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Dr. Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi the famous and renowned Juju music icon was a guest on Teju Baby Face TV show recently where he was grilled about his life and music. Dr. Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi had a relationship with Teju. Teju’s mother was Baba’s Secretary in those days and Teju’s father is Evangelist Fabiyi’s friend, who, according to Teju enjoyed playing Obey’s music  24/7. So Teju is an insider when it comes to Obey’s works. The insights were well utilised on the 30 minutes show, and the octogenarian patiently and intelligently gave answers to Teju’s probing questions, which included his rumoured rifts with King Sunny Ade, and how he became a Pastor, among which PTL News reviews here.

Between Sunny Ade and Me Ebenezer Obey

There was never a time Sunny and I were fighting. Sunny Ade is my brother and my colleague, and God has given us the platform to have been able to reign in music for many years (Over 40 years). Sunny is my younger brother. What God did between that, and for us to be there God used it as a good example. I have not seen artistes that lasted all that long together. We thank God for the grace.

Why they look young and their rumoured rivalry

It is the Lord’s doing. In politics people have rivalry, they almost brought that into music. When I sang, they would say I was referring to Sunny and when Sunny sang they would say he was referring to me. There was nothing like that. That was why we did some records to let the world  know that we had no fight.

Going on full Evangelism

It was on my 50th birthday that I was ordained an evangelist. The call came earlier in 1988, and 1989, but I attended to the call on my 50th birthday. That was when I was ordained as an Evangelist by the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa of blessed memory.

On his music and evangelism and why he went on total gospel music

God gave me success in my music career. That album in your hand was waxed 20 years ago and people are still asking for it. It is the Lord that blessed me, it is the Lord that gave me that success, and what I have been releasing is what I believe in, but God can call any body into the ministry. God called me into the ministry and I am very happy even though, I did not attend to the call early enough because of money and other things. But when I came into the ministry I saw that no matter where you are God can bless you. Apart from armed robbery or anything that is contrary to the will of God, God can bless you. Imagine what you are doing now, that’s why I am very happy to encourage people. So God can bless any person doing anything, all you need is to believe in yourself, believe in what you want to do, dedicate yourself to it, move close to God, God will give you the right direction.

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On burnt instrument in London

What happened was that I took my band on a tour of the United Kingdom. When I was leaving here I did not take any instrument with me. Because I was dealing in musical instrument, I was dealing with quite a lot of different manufacturers. It would be foolish of me to carry all that load to London. All I did was to order my instrument from Italy from one of my customers there, because it was cheaper, better, and they would be new instruments by the time I brought them to Nigeria. That was what happened.

But three days before we planned to come to Nigeria, fire gutted the house where we kept the instrument. I was not there. I was staying somewhere else. Some of my band members who were staying there just called me to say the house caught fire. They called the fire men, it was the fire men that put the fire off. It wasn’t that the whole instruments were burnt into ashes, but they were damaged before the fire fighters came. They took the photographs and it was published in the community newspaper. One thing is that any little thing that happens to artistes people will add rumour to it.  Like they said I put Indian hemp inside the instruments and when the police were coming I set fire on the instruments. I was not even there when it happened. In London you cannot do that. They have dogs and security everywhere to fish out if you make any trouble.

Whatever you do they will fish you out. I thank God I never smoked, I don’t smoke Indian hemp, I saw musicians smoking it but I never did that, and I thank God because my mother didn’t want me to be a musician. One of the things my mother said was that if I became a musician I would become a drinker, or a smoker, and she didn’t want that. I promised my mother that I was going into music and I would not touch any of those things. She was alive to see me become a success, though she is late now. She saw all the promises I gave her. I went into music and she saw all the Lord has done in my life.

Riches and Contentment

All a man needs on this earth is the blessing of God. You don’t need all the vanities of this world. (Sings). I thank God that God makes me……I am comfortable. If you can eat three square meals a day, thank God, if you can pay your children’s school fees, you have a house on you or God helps you have more than one house, give thanks to God.

What’s happening to Juju music now?

I don’t think Juju is going to extinction. What is happening is that if you want to play the Juju music the way we played it, you have to be dedicated, you have to be committed, you have to be serious minded and you have to continue… myself and my band still rehearse every week. I am used to rehearsals I can’t do without rehearsals. That is what the young musicians need. It needs a lot of determination and dedication. I think that is what is drawing people away from Juju music. I thank God for the kind of music the youth of this generation are playing. It is their own way of relating with the people of their generation, and they have accepted them, but they are not doing as much as we did because their system is digital.

As for me, I enjoy playing music. It was my hobby in the school that I did not know would become my profession; God later said and confirmed that this is the gift in you. Everybody here on earth, everybody must locate his location, know his gifts, what has the Lord given to you.

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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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