Many religions encourage periods of fasting or going without food and beverages for some time to cleanse the soul and enhance fitness.
It is in that vein that a 37-year-old pastor, Brighton Samajomba, of “Heaven Is My Home” church in the Zambian township of Kazomba attempted fasting for 30 days which has eventually claimed his life.
Pastor Brighton Samajomba had managed to execute the fast for 20 days, leaving him with 10 days more to go but the Solwezi pastor was rather found dead by his wife in the early hours of his 20th day of fasting.
Reagan Samajomba, brother to the deceased pastor, expressed sadness on his brother’s death but noted his brother was in the habit of taking on fasts for many days anytime a prayer and fasting programme was announced.
According to Reagan, Pastor Samanjomba took on many other yearly 90 days fasting programmes during which he only had a single meal in the evening, the Zambian Sun reports.
“I would say he died in the early hours, because my sister and his wife were there and took turns to check on him, and then it was time for my in-law to check on him, she was with him according to her till midnight, Then she decided to rest, when she woke up, they had a tendency of sharing dreams with each other as partners. So she dreamt of something and wanted to tell the husband. But as she tried to shake him up, he was not responding and so he was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival,” Mr. Samajomba added.
While it’s well within the rights of religious folks to fast, the usual advice is to start the practice gradually.
Some positives of fasting include blood sugar control, reducing insulin resistance, fighting inflammation, improving blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels, boosting brain function, as well as, preventing neurodegenerative disorders. However, health experts say that some negatives need to be watched.
Downsides of fasting include getting hungry, having digestion issues, binge eating upon break of fast, and potential long-term health consequences especially for women. Other challenges could occur such as potential weight gain and even death as happened to Pastor Samanjomba.