, 02 September, 2020 / 11:02 PM
The identities of two African Clerics who died last week in their respective countries of Ivory Coast and Cameroon have been mixed up in online media reports, the late Ivorian Priest being mistaken for the Cameroonian.
ACI Africa has established that the African Cleric in the viral video seen giving a homily in a Church before suddenly pausing and shortly after collapsing behind the pulpit reported to be a Cameroonian is actually a native of Ivory Coast in West Africa where he died last Thursday, August 27.
In an inaccurate online post published August 31 in English and shared widely, also Tweeted and re-tweeted, the Priest in the video is mistakenly identified as Fr. Jude based in Cameroon.
“The Catholic priest, recognized as Rev. Fr. Jude, the Spiritual Director of Catholic Men Association (CMA) in Deido, Cameroon, was preaching the Sermon yesterday while wearing a face mask before he paused for a moment and seemed to be struggling to breathe,” the misleading post indicates.
ACI Africa has established that the African Priest in the viral video is Fr. Jean Sinsin Bayo.
Fr. Jean Bayo had been invited by his young confrere in the Priesthood, Fr. Augustine Obrou to preach at the Eucharistic celebration marking 25 years since he (Fr. Augustine) had been ordained a Priest.
He was preaching during the Holy Mass August 22 at St. Jacques des II Plateaux Parish, Cocody, a suburb in Abidjan, the economic capital of Ivory Coast.
Before pausing and then collapsing, Fr. Jean Bayo who was preaching in French had just said, “We are gathered here around the Lord God to celebrate the event that he allows us to live on this day of the 25 years of priestly life of Rev. Augustine Obrou. This jubilee is for us an occasion for thanksgiving to God, gratitude to people, but also an occasion for missionary challenge.”
He was rushed to hospital and attended to by medical doctors at the Abidjan Heart Institute. He reportedly succumbed to a heart complication five days later, on August 27.
In a press statement August 27, Bishop Gaspard Béby Gnéba of Ivory Coast’s Man Diocese confirmed the “return to the Almighty Father of Fr. Jean Sinsin Bayo,” inviting the faithful to pray for God to receive him in heaven.
A Priest of the diocese of Man in Western Ivory Coast, Fr. Jean Bayo was a lecturer of Dogmatic Theology at the Catholic University of West Africa (UCAO) where he was also the Vice-Dean.
The Archbishop of Abidjan, Jean Pierre Cardinal Kutwà had also entrusted him with the training of Catholic professionals of Abidjan.
The late Ivorian Cleric had also set up a training structure dubbed Mount Tabor in Cocody, where, once a month, Lay executives participated in training and recollection.
He has been described as a dynamic and eloquent man of God. He is expected to be laid to rest on Friday, September 4.
Meanwhile, Fr. Jude Tafon who was based at the St. John’s Parish Deido in Cameroon’s economic capital, Douala, died last Saturday, August 29 after a brief illness.
In a statement confirming the death of Fr. Jude obtained by ACI Africa, Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Cameroon’s Douala Archdiocese announced “with regret the death of Fr. Jude Tafon Nfor, curate at the St. John’s Parish Deido that occurred Saturday, August 29, 2020, in Douala following an illness.”
In the statement, Archbishop Kleda invited the people of God in the Archdiocese of Douala to “pray for the repose of his soul.”
A Priest of the Archdiocese of Douala, Fr. Jude was ordained a priest on December 12, 2015. The 32-year-old Cleric was also a lecturer at St. Jerome Catholic University in Douala, Cameroon.
He is a son of late Captain Nfor Polycarp who served in Cameroon's Military Engineering Unit and of Mrs Nfor Mary who is a nurse at the Laquintinie hospital in Douala.
The Cameroonian Cleric is expected to be laid to rest next week, September 10.
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ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa