Prophet Shepherd Bushiriâs meteoritic rise as a preacher continue to attract global attention with latest being the worldâs oldest international media house, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
The BBC feature comes barely months after Prophet Bushiri also made headlines in different other reputable international media such as Aljazeera, The New African, Nigeriaâs Tribune and the African Leadership Magazine , among others.
The BBC team met and interviewed the Malawian-born but South Africa based founder of Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) at the churchâs headquarters in Pretoria a week ago.
Both before and after the one-on-one interview with the preacher, the BBC team of threeâradio, television and online inclusiveâwere given access to shoot around the church premises, including the Halls where he was preaching, and interview any congregant on any ECG-related issue.
During the interview with him, the Prophet opened up to the reporter and even challenged to ask him any question.
The discussion, mostly, revolved around the growth of his ministry and, again, his position on several topics surrounding his name.
Among others, they include: his views on the selling of church materials and his success in business in relation with the ministry.
On his wealth, the prophet said his success should inspire people to be entrepreneurs.
âI am a businessman and that is separate from being a prophet. My prosperity is from private businesses. Such questions are not asked from leaders of white churches but when an African man prospers, then itâs a problem,â he said.
To critics of his ministry, the Prophet said that his ministry is not for everyone, it is for those who have faith.
âIâm just a messenger of Godâs work. God heals people in our meetings. One time I got doctors here in Pretoria to bring patients with HIV â they tested them before to show they are HIV, I prayed for them and again afterwards and now they were HIV-negative,â Bushiri said in the BBC interview.
In their story, the BBC also interviewed congregants about their views of Prophet Bushiri and his ministry.
Most of them said they believe he is not only imbued with the power of prophecy, but also to heal the sick and pray for oneâs prosperity.
âThe miracles and the teachings that our father [Prophet Bushiri] teaches every week are so amazing,â 24-year-old Xolani Msibi told BBC.
He said his sister who had trouble walking had been healed by the prophet âwithout even laying hands on herâ.
âIâve also been struggling to get a job and came here and I got two jobs at the same time and it was a matter of choosing.â
The BBC noted that Prophet Bushiri has come a long way from his upbringing in Mzuzu, a city in northern Malawi but that nowadays, he can fill sports stadiums with tens of thousands of his devoted followers â followers who are prepared to travel across the world to see him preach in person.