But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.- Isaiah 40:31
If social, political, and economic analysts bemoaned the year 2020 as a rude and downright offensive year that raved the world with an effortlessly spreading pandemic that left no nation untouched, the year 2021 was the crescendo of all things gone bad, terribly bad. After 200 years, USA democracy came under threat and appears to be unraveling as daily re-evaluations are made, unearthed, or revelations blurted out that a losing political side attempts to cement the certainty of never losing again. So, the party that lost is doing exactly the same crime it is accusing its opponent: stealing all future elections. Across the Atlantic, the House of Windsor is hemorrhaging its royal members and appears to be going out of order: one prince allegedly had affairs in a sex scandal involving the accused US pedophile that committed suicide. The Brits inadvertently loosened their guard on racist rhetoric. In SA police impounded Malawi presidential jet for hours, claiming to be searching for Malawi’s South African-based Prophet Bishop Shepherd Bushiri.
Comparing the two years of the 2020’s, they were definitely two sides of a bad global record, hewn from the same fabric. Apart from people dying from (the usual suspects) /covid, disease, accidents, and old age, there were incidents that were bad and pretty ugly. While a great many are unavoidable or preventable, many, many other we simply must work on and stop them. We must stop them by all means, because some of the stuff threatens to run humanity off of the face of the world.
On the sad category these are the people that were lost on the international scene: David Yonggi Cho, T.B. Joshua, Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, Congressman John Lewis, firmer Vice President (for Jimmy Carter) Walter Mondale, former Tanzania President Phombe Magafuli, Cecily Tyson, rapper DMX (born Earl Simmons), Michael Nesmith (drummer for the Monkees band, General Colin Powell, Bob Dole, Lee Elder (first black golfer to play at the Masters), Don Everly (of the Everly Brothers), Larry King, Rush Limbaugh, Donald Rumsfeld, George Schultz, Christopher Plummer (Capt. Von Trapp in The Sound of Music), boxer Leon Spinks, Kool & the Gang co-founder Dennis Thomas, Bunny Wailer, Rolling Stone drummer Charlie Watts, country music singer and writer known for hits like ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’ Jim Weatherly, former Supreme’s singer Mary Wilson, former Democratic Party Senator Harry Reid, Desmond Tutu, and Attorney Sarah Weddington (at 26, she successfully argued the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade before the U.S. Supreme Court).
Locally, Malawi lost former Vice President Justine Malewezi, former Minister and Lower Shire giant Siddk Mia, Local government minister Lingson Belekenyama and the minister for transport Muhammad Sidik Mia died in the capital Lilongwe (the two ministers died on the same day), MP Cornelius Mwalwanda, Felix Mponda, Maria Chidzanja Nkhoma, Reverend Patrick Semaphore, Charles Chimpweya, Wambali Mkandawire, former Governor Charles Chupa, evangelist Stephen Lungu, former First Lady Madame Annie Chidzila Muluzi, Rafik Hajat, Dan Phoya, Mrs. Mbumba Banda Sr., Forner Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo, Mrs. Munlo, Ambassador Munlo, Rose Mchawaka Banda, former Neno MP Mrs. Gladys Tembo, Israella Bushiri, (daughter of charismatic prophet Shepherd Bushiri).
In the bad category, a former MP and ex-deputy speaker Clement Chiwaya killed himself inside the parliament building. An Islamist killed Malawian 28-year-old Chitenji Kamanga, who was part of MONUSCO UN peacekeeping Mission in Kigali.
SA police impounded Malawi presidential jet for hours in South Africa, with Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera onboard the aircraft. The SA authorities claimed they were searching for Bishop Shepherd Bushiri, who they wanted to question; something about fraud. A major diplomatic incident, bad is an understatement.
There are six downright ugly events that are still reeling with bad-taste-in-mouth feeling all round.
1. On January 6, 2021, after a heated pep rally addressed by then sitting President Donald Trump, his supporters stormed the Capitol Building (that houses both the Senate and House of Representatives). The mob’s intention was to stop the work of Congress, which was to receive electoral college votes that had already declared Joe Biden as winner of the 2020 presidential elections. The business of January 6 for Congress was a formality since Biden had already been declared the winner.
Nonetheless, thousands of Trump supporters made a coup attempt, urged by then President Trump and his allies. O America! My America! What, pray tell, has become of you? This is not what democracy looks like!
2. US and western countries wore their true colors on sleeves as they rushed to issue travel bans on southern African countries due to Omicron variant which was first reported by SA scientists. The move highlights Afro-phobia sentiment of western countries. The variant is present in numerous Europe and other parts of the world, only African countries are banned from traveling to Europe and the US.
The ban has left an indelible blemish on north-south race relations.
3. Another indelible mark is the stain on the British (monarchy and its subjects). This also involves race relations. What started as stepping back on their Royal duties (God knows, there are countless many duties the royals are called to do) later ended up being an escape of sorts by the Duke and Duchess of Essex, aka Meghan Markel and Prince Harry. Racially-charged rhetoric in the media and Palace corridors turned so corrosive, Prince Harry protectively took his family out of Britain and stayed for a while in Canada.
A vicious dark cloud looms over Buckingham Palace. The scandal can be stopped by one person, the most powerful person. She can put an end to Harry’s need to single-handedly protect his family. Yes Ma’am, you can silence the media; you can also give the iced eye treatment to a few of the renegades in the halls of Buckingham Palace.
The Queen is a powerful institutions: banished Andy from royal duties after being implicated for taking part in the Epstein sex-with-minors scandal’ she also came on live broadcast to inform the Brits about the dangers of COVID, after PM Boris Johnson. She has the moral suasion to put a stop to the racist rants in the Palace and the media.
4. The UK has a luxury the US does not have, although it is aspiring to by changing state voting laws to favor one party. To the US, you’re becoming like Animal Farm by the day. Stop this please!
5. There is also the indelible mark of north-south debasement goings-on in the Christian community. In this regard, the treatment by South African authorities of Malawian-born Prophet Bushiri, is a shame to the intolerance that is flouncing in Christian corridors. Bushiri dared to enter South Africa and replicated what other evangelists before him did, accumulated hundred-thousand bums-on-pew-seats, threatening to woo bums-on-pew-seats from other congregations to his Enlightenment Christian Gathering (ECG).
The fact that he became a giant and creating wealth in everything he touched, was too much for the evangelicals . Thus began the big lie that hounded the man of God. He also happens to be a person of color, a non-white. In the words of Peter Paas, western Christians must stop looking with scorn (sic) on African Christians. Many media outlets still address him as the “self-proclaimed prophet.” They are certainly telling the man of God that he does not belong.
Sickness will wither, prosperity will chase all nations, shame will depart, as nations overcome and rise above the challenges of 2021. In the New Year (2022), may we look beyond the troubles, sickness, fears and tears, and malicious judgments against each other. May we know that Jesus wants to fill His joy to every person throughout the world.
Happy New Year!