Of prophets, unanswered questions
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, there is something some of us rarely comment on and that is religion. Reason? It is personal and there is choice.
The same applies to marriages or other personal relationships. Who one goes out with or decides to marry is really outside the realms of public discourse. That is why anybody is free to bring a loved one who looks like a brick, a grandfather or grandmother to one’s family, as a preferred life partner.
As long as the fellows are mature, above 18 and pay for whatever they are doing; seriously, nobody, including parents and relatives, ought to have issues with that.
The same, esteemed Raw Stuffers, applies to religion where these days there are all sorts of faiths, ecclesiastic revival groups, mainstream and splinter churches, pastors, prophets, apostles, disciples, self-acclaimed bishops, etc; all preaching the Holy Word.
We Raw Stuffers have no issues with that. Everyone chooses how they want to worship their God, where and with which pastor/apostle/prophet.
But, esteemed Raw Stuffers, there are some trends that trigger questions from some right-thinking citizens.
The other day, a four-year-old Blantyre fellow, Yusuf, asked his mother why is it that on TV apostolic/religious programmes, where some believers testify about what the Almighty has done for them and urge others to come along to the congregation and the prophet, it is only women who are touched and fall during the cleansing sessions?
Yusuf’s parents just looked at each other; they didn’t have an immediate answer for the toddler, who attends nursery school and can follow some TV programmes and his immediate community issues.
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, if Yusuf were a bit older, possibly 10 or 13, he would also have asked why in the crowds that patronise such prayer gatherings, everybody is well dressed and they don’t look poor. Even those who testify, they mostly have some reputable backgrounds, have some sort of earning power and some come from ‘good’ families.
Which, esteemed Raw Stuffers, brings us to some substantive questions: Why don’t the prophets take their messages to rural areas where the majority of the country’s population lives and also requires redemption?
Why, we add, don’t the men and women of God take their campaigns to hospitals—in major referral hospitals as well as district health facilities, pray for the brothers and sisters in need, and ask them to rise from their beds and walk back home “in the most powerful name of Jesus of Nazareth?”
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, why don’t these prophets directly help some of our bed-ridden brethren and sisters; say, through donations—some cash collections they make and/or foodstuffs or other basic necessities?
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, in Chi Kilimani (a language mostly spoken in most parts of the Nyanja-Lhomwe-northern Mozambique belt) we say: ‘Iripo niiyo’ [There is something else behind these prophets].
What drives them and how they would explain some of the information gaps sought by the Yusufs and some of us is surely an issue.
For example, would anybody consistently put classified and display advertising, complete with pictures in the newspapers, for nothing? One is not sure if the Christ of Nazareth or Prophet Muhammad of Islam (May peace be upon him) engaged in such antics when they walked the earth.
Further, what would stop some prophets and their men to ‘prepare’ some gullible folks, in advance, to disclose their details to the men and women of God so that the data is used during the broadcast revival meetings to impress the crowds?
Esteemed Raw Stuffers, again, religion is choice and personal. But the moment this is practised in public, on TVs, radios, newspapers and open rallies, it subjects itself to public questions. No?
For some of us, our late Uncle Che Vakara did not mince words when he continuously counselled us not to have our hard-earned resources stolen “when you have both pairs of eyes and ears”.
“Osamangoyenda mutaseka maso kapena kuseka mapilikaniro muli moyo” [Don’t walk around with closed eyes and ears as if you were dead],” the old man would counsel.
His advice, esteemed Raw Stuffers, also later resonated with Atcheya’s public statements. The former president used to tell us: “Kumachangamuka patauni. Ife anyamata a patauni!” [Folks, wake up, this is town! Get yourself something useful to do, and don’t allow some people to freely eat from your palms].
By the way, why is it that Malawi is today awash with prophets from all corners of the world, particularly a certain part of West Africa? I know the late Vakara would say “aMalawi tulo”, or my friend Ada Banda from Chinthechi would say: “A Malawi turu maningi.” [Too much sleep, Malawians].