Windhoek-A 29-year-old woman who is a follower of the so-called prophet Shepherd Bushiri was admitted to a private hospital in Windhoek last week after she fasted for over three weeks.
The frail-looking woman recently confided to her flatmate in Khomasdal that she was weak from not eating and had not be able to bath herself for days.
The woman, who lived in South Africa for sometime, attended Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church, which is linked to Bushiri, but while living in Namibia she has been in contact with church leaders in South Africa.
Apart from refusing to eat the woman had also not drank water.
It is not known why the young woman fasted.
In the past there have been reports of people dying from fasting, including a South African pastor who died from malnutrition after fasting for 30 days.
In South Africa a certain pastor Alfred Ndlovu, 44, tried to emulate Jesus Christ by fasting non-stop for 40 days and nights.
Meanwhile, the mother of the hospitalised woman, concerned about her fasting, approached the police to investigate the church.
The mother, who requested anonymity, cancelled her business trip in China and returned home after she received a call that her eldest daughter had not been eating.
“I am disturbed about her situation. That is not how I know her,” the mother stated, referring to how “tiny” her daughter has become.
The mother was further shocked to find her daughter looking so lean, saying she did not look well at all.
The 29-year-old unemployed woman stayed with her friend in Khomasdal but her family resides in the north.
According to the 29-year-old flatmate, she had travelled in connection with her work and when she returned around May 18 the food she had left in the fridge was still uneaten.
“I asked her why she hadn’t eaten and she told me she was fasting and only the holy spirit in her will tell her to break it. Time went by. I bought fruits and bread that she likes but later I saw the bread went bad,” said the flatmate, adding that the fasting had worried her. At one point she thought her friend who doesn’t open up to her had broken her fasting after eating a Swiss roll that was in the fridge.
Her flatmate, who was called in by the police, said it was difficult to control an adult and tell such a person to eat. “You can force a child to eat but it’s difficult with an adult.”
After the woman told her she was weak from not eating the flatmate contacted her cousin who informed the mother about the situation.
The flatmate said her friend often came to stay with her unannounced and would stay a couple of days and then go back to her relative’s place.
She said before her friend moved in with her she was staying with her relative in Windhoek North but left because her relative was complaining that she wakes up at night and prays loud.
She further stated that her friend had travelled to Nigeria to see TB Joshua at the synagogue. Her friend further stated her friend also regularly visited mountains in Otjomuise area where she goes and prays.
Her friend narrated there was a time this year when she returned home from work and found her friend gone to the mountains where she stayed for about three days but when she returned she didn’t have her cellphone as it was allegedly grabbed by four men at knifepoint.
Nampol chaplain Chief Inspector Jefta Ihambo said people are misinformed biblically and takes things literally and end up dying. He said that in short, fasting is dedicating your life to God but one should eat. “If you are close to God he will help you win.”
“You will die from the process of fasting and then make it sound like you died in a spiritual struggle, but it’s not like that. Suicide comes in various ways – including fasting.” He added God does not agree with suicide.
The police ordered the woman to go home and stay with her family in the north after she is discharged from hospital. She was further warned to refrain from going to pray in the mountains, as it is unsafe.