Popular Nigerian preacher TB Joshua dies aged 57

TB Joshua

Popular Nigerian preacher TB Joshua who died on June 5, 2021.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Nigerian preacher Temitope Balogun Joshua, popularly known as TB Joshua by his followers, is dead.

A post on the TB Joshua Ministries official Facebook page on Sunday said that “God has taken His servant Prophet TB Joshua home – as it should be by divine will”, confirming the death.

However, it did not indicate the cause of his death.

Known by his followers as Prophet TB Joshua, the founder of The Synagogue Church of All Nations, with its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria, is said to have spoken during the Emmanuel TV Partners Meeting on Saturday before he later died.

TB Joshua and Nigeria's faith healing industry

He is one of Africa's most influential preachers, with a large following both on TV and social media.

Bold 'prophesies'

Joshua made a name for himself from his bold prophesies — which his followers hang on to while sceptics dismiss them, saying they are often too broad to be believed.

In February 2012, for example, he “predicted” that a president of a southern African country would die. On April 5 that year, former Malawian president, Bingu Wa Mutharika, died. The “accuracy” of the prophecy by TB Joshua baffled many.

The preacher also claimed to have prophesied about the January 7, 2015 terror attack in France at the headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo weekly newspaper. The attack by jihadist on its Paris office killed 12 people, including some of France’s best-loved cartoonists.

Joshua has also made a number of predictions that never came to pass. One of his goofs was the prediction that US Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton would defeat Republican Donald Trump in a “narrow win” during the November 2016 presidential election. Trump won the election.

Collapsed building

In 2014, a building linked to the Nigerian preacher collapsed, killing at least 116 people, majority of them being South Africans. Joshua then maintained that the collapse was caused by a mysterious “hovering” aircraft seen over the building beforehand or a controlled explosion.

"The church must be investigated and prosecuted for not obtaining the relevant approval before embarking on the construction of the building," Oyetade Komolafe said in his ruling on the tragedy.

Chibok girls

When more than 200 girls were abducted by Boko Haram from their dormitory in Chibok on 14 April, 2014, some of the worried parents turned to the TV “miracle” pastor to find their daughters.

Representatives of the parents' association travelled more than 48 hours by road from Chibok to Lagos, to meet TB Joshua.

In April 2021, TB Joshua called on his followers to "pray for YouTube" after the platform blocked his channel over allegations of hate speech against LGBT people.

YouTube closed the pastor's channel with more than 1.8 million subscribers and 600 million views.

In one of Joshua’s YouTube videos, watched more than 1.5 million times, a woman was seen being hit violently to "cure" her of her sexuality.

Facebook also removed several videos on Joshua's page, which has 5.6 million followers.

The moves were criticised online in Nigeria where the evangelical community is.

Additional reporting by AFP