•What City People Found Out…
It is over a week now that the world woke up to the staggering news of the death of the enigmatic prophet and televangelist, Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua, founder of the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN), but still, many are yet to get over the shock.
It is understandable. If there was one person Nigerians, and millions of followers of the prophet the world over expected would die so soon, it is certainly not Prophet T.B. Joshua. There was nothing about him, days before his passing, that suggested death was knocking on his door. Yet, like a thief in the night, the great stalker, death, came and took away one of Africa’s most popular and controversial prophets. There are church members who told City People that Prophet Joshua had a premonition of his death.
City People Magazine found out that late Prophet T.B. Joshua knew he might not be alive to celebrate his birthday, which came up last weekend.
City People can authoritatively reveal that over the last one month or so, the late prophet had been preaching about Death, wherein he mentioned things like, It is Time to Go, Time Is Up. Days before his birthday, he also did several videos which aired on his Emmanuel TV Channel talking about Death and why he would not celebrate his birthday on June 12. He did a video ahead of his birthday sensitising his viewers to why he won’t be celebrating his birthday.
Also on the day he died, he did his last video.
Without a doubt, Prophet T.B. Joshua was a man of God who was loved by many, especially his followers, same way he was despised by many. He was regarded as the prophet who could heal the sick and revive the dying. From all over the world, Asians, South Americans, Americans, Europeans, Africans, all embraced Prophet T.B. Joshua and followed the doctrines of his church to the letter. They all loved him to bits and it is said among his followers that if death was a bullet, and they had seen it coming, many of his followers would’ve taken the bullet for him, preferring to die instead of their beloved prophet. That was how much he was revered. But there is still a whole lot many didn’t know about this controversial many of God whose entire life was shrouded in mystery. Let us tell you a few things about him that many probably didn’t know about.
Many do not know that this man of God spent about 15 months inside his mother’s womb before he was finally born. Extending the nine months which is the usual period that a mother uses in carrying her child in the womb meant his arrival would be met with a lot of apprehension. Joshua went on to reveal years ago that his birth was ‘prophesied’ almost 100 years before his birth. He also said he escaped death during a quarry explosion near his house, just seven days after his birth. The parents were almost giving up on his delivery when he was born on June 12, 1963, in the small village of Arigidi-Akoko, Ondo State. He attended six colleges in less than one year. Joshua attended St. Stephen’s Anglican Primary School in his hometown of Arigidi-Akoko in Ondo State between 1971 and 1976. However, this great man of God failed to complete his secondary school education owing to the extreme poverty condition of his parents. He was known as Balogun Francis back then.
He had always been a man who loved and feared God. Indeed, right from his secondary school days, he was popularly called ‘small pastor’ because of his love for prayers and the word of God. In fact, a lot of the people who knew him back then as a young teenage boy were not surprised that he turned out o become one of Africa’s most biggest and most popular men of God. He was also, by miles, one of the richest. As at the time of his death, Prophet T.B. Joshua, according to inside sources, was worth well over $10 million dollars in cash and assets. But he was also an incredible giver, a phenomenal philanthropist, a man who loved and cared for the downtrodden with all his heart.
It is worthy of note that life was not a bed of roses in the early stages of his life. Prophet T.B. Joshua was a man who was never ashamed of his humble beginnings. Unlike many of the rich and affluent who flaunt their wealth and stick it in our faces, T.B. never hid his background. He was a man who was extremely proud of who he was and what he had become. Although he died a wealthy man, Joshua knew poverty. So poor was he that he worked in a poultry when he first came to Lagos State from his hometown. In an interview, Joshua said stench from the poultry was all over him when people met him on the streets of Lagos in those days.
It was difficult in the early days when prophet T.B. Joshua started his ministry. He had no money, all he had was his conviction that God had called him and so, God would not let him down. In one of his books, T B Joshua wrote that he started his church after 40 days prayers in 1992. He claimed to have received a covenant from God to start his ministry. The church started with a handful of members but has since become one of the most influential churches, not just in Nigeria but across the globe.
HIS ‘WISE’ MEN
Next in line to Joshua in SCOAN are those referred to as the wise men. Although they were five in number, the figure had reduced to three at the time of his death on Saturday.
They were: Wiseman John Chi Meh from Cameroon, Wiseman Racine Bousso from Senegal, Wiseman Daniel Emelandu from Nigeria, Wiseman Christopher Orji from Nigeria and Wiseman Harry from Greece.
Meh and Orji pulled out from Joshua’s church under controversial circumstances some years back.
In his lifetime, T.B. Joshua had an intimidating social media presence. Over 3.5 millions fans on Facebook and his popularity cut across Africa and Latin America. Before his suspension on YouTube, his channel had over one million subscribers and was the world’s most viewed Christian ministry on the platform. And this really should come as no surprise. According to reports, SCOAN had attracted more weekly attendees than the combined number of visitors to Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. According to information on the church’s website, SCOAN has been described as one of Nigeria’s biggest tourist attraction and the most visited destination by religious tourists in West Africa. Figures released by the Nigerian Immigration Service indicated that six out of every ten foreign travelers coming into Nigeria are bound for The SCOAN.
The late televangelist and renowned prophet was married to Evelyn with whom they had three children. Serah Oyindamola Joshua, his first daughter, studied law at the London School of Economics. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2015 and in January 2016, she was called to bar at New York Supreme Court.
The second daughter of the cleric is Promise Joshua. The 21-year-old studied Politics and International Relations, still at the London School of Economics. Little is known about his third child whose background is shrouded in secrecy. According to our source, the prophet and his wife deliberately shielded their children, especially the last child, from the media and the public at large to protect her being much younger than her older siblings.
– WALE LAWAL