A Nigerian comedian, Atunyota Akpobome aka Ali Baba, has paid a glowing tribute to one of Africa’s most influential and controversial preachers, T.B Joshua, who died on Saturday.
The comedian revealed he had a personal relationship with the late founder of The Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) in a tribute he shared on his Instagram handle on Sunday.
Relieving his first encounter with Mr Joshua in 2013, Alibaba said the late cleric invited him over to SCOAN for a performance but he was reluctant to attend because of public perception.
Alibaba also added that his colleagues Mc Abbey and Lepaciousbose were the only ones who agreed to perform at SCOAN despite their reservations.
He wrote, “When you turned 50, and your people said you wanted comedians to come entertain your congregation, I was very skeptical.You said you wanted them to know that laughter helps to heal the soul, just as a little red wine was good for the stomach.
“I remember during the performances, when my colleagues were done, and during my performance, I walked to the Altar and picked an apple and a banana and the whole congregation went silent. You later told me that you watched all our performances from your office and cracked up at the look on the faces of the congregation”.
Alibaba said when all three of them met with the late cleric privately, he encouraged them to go into church ministry because of their individual gifts.
“You asked why I had not gone into church ministry. I replied that I didn’t think I wanted to fast or intercede for anyone. And I said I have not been a good boy.
You laughed and asked me, “Are you badder than King David and the Apostle Paul? Even if you are a killer God can use anyone.”
“You then started telling me, what only I knew about my life. Just as you were saying those things, I thought, this man may be fake, and you said, “You may think I am fake, it’s ok. I can’t make you change your thinking. That is you”
The comedian added that he was handsomely rewarded by the cleric for gracing his 50th birthday celebration .
“Then you prayed and gave me a “thanks for coming”. I then said thank you. And thought “I would share it 3 ways”. You did that mind reading again. “That’s for you alone”.
“You stopped at the door and went to a drawer to gift me a Fisher Electronic Bible. “Always stay close to God and read his word every day. You have a destiny for God”
Alibaba also added that they have kept in touch with each other in the last eight years and remained good friends ever since.
He said, “You have consistently called to say “My brother, how are you? Draw nearer to God”. One time you asked, “What is holding you up from God’s work?
“And after my covid experience you called to pray and sent something “for phensic”. I told you the “phensic” made the prayer work faster. You laughed.You always joked that you were older than me by just 12 days, as I was born on June 24th..
Rest on Man of God.”
The church said Mr Joshua died at 57 on Saturday spending his last moments on earth in the service of God.
He was to clock 58 in about a week’s time.
In its statement posted on its website announcing his death, the church said Mr Joshua still spoke during the ‘Emmanuel TV Partners Meeting’ on Saturday.
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