Both the local and international media is never short of stories of popular Malawian born prophet Shepherd Bushiri of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG).
Even the social media is awash with both negative and positive content about the self-styled prophet, who is fondly called Major 1.
Among other things, the Bushiri brand is believed to have been catapulted to fame by prophecies and miracles that are believed to come to pass among his followers.
‘Miracle money’ is one of the popular tags that people associate with Prophet Bushiri these days.
According to Bushiri, if people just believe in the power of God, they can receive miracles, including money.
However, it has been observed that among the majority of Bushiri’s followers today, are several gospel musicians.
Gospel musicians Thoko Phiri, Onesimus and Gwamba, are some of the artists that are working with the prophet.
The teams do not only work with the prophet, but they are also known to be his fiercest defenders on issues that attract public criticism, especially on the social platforms such as Facebook.
For example, when the popular tag of ‘miracle money’ resurfaced, people took it the social media to accuse the Prophet of satanic powers. But the likes of Onesimus went full throttle to defend Bushiri.
To cap it all, Onesimus has lately released a chat bursting song titled Miracle Money, which praises Bushiri’s power in churning out miracle money.
Prophet Bushiri is also on record to have worked with other well-known gospel artists such as Peter Sambo and Patience Namadingo.
There are also artists such as Thocco Katimba and drummer Amos Mlolowah that are ardent supporters of the prophet if their comments on the social network are anything to go by.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion and a right to belong to religion.
But the rate at which Prophet Bushiri is swaying gospel musicians has raised eyebrows among many fans in gospel circles.
Is it his popularity or the prophecies, particularly miracle money, which is luring the artists?
“First and foremost, it should be communicated that Prophet Bushiri is also into promotion of youth through job creation and nurturing talent.
“On the other hand, he recognises the fact that the church has a role to create employment for young people to help government fighting the soaring unemployment rates,” said Bushiri’s spokesperson Kelvin Silungwe.
He cited the Prophetic Channel and the charity aid department as some of the sectors of ECG that are creating employment to young people in the country.
“The current maize donation alone has created jobs to youths that are working in the areas of situation analysis, logistics and actual distribution exercise. And because of this, more young people, including artists, are becoming part of the Major 1 family to help carrying on his mission,” said Silungwe.
Oh his part, Thoko Phiri, who is now a cameraman at the Prophetic Channel, said Bushiri has to be commended for the role he is playing in social and economic lives of young people.
He said talented young Malawians are loafing due to scarcity of jobs, but Bushiri’s ministry is helping to lessen the plight.
“Major 1 must be recommended because his church is promoting young people through job creation and spiritual development. For example, I have been employed as a camera man and this is helping me and my family to make ends man. To me, this is just another enviable role that the churches ought to play in the country,” said Phiri of Yesu Ndi Mbuye fame.
Gwamba said it pleased him to turn to God to help spread the good news through ECG.
“It’s not a matter of miracle money, but a personal choice to serve God. And young people have a role to play in Christianity today,” he said.