EXCLUSIVE: Gospel singer Christina Shusho apologises to Kenyans over social media post

RAILA ODINGA [L], CHRISTINA SHUSHO [C], UHURU KENYATTA [R] [PHOTO | EDAILY]

Popular Tanzanian gospel musician Christina Shusho has apologised to a section of Kenyans, who called her out on social media for offering, what they termed “partial prayers” for the country’s top leadership.

Shusho had taken to her Facebook page recently, where she offered special prayers for President Uhuru Kenyatta and – temporarily – left out Nasa’s Raila Odinga.

“On our second prayer day, I dedicate Kenya before you, God. Dear God I pray you fill Kenya’s Commander In Chief Uhuru Kenyatta with courage and strength. I pray that God gives you (Uhuru) wisdom to guide Kenyans effectively,” prayed Shusho.

“Dear God, if there are any sins committed against you by Kenya’s elders, forgive them. Grant wisdom to your servant Uhuru Kenyatta. Dear God, please answer his prayers, when he reaches out to you. Stand by him; give him the much-needed wisdom to lead Kenya. When he calls upon you, listen to him God, don’t turn your back on him. I fully understand that Kenya’s redeemer lives. Amen.”

A section of Nasa supporters, who felt that the leader whom they identify with, Raila Odinga, had been left out of the special prayers by Shusho, took to her timeline to call her out for “biasness”.

Shusho would, a few minutes later, put up on her timeline a prayer dedicated to God on behalf Odinga.

“Dear God, we are praying for Hon. Raila Odinga. For Kenya’s sake, remember him. Grant him grace, both big and small. Grant him his heart’s desires and grant him wisdom for Kenya’s sake. I pray peace prevails even as you consider Raila Odinga. Dear God, use your servant Hon. Raila Odinga as a vessel to preach peace and prosperity. You are a fair God, a peace-loving God, please hear our prayers. Amen,” Shusho prayed.

Despite her effort to salvage the situation and make up for the ‘costly’ omission – or delay, Nasa supporters did not want to hear any of Shusho’s supplications, saying that Odinga’s prayer was an afterthought – or a reaction to the backlash she had received.

Some said Shusho’s prayer for Odinga was not made out of a genuine concern.

Shusho would, thereafter, issue an apology on social media, saying: “It was not my intention to hurt you guys. I am sorry. Nimalize kwa kusema nina wapenda, na nitaendelea kuwaombea.”

The Nipe Macho hit-maker would, thereafter, delete the special prayers she had made for Uhuru and Raila, consequently deleting her apology, which was on the same thread.

EDAILY reached out to Shusho, who confirmed having apologised to Kenyans, who felt offended by her ‘costly’ omission or delay.

“It is true, I have apologised to Kenyans; the section of Kenyans who were offended by my social media posts. The reactions from those posts could not be ignored,” she said.

“I fully understand how polarised an electioneering period is. A political outfit supporter would want you to think and see issues in their perspective. Kenyans are good people. I don’t harbour any grudge against them. Some could have over-reacted, but I still deem them to be very good people,” said Shusho.

“I urge those offended by my social media posts to find it in their hearts to forgive me. I did not have any ulterior motive; I did not endorse any Kenyan political outfit. I won’t stop praying for Kenya, a lot of people are dedicating the country to God, even as she prepares herself for October 26 presidential election. Many Tanzanians are on their knees praying for a peaceful, integrated Kenya.

“Some words which were hurled at me (on social media) were quite hurtful. Nonetheless, I fully understand how emotive politics is, and how different people are. Not everyone can be Christina Shusho, not everyone can be you. Insults are hurtful. Though, I know at the end of the day, when we meet in church no one is better than the other,” said Shusho.

‘I HAVE NO PREFERRED CANDIDATE IN KENYA ELECTIONS’

Christina Shusho dismissed claims by a section of online users that by choosing to pray for Uhuru ahead of Raila, based on the timelines on her social media posts, she endorsed the Head of State over the former Premier ahead of Kenya’s repeat polls slated for October 26.

“I did not endorse President Uhuru Kenyatta in my prayer. That was just an interpretation by a section of my Kenyan fans. I was praying, quoting words written in the Bible, there was no word attributed to my cognition in the prayer. I repeat, I won’t blame any Kenyan fan of mine for faulting me, I fully understand that the electioneering period is a highly charged one, all over the world, not only in Kenya. Though, that should not mean that I stop praying for people.”

LESSONS LEARNT

Shusho says, based on her rough experience with Kenyans online, she has learnt to be more observant of situations before choosing to take an action.

“During our (Tanzania) presidential election, musicians were used to preach peace. Our political setting could be very different from Kenya’s. From the experience with Kenyans online, I have learnt that before doing certain things, you must ensure that you factor in all the players; give them equal prominence, regardless where you stand. The biggest mistake I made in the social media post, which sparked fury among a section of Kenyans, was posting one leader’s prayer first ahead of the other’s. Now I know better. Though, I would appeal to people not to connect matters prayers and worship with politics. I am praying for Kenya.”

MESSAGE TO UHURU, RAILA

“I would like to appeal to the two leaders to put Kenya’s interest ahead of their own. The country is bigger (than the two of them). Kenyans want peace, prosperity and stability. That is all they want. The two leaders can sit together and provide a solution for the country. Kenyans will be happy when a permanent solution, which does not involve bloodshed, is arrived at. I will be happy for the nation, the rest of the world too will be.”

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