I don’t have to act like a pastor because my dad is a prophet –Leah
She is the daughter of the founder of a very popular denomination, Christ Apostolic Church, S.K. Abiara. Yet, her lifestyle is not different from that of a typical Hollywood star.
Leah, Abiara's youngest daughter also known as LChic, maintains a lifestyle that is at variance with what most people would expect of the daughter of a popular and highly respected clergyman.
For starters, she lives in Hollywood, America's headquarters of entertainment and fashion. Anytime she is in Nigeria, she cruises around in her sporty yellow car with a number plate marked 'LChic'.
Leah told Spectacles in Ibadan during the week that being a public relations practitioner in Hollywood, she had to be conversant with goings on in Hollywood.
Apart from PR practice, she is the vice president of Nero Records International, a record label owned by Samuel Ayotunde Omolola, an Ibadan-based businessman and a sports entrepreneur who runs Nero Football Academy.
Leah does not like it a bit when you question her lifestyle which contrasts sharply with her father's.
She said, “There is no contrast in what I do and what my father does. God provided talents for people to sing. Entertainment is not anti-Christ. That I live in Hollywood does not make me an anti-Christ either. I am into public relations with a lot of connections,” she said.
She also does not see a reason why her record label should only hunt for gospel artistes simply because her father is a pastor. “No, we do all kinds of music. That my father is a pastor does not really matter. Maybe that is what people expect but I have to be myself. I don't even listen to gospel music. People who sing other genres of music, it does not mean that they don't believe in God or they are anti-Christ,” she argued.
Because of her lifestyle, there are insinuations that she has been having it rough with her pastor father. But she told Spectacles that she did not have any problem with her father.
“Is entertainment anti-Christ? I enjoy the support of my dad because she is my father. I respect him and I love him so much. He supports my interest. He is my strength and my pillar,” she said.
Leah, who left for America when she was 11 years old, told Spectacles that as the last born, she remained her father's pet. She said she got away with most things, unlike her siblings. But she admitted that because of the path she had chosen for herself, she had suffered as a result of the unpleasant stories that had been written about her.
“Let me tell you something: my father has a calling, which is gospel. And the most cherished thing I gained from him is the fact that he introduced me to God and I will maintain that for the rest of my life. However, I will not say because my dad is a pastor I should pretend to have got the call. If God has called me, at least I should be able to know when I had such an experience. I will not abandon what I am doing.
“Besides, I can only be myself. I should be able to live on my own, not under my father's shadow. That your father is a farmer does not make you a farmer. We have different destinies, and I am very happy he created a way for me. I would like to do the same for my kids also.”
Leah believes that God is using her in a way to manifest His power by helping others to mould their talents in music. “God gave some people talent and we have to push it out. So, for people to have passion and for you to be able to help them push it out, that is a lot of God's work that you are doing. Do you know how powerful music is? When you are down, music can lift you up,” she said.
There was a time it was insinuated that her father had disowned her because of her lifestyle; she told Spectacles how terrible she felt reading the negative things that were written about her in the media.
“Everything I have read about myself, none of them is true. I don't want to swear by the Bible. They said my dad disowned me. I still live in my father's house whenever I am in Nigeria, and we are very close. There was a time they said I was arrested; it never happened. I have heard that people say I am in cocaine business. I have been travelling back and forth and I am still free. I have heard so many terrible things written about me and I wonder what I have done to people to deserve all that.
“I know why they do so; my dad is a pastor and a popular one at that. It is terrible. When it first started, I used to go inside my room and cry for days. But I just thank God for my dad. Through his ministry, I have witnessed strength. He has kept me well grounded. He has helped me a lot to overcome setbacks, because he knows the kind of person I am.
“For somebody to tell you that you have disowned your own daughter, even if she is an armed robber. Not Baba Abiara please. How do you expect him to feel? Nothing like that happened.
“As a daughter of a pastor, people expect me to wear a scarf, wear a long skirt, carry a bell and start ringing it and say I am Abiara's daughter.”
Recently, there were reports that she was having an affair with Omolola, her boss. When Spectacles sought an explanation from Leah, she did little to dispel the insinuation. She asked whoever cared to decide on whatever they make of their relationship.
She said, “Nero is my boss in anyway you can think of. He is the boss and I am the vice president. He is my boss in anyway you can think of, Mathematics, Algebra, anything. And what you see is what you get.”
She, however, gave a background information about the record label that took off not long ago. She said Nero came to Hollywood and the two of them, during their interaction with some Hollywood stars, talked of floating a record label.
Leah dismissed the possibility of becoming a singer in future. “If I start singing now, you will cover your ears. I am a bad singer. I only sing in the bathroom. About acting, I don't think I want to do that. But you never can tell if I would become an actress one day, having been trained by an expert.
“But I love fashion a lot. It is a part of me. In fact, those who know me well will tell you that fashion is a part of me, practically and business-wise,” she said.