Just as they used the death of Grace Chinga to fight each other, it seems the same people have now shifted their battle field to the her son, Steve Spesho. The past ten days have definitely not been easy for Steve and his siblings due to the death of their mother. Grace was a single mother.
She was the constant presence in the lives of her children and that tells how close they were to each other. Her death was a sudden one. She never had that much time to let her children accept the fact that she was departing from them. In just a matter of hours, they were left motherless. That is how tragic the situation was. Their relationship was more than the usual mother-child one.
As a singer, Grace used to involve her children in her music and used that platform as a way of strengthening the bond she had with them. This can be seen when she featured her daughter, Miracle, in a song from her 2010 album and also letting her son, Steve, produce her swan song, ‘N’dzaulura’.
Steve is only twenty one years old now. As the oldest of the three, he is supposed to be the supporting pillar of the rest two. He is now the head of the family as far as his siblings are concerned. I am very sure that after the death of her mother, he has been acting strong and assuring his siblings that life still goes on. It has not been an easy experience for him.
Grace’s death touched hearts of millions of Malawians. For a time, most of us could not believe that death came and plucked her away from us, in an instant. If this is how concerned we are, the people who never even met or touched her, how about her children, after sharing their entire life with her?
The death of Grace brought about a lot of stories and conspiracy theories, of which people gladly shared on the social media. One of the epic stories that rose was the claim that Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, Malawi’s South African based television evangelist and businessman, was mysteriously involved in her death. The story said that when Grace did ‘N’daulura’ (I Will Reveal) song, she was threatening to reveal the dark ways of Prophet Bushiri, hence the move to have her dead.
The Prophet Bushiri camp, through its Public Relations Officer, Kelvin Sulugwe, gave responses to all these stories. And it went ugly. For four to five days, the Malawi social media was awash with these two sides fighting and even making personal attacks.
Two days ago, an alleged Facebook post from Steve Spesho made rounds. In the post, Steve is read to be distancing the death of her mother from Prophet Bushiri, and went on to say that there was never any kind of relationship between them. He also explained that he was the one who produced ‘N’dzaulura’ song and that it never meant to attack anyone. The song was going to anyone who was doing the sins being mentioned in it.
The document looked authentic and most of us believed it to indeed be from him. It showed a matured Steve who had come in to clear some misconceptions about what had happened. He seemed sober, strong, and a man who had come to terms with probably the most tragic part of his entire life. It was a relief to some of us, that finally, someone from inside had spoken and the matter will be put to the rest to let the children move on.
But just today, the ugly accusations between the two parties seem to have resurfaced again, with some sitessaying the alleged Steve Facebook post was not from him, but was written by the Prophet Bushiri side. Now, this is not going on well. For us who are just watching, we cannot know the truth.
But the fight in unnecessary and being fought on the wrong ground. Steve, as already said, in only twenty one years old. He is not that much matured to handle all these lies being said about her mother and his alleged Facebook post. It will take him, his brother and sister time to understand why death had to strike their family that way.
The best thing all of us can do is to be part of their moving on. We should show them that we were blessed by their mother, and that despite her now gone, we still think that her music will be a positive impact in our lives for years to come. When we negatively talk of their situation, they are looking at all that and it is surely affecting them. Please, to the two fighting sides, choose another battle. This one is not to the best interest of Grace Chinga’s children.
You may be feeling happy and satisfied that you are gaining ground over your opponent, but be human for a moment. Think of their plight and resolve into giving these kids some time and space. They have a lot going through in their minds.
*Wonderful Mkhutche is an author, a political scientist and a manuscript editor and developer.