From Martin Meredith’s book The State of Africa:

The army coup of 1966, sweeping away a corrupt and discredited regime, was greeted in the South [of Nigeria] by scenes of wild rejoicing. The coup leaders were acclaimed heroes; the politicians slunk out of sight … By strange coincidence, a prophetic novel by.. Chinua Achebe was published in the same week as the coup, telling the story of the rise and fall of an African politician ending with an army takeover. ‘Overnight everyone began to shake their heads at the excess of the last regime, at its graft, oppression and corrupt government,’ wrote Achebe in A Man of the People. ‘Newspapaers, the radio, hitherto silent intellectuals and civil servants — everybody said what a terrible lot; and it became public opinion the next morning.’

Apart from Zimbabwe-based prophets, well-known in the SADC region and the Zimbabwean diaspora in places like the UK, Southern Africa is regularly targeted by people like TB Joshua of Nigeria.

When he is not busy predicting the outcome of the presidential polls in Zimbabwe, TB Joshua mentors the likes of Vimbai Mutinhiri, a Zimbabwean actress, model and television personality.

Joshua’s Lagos headquarters were visited by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, Zimbabwe’s former prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, and late Ghanaian president John Atta Mills.

Some other prominent prophets, who stem mostly from various Christianity-inspired communities across the African continent, include:

Peter Anamoah of Ghana

Joshua Milton Blahyi (Photo by journeysagainstviolence.com)

Joshua Milton Blahyi of Liberia. During the civil war, at the age of 15, he became spiritual adviser to the president Samuel Doe. After Doe’s death he remained as the spiritual leader of the Krahn tribe, however in 1995 he was forced into the role of warrior instead of priest to protect what was left of his people trapped in Monrovia. It was during this time he began to actively recruit child soldiers and at the height of the viciousness of the war in 1996 he was sacrificing up to five victims a day and eating their hearts and drinking their blood in deistic rituals.

Today, Joshua is trying to rehabilitate the most extreme child soldiers and dangerous ex-combants. His own experiences and brutal past allows him to communicate with those normally shunned by society and he can reach the most violent who believe themselves beyond redemption.

Shepherd Bushiri of Malawi

TP Elias of Botswana

Johnson Suleman of Nigeria

Kobus van Rensburg of South Africa

John Wasserman of South Africa

Miracle herbs healer Ambilikile Mwasapile of Tanzania

Nongqawuse was the Xhosa prophetess whose prophecies led to a millennialist movement that culminated in the Xhosa cattle-killing crisis of 1856–1857, in what is now the Eastern Cape Province of the Republic of South Africa.

Dr Francis Ng’ombe of Zambia