The family and ministry of popular Nigerian televangelist, Temitope Balogun Joshua, simply known to his legions of followers as TB Joshua, have asked afor privacy as they deal with his passing.
The 57-year-old preacher died on Saturday, reportedly after conducting a live broadcast. The cause of death has not been disclosed.
Joshua, who was one of Africa’s most influential evangelists, was the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations.
He gained popularity over his so-called predictions of world events, politics and prosperity teachings.
Joshua also ran the Christian channel, Emmanuel TV, and often toured Africa, the US and the UK.
Tributes from the religious fraternity have poured in for the preacher, widely referred to as Prophet TB Joshua.
The South African National Christian Forum’s Bishop Marothi Mashashane said that Joshua’s teachings would always be remembered.
“To us, he has been an outstanding Christian leader, a prophet, a father, even an icon in the Christian sector,” Mashashane said.
But these teachings and practices were also controversial.
In April this year, YouTube suspended TB Joshua’s account after complaints of hate speech from a rights group.
This was after videos showing the preacher conducting prayers to “cure” gay people were loaded on the content sharing channel.
Facebook also removed at least one video showing a woman being slapped while Joshua said that he was casting out a “demonic spirit”.
In 2014, one of his buildings collapsed, killing at least 84 south Africans who had travelled to Lagos to attend his church services.
A report attributed the disaster to structural failures and found that the building did not have planning approval from the authorities.