BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
PROMINENT Nigerian televangelist Temitope Balogun Joshua has died. Affectionately known as TB Joshua, Balogun died on Saturday at the age of 57.
He reportedly died a few hours after conducting a live broadcast service where his last words are said to have been “watch and pray”.
The cause of his death has not yet been disclosed.
But the Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan), which he led tweeted: “God has taken his servant Prophet TB Joshua home as it should be by divine will. His last moments on earth were spent in the service of God. This is what he was born for, lived for and died for.
“On Saturday 5th June 2021, Prophet TB Joshua spoke during the Emmanuel TV partners meeting: ‘Time for everything, time to come here for prayer and time to return home after the service’.”
There were mixed reactions soon after his death, including those from his Zimbabwean followers, with some describing the late prophet as a prominent preacher, while others expressed scepticism over the continuation of Scoan following its founder’s death.
In his tribute to the late Nigerian preacher, Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries founder Walter Magaya described him as his father who nurtured him in the prophetic ministry.
“As much as he is in heaven, I still wanted him here,” Magaya said in a statement.
“Who will father me now? Who (will) pay the school fees of my children? You started Yadah TV for me and always did guide me. (You) would call me at 2am and say correct this and that?”
Magaya said he was suppose to have visited TB Joshua last week, but could not do so after he was denied a visa.
Other comments from his followers stated that the late TB Joshua’s church was a major tourist attraction in his country Nigeria.
“His church is one of the major points of tourist attraction in Nigeria and I can’t begin to imagine the impact of his death on businesses, people and the less privileged in that area. May he rest in peace,” posted one of the followers on Twitter.
Several prominent figures from across the world, including Zimbabweans, have in the past paid homage to the televangelist for spiritual guidance and healing sessions.
These include the late MDC opposition MDC party founder Morgan Tsvangirai, Malawi’s former President Joyce Banda and the former President of Ghana, the late John Atta Mills.
The South African opposition Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema also paid TB Joshua a visit.
Zanu PF senior party member and former Information minister Christopher Mushohwe, made headlines in 2012 after he was spotted on Scoan’s Emmanuel TV channel, while attending TB Joshua’s Sunday service.
In 2018, TB Joshua made a private one-day visit to Zimbabwe where he met senior government officials, including former Vice-President Kembo Mohadi and Mushohwe.
In 2014, TB Joshua’s ministry faced extensive criticism when a guesthouse located in the Scoan premises around the Ikotun-Egbe area of Lagos State collapsed on September 12, resulting in the death of at least 115 people, 84 of them South Africans.
- Follow Miriam on Twitter @FloMangwaya