Despite being Buried, Controversy still Surrounds Prophet Afanwi’s Death

Douala, Cameroon- A self-styled Prophet, Frank Ndifor Afanwi of the Kingship International Ministries- fame has been buried following his death Saturday May 16 in what appears confusing circumstances.

The Shephard-turned politician who ran for president in Cameroon in 2018 reportedly returned from a meeting in Yaounde and complained about stomach complications. One of his pastors claimed the late preacher himself suspected that he was poisoned at the meeting he went to attend.

His followers and the family would not accept his death as declared by a Medic early on the morning of Saturday May 16 and resorted to prayers in the hope that the man of God might come back to life. Nobody was allowed into his residence and the family kept assuring the public that Prophet Frank was alive though sick. Authorities could also not gain access in his residence and the forces of law and order sealed the premises and took up guard outside as his faithful followers wailed in prayers.

While some of the medical personnel brought in to rescue the preacher suspected he might have contracted the coronavirus, others argued that test results they obtained from renowned laboratories in Douala did not give that impression. The absence of any tests stating the deceased’s Covid-19 status only gave room for more speculation.

Several questions remain unanswered and one of them is who would have wanted the preacher dead so badly as to sponsor a ‘high level’ meeting in Yaounde just to attract and poison him fatally? The politically charged election period is over and the preacher was not a supporter of the Southern Cameroons cause for total freedom and self-determination, making the case for targeted poisonous even more confusing.

In a separate development, the custodians of the customs and tradition of the Bafut Fondom in the once independent territory of Southern Cameroons were yet to forgive the ‘Prophet’ for committing ‘sacrilege’ in the land. He was dragged to court for destroying some ancestral shrines, like cutting down a 600-year-old ancestral tree.

There was a fight and the ‘Prophet’ was dragged to court by the traditional sovereign of Bafut. He was charged with assault on Fon Abumbi II and some 13 others, organizing a meeting under his association (The Kingship International Ministries) and felling a 600-year-old ancestral tree which led to the destruction of a house belonging to one Mr. Fongo.

After his first appearance in court over the matter, the preacher and one other person were granted bail in the sum of CFA F 200,000 CFA (about USD385) with landed property and the matter was adjoined to April 23, 2012.

After the incident on Saturday March 31, 2012, the preacher, and his Kingship International Ministries’ faithful intimated to the press that they felled the ancestral tree because it was a curse to the people of Bafut.

The Fon of Bafut told Timescape Magazine that some 600 years ago, the founder of Bafut village, a then 19-year-old girl, was buried alive by the men who feared that the girl was going to exploit her foundership of Bafut and become the leader or sovereign of the Bafut fondom. A tree was then planted on the girls’ grave as a tomb.

Before the girl gave up the ghost, it is claimed she cursed the Bafut land saying that they shall know no peace generation after generation. Since then, Bafut people have been conducting sacrifices around the tree annually to appease the spirit of girl.

To mitigate the situation, Prophet Afanwi drove in from Douala to heal the sick in Bafut and took upon himself to fell the ancestral tree and destroy the shrine. It was on this premise that the Fon and his subjects got into a scuffle with the preacher and his followers. During the fight, several people were wounded, with many of them sustaining injuries.

Prophet Afanwi’s last public outing was on April 20, when he and his team were seen distributing sanitary kits in the Bonaberi neighborhood within the framework of the fight against Covid-19. His colleagues in politics have been expressing shock and dismay over the sudden death of a young man who was still bubbling with energy and ideas.