Gospel Music Runs In My Blood------Nwabungozi Okeke
Some time ago, a pretty widow, Nwabungozi Okeke stormed the gospel music scene with a track Enwerem Confidence, which in more ways than one re-shaped things in that genre of music. Now she is on location, shooting a musical video industry, buffs are claiming might be one of the costliest gospel videos in the country. How did she achieve this against all odds? She spoke with Ngozi Emedolibe on this and more at the location. Excerpts.
How is the location? Is it fun?
Yes o! I give all the glory to God Almighty, for me, coupled with the state of the art equipment that they are using, everything is in place. Thank God. I believe that the gospel music industry will see something different from what they are used to.
How would you describe yourself?
My names are Nwagbungozi Okeke, I'm a gospel artiste, business woman, a mother, grandmother, and a widow from Nnewi South in Anambra State, Nigeria.
Oh, you are a grandmother but you don't look it
Glory be to God, I got married to my late husband at a very tender age. I was just 17 years old, I lost him few years ago.
Sorry. It must have been a tough experience. It's not easy bringing the children up alone, but I thank God for giving me wonderful children, they are my world; they are the best children in the world.
Is any of them following your footsteps as a gospel singer or musician?
I want them to concentrate on their education first of all. However my last daughter is showing some signs, she even featured in the drama segment of this my musical video and she did well, you will see her when the video comes on air.
Let's talk about your music how did you start?
I started at a tender age of seven in the church, it is God's gift because it all started in a church service, the choir master of our church then was not around, so one of the church leaders urged me to lead the choir, I did not know where I got the confidence and songs from but now I know that they came from God, because everyone was surprised at the result they got. Everything comes from God, my talent, good looks, blessing and confidence all come from God Almighty, you see why they call me Enwerem Confidence?
Did that inform the title of your album, "E nwerem Confidence"?
Yes, because after my performance in the church people started urging me to record an album, because of my unique voice. The result is this album, Enwerem Confidence, that we are shooting the video now.
Why did it take you this long to come out with the album, is it your first album?
I have been performing from church to church, weddings, birthday parties and shows but at a time I had to take a break to take care of my children.
E nwerem Confidence is my first released album, I released it three years ago and because my fans are demanding for the video, we are here shooting the video so as to give them quality video. Thank God for using Chizzy Ani to bring out this wonderful video to reality.
Industry sources claim your video is one of the costliest. How did you get the money?
Everything good comes from God. No amount of money can pay the good and wonderful cast and crew members on this location. It is not the money; it is the relationship that matters. It has been wonderful, and my brother, no dollars or pounds can buy that.
You said Enwerem Confidence is your first released album, does it mean that you have other albums?
Yes, I have other albums; I will release one of them this year after the release of this video Enwerem Confidence.
When are we expecting Enwerem Confidence video in the market?
By the grace of God, Enwerem Confidence will hit the market first week of May 2009.
What makes this video different from the other videos?
Thank you; E nwerem Confidence video ticks because the director has chosen a unique concept to interpret the music with good shots, locations, and cast members. I just urge my fans to go get the video when it is released and watch it to see this point I am making, I promise them a quality video production.
How do you get your songs?
I'm inspired by God, my songs are original from God. And that is why anywhere I go for song ministration people get healing and blessings of God. My songs give strength to the weak, hope to the hopeless. I get a lot of testimonies from people who buy my album. This my album E nwerem Confidence has touched a lot of lives and the video will even do more because before we came on location, I went to God in prayers to use the video to touch more lives as He is doing with the audio, and God has already started doing it, (points to the make-up artiste) that young man was sick on our way to this location but immediately I stated performing he ran into shot and started dancing. Glory be to God, God is using this my song to do a lot of miracles.
Words to your fans.
First I thank God Almighty for everything for giving me talent and using my songs to heal and bless people. I thank Chizzy Ani and his crew. To all my fans, thank you all for buying my album and for the love you are showing me. I love you all and for those who are sending testimonies of what God is using this album E nwerem Confidence to do in their lives, I say your testimonies will be permanent in Jesus' name. God bless all my fans in Jesus' name
Why did it take you this long to come out with this album?
It was due to my husband's death, you know it is painful to lose someone very close to you. We were so close, and my world came crashing when he died.
Are you looking for a replacement?
I have one already.
Jesus Christ is there. My children are there too.