Moonchild Sanelly – ‘Bashiri’


With her newest release ‘Bashiri‘, South African artist Moonchild Sanelly drops a critique of profit-oriented christian preachers, who promise to do wonders while demanding exorbitant amounts of cash. Vienna based producer Aramboa provided the amapiano/ electronic beat for the track. Moonchild told Complex Magazine that the track was inspired by a woman’s testimony who is member of a church, in which the pastor exploits faith for his personal economic gains: “People pay for ‘miracle oil’ whilst the pastor lands at the service in a helicopter, being treated like God himself despite taking money from his congregation. This song is from the perspective of a Bashiri disciple whose husband was cheating; in the song, she’s lamenting her relationship and takes her husband to her pastor, who promises that he can perform this miracle to make her husband faithful — which is ridiculous because infidelity is not solved through prayer and tithing.”

But the track also contains another, more positive message, according to the artist: “Everything is in your hands, you can change it. Not only by praying for it, but by working towards making that change happen.” (CSA Global)

The song seems to make reference to a the Malawian self-proclaimed  ‘prophet’ Shepherd Bushiri, who is currently facing trial because of fraud and money laundering involving more than R15 million (IOL). The preacher was in the headlines as he claimed to have cured people of HIV, heal lame persons and he claims to have walked on air (BBC). During the Corona lockdown, he asked his followers to pay their offerings via bank transfer (Timeslive).

In the lyrics (as translated from Xhosa into English by Lethabo Naso), Moonchild Sanelly takes the perspective of the female disciple, who approaches the pastor:

Indoda yami ibifeba/  My man was hoeing around
Namsa kuBashiri/  I took him to Bashiri
Wavuka, wangthanda/  He woke up, he loved me
Bheka manje siyasonta/  Look now we go to church/believe together
Amen, amen, amen, amen Hallelujah (x2)
Wayefeba, ndamamezela/  He was hoeing, I (…)  
Wandishiya, ndamthandazela/  He left me, I prayed for him
Wabuya, ndabuzu pastor/  He came back, I asked the pastor
Wacolisa, samfakelwandle/  He apologised, we put him in the sea
Skhipha ibhad, bhad lam (x4)/  We are removing bad luck, my bad luck

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