to an end. Sooner or later, the master showman’s mask must fall off and our projections of what we want Bushiri to be must fall with it. When that happens, I would not be surprised if we discover that it was all smoke, mirrors and a tailor-made designer suit: in other words, it was all an illusion.

Like the Israelites at the base of Mount Sinai waiting impatiently for God to show up, Bushiri is not just the celebrity we deserve, he is our own golden calf; made with our words, eyes and mind into a modern day graven image like the many celebrities we idolise.

He has put on a great show, worthy of a standing ovation, but the show is not yet over only because we will let it be over. But the choice is ultimately ours: we can keep our eyes glued on the Bushiri media machine and try to find God in the madness or we can grab that remote control and change the channel!

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30 thoughts on “The People vs Shepherd Bushiri, the Malawi Prophet based in SA”

  1. Queen Matekenya says:

    No. 8 – maybe you meant ‘idol’ woprship

  2. Tikondane says:

    Oh my my my! A good piece, Nhlema! You understand perfectly well these things. Someone above comments that whether Bushiri is of God or not only God knows. No. If you read your Bibles very well, you don’t need God to come down again and tell that Bushiri is of God or not. The Holy Spirit shall testify to you that He is of God or not. He is a man of God. That’s the fact. This issues is no longer subjective. God has given us the privilege to tell who is of God and who is not; not in the way religious people do. Religious people are not Christians. They judge by what their senses appreciate, i.e. what they see, etc. To us Christians, when we hear and see all these criticisms we see the manifestation of the word of God. Anointed men of God are always synonymous with being hated and criticised. When this happens, it uplifts and promotes the man of God. Tiyeni nazoni zimunenani. Mudzayankha mapeto ake.

  3. kamangadazi says:

    In all those sayings, God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is the Perfect Judge. Let man not judge on these Religious issues.Do not turn speculations into True Stories. Let Justice be Justice.

  4. piere says:

    wow! wow! wow! very interesting, really interesting. each one is trying to be better than the other in the language instead of concentrating on the subject matter. whether Bushiri is the true man of god no one knows. its only god who sees beyond our eyes. lets discuss things that will galvanize our poverty torn country.

  5. Optic Computer says:

    One thing Mutharika and his jokers could to improve Kwacha’s stand on the international currency market, and improve tourism is to ask Bushiri to come to Lilongwe or Blantyre. His followers can help boost number of foreigners in the country to millions who in turn will give our DPP cadets jobs in hotel industry and our new airline some breath.

  6. Peeping lizard says:

    Leave bushiri alone

  7. shadreck kapalamula says:

    sometimes i dont undertand how people think so someone is thinking bushiri has paid this writter anyway that how you think but one thing you people dont know is that we cant all hate him nop some of us do love him as you have loved to hate him but i wonder why you people who hate him your busy trying to pull everyone to your side some of you who have never even preached the gospel your becoming pastors trying to preach about him those are erros that need collection live to remember this man is unstopable men of vission cannot be stoped bwanji osamaganiza on how 2 feed mabanja anu kapena mayo wanu wauzimu busy pointing athu ena mr writter continue kulememba wat u think is wisdom enawa sazatheka amadana ndi chilichonse

  8. tchingo says:

    Dear good people..the language of this write-up is not difficult unless you are accademically disadvantaged….it is the content in the language though that is unclear making a lot of pipo think perhaps they are poor of undersanding. The writer has failed us big time in an attempt to sweet-talk us by sugar-coating everything about Bushiri as divine wisdom.

    Just like some people write everything about Bushiri as bad, this writer commits another academic sin by worshiping Bushiri in this article: bad journalism. That’s why some pipo will easily assume you have been given some incentive by Bushiri to write this article. Of course i don’t care about Bushiri but bad journalism is my concern; and you have just done that…you have mocked my intellect.

  9. detergent says:

    The writer wants to be dausi of tomorrow

  10. musamude says:

    Inu sons of Afalisi sumunayambe ndinu Ku kudana ndi anthu amulungu ,mumafuna kuti Azikhala opempha inu mukuyendela ma galimoto odula ogula ndindalama za cashgate mwagwanayo njale ya ndalama zakubayo Let him be.

  11. ben dizzo says:

    lets just wait and see ,for we are not God to judge

  12. ben dizzo says:

    lets just wait and see

  13. Samson tambala says:

    “donot speak if you have nothing to tell the people” by General Amin.
    Why should you critique uncriticable scenario, should we say you have been given a sign to asses Gods prophets.
    Know that Jews were as flattery as you have done, they were publicly criticizing people for turning Up/following to God’s people (Steven, paul, john…). What happenned to them, they even fail to know their Saviour Jesus just because of a preconcieved mind of BAD.. Anything they know was bad only not knowing that good exist in this world.
    If u say we should not watch sermons and services of one channel do you have an altenative “true prophets in ur dreamz” chanel? Or you are one of the illiminatti trying to eliminate gospel by enforcing circular mind….
    In God we exist.

  14. Mphats Thole says:

    Use simple words in writing not that cliche’. Please a Nyasa Times musatichititse manyazi. This online paper is read worldwide hence musamatinyozetsa a Malawi with jargon writing of which you don’t even know that you contradict yourself in writing.

  15. Nosense says:

    Waste of time writing too much with nothing to communicate, had it been its a football game, we could say the team/s are just playing to finish their regulation time. Or maybe its the cloud without the rain? Or a bird without a song?

  16. nabia says:

    Musiyeni Bushiri apumeko,he is a human being and has feelings.Has a mother and father and has brothers and sisters.Anakulakwirani chiani?Sadyanso pa khomo panu.Bwanji?

  17. nyambuti says:

    So if you haven’t understood anything, what are you commenting about?

  18. hoitty says:

    you tried so hard to find synonyms for small words and sound like you are writing an academic article not for public reading. You have massively failed to communicate but have shown how good you are with big English words and creative writing

  19. chiyembekezo says:

    cream write up, demand reading btwn lines and diverse knowledge applicaction towards comprehension of the subject matter. Read on to capture sense out of it. Let it alone, open to multiple conclusions. Reader food for wkend

  20. Evangelist Blessings Mduli Chirwa says:

    This write up is pointless as it doesnt give clear picture of the what the writer is communicating to the readers. I have a strong credit(3 points) in English at MSCE but this write up is zero pa 20. Please guys dont just work up and write something which u yourself cant even explain. Bushiri is a true man of God. I was schooling in the same Education zone in Hewe Rumphi where he used to perform miracles even when he was still in Primary school. I personally know Bushiri. Malawi is the only country doubting Bushiri unlike the rest of the world. Here in South Africa he is well respected and honored. Julius Malema, ministers and even Jacob Zuma,South African president have already personally visited him pamene iwe ndi umphawi wako u r still buzy writing abt Bushiri. Leave this man of God alone. His job is to bless. He is a called servant of God lest support him as Malawians.

  21. Dzambo says:

    You need more than English to understand this article, but some intellectual sophistication too. Do you want everything on silver plater? Interrogate, wrestle with the writer and reach you own conclusions. A Malawi intellectual laziness eeeh! You want everything interpreted for you. Intellectually laziness!

  22. khumbo k phiri says:

    some abnormal people will try to be normal by being critics to nonsense battle with the man of God….Even Jesus was criticised in his own home. Why??? don’t be ignorant he is just doing what is right. If people think he is not right then there is problems with your living because you don’t know the purpose of life and its destiny…shame on your small minded brain….

  23. nthengazagule says:

    Long message without any content, the so called prophet has given you a lot of money to praise him. This is what we call idle worship. I think you belong to the same court with this demon possessed man

  24. Israelites says:

    I also agree with other friends, I cant get any fact out of this passage

  25. Mbuli says:

    I have failed to understand what he has written,mwina ndi umbuli omwe ndili nawowu

  26. Private detective says:

    Kupenga project is very famous among malawi media for how long you will you fight man of GOD with nonsence and bad rumous about him our GOD shall reign forever.

  27. Danites Steward says:

    I also fail to understand the importance and substance of the article. But what I know for sure is that through the teaching of Prophet Bushiri I have come to understand the word better. I have received salvation through his teachings. What is it that I should switch of the channel for? For me not to listen to the word of God! For me I have chosen to do what I like most. Yes watching this channel! Do you have an alternative channel for me? Did you donate a TV set or subscription money to me for you to offer me the options you have given me! It is my choice to keep on watching the channel. I also give you the option to meditate on 2 chronicles 20:20.

  28. The Analyst says:

    Who are you?, Coz I can see you are hiding your face yet looking at us! Show yourself!

    And what are you talking about? Coz your write-up is not only a rigmarole, but also the purpose is clearly unclear!

    But you seem to have worked hard to produce this (whatever it is) but failed to come up with something.
    . . . You thus, could have done yourself and some of us, great justice had you written about something else meaningful (howsoever defined); alternatively about nothing.
    Nanga . . .
    What good does it do a man
    . . . To write a lot about nothing?
    . . . To speak so well but fail to communicate?
    . . . To write sensibly but make no sense?
    . . . To embark on a journey and walk miles and miles but not reach the intended destination?
    . . . Trying so hard to make a forest but with a single tree?
    . . . A storm out of a cup and a whirlwind from a dog fart?

    Tiyeni tizilembako zinthu zothandiza mmiyoyo mwa anthu! Otherwise, you have written a lot about nothing, just as I have done here!

  29. Respect supporters says:






  30. john phiri says:

    Ladies and gentlemen after reading tell me what this article is all about. Mzanune ndinaphunzira madarasa ndiye chizungu chimandivuta.

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