I wrote and recorded Opelope Anointing in one day
She received divine annointing in July 2000 with the release of her seventh album entitled Opelope Annointing. According to Evangelist Victoria Dunni Olarewaju, the album, which was a huge success, changed her life.
A talented singer and a minister of the word, Opelope Annointing, as Olanrewaju is fondly called by fans, began music as a chorister in the Christ Apostolic Church.
After that, she started an ewi Yoruba (Poetry) programme, E duro e teti ( wait and lend me your ears), on Radio Lagos in 1977.
That was before the release of her debut album Adun Igbeyawo ( the Joy of Marriage) way back in 1988. At the moment, the gospel artiste has about 12 albums to her name. In an interview with Daily Sun at her Opelope Annonting Praise Centre in Idimu, a Lagos surburb, the artiste spoke about her career, family and what drew her into gospel music.
My name is Victoria Dunni Olarewaju. I was born in December 2, 1960 into the family of Mr. and Mrs. Isaiah Olumola Olaniyi of Ibadan, Oyo state.
I attended Nawar Ud Deen Primary School, Ibadan and I later proceeded to Elekuro Secondary Modern Commercial School also in Ibadan. I worked as a poultry attendant in the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture before I was posted to the Information Department of the Lagos state Ministry of Agriculture. I was a fashion designer and caterer before I went into full time music ministry.
Well, it was very rough. I lost my father when I was very young. So, my mother had to take care of us. In a society like ours, you could imagine the type of upbringing such children would have. My mother had the three of us then and we grew up in a small village near Ibadan. You could also imagine what life was like with us then, but I thank God for what He has done in my life today, and in the life of my mother.
Attraction to music
As a chorister in the church, there were some choruses that I really liked. Then, in my mind, I used to say that if God could give me the talent to compose such choruses, I would be happy. So, I prayed and God answered my prayers. I thank God that He gave me what I requested for and today the lord is glorified in my life. Before I released my first album in 1988, I used to perform poems at ceremonies. When I was about to put the album together, my father in the Lord, Pastor Sola Rotimi, advised me to include one of my favourite poems Adun Igbeyawo, which also turned out to be the album's title. It was an album I strongly believed would do well in the market, but I don't know what really went wrong.
My kind of music
I play gospel music. I minister in songs because I am a Christian. My father was an evangelist while he was alive. My mother is a choir mistress up till this moment. So, my mother inspired me to sing and she taught me so many songs. Coming from that kind of background, I don't think I would have felt comfortable playing any other kind of music.
My first album, Adun Igbeyawo, was released in 1988. It was followed by My Miracle Dey for Road, 1992. In 1995, Ayo Re Nbo was released. Between 1995 and 1999, three other albums were released before the hit album Opelope Annointing was released in July 2000. At the moment, I have about 12 albums in the market, the last one being Ileri Oluwa (God's promise) released earlier in the year. I have almost completed work on my new album, which will be launched on October 31, 2004 during the annual thanksgiving of the Faithful Cathedral, by Idiroko Bus stop, Ikorodu Road, Lagos.
The message in my music is to let people know that there is no other god besides God Almighty. In some of my songs, I extol the name of the lord. I try to bring people to know how wonderful the Lord is. I want everybody to know that God is the Alpha and Omega. He has everything. With him by your side, you need not fear anybody.
Strength of my music
I can glorify the name of God for the testimonies I have been receiving about my music. Many people have given testimonies of how they got their miracles and breakthroughs through my albums.
I have won about seven awards.
Yes, it came with the album Opelope Annointing in 2000. How I put the album together? Well, it was the Lord's doing. All I remember now is that I sat down one day with a big burden in my heart. I was thinking about my life. Then, I was thirty-nine and a half years old. The spirit of God ministered to me and said that but for his annointing, I that I would not have made it in life? Though, I have read it in the book of Isaiah 15, that the annointing of the Lord is upon me, immediately I heard the voice of God, the song Opelope Annointing came.
I had some songs that I had composed for about a year before that year 2000. So, I sat down, chose the songs I wanted to add. You see, I did not compose the lyrics in Opelope Annointing before the day of recording. I got the lyrics from the Holy Spirit the very day of recording.
How it made me feel
Then anytime I think about my life, I shed tears of joy. In fact, I never expected what I am experiecing. It has been overwhelming. Sometimes, when I go for programmes, I feel embarrassed. For instance, immediately people site my vehicle, they would begin to rush down to meet me. The protocol officials of the different churches would book me for programmes in their churches. The security people would be running like dispatch riders in front of my car. Then I would ask, 'God, is this me?' That is why I roll on the floor often to glorify God.
Gospel music in vogue
I believe God is using it as a tool of evangelism. I am happy a lot of people are going into it because the pastors alone cannot do it. So, God is using the gospel artistes to minister to people.
Music and the homefront
I thank God for the type of family God has given to me. My children love what I am doing and they are always around to accompany me to some of my programmes, especially when they are on holidays.
In any thing in life, if you face some challenges, consider it normal. Any challenge that I face, I always believe that it is for good. I don't allow it to weigh me down.
Most difficult time
If you believe that everything in life is a challenge, then you won't experience difficult times. In any situation that you find yourself, you just have to try and cope.
I admire Evangelist Bola Are and my father-in-the-Lord, Pastor Sola Rotimi. But by the time I returned to Ibadan, I was inspired by a ministry, The lion of Judah, led by Reverend Dr Akinade. God has used his ministry to change the style of my ministration. Anytime I watch the man of God on stage. I would say, God, if it is you that gave this talent to your servant, I want you to give me the same talent. I loved his style of ministration in prayer, songs, and the words of God he preaches.
I do not have any regrets because I believe in God.
I love dancing, singing and making people happy.
I don't really know how to describe myself. Perhaps, I should pick from what people have said about me. Some people describe me as a no-nonsense woman. I hate lies and dishonesty. Others say that I am a gentle woman but I make them to realise that I am not as gentle as they think.
I don't think I can say it now, but it depends on how God wants it. However, I want to help upcoming artistes.
Message to my fans
I want to tell them that I love them because they love me too. I thank them because they have made me what I am today. I thank my fans who buy my music. I am praying for them.