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Temitope Femi Omonitan is his name. He is popularly known as T. Guinea. All over Offa and Ilorin in Kwara State, he is a household name among musicians across board and ministers of God across various Church denominations. Some others call him “One-in-Kwara.”

Like young David that ministered to King Saul, he is a young man with skillful hands on keyboards, piano and Hawai. He plays with leading and foremost musicians in Kwara State and environs. He is also known all over Osun, Oyo and Lagos States, even to the Federal Capital City of Abuja.

He recently had a brief chat with PTL News when he shares some of his stories of how he became a keyboardist and how far the skill has taken him.

Inspiration

T. Guinea, a graduate of Electrical/Electronics who has been a skillful keyboardist for over 15 years now explained how he got his inspiration.

“I can say that I got my inspiration from God, and I have a father we can look up to in our family. That is the famous Evangelist Ojo Ade, the accordionist. I can also say I pick the gift from my family. Music runs in our family.

“Evangelist Ojo Ade is my Big Daddy, a brother to my mum. There was a time I came to Lagos and saw members of his Church playing musical instruments, and that motivated and inspired me.

“Earlier, I have picked interest in playing my local Church organ, way back to St. Jude’s Anglican Church, in Ikeji Ile, in Osun State. Then I used to read notes on my own. I took interest and learned it then. From that level I learned more and began to play. Before I know it I began to play it on larger level.”

Band Outreach

I have played for many musicians across board – Gospel and secular musicians, including Fuji and Juju Musicians. The long list include Evangelist Ojo Ade himself, Dr. Lanre Teriba, Bunmi Akinnaanu, of Omije Oju mi fame, Toyin Akinya, Timi Orokoya and even The Ajogbajesu Twins.

Other known musicians that have benefitted from his skill are Laolu Praise, and I currently play with Hon. Bisi Vibes now in Offa.

I also play for churches and prayer mountains in Offa and its environs. These include Iyeru Okin African Church, Calvary Baptist Church, St. Mark African Church, St. Luke Anglican Church, CREM Church, Ijagbo, Faith Chapel, Ilorin, CAC Prayer Embassy, Osogbo, CMCM, Lagos, C&S Church, Land of Grace, Eleyoka, Upper Room Ministry, Offa, and others.

Next move

Lagos and Ogun State may be his next port of call.

Challenges of Young Artistes and Message to Church leaders

As a young and aspiring keyboadist, he called on Church leaders to encourage their talented artistes, instrumentalists and singers noting that many Church pastors are not doing enough to encourage and support their artistes and that is why many of them run away from the Church.

“These are parts of the challenges of young artistes. In our own case, there are programmes some churches invite us, we spend our time and resources only for them to tell us why they cannot pay. When those people invite us for programmes and we cannot attend they think it is a pride, they should also know that we have our needs.

“We also travel a lot, and we thank God for protecting us and surviving many road crashes.

“One other challenge is playing for secular artistes. Most times people attack them in different ways and we thank God again for His protection.”

The multi award winning keyboardist believes he is available to play in any part of the world. We have played in Ghana, Abuja and Kaduna most times by flight.

Differentiating between playing for the Church and for entertainment, the man with skill hands is of the view that while the church is for God, the entertainment play is to catch fun and earn money.

The Elect/Elect change over keyboardist advised young and coming artistes “to go beyond having talents by engaging themselves in thorough training. They also need to endure all the rigours of becoming an artiste. They should know that Rome was not built in a day. Learners must be humble and should not be proud. They should keep on learning.”

On who and what artistes he would like to play for in the future, his choice are the likes of Dr. Yinka Ayefele, Dare Melody, and Shola Allynson, and he cares for opportunities to play abroad. He disclosed that “there have been offers, we will be considering this with time.

“Back home I want to acknowledge the support from Evangelist Ojo Ade. I owe all I am in Keyboard music to God and Evangelist Ojo Ade. I want to let people know that we are available to play for those who need our services, be it musicians and Churches.”

As a trained Electrical Engineer, he did not rule out the opportunity to use his certificate to work in any establishment that needs his service.

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Julius Adegunna, a writer, and publisher of good news and reports. He is also a trainer in Writing and Publishing, a Media Consultant and an Entrepreneur. A 1987 Graduate of International Relations of the University of Ife, (Now Obafemi Awolowo University) with Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations, and Master in Communication Studies of Lagos State University. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

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