I USE MY STYLE OF DRESSING TO PORTRAY THE EDO CULTURE---DEACONESS LEEN IGIEHON
HAPPY NEW YEAR. TO YOU. HOW WAS THE CELEBRATION FOR YOU?
We thank God for His mercies, blessings and favour. We thank God for sparing our lives and being able to see another year. I give God all the glory.
SO WHAT WILL SAY ABOUT 2007?
Well, 2007 came with its challenges but surprisingly, a lot of people were able to overcome. It was a year of perfection, because 7 means perfection. It was a
year that Brought with it so many blessings from God.
HOW WOULD YOU RATE YEAR 2007 IN YOUR MUSIC MINISTRY?
It was great. Atleast that was the year I recorded my album. Its been a desire that I have carried for so many years. A burning desire to express my love to God in music, to sing songs of praise and worship God. And year 2007 provided that opportunity for me. I like singing. I started writing songs from when I was young. When I expressed my desire to release an album and I was first directed to a studio in Kano where I did the demo and also proceeded to do my album. Later
I got introduced to Alecs Music in Lagos and after listening to my album, he said it would be better if we upgrade the quality of the whole Songs in the album. So I had to go to Lagos and re-worked on the entire album which was jointly produced by Alecs Music and puffy T. Presently, the hit track is enjoying airplay in our national television here in Nigeria and also in South Africa.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM, WHEN DID YOU GET MARRIEDAND HOW MANY KIDS DO YOU HAVE?
I am from Uhomora in Owan North in Edo State. I got married in February 22th 1986 to Mr. Amen Igiehon Who is from the Benin Kingdom of Edo State. So, by
marriage I am from Benin. Although my mother also hails from Benin. So either ways, am a full fledged Edo woman because I was born and bred in Benin City
and I love to portray my cultural heritage in my dressing, especially when I go to Sing in concerts, occasions, weddings etc. That is why you see me wear
a lot of beads, because it shows where I come from. Its like an identity. I have five children and one adopted son.
IS YOUR HUSBAND IN SUPPORT OF YOUR MUSIC MINISTRY?
My husband has always been the one gearing me up. Before I released my album, I had been silently nursing this desire to do something tangible with my music talent. Its not enough to sing in the church, but also to reach out to a lot of people via a music album. So we went for somebody's music album launching and my husband asked if I was still interested in releasing an album, I said Yes. He then gave me the money to pay for all the sessions and even for the video shooting of the hit track of my album, which was shot in Lagos by Alecs music. He has been very supportive and I thank God for blessing me with such a wonderful man for a husband..
YOU ARE ALSO INTO CHILDREN EVANGELISM AND YOUTH MINISTRY. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GO INTO THAT?
I have always loved to be with kids. I am a mother and I know the importance of teaching children to grow in the way of the Lord. It all started when I joined the Children's Department of my church and I decided to start teaching them songs, bible recitation, choral dance etc. The first time they came to the main church to make their presentation, people were surprised. From then on, we were always time once in a while for children presentation. I even had to go for a training at the Children Evangelism Ministry and there was even a big graduation party for all participants. I believe children are God's blessings to humanity and the way we train them from an early stage will go a lot way in shapening and moulding their lives for the challenges ahead of them. Just like music, impacting knowledge and harnessing gifts in children and the youth is another passion that I have.
WHEN WERE YOU ORDAINED A DEACONESS ?
I was ordained a deaconess in 1999. It came as a surprise to me because when our Bishop called me out with three other people, I thought he was just going to pray and prophesy God's favour on us. I was so shocked when he announced to the congregation that I would be ordained a deaconess. I honestly didn't feel
I was capable of fitting into that position, but God has been faithful.
YOU WEAR A LOT OF BEADS AND YOUR COSTUMES ARE SO AFRICAN. WHATS THE SECRET?
I like wearing beads a lot. I am an African woman and I must portray the culture of Edo Kingdom that I come from. I must be proud of my heritage. I also make beads of different designs. People see these beads on me and ask me to make some for them. I make beads for men and also do the complete sets of beads that includes the neck, hand and earrings, etc for women. I get called to dress brides during their traditional marriages. The rush for beads is making it more expensive and so I also have beads that I rent out to those who cant afford to buy. Am always happy when I go dress brides for their traditional marriage and they come out looking really beautiful in their beads. It just shows who we are and where we come from, And ironically, people who are not from the Niger delta have also started wearing beads and it looks really beautiful on them.
IF PEOPLE WANT YOU TO ADVISE THEM ON THE KIND OF BEADS THEY SHOULD WEAR DURING AN OCCASION, WOULD YOU DO THAT?
Yes of course. A lot of people call me to ask for information about beads, I also even make clothes for myself and for people. When I sleep at night, I get inspirations and God give me designs in my dreams and I wake up to sketch them out and design them. It usually comes out beautiful and when I wear them for my music ministration, a lot of people would want me to design clothes like that for them.
HOW MANY SONGS ARE IN YOUR ALBUM AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THEM?
They are five songs in my album. OH WORSHIP, is a song to tell people that God deserves our praise. IMUENTINYAN is a Bini song that simply means in God I trust. I had a terrible experience when a live electric wire was right on top of my head and God delivered me from being electrocuted. VBIAGHIMWEN simply means what shall I render to God for all He has done for me. HALLELUYAH is a song of exhortation and lastly KPONMWEN is a medley praise song in Benin, hausa, Yoruba and ibo.
WHAT IS YOUR LAST WORD TO YOUR FANS AND PEOPLE READING THIS NOW?
To my fans, I want to thank them for appreciating my work and they should keep listening to my music, and to everyone reading this interview, they should support Nigerian gospel artiste.
DO YOU WANT TO SAY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO SOME PEOPLE.?
To Apostle I.O. Eruemolor of Love Crusade Chapel, Rev. Solomon Abu, Rev. Solomon Ibrahim, Rev. Nath Omozuwa, my husband and my children: Kelvin, Beulah, Oyemwen,