The Nigerian pastor and televangelist TB Joshua has died aged 57, according to social media posts on his official Twitter account and news reports.
Joshua was the leader and founder of the Synagogue, Church of All Nations (Scoan), a church that runs the Emmanuel television station in Lagos, Nigeria.
According to his official Twitter account, Joshua died on Saturday.
“The Synagogue, Church of All Nations, and Emmanuel TV Family appreciate your love, prayers, and concern at this time and request a time of privacy for the family. Here are Prophet Joshua’s last words: ‘Watch and Pray.”
Known for his popular church services televised from his Lagos headquarters, the controversial Nigerian pastor gained popularity throughout Africa over his predictions of world events, politics, and the economy.
In one of his prophecies in 2017, Joshua said Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari would “protect” the country’s economy.
“President Buhari will do everything to reject the devaluation of the naira (Nigerian currency) – which is a good idea from a good leader. But there will be overwhelming pressure from above him, which he will not be able to resist,” he said in a televised clip.
At the time, media reports indicated that the Nigerian economy was suffering. Its main revenue generator, crude oil, was under attack by militants. The country, at the time, went into its first recession in more than 20 years.
The pastor also prophesied about the US elections and claimed in a 2016 Facebook post that Hilary Clinton would beat her then-rival Donald Trump at the polls. The opposite happened and Trump won the presidency.
Some social media users mocked Joshua for the wrong prediction. In response, Joshua told his congregants in Lagos that his prediction was not off the mark and that people needed a “spiritual understanding” to be able to interpret his prophecy.
“There is nothing controversial about the prophecy. It is human beings that are controversial… we are not on the same level (of spiritual understanding),” he was quoted as saying at the time.
Joshua has a huge following in South Africa, with several branches across the country.
South African congregants have even traveled to Nigeria to attend his church services.
His followers included EFF leader Julius Malema, who visited Joshua in Lagos in 2013 shortly after forming the party. Malema said he sought blessings and counsel from Joshua.
In 2014, groups of followers from South Africa visited Joshua’s church in Lagos. The trip ended tragically when 84 South Africans were killed after a six-story guesthouse connected to the televangelist collapsed. A total of 116 people died.
The inquest verdict attributed the disaster to structural failures and found the building did not have planning approval from the authorities.