I just finished reading an article in the Sunday Times by one Mandy Pindani in which he reports that people (two people that he interviewed) are complaining and questioning why anointing water, anointing oil and other spiritual things are being sold at the ongoing conference of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri in Mzuzu. I couldn’t stop laughing. After years of training as a journalist, he felt this was an idea newsworthy. More shocking though is the fact that the paper has managed to give this trash some space. It tempts one to rate the paper as such too: trash. No no no, I know Sunday Times. It is not what this journalist is making it look like.
What happened to ethics of journalism where stories are supposed to be balanced? The reporter talks to two people (whose existence we can argue whole day here) who complain that mineral water is being sold at K250 instead of the shop price of K200. He is complaining of a K50 difference. And to Sunday Times, this is news.
At the same time, the article only quotes these two names without seeking views from the organizers. What type of reporting is that? All in all, tell me which church in the world gives free spiritual things. I have been to Roman Catholic and I used to buy Rosaries, Pope and Mary’s portraits. Aren’t these spiritual materials? Everywhere you go you will find that spiritual things are being sold, because the churches need money for a reproduction of such things. If spiritual things were free, I bet everyone should have received the bible. It’s only St Egidio and a couple of NGOs that give free bibles and such charity organizations are heavily funded. In short, the gospel of Jesus Christ is for free, but the means through which the gospel is spread are not for free.
Just for the stage of the crusade, the organizers had to pay a whooping K5 million to Jai Banda. That’s just part of the costs. Think of publicity, logistics and some other equally important expenditures. Sunday Times just flopped big time.
And the article talks about the prophet only meeting those who can pay a sum of K10000, quoting the two as the sole reason they have failed to meet him in person. Yet this is a conference that has attracted a multitude, and some feel it’s practical for him to meet everyone in person. Really? There are things we don’t have to waste our time on. One such thing is the impracticability of this cry, plus the K50 difference bluff.
For Sunday Times, I feel there is always next time. When that next time comes, I pray Sunday Times will consider doing better as a number one priority. It is too big a paper to allow for publication of stories that lack journalistic maturity. As for the writer, he is well trained I suppose. He should know stories have different angles: some deliberately twisted to suit orders from whomever one serves. But, for the sake of intellectualism, it would do him good if he considered some more positive angles. It doesn’t hurt switching sides. Thousands of foreigners are in Mzuzu for the crusade now, and let us exchange their forex with good coverage of the event they are here for. They used Malawian airlines to get there, and they are spending nights in our hotels. A lot of them have rented cars, and they are definitely using our mobile networks for communication too.
Who knows? After the conference, some might decide to refresh themselves with the waters of Lake Malawi. Some might want to feel the cold breeze of Mulanje Mountain. Do not let our envy drive them away. Negative publicity even where there’s no negativity is something else. Focus on the economic benefits of the conference if the spiritual side is something you can’t handle.
The much talked about K10, 000 was not for people to meet him spiritually, but rather a fee for dinner with which had been organised to raise funds for Mzuzu church building. The writer should have talked to the organisers to establish the truth and not rushing to report half baked stories.
Take after Nigeria. It benefits a lot from the multitudes that visit it for SCOAN. Instead of wasting time discrediting men of God like Prophet Bushiri, we should as a country focus on the bigger picture. Let us all work together in helping our men and women of God attain their goals while their works scratch our economy’s back.
Our country needs to develop in all aspects. It is only through responsible journalism that this can be achieved. Again, it is my prayer that both The SundayTimes and its journalist will reconsider their angle for the good of the nation. What you gave us on Sunday was total trash.
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