Shepherd Bushiri Biography
Shepherd Bushiri known as Major 1 or Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, is a Christian preacher, motivational speaker, Author and businessman from Malawi.
Bushiri founded and leads a Christian non-denominational evangelical church known as the Enlightened Christian Gathering. That church has headquarters in Pretoria, South Africa with branches in other African countries and around the world. Tens of thousands of people are attracted to the church every day. Bushiri describes the church as a Prophetic Ministry based on the principle that God cares and loves people and wants to speak directly to them.
He also runs a global investment company, Shepherd Bushiri Investments (Pty) Ltd, which is based in Sandton near Johannesburg, with interests in mining, real estate, an airline and other entrepreneurial pursuits. As per Bushiri, he ventured into business to support his family as he does not believe the church must support his family.
Shepherd Bushiri Age
He was born on 20th February 1983 in Ntcheu, Malawi. He is aged 36 years as of 2019.
Shepherd Bushiri Net Worth
Bushiri has an estimated net worth of $150 million US dollars. The source of his wealth is believed to have come from his Evangelism, farming and telecoms.
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Shepherd Bushiri Wife and Children
He enjoys football and chess. Bushiri is married to Mary Bushiri, an accountant who previously held a senior managerial position for an international development NGO, who now does business ventures and Christian ministry. The couple has two daughters.
Shepherd Bushiri Early Life
He grew up in Mzuzu, which is in the northern part of Malawi. Bushiri’s mother gave him the name Shepherd due to the complexities around his birth, acknowledging the Lord as her Shepherd. While young, he had a spiritual encounter that led him to dedicate his life to serving God. Bushiri travels around the world holding crusades and meetings focused on teaching, prophesy and healing.
August 2018, he was invited as a guest of honor at South Africa’s National Day of Inter-faith prayer held at the Emirates Airline Stadium in Johannesburg, during which he offered prayers of reconciliation and unity. Following event was attended by South African leading clergy and South Africa’s Vice President David Mabuza.
Shepherd Bushiri Controversy
He has been accused of making unproven claims of “curing HIV.” Bushiri countered that he has never performed a miracle in his life because only Jesus can. However, due to claims of unproven miracles, Botswana temporarily banned him from entering the country before courts ruled the ECG church is allowed to continue operating in the country. He was free to enter the country at will but now is required to apply for a visa every time he wants to enter Botswana.
Fees for Public Dinners
Fees charged to attend some of Bushiri’s public dinners have been questioned. It was reported that he charged up to R25,000 for a seat at his table at a gala dinner held on 23 December 2017 at the Pretoria Showground and N$1,000 for entry to a dinner held in Windhoek, Namibia in January 2016. He in several news interviews categorically refuted the published extreme pricing claims for “so-called gala dinners” calling them “fabricated.
He allegedly, during a church service in March 2017, announced that he wanted to make members of his church into millionaires. Members were then told via email to invest at least R100 000 in cash with him within the next two days and were promised a 50% return within 30 banking days.
Those that could not bring cash with them to the church were sent banking details of a company, Rising Estates, the directors of which are Bushiri lieutenants, Willah Mudolo, Duncan Oduor Otieno and Kit Ching Catherine Kum. Two years later, the people who gave Bushiri money claim to have not received anything back.
In 2010 it is alleged that Bushiri impregnated a teenage Malawian woman, whom he met in 2007 in their home town, Mzimba. Further claimed that he bribed her with a cheque for 80 000 Malawian kwacha (about R1,500) to have an abortion but that the cheque bounced. That woman subsequently gave birth in 2011 to a girl who “is the spitting image of Bushiri and it is widely known in the district that he is the biological father,” according to the father of the woman.
That woman is now married and the family alleges that they “kept quiet out of fear.” That village that the woman and child live in broke the news before the family approached Bushiri. He claims that the cheque was stolen from him and that, on the day the woman claims he made her pregnant, Bushiri was at a police station dealing with an attempted hijacking.
Year 2018, the mother again tried to get maintenance via the courts but was unsuccessful. The family members of the girl claim that Bushiri admits to the allegations in private, despite his public denials and have demanded a paternity test. Bushiri’s lawyer, Terrence Baloyi, did not respond to emails, text messages and calls from City Press seeking comment.
1st February 2019, Bushiri was arrested together with his wife by South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Investigations (HAWKS) for fraud and money laundering. Hawks said the case against the couple was linked to alleged offences of fraud and money laundering, as well as the contravention of South Africa’s Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA), which had been committed from 2015.
Contravention of the Act was in relation to Exchange Control Regulations relating to foreign currency of $1 147 200. He and his wife were each granted R100 000 (approx $7,500) bail after appearing in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria on 6 February 2019. With the bail conditions were that the couple remain in Gauteng and their travel documents remain with the state.
When they needed to travel, they would need to get written permission from investigating officers. Bushiri and wife were also not allowed to make contact with any of the witnesses.
Shepherd Bushiri Career
He started his first business at an early age after receiving a small loan from his father. That loan was used in farming with profits reinvested into larger ventures. Bushiri is now known as one of the wealthiest pastors in the world and one of the most affluent people in Africa.
He is mentored by multimillionaire businessman and leader of Good News Church in UK, Prophet Uebert Angel. He is said to be the most celebrated and popular Spiritual Son of Prophet Angel. He (Angel) has other Spiritual sons including but not limited to Africa-based Romeo Marom, Bulgaria based miracle worker Maksim Asenov, leader of Imperial City Church, Isaiah Brian Sovi and South African based Apostle Miz Tancred.
Enlightened Christian Gathering
Enlightened Christian Gathering is reported as one of the fastest growing churches in Africa and the world. He is the founder of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG). Bushiri has established and leads churches in South Africa, Malawi, Ghana, South Sudan and other countries. Bushiri has been interviewed for television by the BBC and received coverage also in Al Jazeera, New African, Nigerian Tribune, and African Leadership magazine.
The night of 28 December 2018, three people died and nine others were injured during a stampede at the ECG Church caused by people trying to avoid a thunderstorm. His spokesman Maynard Manyowa told media that “The ECG Church is not his [Bushiri’s] church, it belongs to South Africa and South Africans.” Manyowa also said that the deaths were “not his [Bushiri’s] problem, but a problem that the church must deal with.”
His services attract over 100,000 viewers via his personally owned television station, social media and in-person attendees. His largest gatherings are held on New Year’s Eve at FNB Stadium, South Africa with over 95,000 attendees both in 2016 and 2017. FNB Stadium is the largest stadium in Africa.
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