Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail. – Proverbs 19:20-21 (NLT)
These past two weeks have been a whirlwind of news in Malawi and beyond as visitors have flown in and Malawian dignitaries have flown out to engage in meetings that placed Malawi in headline news around the world. It has been a time when Malawians must have brimmed with pride to see the country’s name in line with other countries, making positive news in the international information highway.
Last Thursday the first lady of the United States, Madame Melania Trump landed in Malawi and was a guest of the Malawi First Lady Madame Gertrude Mutharika. It was a joy to see the two First Ladies walk through our grand State House, looking very much as our own Mar-a-Largo.
Amid the pride as a Malawian, to see the first visit of a USA First lady ever, Madame Trump’s visit to four countries that took her from Ghana, Malawi Kenya and then to Egypt, appears to be a mixed salad of sorts: complete with politics, education and more politics especially in apparel.
On her first stop, the FLOTUS paid homage to a slave memorial shrine in Ghana. Most African analysts found her visit to the shrine as a vain attempt to ease tensions caused by her husband (President Trump) who referenced Africa in unflattering terms. Her visit to Malawi school children revealed the squalid conditions Malawi school children endure pursuing an education.
And Malawians came to welcome the honored visitor; and some #MetToo protestors hoisting their placards protesting sexual violence against women; registering their concern on the US Senate confirmation hearing of the Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The Kavanaugh storm is compounded by the natural storms such as last week’s Hurricane Florence, followed this week by Hurricane Michael. It was heartwarming to hear Mrs. Trump state in Egypt that her heart with the women.
Madame Trump’s visit to Kenya and Egypt sparked great controversy because she wore a heart that was worn by colonials from Britain. This prompted the First Lady to request journalists to concentrate on what she is doing instead of what she wears.
Again, analysts find this request hard to consider, especially after the FLOTUS wore a similar insensitive outfit on her trip to visit hurricane victims that said “I don’t care, do you?” there are many other design of harts that can be worn in Africa, choosing they colonial garb, was another faux pas fashion wise.
Also taking place parallel to the FLOTUS visit to Malawi was tumultuous rallies of the Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima and his UTM party, in the must-conduct-and-engage Ndirande rally Dr. Joyce Banda and her People’s Party, drawing and packing in the rally venues as the race to 2019 State House bid heats up. The mammoth crowds at the rallies are overwhelming and encouraging in a race well-run.
However, it is the Percy-Sledge-type entry of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, also known as Major 1, stormed into the Bingu International Conference Center that sticks in the brain. All along the road to the venue, there were people, people, people. Everywhere, there were people, the stadium filled to capacity and overflowing. Bushiri’s Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) has a 300,000-strong membership in South Africa alone; his membership in Malawi has been growing as has been that in the USA, Australia and other places around the world.
On such occasion, where politics and religions are pulling in the crowds in equal intensity, a little unity would go a long way and make much pragmatic sense in election campaign strategy. It was appreciable that this time around, the authorities, not only gave the Prophet the required police protection, but also sent emissaries and representatives of the President (who was still outside the country at the UN).
But better still, it would have been icing on top of the cake if all political party leaders, took time off and out to come and hear the prophet deliver his message for Malawi and Malawians.
Had political party heads attended the Prophet Bushiri prophetic conference, they would be living in the moment, running with the vision, and meeting with the prospective voters. Sadly, there was not a single Malawi 2019 presidential candidate at the Bushiri prophetic conference at the Bingu Conference Center.
Do you not want to inquire or hear from the LORD?
The multitude that gathered at the BICC last week, are the same people that will brave the cold June weather and stand for hours to cast their votes in 2019. The politicians that Attended the Bushiri conference proverbially killed two birds with one stone; they surely netted some support. Political campaign strategists should always remember that Malawi is a praying, God-fearing nation; in the strategy, campaign manager please advise your candidates to always pray with the voters.
Lastly, do not underestimate “the Bushiri effect.” He is Malawian, let us all learn from him and the strategies he has used to rise. May we all discontinue the tear and pull down tendencies, but may we all desire to grab his mantle, and so rise also.