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Pastor Dr. Mrs. Shola Adedeji is a US based Nigerian gospel singer, and a minister of the word, who is also raised to empower the less privileged. She was in Nigeria recently to promote her works. She spoke with some select media on her ministry, music and the Christian environment in general.

Can you tell us about yourself?

My name is Pastor Shola Adedeji. I’m a Nigerian by the grace of God. I am a singer, a gospel artiste, and I am also a minister of the word. I have a non-profit organization that will help people. I’m based in the US. My family and I live there. I love Nigeria and I have been around to promote my music to see what God can bring out of it.

What motivated you to go into the ministry?

Sometimes, there’s a purpose God has destined us for. I believe there is a calling upon my life. It’s not something I just woke up one day and I said I want to go into the ministry. When God wants to instil something into your life, you just see that all things you do are things of God. You want to be in His presence. You want to help other people especially with the music ministry. God keeps giving me songs, ideas keep coming. So, I now went before God in prayer and received my confirmation or conviction that God really wants me to go here and propagate His word around the world. These are what motivated me and gave me that boldness and strength I am using today.

How often do you travel from Nigeria to other African countries and Europe?

For now, I’ve been going to African part of the world like Nigeria, South Africa at least may be 5 to 6 times a year. I travel on ministerial assignment. I also have a women’s ministry. It is called Women of Virtue International. We have our headquarters in New Jersey whereby we empower women, we motivate them and we do like transformational programmes that will transform them and their lives, and for women to discover themselves. How can they know who they are even after getting married, having children? What are the things they can do to be who the Lord destines them to be, so I travel a lot for this programme.

In the humanitarian service, who are the people you assist?

A: With the humanitarian service, we’ve been empowering widows, old people or we call them senior citizens. Even, in the US, I’m the director that facilitates our food pantry whereby we give our food to the community. We give our food, we give our clothes, and we also give out school supplies to the kids. In Nigeria, we’ve been having a lot of empowerment programmes for the youths, the younger ones and also for the elderly. We have a situation that a lot of people that came for the empowerment programs are teachers, and we discovered that can also do something else apart from teaching. So we empower them into even decoration, how to become an MC at programmes, how to make soaps and other things like that.

So we actually have different programmes for different gender of people. For example, men. There was a time we went to the grassroot somewhere in Ibadan, we gathered full men who needed bikes like okada to be able to support their families. Even though, we didn’t buy a whole okada for them, we were able to support them a little bit so that they could hire-purchase the okada and continue to pay.

Some people say preachers should not own private jets, what’s your take on this?

A: That’s a tough question. But to me as a servant of God and as a preacher, the first thing we need to think about when God blesses you, is that He wants you to bless others. The people around you, are they comfortable enough before you decided to go and buy a jet? I don’t have any problem honestly speaking if a preacher has a private jet. But with the situation of things going on around the world today, what is the purpose of having a jet when people are suffering around you. The Bible says we should go ye into the world to preach, it doesn’t say if you don’t have a jet you cannot preach the gospel. To me, if God blesses me the first thing I want to do instead of buying a jet is to make sure that the people that God has placed under me are comfortable. So, it’s not about a jet as long as I can get to where I’m going comfortably with other means. We need to help other people. There was an instance I heard on the internet. A well-known preacher said that he was able to acquire three jets or whatever during the COVID and was boastful about it. I don’t think that’s good. If you have a jet you should not be boastful about it and you have to make sure that the people around you are comfortable. I think that is the most important thing. Thank you.

How do you balance your music ministry with other responsibilities?

For a very long time, it has been a little bit difficult. I’m not going to lie to you because of family, Church, raising kids, taking care of things. But, by the grace of God, I just continue to ask God for wisdom and for direction, and what I do is to make sure that my family is okay. I make sure they are comfortable before taking any steps so that I will have to make sure of taking care of my responsibilities. First it is my primary responsibility before going out to take care of other people’s problems, so I try as much as I can to work things around my family schedule to make sure that we are all in good terms and conditions before embarking on any project.

Do you think your music is unique?

I believe that my music is unique because God has given everybody a unique gift or unique grace. When I’m ministering in songs, the atmosphere changes, the spiritual gift and the presence of God come down. It is not about the singing, but it is about the power that backs up the song. It is about the power of God that is behind that ministration and that is what makes it to be unique and different. And, it’s just the grace of God. The Bible makes us to understand that the gift of a man maketh room for that man. So, it’s the gift, the power of God, the spiritual gift, the presence of God that comes down and all these change the atmosphere and that’s what makes it unique I believe.

Can you tell me ma, what’s the title of your music coming up soon?

It’s called Dawn of New Glory.

How did it come out?

I’m going to thank God in the life of our mummy, Mummy Tope Alabi. Because when we composed the song, it was New Glory but by the inspiration of God when we came into the studio, she was like why don’t you go this way? Why don’t you sing the song this way? So, God used her to change some of the lyrics and that was how we came up with it. Though, we had New Glory before, so it was New Dawn of Glory.

How do you think gospel songs can inspire the earth?

I believe gospel song is not like a secular song. So, as a gospel artiste, I have to continue to ask God for the grace to be unique. So, when you are unique, your song comes from God. So, it is the inspiration you receive from God that will help you to be able to touch lives of your fans because it is not just singing. It is not just about the song, but it is about the power of God behind your ministration. I believe as gospel artistes, we have to continue to ask God everyday for the strength for the enablement that we need because there is no other way to it. The anointing doesn’t come from the East or from the West but it comes from God Almighty. When the backing of God is with you, then God will begin to move because the most important thing is when your fans listen to your song, and it brings a change in their lives, that is what makes the difference. This is what makes the song to be different from any other song. Unfortunately, things have already changed now because of what is going in the world. But, I believe that when we continue to ask God for divine inspiration, for the Rhema, I believe the fans’ lives will continue to change. That is what matters most.

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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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