Popular Twitter parody account Man’s Not Barry Roux (@AdvBarryRoux) divided its followers on Wednesday revealing what most Malawians may have already known – Shepherd Bushiri’s apparent real name.
The parody account said an invoice mistakenly sent to Baloyi Attorneys did not use the popular name, and instead called him Chipiliro Gama.
Though some on social media said it was bizarre that his followers did not know his apparent real name, most of them said there was nothing untoward about changing a name, and used Saul, whose name changed to Paul in the Bible after he saw the light.
“When Saul was recruited by God himself to do the work of leading people to light … he was given a new name and thus changed to Paulos. When Jacob was also chosen by god his name changed to Israel. So there’s nothing that should surprise you by a change of name of our Papa,” said Ncumisa Garishe, while Prudence ZeeLady Mudau said there was nothing wrong with giving yourself other names.
“What if your mother gives you the name that you hate? You just change it sana. How many people are using unreal names even on social media?”
These were some of the other comments on social media:
Addressing congregants following his release on Wednesday, Bushiri revealed that his wife was “poisoned to within an inch of her life” in the past five months when protestors were demanding that he leave the country.
He thanked President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office, and the leadership of the EFF and BLF who had stood by him “in the past five weeks that we experienced situations after situations, starting with organised protests, to demands that I leave the country for which I am a permanent resident, to demands that the Pretoria branch be closed, my wife being poisoned to within an inch of her life, all the way to our incarceration”.
Bushiri’s bad publicity was accelerated by a stampede at his church that left three women dead.