Recently as I was chatting with friends on Whatsapp messenger and numerous times I received a certain image which claimed that Prophet Shepherd Bushiri was selling “Holy Shoes” for R15,000.
Of course this stimulated a larger discussion on how churches are robbing the gullible by making preposterous claims in the name of Jesus Christ.
Over the years I have however not been swift to declare final judgments on issues without investigation. In other words I do not automatically believe something merely because it has been stated. It has to be backed up by actual substance.
Without further delay I went to the official page of Shepherd Bushiri where I scrolled and found not a trace of the image. The official page by the way is the one with Facebook’s blue-tick of approval.
As I scrolled down I saw a certain post however which mentioned that there were numerous fake pages purporting to represent Prophet Bushiri.
Now before we go further, I do not attend Prophet Bushiri’s church (or any Church for that matter). I have wide perspective on why which I have often discussed in previous posts. However what I hate is propagation of mis-information that banks on “The Drama Triangle”.
The post will largely focus on “The Drama Triangle” and why groups with an upper-hand can’t flee from scandal.
In the drama triangle, we have 3 main components.
Villain – The offender
Victim – The one being offended
Hero – The one being saved
Once you view things from this perspective it’s quite easy to see things beyond emotion.
Villain – Prophets (because they are probably false)
Victim – Their Congregants
Hero – Anyone who blasts them or claims to expose them
Okay before we return to the Bushiri issue. I want us to analyse the drama triangle on many spectra.
Let’s take the Ruvheneko Parienyatwa versus Tafadzwa Masarara Case.
Some time in 2016 when Pastor Evan Mawarire rose to fame and was loved for standing up to authority he was invited to a ZiFM interview where he was persecuted by Tafadzwa Masarara. The next day ZiFM received backlash from people for inviting Tafadzwa till a point Ruvheneko went to twitter to claim that she did not invite Tafadzwa.
People then attacked Tafadzwa Masarara and his person. It tore into his public standing so Tafadzwa took legal action against ZiFM.
In the later part of the year Ruvheneko went on record to apologize to Tafadzwa Musarara (read the story here). She admitted that she lied and she had indeed invited him.
Now note that at the time she lied she was widely believed. Why?
The Drama Triangle was in the favour of Evan, where Tafadzwa was already the villain. When you are the villain in the triangle no one listens to your side.
Villain = Tafadzwa Musarara (for supporting ZANU PF)
Victim = Pastor Evan (for being persecuted for opposing the Government)
Hero = The people by attacking Tafadzwa (Also Ruvhi for “exposing” him)
In essence, any allegations against someone perceived to have an upper hand by social status, race, gender or political affiliation are usually accepted and believed with no further interrogation.
A lot of implicit and cognitive biases come to play and the person is crucified. No press release can save them from the slander.
Sometimes the best way is to go the Tafadzwa Musarara way and just sue the originator of the lie so that they themselves announce that they were lying.
At the end of the day both powerful and less powerful do sometimes do very bad things but not all of them are true. They all deserve to be tested fairly.
The culture of spreading malice without verifying facts merely because it has been claimed by someone on twitter is a reflection of how much we like news that confirms our biases.
I have always said allegations of any sort, be it rape, theft, fraud and so forth will never be substantiated by twitter. Court-rooms and such are full of people who are qualified to make those conclusions.
Back to the Bushiri Issue:
Upon searching “The Busiri Collection” I came across a Facebook page with a few posts and roughly 8000 likes which last posted in October 2016. On that page once again there was no pricing of shoes but it seems to have been abandoned. It does not have an official blue tick.
On the other hand there were several Facebook pages under Sheperd Bushiri but only one with the blue tick from Facebook.
It turns out many public figures are really victim to this.
For instance on Twitter there one account I knew of called @kanyewset (which is a mis-spelt version of Kanye West). People often accused Kanye West of saying certain things without realizing they were quoting this account.
All I can say is when it comes to news about public figures and brands, we need to verify with the main pages of those people before we spread malice.
If we build a culture of attacking power and success it means one day when our cards play right too and we too get into powerful positions we can’t cry foul when people throw rocks.
To Public Figures
I guess since we live in a society that treats success with hate and will rush to believe anything negative, public figures have to keep their heads up and continue to build their brands.
They should not listen to barks when they are elephants. We have seen Kanye West, jay Z and so forth move on with their lives amidst scrutiny and accusation. Theory upon theory.
As afore mentioned I too am skeptical about prophets but well we cannot deny that despite all the negativity, Bushiri still commands large crowds. It is not for us to judge if they are gullible or lost. We do not have all the answers ourselves.
Anyway let’s discuss on twitter. The twitter handle is @Mcpotar.