Shepherd Bushiri Biography| Age, Background, Education, Family, Divine Calling, Church, Mentorship, Controversies, Arrest
Shepherd Bushiri, also known as Major 1, is a controversial self-proclaimed Malawian prophet, businessman, motivational speaker, and author. Bushiri is well known as the founder of the Enlightened Christian Gathering church.
Prophet Shepherd Bushiri was born on the 20th of February, 1983. As of 2023, he is 40 years old.
Early Life and Background
Shepherd Bushiri was born in Lilongwe and grew up in Mzuzu, Malawi. The self-proclaimed prophet’s parents are Christina and Huxley Bushiri. He is the fourth child in a family of six children, and one of his siblings is Otis. His mother named him Shepherd because God, the good shepherd, watched over her during pregnancy and childbirth complications.
Shepherd Bushiri attended Moyale Secondary School for his high school education. Later, he pursued higher education at Therapon University, where he earned a diploma in theology.
Shepherd Bushiri is married to Mary Bushiri, who is also a preacher.
The couple got married in July 2011 and has two daughters, Israella and Raphaella. Tragically, Israella Bushiri passed away in March 2021.
A supernatural being reportedly commanded the 10-year-old Shepherd Huxley Bushiri in a dream to become a preacher and call people for repentance. The spiritual encounter led him to dedicate his life to serving God.
Controversial Beginnings and Miracles
Bushiri’s journey into the public eye began with a controversial incident that catapulted him to popularity. He gained widespread attention after releasing a video showcasing him seemingly walking in the air.
However, revelations from his former public relations manager later exposed that Bushiri had orchestrated staged miracles to capture media interest.
Enlightened Christian Gathering Church
At the heart of Shepherd Bushiri’s influence is the Enlightened Christian Gathering church, a non-denominational charismatic evangelical congregation.
Founded by Bushiri himself, the church is headquartered in Pretoria, South Africa, with branches spreading across multiple African nations and the world. Thousands of believers are drawn to the church daily, attracted by its central belief in direct communication between God and individuals.
Mentorship and Affiliation
Shepherd Bushiri’s journey has been influenced by his association with Prophet Uebert Angel, a multimillionaire businessman, and leader of the Good News Church in the UK. Bushiri is celebrated as one of Prophet Angel’s spiritual sons, contributing to his status as one of the most affluent pastors in the world and a prominent figure in Africa.
Shepherd Bushiri ignited a storm of controversy when he asserted to have “cured HIV.” However, he quickly refuted any miracle claims, emphasizing that only Jesus possesses such power. Nevertheless, amidst allegations of unverified miracles, Botswana imposed a temporary entry ban on him. Subsequently, courts ruled in favor of the ECG church, permitting its continued operations within the country. While he once enjoyed unrestricted entry, Bushiri now must apply for a visa whenever seeking entry into Botswana
Public Dinner Pricing Controversy
In 2017, Controversy surrounded the alleged fees associated with attendance at Shepherd Bushiri’s esteemed public dinners.
The reported charges garnered scrutiny. Speculation circulated that a seat at his table during a gala dinner at the Pretoria Showground on 23 December 2017 came with a price tag of R25000. Similarly, entry to a dinner in Windhoek, Namibia in January 2016 was rumored to cost N$1000. However, Bushiri vehemently refuted these claims in various news interviews, labeling the published exorbitant pricing as “fabricated.”
Fraudulent Investment Schemes
In March 2017, Shepherd Bushiri faced allegations tied to investment schemes that emerged during a church service. Promising to elevate his congregation to millionaires, Bushiri initiated a series of transactions, including emails urging congregants to invest a minimum of R100,000 for a 50% return within 30 days. Some resorted to directing funds to Rising Estates, a company associated with Bushiri’s lieutenants.
However, the passage of nearly two years revealed a disheartening outcome, leaving those who entrusted their funds to Bushiri empty-handed. The investment web appeared to extend to Palambano Investments, with congregants believing their contributions would fuel a “gold minerals” scheme in Zambia. Notably, evidence showed funds directed to the ECG’s First National Bank account.
Nombeko Dwesini, a congregant, filed a complaint that led to legal action against Palambano Investments.
In 2010, allegations surfaced that Shepherd Bushiri fathered a child with a teenage Malawian woman, whom he reportedly met in their hometown of Mzimba back in 2007. The claims go on to assert that Bushiri offered her a cheque for 80000 Malawian kwacha (approximately R1500) as an incentive for an abortion, but the cheque bounced. The woman ultimately gave birth in 2011 to a daughter bearing a striking resemblance to Bushiri. According to the woman’s father, the local community widely acknowledges Bushiri as the biological father of the child.
Accusations of Infidelity
Shepherd Bushiri’s Affair With Rachel J
In February 2020, Shepherd Bushiri was accused of an affair by Terence Mukupe, a former deputy finance minister of Zimbabwe. Mukupe alleged that Bushiri had engaged in a relationship with his wife Rachel J, leading to her pregnancy. Mukupe claimed to possess WhatsApp evidence of conversations between Bushiri and Rachel, discussing planned rendezvous in different locations. Mukupe also asserted that Bushiri requested R100,000 (about $7,500) from him for church financing. Bushiri responded by stating he hadn’t left South Africa for the past 13 months, challenging the timeline of the alleged events.
Shepherd Bushiri’s Botswana Side Chick
In August 2023, Shepherd Bushiri made headlines after his “side chick” from Botswana leaked their private chats and audio recordings. Leaked audio recordings reveal Bushiri inviting a Botswana acquaintance only identified as Kesego to Malawi for a lakeside getaway. The exchange includes Bushiri expressing his feelings and reluctance to push for a relationship.
As the situation unfolded, Shepherd Bushiri’s side chick leaked more screenshots exposing her relationship with the self-proclaimed man of God.
Questionable Residency Status
In October 2020, South African Police uncovered discrepancies in Shepherd Bushiri’s residency. His 1996 South African identity card conflicted with his entry on tourist visas in 2010. Allegations of a fraudulent residency permit emerged, designating him as an illegal immigrant. This led to the suspension of five officials implicated in providing Bushiri with illicit identity documents.
Rape and Sexual Assault Allegations
In a troubling development on March 21, 2021, Shepherd Bushiri was charged by South African Police with 16 counts of rape, involving 8 different victims. Prior to this, three warrants of arrest had already been issued against Bushiri for separate rape charges. The police’s claim suggests that Bushiri singled out women and girls within his church. As outlined in police records, these young girls, some as young as 15 and even siblings, allegedly endured hours of brutal rape while confined to hotel rooms. They were reportedly handed amounts ranging from $500 to $700 before being told to leave.
In February 2019, Shepherd Bushiri and his wife were arrested in South Africa for fraud and money laundering. The situation escalated as new allegations emerged, including illegal residence and immigration violations. While on bail, the couple fled to Malawi, sparking a series of arrests and releases. Extradition proceedings to South Africa were initiated, and the case remains ongoing as of February 2022.