Namibian broadcaster Jessica Kaimu says after televangelist Temitope Balogun (TB) Joshua raped her, he said she was now one of his children.
“I was still so shocked. I was still bleeding. He spat on the floor and held my hands and looked straight in my eyes and said ‘I can see you are my child now, don’t betray me’,” she said in a documentary released by the BBC yesterday.
Kaimu is among a group of over 25 women who claim to have been abused by Joshua.
She yesterday referred The Namibian to her United Kingdom(UK)-based representative, who did not respond at the time of going to print.
The BBC has uncovered allegations that the Nigerian televangelist was in fact a cult leader and sexual perpetrator while leading his Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan), a Christian megachurch running Emmanuel TV.
Joshua died in 2021 and the BBC investigation lasted two years.
Those who spoke out were from the UK, Nigeria, the United States, South Africa, Ghana, Namibia and Germany.
“It was so hard to come out . . ,” Kaimu told the BBC.
She said Joshua initially touched her breast, after which she confided in one of her fellow ‘disciples’, which led to her assault.
“A sister reported me and said ‘Jessica told me you touched her inappropriately’.
He stood up from his chair. ‘Do I do that to you. Can I do that? A man of God?
“And she said ‘no sir, she is lying, she is just lustful’. He hit me. He slapped me, he punched me and he kicked me in the stomach,” Kaimu said.
Joshua allegedly then raped her.
“He was telling me ‘I am your father. I am delivering you’. We went into his room and I stood there and he said ‘take off your clothes’.
“So I removed my clothes and then he just pointed and I lay down. He raped me. He broke my virginity. I was screaming and he was whispering in my ear that I should stop acting like a baby.
“’You better shut up. You want to make noise, you want people to hear.’ I felt like there was a beast. I was 17 years old. I was underage,” she told the BBC.
Kaimu claimed this was ongoing during the five years she spent as a ‘disciple’.
She said Emmanuel TV got her hooked at the age of 17.
“I felt like I found my purpose in life,” she said.
Kaimu said Joshua was specific about which entrance to use to his room, because he wanted to keep visits secret.
“He would always ask you when you come ‘did anybody see you?’ and you would be like ‘no sir’. Then he would rape me again. It was a process. A very nasty cycle,” she said.
Kaimu said Joshua forced every pregnant girl he raped to get an abortion in a room in the synagogue.
“I never had a choice whether I could keep a potential child or not. I felt like I did not own my body… These were backdoor medical treatments that I/we were going through. It could have killed us,” she said.
Kaimu said Joshua always shamed women for being harlots and having “the spirit of lust”.
“He got me to write down that I am a prostitute from Namibia 400 times. Then I signed on camera that it is me, Jessica, signing that I am a prostitute from Namibia 400 times.”
The founder of Windhoek-based church Armies of Heaven International Ministries, Give Us Power Katjiuanjo, who travelled to Nigeria in 2013 to meet Joshua, yesterday refused to comment on the allegations or on knowing Joshua.
“I am praying right now. Do not disturb me. I know what you journalists can do,” he said.
Katjiuanjo referred The Namibian to “other churches who are bigger” than his, but did not identify any.
In 2021, he said Joshua was his mentor and had taught him all he knows about evangelism.
Katjiuanjo has been a Joshua ‘disciple’ since high school.
People’s Democratic Movement leader McHenry Venaani yesterday said Africans do not speak ill of the dead.
“We speak of their good deeds,” he said.
“Those he hurt must pursue their case,” Venaani said.
In 2021, Venaani was one of those who fondly spoke of Joshua.
“Prophet TB Joshua was indeed a man after God’s own heart. He shall be fondly remembered for his philanthropy and teachings. Prophet TB Joshua was a man who doggedly served God with passion and courage,” he said in 2021.
‘PLAYING WITH EMOTIONS’
The Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN) yesterday said Namibian women are most vulnerable in churches where pastors take advantage of congregants.
“They play with their emotions,” the council’s acting general secretary, Ludwig Beukes, said.
“People must be careful. We don’t say don’t join new churches, but be careful and do your investigation. And consult others, outside. I know people go there, but they are desperate, you know,” he said.
“People, without thinking clearly, jump in because they are looking for help and they are promised help, just to later find out it was a scam.”
Beukes encouraged Namibians to speak out about their journey with abusive pastors.
The CCN said it had no knowledge that pastors use Joshua’s name while practising in the country.
Beukes said they have received reports, but not recently, from churches in Namibia.
“There are those kinds of incidents here in Namibia, not maybe necessarily from TB, but from other prophets,” he said.
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