Some wanted to date me to avenge Obey's sin -Aduragbemiro
Orejaiyeola Fabiyi, popularly called Aduragbemiro is one of the daughters of ace Juju artiste, Chief Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi. An Aladura prophetess, Aduragbemiro also sings and in fact, has an album that is ready for release soon. In this interview with FUNMI SALOME JOHNSON she spoke on how she started life as a member of pentecostal churches and how she ended up being an Aladura prophetess. She also spoke on what it is like to be the daughter of a celebrity like the juju artiste-turn-evangelist. Excerpts:
How is life with you?
Life is sweet, very sweet. I cannot complain because I have had my own fair share of the ups and downs of life but God has always been on my side and like a saying goes, at the end of a dark tunnel, there is always light. He had always made a way where there is no way. So, for me, life has been wonderful.
What kind of ministry do you run, and what does it stand for?
I am just beginning to accept that it is something I need to focus on. I started as a child going to Four Square Gospel Church at Olonode in Yaba area of Lagos State. Then I had a bit of Deeper Life church experience; all these training that I had then, I did not realise they were for a purpose. When I left Nigeria as a child to the UK to join my mother, I still followed up going to pentecostal church. I was going to KICC in the UK under the administration of Matthew Ashimolowo. My regularity in KICC was high as at that time. Out of the curiosity that is characterises the teenage years, I went to Celestial church a couple of times but the only reason I could not enjoy it was that any time I stepped into church auditorium in the UK, I didn't know what it was exactly, I shook like a jelly. I did not like that, so I ran away. I later went to other churches that are Pentecostal. I went to churches like the Evangelical church and I even joined the Redeemed Christian Church of God where I met Pastor Adeboye that anointed me about four years ago under Pastor Mary Afolabi. All these were going on until I heard that voice on that fateful day.
Which voice and what did the voice tell you?
The voice said go into that church and I said what? A white garment church? I said no way, I was not going into this church. Any minute I spent there I shake like a jelly; I am not going there. And even my car will not start unless I made up my mind I was going. When I made up my mind to go in there and ease myself because I was on a high way in the UK when the voice came. After so much struggle, I said let me just go in there and ease myself and my car started after wrestling for about an hour and a half with the voice. So, I went into the church and when I did, I did not know what happened; I only found myself up three days later and, my God, what am I doing here? I was told that I went in a trance for three days. And from that moment henceforth, I heard clearly and loudly that “your calling is in the white garment church, your calling is to be pure even though your training commenced in the pentecostal, so that you can know the word.” So, my ministry is to re-evangelise and to re-proclaim what people see the white garment churches as and to explain to them that it is an individual thing. Be it pentecostal, gospel or Aladura, it is an individual thing. You could be a pentecostal and not know the word and you could be an Aladura and the seed may have been planted in you. For me, I have that seed and I have gone through the bible classes and all that but ended up in Aladura as the calling says and I have no regrets. The message or thrust of my ministry is that Aladura could be seen as a modern day Aladura and to...
You mean a new Aladura and not what they are known for?
Well I don't know what you mean by that but I have been to a pentecostal church where they will tell you to bring water, bring oil and all that to revival; so, whatever it is that some people are doing that is making people run away from Aladura, I am here to tell them that what God has proclaimed and prescribed contrary to what they are seeing. Anything that is beyond water is not of God because even the world was made with water. He said let there be light and there was light. Let there be water and he defined water away from the land; there is power in water. So, if you go to Aladura and they say go and bring palm oil, then I don't know where you are getting that from. My ministry commenced because I heard that voice.
So, how far have you gone with the ministry and with what result?
Right now I am focusing on the women and the children ministry, catching them young and also giving the awareness that even in an Aladura setting, there should be a Sunday School, there should be bible training, bible lessons and all that so that the word should be implanted in them from when they are young. After all the bible says you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free and he said for them that he has planned the word in their hearts, they will grow as a mustard seed and that is the word of God and that is what my ministry is all about.
So, how do you reach the people, you go from church to church or what?
I have started going from church to church now. Initially I was trying to equip myself and renew the spirit from inside of me. I was waiting for him to give me a go ahead to move forward for the renewal of the spirit inside of me. Now that I have heard the voice to move on, I am moving forward and I am not looking back; I am not even going to compromise. So, I go there and sing and I use music as a means of communication. I know a lot of people will go to Aladura church to hear what the prophet or prophetess says. Less of what the prophet or prophetess says and more of what God's word is all about concerning every individual, more of making people realise that actually God can speak through you yourself without hearing from the prophet or the prophetess. My ministry is about letting people realise that enough of all these “go and bring ram and goat and I will pray for you.” It is all about self-evangelism and self-empowerment; bringing that awareness to light and equipping the young people to capture them while they are young, especially women.
Why women especially?
Because I know a lot of women out there are so much focused on the welfare of their husbands and children; that some tend to forget about God completely and without God we have nothing.
What have been the responses so far?
The response has been wonderful and I just have God to thank for everything. I get calls from people in different parts of the world - in Greece, New Zealand, Holland and all that and I will ask how did you get to know me or get my contact and they will tell me that somebody said they should connect with me that I will pray with them and all that. And I will say okay, let's pray together. Some of them will ask what should I do and I will tell them that all they need to do is to pray. When they speak to you, you pray with them, you pray together and you fast along with them. Even though they are far away from them God answers prayers and they are well. Some of them I have never seen and I have still not seen but they will call back to give testimonies. Some will call and ask: “Prophetess, are you sure you are not putting something in your mouth whenever you are praying with us on phone” and I will ask them what they meant by that. It is not about putting anything in my mouth to pray, it is an ascription of the word. God says you should proclaim and prescribe the word. It is like medicine, if you have headache, you take Panadol and if you have an issue with yourself, you could pick up the manual of life which is the word of God, the Bible. There is nothing happening today in the world that is not in that holy word. Everything that is happening to us is in that manual, one person has gone through one situation or the other that anyone else is going through now and we can always take cue from the solution proffered in the word of others who have gone through the same or similar situation. And pray it out. The word says that the power to modify is in our tongue and the power to make and destroy is also in our tongue.
When you decided to yield to that voice that called you into Aladura church?
To be candid with you, I did not just decide, I wrestled with it. As a matter of fact, when I listened to that voice and went, I was not regular. Some of the weeks I could go and some other weeks I might not go. Any week that I went there, even if it was N5 million that I was looking for, that week God would manifest and I would get it, but the week that I decided I was not going again, that N5 million would disappear. I'm just citing an example of what life was like for me during those times of wrestling with the voice. That contract was signed between myself and God that I am not going to go there and start wasting money. People are going to be calling you to talk to them, to empower them and to promote them.
So, what was your father's reaction?
Initially I was sceptical, I did not want to tell him, so I kept to myself for some time. The day I had the courage to tell him, I gave him a phone call and I gave him a message and he went, “Oh my God, what are you doing there?” I told him that the holy spirit opened my mouth and I began to speak with him and he listened attentively and he was quiet. Out of surprise he asked if I was actually the one talking and saying all these things to him and I told him that it is me and he said to me: “May the Lord see you through.”
How has his reaction been since then?
He is a wonderful father and a very supportive one too. If I call my father in the middle of the night, he will pick up my call, even if he is on stage. He has been a wonderful father and a spiritual guidance.
Are you his first child or daughter?
Not at all, we are quite many in number but I tell you that my father is a very decent person compared to many of his contemporaries; he is quite a decent man.
How do you cope with being a divorcee and being an Aladura prophetess?
It is not an easy thing at all. My calling came after my divorce; it was not like I was in a marriage when I got the call. Who can question the work of God? Nobody. To me being a divorcee is not the end of the world. I got married at a very young age, I was captured unaware because I was extremely young; as a matter of fact, in my teen years when I got married. So, when God decided to pull me out of that bondage and restore in me his desire, he did it in such a way that I don't even consider myself as ever being married before .
What actually happened between the two of you?
That is very personal. The only thing I can tell you now is that one cannot serve two masters at the same time. If you want to serve God and do his will, then you need to be in his presence and know his word but if there is something out there, be it your spouse or your partner that will pull you into fetish things or things that are not of God, then I thank God that, that ended then and this calling came.
Was he fetish or what?
I did not say that. I am just saying that anything that will draw you away from God, God himself will take it away from you so that his manifestation will become glaring. That thing could be love of money or anything, he would make sure he takes it away to prevent you from going away from his umbrella and that was what happened to me in that marriage, God took that away so that I can yield to his voice.
For how long were you married?
We were married for eight years.
With how many kids?
I have two children.
How old are they?
Are we discussing my children here? That is a personal thing.
How do you cope with single parenthood and your ministry?
To be candid with you, I have very wonderful family, relatives and friends who said to me, you know what, leave the kids with us and you just live your life. It has been a blessing for me because if I have not had those kids when I did and I am as wise as I am now, I probably would not have any children any more.
My ex felt he implanted those kids in my life to make life difficult for me to do what God has assigned me to do in life, but to me, he has actually helped me to acquire what would have distracted me when I started working for God. But now, I don't have to worry about anything.
Do you have any hope of remarrying?
I leave that to God, I don't do anything without the consent of God. So, whenever He wants me to, He will tell me. So, let His will be done.
Having been married before and now divorced, how do you deal with sexual desires when they come?
It is easy coping with that. The trick is that whenever the desire for sex comes on you, just focus on the word and get more engrossed in it. It is true that such desires will come but the simple trick is to pray about it and get engrossed in the word.
Being a beautiful and young woman, several men must have been flocking your way wanting to get down with you. How do you handle such situations?
I have a thousand and one of such requests and remarks on a daily basis but all I do is to make friends and as well let them know my stand on such issues. I also let them understand the calling I have and I am yet to hear from God on the need to remarry. So, I am always very open and sincere with them. I am just waiting for the will of God to be done.
Before the calling came, what kind of a lifestyle were you living?
I was a raving girl and a happening babe. Well, I was not a wayward girl and I can walk the streets of London where I grew up with my head high because I was not wayward. Undermining the fact that a I had my childhood and adolescent stage till now in the city of London, a lot of people still do not know me compared to some that came in just a few years ago and have painted the town red. I was never like that but I love life and I love enjoying life. If there is a church in London where they dress to kill, I am one of those who dressed to kill. That was the type of life I had. I love to look good and feel good, I love jewellery, I love cars and I have a house of my own and I am not renting, the competition between myself and my friends then was high that if you did not have your own mortgage and education, you could not be a part of us. The moment I heard the call, for some unknown reasons, God gave me the spirit of humility and all that stopped .
You mentioned earlier that you were doing some modelling jobs, why did you stop?
I could not do the modelling job with the work of God, especially when you are asked to reveal some part of your body that is meant to be private and you still pick up the microphone to preach, so I just have to stop.
Do you have any regret making that choice?
Not at all. The job of the Lord is more fulfilling than any other thing. Besides I have a more permanent job that I do in the UK that pays well. As a matter of fact it pays more than my mortgage and so since I started hearing the voice, I knew I had to start saving because the ministry would soon go full time someday and I will be needing the money then.
What is life like being Ebenezer Obeys daughter?
A lot of people think my father is the Central Bank governor and so everyone that comes around you wants to have a share of something. Some will come on the note that my father has dated their aunties in those days and they want to take revenge while others will just come close to you because they just want to get to your father. I must also say that it is also a good thing because it open doors for you. Being the daughter of a celebrity makes you a celebrity. So, I am a born celebrity. Just like a saying that says “abinibi is stronger than ability” meaning that whatever it is that you are born with is stronger than that which you learnt. I enjoy the fact that he has done all the tough bits of living for me and he has paved the way for me. It is now left for me to build well on the good things he has done, so I make sure that I do not let that get into my head. I also try not to always live under the shadow of my father.
How do you come with the name, Aduragbemiro?
There is no doubt about that. My father called me Orejayeola but Aduragbemiro came as a result of the fact that if not for prayers, I would probably have gone astray, especially when I was in the bondage of marriage. It was from that experience that the name came up. The only thing that sustained me then was the art of being prayerful. During those times, I prayed so much that my in laws thought I was a witch. I could not have done otherwise because then I was so young and I never had any Nigerian friend.
Where did you meet him?
I met him in church. That is why I will always tell people that even in a pentecostal churches, the devil is there. So all these thinking that it is only in the Aladura you can find some funny situations, that is not true, it's a big mistake on their part. What they were planning for me then was to do what they want to do and dump me but because God has a plan for me then, he made me so prayerful and never allowed their plan to work.
What kind of music do you play and when are we expecting your debut?
I sing Gospel songs, and the debut album will be out very, very soon.
How many trackers will it be?
I have done four tracks so far and I am still working on some more.
Are you doing a collabo with your dad?
How I wish he would do that, but that would be like cheating.
Why did you say that ?
There is a difference between Adura and Olasupo Oluremi Obey Fabiyi. At least before I collabo with him, let him see what I can do first; let me not live the life of Ebenezer Obey's daughter for once.