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The Thumb: Well done Prophet Shepherd Bushiri

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There are divergent views in as far as Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s style and sincerity as a man of God is concerned, with some believing him as a true prophet while
others doubt his genuineness.

I may not be one of Bushiri’s believers but I must admit that I admire his entrepreneurship shrewdness as well as his achievements as a person financially and
materially.

And lately, I have been impressed and touched by his compassion following generous donations of maize he has made to various communities in the country.

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Over the past three to four years, Bushiri has generally made headlines for wrong reasons.

First it was when he was involved in a pregnancy issue with a girl who wasn’t his wife in Mzuzu, then came the issue of a questionable iPad picture and flying in the
air “miracles” in South Africa.

There have also been stories both in the Malawi and South African media regarding the pricing of his spiritual services and products, including charges for people to
meet him, entry into his crusades as well as for “anointed” water he sells to his followers.

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There are also questions about whether the private jets he flies in are indeed his as he claims or if they are simply chartered.

But then, even if the jets were hired, it is no mean achievement for a young man from Malawi – who just a few years was an ordinary man struggling with life in Mzuzu –
to be a able to charter a jet, so frequently for that matter, and let alone travel with it to long distances such as Malawi.

We all know that in Malawi, even the head of state is flying commercial as chartered jets are simply unacceptable among the voters who are can ’t make ends meet due to
economic challenges.

Yet flying private jets isn’t an issue for our own son of the soil Shepherd Bushiri.

It is no mean achievement for him to attract the crowds that fill his crusades in stadiums and halls across the region and convince them to pay for entry and buy his
branded merchandise.

It is no mean achievement for him to attract all the publicity he gets, even in big newspapers in South Africa and many other countries.

He could have stayed in Mzuzu and be contended with hundreds or thousands of followers he already had in Malawi but had courage to venture into foreign territory in
South Africa where he gets even larger crowds than he could ever have dreamed of while in Mzuzu.

He now boasts of massive wealth that many of us can only dream of.

This youngman is simply phenomenal and has demonstrated to us Malawians that it is possible to achieve the extraordinary, even on the international stage, with will,
drive and determination.

And he is putting Malawi on the map as he is now one of the top trending subjects of the discussion in the region’s social and mass media and days don’t pass-by
without him making it into the headlines.

He admitted in a Times TV interview the other day that he is never worried with the “controversy” he creates because – he said, a leader has to be “controversial”. So
the controversy seems to be his deliberate strategy.

And as long as what he does is not illegal, the young man deserves credit for his remarkable success and achievement.

The controversial and flashy life aside, who so ever advised Bushiri on the maize donations he has lately been making in Malawi must be a public relations genius.

Just a few weeks ago, Bushiri attracted more criticism than admiration in Malawi but he has since become a darling of many people in the country – thanks to the maize
donations.

At a time many people are struggling to access maize at Admarc markets due to high prizes on the open market, nothing could have turned around Bushiri’s home-country
popularity than truckloads of maize and pictures of old women and men receiving and going home with bags of maize – thanks to compassion from the young prophet.

They say that a prophet is never respected at home but while Prophet Bushiri may not have as many local believers, he clearly now has admiration for his charitable
gesture in Malawi.

And once again, he has taught Malawians that it is possible for private citizens to assist, in a big way, communities in need, even where the government is failing to
meet people’s needs.

Even Jesus Christ had tofeed the hungry and it should be part of religious work to also provide food to those who desperately need it. So #ThumbsUp Prophet Bushiri
and keep up the good work you have started. Malawi owes you a Thank You.

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