I have grown beyond religion hullabalo, being a hundred percent Musilim, I can say I know why I am one and part of what I appreciate about the way is that it touches eveything about life and hereafter in all ramifications. Aspects like tolerance and tolerance and unconditional giving are so pertinent and well reiterated among the faithful.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the privilege of meeting TB Joshua and coincidentally, we both share same surname, mine from Egba and his from Ondo. . The closest I got was when I passed through the road where “Synagogue” Church is situated on an assingment covering the travel and tourism activities of the church as a travel journalist.

Temitope Balogun Joshua (TB Joshua’s death ) will create a vaccum within charity space for those less privileged individuals within our eco-system. But I hope his humanitarian gestures towards the less privileged live after him of which we now witness.

The world requires of us more than being religious but touching lives and that is what makes the world a beautiful place to live for us all.

Truthfully, when TB Joshua spoke, he did not attract my attention but his ceaseless dashing out to the less privileged in respective of their skin, race, religion or backgrounds, did.

Any discerning and sane being will know that he was helping God and the God that I know will reward such act in manifolds according to the Holy Quran.

I am happy to inform the world that TB Joshua will receive our Grassroots African Awards posthumously in September God willing alongside notable Africans and global citizens. The charitable part of his life is what we will recognise and reward him for because he had been shortlisted already as a recipient.

He played his role and has left the scene. What he was doing in the corners of his home that we may not know like everyone of us does, but we can relate with what we saw him did continuously in the public domain by ensuring that the less privileged within the society did not go to bed with hunger and also made provisions for their general well being before his passing. So that deserves our award.

From tourism perspective, most of the African countries I have visited from south to East to North, once they knew I was from Nigeria, the first person they asked of was TB Joshua and I always got irritated at that. Could he be the only person they know in Nigeria?. I would asked within myself.

He may not be many peoples Pastor in Nigeria but he was to most people in many of these countries in Africa and beyond.

He was number one when it comes to promoting religion tourism just like we pay to visit Saudi Arabia and Israel, so many people pay to visit Nigeria because of him bringing in tourists for religious purpose.

At a point while I arrived Nigeria from a trip, I saw a large number of foreigners at MMIA 1 trouping in endlessly while vehicles of all kinds conveyed them creating a serious traffic at the airport, on my enquiry I was told they were for “Synagogue” Church.

My initial thought was that they were coming in courtesy the government, but that thought changed quickly and instilled inspiration in me not to relent in my quest for African tour ism drive.

In a conversation with a minister of tourism of Cote D’ivoire, Hon. Roger Kacou, he emphasised the need for Nigeria to tap into religious tourism because it is the major thing in Nigeria and the USP that the country has tourism wise, I doubt if the government heeded such free consultancy.

I had received an unsolicited favour because of him during a trip abroad when I responded to the usual question. Even with a frowned face, the stranger gave the favour with all smiles.

Well God knows, but he touched lives especially at the grassroots level and supported tourism development in Nigeria even unofficially. We will reward that at GAACI 2021 in Cotonou and I hope he gets one in the hereafter.

Rest well TB Joshua.

By Kazeem Balogun

Kazeem Balogun is the Managing Editor of Kalo Africa News.

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