The General Overseer Gospel Herald Churches International, Dr Caleb Ayanwusi, has faulted calls by some Christian leaders that their members should send their tithes and offerings to the respective churches on-line.
This is regardless of the fact that these members are caught in the current COVID-19 lock-down by declared by the Nigerian government.
In this interview, he said now is the moment for churches and their leaders to feed and care for their members and not to add to their burdens.
Read excerpts below:
Question: What is your take on Covid19
Ans: COVID-19 is a wake-up call for the Church who has been slumbering and exhibiting disturbing and unpardonable laxity in their spiritual and social responsibilities. Everybody is after fame and popularity, only a very very few churches and Christian leader are truly teaching the real words of God to their members and the world which by the day falls deeper into immorality and indescribable wicked ways of looking for money.
And hardly can we cast the whole blame on those involved in this wicked ways of seeking money or wealth, in an environment where prosperity preaching has been elevated far above the gospel of righteousness, perseverance and waiting on the Lord. In an environment where ministers of God live in affluence while members live in abject poverty.
Apart from this, Covid19 has exposed the unpreparedness of most church organisations to respond to emergencies, in fact, it clearly revealed how most of these churches even as big as they are, have no strategic welfare programmes for their members.
And finally, from the spiritual dimension, Covid19 has revealed how un-prepared many of us Christians are for the second coming of Jesus Christ, if the panic and fear being witnessed since the pandemic broke out, is anything to go by.
Question: How can Church organisations and Christians complement government’s efforts to end this plague?
Ans: The Church as a body should pray that God should heal our land in accordance with His covenant in the Book of Chronicle that:
“If my people called by my name would repent of their iniquities and call on Me, I will heal their land.”
These are the words of the Almighty God who created heaven and earth. He doesn’t say what He will not do, He is not a man that He will lie, therefore the onus is on us to do the needful and see if He will not prove Himself.
From the human angle as a church, we have a duty ordained by God to obey our leaders knowing fully that they were ordained by God, nobody gets to the position of power without the authority of God and it is generally believed that they rule on His behalf when they no longer do His will, He knows how to remove them. Disobeying our leaders especially those elected by the people is a sin against God.
Also as a church, we are well placed to enlighten and sensitise the people most of who are our member, on the government’s programmes and directives. We are well placed to help government disseminate information faster than any other medium, especially now that most church organisations have radio and television stations those that are yet to have, have paid programmes on these stations.
Above all we Christian leaders must lead by example, especially in obeying legitimate directives and policies of government aimed at improving our lives, promoting security and ensuring peace and stability, as it is the case with all the directives on Covid19.
But where a Christian leader will be the first to breach such directives and knowing fully that many of our members look unto us for a directive, doing otherwise is a recipe for anarchy.
You see this kind of things happen in an environment where some pastors are not Christians but church leaders. The Bible says by their fruit we shall know them. You cannot be a Christian and not be law-abiding. Some of them are not led by the Holy Spirit whom they claim to have.
Question: Why does it look as if the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is helpless in calling some of these pastors and church leaders to order
Ans: First, CAN is more or less an association of convenience, who many church leaders believe they are bigger than, more powerful than and have no control over their members and activities of their churches. CAN cannot speak because of what it gets from some of those set of church leaders. Also besides CAN has become an arm of government and has failed to protect the integrity of the Church.
In that case, the government should wake up to its responsibility to prosecute anyone found wanting without fear or favour. Also don’t forget that a man of God who cannot truly subject himself to the highest authority which is the Holy Spirit, will definitely submit to the rule if illegality at all cost.
Question: You were reported to have given cash donations to every family member of your church, while some other pastors are asking theirs to pay tithes and offering into their Church account, what led you to give back and not collect?
Ans: The Holy Spirit touched my heart when I was sourcing for funds for my wife to get foodstuff for our household then I thought of my church members who live on daily income, how will they survive.
I now called my wife and also spoke with some other stakeholders in the church on what to do. I now decided to use my personal savings from my practice as a medical doctor and gave a token of N5,000.00 each during the first 14days lockdown and another N2,000.00 each during the current second lockdown, to every family member at the headquarter church and the branches, since I don’t have the sole capacity to do it for each and every member, especially the vulnerable and the daily income earners.
On this note, I must appreciate some Christian groups, particularly those from the Orthodox classification, for their wonderful supports to complement government’s efforts to reduce the spread of the pandemic and to give food relief to families. It is this last point that I want stress most, I mean food relief and other stimulus, particularly stipends to buy other essential needs, should be given a higher consideration by these church organisations just as I beseech our brothers in the Pentecostals that this is the time to extend a true hand of fellowship to our brethren.
Question: Looking at how vulnerable church members are as a result of this pandemic, isn’t that a wake-up call for prudent use of tithes and offerings, especially for a raining day like this?
Ans: My take on tithe and offering, to start with it is common with some leaders to abuse the use, spending Church tithes in un-Biblical way. This is an area where a CAN that is truly interested in building a heaven-looking Church and promote Jesus Christ’s injunction to Apostle Peter, ‘feed my Church’, should rein in.
I’m not comfortable like I said earlier, in a situation whereby pastors will use church money to buy cars , private jets, and using it to fund private and personal projects such as schools, while members are starving in this manner. Some pastors will not go to hell not because of fornication but because of the way and manner they mismanaged church funds, especially tithe and offering, there is a stipulated law on how to spend it in the Bible and I believe that anyone that is led by the Bible will not be living fat on tithe.
Question: Why some of you are giving out some others are asking their members locked in at home to send tithe and offering on-line…
Ans: Well, I don’t know why some Christian leaders are doing this, one thing we can deduce is that they are insensitive and uncaring. Meanwhile, the tithe is 10% of your income, where are they supposed to get it when they are not working in the lockdown. Are they suppose to go and steal, I’m against it totally and I am very sure God is equally against it totally.
Music gave me a ‘new story’- Afrobeat singer Xstablished
Music means the world to a lot of people. When you really listen to the lyrics of some songs today, you get a STORY as Music helps people express their feelings and emotion.
Most people would even say it’s a way to escape the many hardship life has put before them.
Warri-based Xstablished is an extraordinary artiste who against all odds has prevailed using music as a yardstick to succeed.
Read excerpt from Xstablished’s interview with one of our correspondents;
My name is Ekemini Emmanuel, stage name Xstablished. I am based in Warri.
TELL ME ABOUT XSTABLISHED
Well, there is not much to know about me as I’m what everyone would call a hustler.
I am Warri-based, I have lived in the ghetto almost all my life and I must say that it has not been easy for me at all.
I had to drop out of school because it became really difficult to pay my fees.
At that very point, I needed a way out and MUSIC was there for me.
HOW DID YOU COME ABOUT THE NAME XSTALISHED
Before I started singing I thought of a name that would stand out, something people would hear and relate with very quickly.
Just as the word ‘ESTABLISH’ means I aim to develop and motivate people out there with my songs.
WHAT’S YOUR GENRE OF MUSIC
I like to think I sing all genres if I say so myself but I love reggae-dancehall. I’m also great at all Afro-pop and Afro-beat.
But subsequently, I sing based on what catches the fancy of my fans.
HAVE YOU RELEASED ANY HIT SINGLE?
Yes, I have basically four songs now.
HAS ANY OF YOUR SONGS PLAYED ON ANY PLATFORM?
Yes, my songs have played on Galaxy TV, Hip-TV and some others…
HAVE YOU COLLABORATED WITH ANYONE?
Yes, I have collaborated with, Eriggapepperboi and Nazzyhustle in one of my Hit Single, Title: WARRI TO THE WORLD and they’re the biggest rappers in my city and the state, and I strongly believe that more collaborations are on the way this year with some bigger artists in and outside of the country.
WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF GOOD MUSIC?
I am of the opinion that good music comes with good packaging, you can’t leave one for the other.
People are easily swayed by what they see and it has to appeal to them first.
So with that been said I think good management is key in terms of the artiste’s physical, social appearance.
Once the image of the artiste is solid, quality production is another thing that will keep the crowd vibing to your songs all day, every day.
SO ARE YOU IN THE INDUSTRY FOR THE FAME OR MONEY?
Money is a considerable factor but it’s the love and passion that drives me.
DO YOU HAVE MENTORS IN THE MUSIC PRODUCTION INDUSTRY?
Yes, I have a mentor when it comes to the music industry production, Donjazzy is my best music producer and he is someone I look up to.
WHAT OTHER PRODUCERS INSPIRE YOU?
Other producers that inspire me again are shizzi, chopstix and Gospelondebeatz.
HOW DO YOU KNOW A SONG IS READY CONSIDERING IT’S A LOT OF WORK?
I don’t know how other artistes know but for me, when it’s ready, I just know it’s ready.
DID YOU LEARN MIX, MASTER AND OR ENGINEER AS A MUSIC ARTIST OR YOU HAVE SOMEBODY FOR THAT?
Yes, I actually learned Mix, Master and beats making as I like to go through the process and if I’m not okay with my own sound I seek for help.
IN FIVE YEARS DO YOU STILL SEE YOURSELF DOING MUSIC?
For me all I see is music, my whole being speaks music. So yes, I would still be in the music industry five years from now.
SO A LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME YOU ARE WORKING ON AN ALBUM. HOW TRUE?
Lol! Your little birdie was right I’m working on an album that I believe will shake the music industry and cause more ‘wahala’ than the one African China did.
I really see big things happening as I have not even dropped the album yet but I have already started getting great comments from my producers and some of my friends.
ARE U AFFILIATED WITH ANY LABEL, TV FILM OR RADIO COMPANIES?
Yes I’m with EvM_Record (Ezeego)
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE ASPIRING TO WALK IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS?
I would advise any aspiring artist to work to the fullest and never give up.
Watch one of his video below;
Coronavirus has deprived me of hanging out with friends and family – Rapper Febian Marine
Fast-rising rapper and singer, Febian Chinedu Okoh, popularly called Febian Marine, spoke with Temitope Adetunji about his music career, family background, his passion for music and his newly released songs titled “ Correct and For your Pocket”
The Musician also shared his experiences on how Covid-19 has affected him as a Singer.
What’s your brand name and tell us about it
My brand name is Febian marine and my real name is Febian chinedu okoh , I’m a songwriter-producer rapper and singer, I hail from Delta state grew up in Lagos state.
When did it start and for how long have you been doing what you do?
I’ve been doing music for over 15years or more
What inspired you into choosing this path
It’s a talent given to me by God so music chose me
What kind of music do you sing?
I do any kind of music from Afrobeat to RnB pop-reggae blues rap music any type of music depending on the mood and how the spirit leads
The industry seems to be saturated already with a lot of stars, What’s the uniqueness of your brand that will make you stand out?
My brand got so much style, classiness and that is something that is hard to see in the industry these days
How has it been so far?
It has not been easy but all thanks are to God for the gift of life
What was the reaction of your parents when they discovered you chose a career in music?
They supported me because they saw my passion for music
Who inspires you within and outside the industry?
In Nigeria, my first cousin Franco tia Tia back in the days and outside Nigeria JayZ R-kelly
What’s the biggest moment of your career since you started?
When I performed alongside with aka a South African rapper in South African and I stole the show
Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans?
I take my fans as my family so I relate with them as peaceful family members relate.
Have you ever dealt with stage fright?
Not at all
How has COVID_19 affected you as a Singer?
Well, so far the COVID-19 has affected every country of the world, it has affected every industry not just the music industry and also me as a singer because I cannot go for radio interviews or for TV stations interview or even hang out with my friends and family.
Have you released any song? How did you feel after your debut song was release
I have released a couple of singles and videos I have done a video for the song called “for your pocket and I just did a video for “correct” and I have a single like omofela, jogodo . And so far it’s been love from my fans and my family home and aboard and from everyone.
Tell us anything you want your fans to know?
Febian marine got talent is no fluke, I’m here to stay forever, if possible and I’m going to be doing big things and I am never gonna let dem down… And to my friends and family keep supporting good music, enjoy every minute of your life cuz you don’t know the next minute.
I am a brand to be reckoned with- Afrobeat singer, Jclaxic
In a world as beautiful as ours you would agree with me that what makes it extra beautiful is sound.
Sound is everything and when you put one or more together you make MUSIC.
UK based upcoming artist, Jeffery Obasuyi also known as Jclaxic takes us on his musical journey in an interview with Osazuwa Irobosa.
My name is Jeffrey obasuyi, but I am well known as Jclaxic. I am from Edo state Nigeria but based in the United Kingdom, London.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST START SINGING?
I started singing at the age of 15 in a choir group at my church back in the days.
SO YOU ARE A GOSPEL ARTIST?
I get that question a lot whenever I am being asked when I first started singing.
I wouldn’t say I am a gospel artist, I’m quite flexible as music for me is about having a good time, am a sucker for riddim and party jam.
WHO INSPIRED YOU TO MAKE MUSIC?
No one really, I love music a lot and I was surrounded by people who loved it too.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE KIND OF MUSIC YOU CREATE?
I would describe my music as afrobeat and afroswing.
WHAT’S YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS LIKE?
I am all about the instrumental and once I can vibe to it, I would write on it and record a banger.
WHY DO YOU MAKE MUSIC? WHAT’S THE VISION?
I make music because it’s something I love and have always wanted to do, I see myself and my music as a unique brand and my vision is to take the music industry to another level.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART ABOUT SINGING AND YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
My favourite part about singing is when I am vibing with the instrumental and feeling something spiritual.
My least favourite thing about singing is when the producer does not give me a good vibe.
HAVE YOU RELEASED ANY SONG?
Yes, I have actually; five songs to be precise including one recently titled ‘Way You Move’ featuring kofo.
IS THERE A HIDDEN MEANING IN ANY OF YOUR SONGS?
Lol! Yes, I actually did release a song titled ‘My True Love’ while I was dating some girl in 2017, I thought she was the one so I had to make a song thinking she was my true love but it turned out she wasn’t the one.
HAVE YOU EVER PERFORMED?
Yes, I did perform back then when I was in Nigeria, it was my end of the year party and I brought the house down with my song.
OUT OF ALL YOUR SONGS WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE TO PERFORM?
I would say overload is my favourite to perform because when I released the song last year November, everyone was vibing and loving the sound.
DID YOU EVER COLLABORATE WITH ANYONE?
Yes, I did in one of my recent song, I featured a talented female singer called kofo.
WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?
Runtown, Joeboy and Wizkid.
IF YOU COULD OPEN A SHOW FOR ANY ARTIST WHO WOULD IT BE?
It would be Oxlade because I really appreciate his sound and he’s also really inspiring.
DO YOU HAVE A FAN-BASE? IF YES HOW WELL DO YOU INTERACT WITH THEM?
I would say I interact with my fans quite well because I respond to direct messages, like their post, comments when necessary.
SINCE YOU STARTED HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR GROWTH?
I would say average but I’m still growing as an independent and uprising artist.
SO YOU HAVEN’T BEEN SIGNED BY ANY LABEL?
No, I’m currently an independent artist.
SO WHEN YOU ARE NOT RECORDING WHAT DO YOU DO?
When I’m not recording, I either hang out with my friends or play video games and I might even write some lines.
IS MUSIC A PROFESSION OR A HOBBY TO YOU?
It is both to me.
ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON ANY NEW SINGLE?
Yes, I am, but due to this coronavirus pandemic I can’t record in the studio as everywhere is on lockdown until further notice.
HOW DO YOU FEEL THE INTERNET HAS IMPACTED THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?
I think the Internet has changed the music industry in positive ways; it has made it easier for artists and their labels to make a decent amount of money from music sales.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE ASPIRING TO WALK IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS?
Always put in your best and work hard.
Enjoy one of his Freestyle below:
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