Monday, 30 September 2013

"I am not a man of God...If God calls me, I can’t run away from His call". - King sunny Ade Reveals!

King Sunny Ade (KSA) was at his best last week when he engaged Tribune in an interactive session. He talked about life, what he still wants from it at 67, his pains about Nigeria and new calling, among other issues. Excerpts:
Before now, we’ve heard about your plans to dump secular music for full time gospel ministry. Could you tell us more about this plan of yours?
From the beginning of my life, I have been in the Christianity realm. If you listen to my songs very well, you will discover that 90 per cent of my songs have been  about giving praises to God. I have always been closer to the Most High, but many have refused to see it that way.

How long have you been born again, so to say?
I think it is wrong for people to say that I am just getting born again now because I had been born again a very long time ago. It is a pity that people don’t know that I am not the type that makes noise about what I am doing. It remains between God and I whether I am born again or not. How do you want to know whether I am born again? Will it be when I start shouting at every occasion or when I say it in a church? This is not something that should be made public. It is supposed to be between you and God.

Then, why are you making it public now?
Recently, I looked at myself and all what God has done for me over the years and I began to count my blessings. It got to a point that I couldn’t count how much God has blessed me. So, I decided to re-dedicate my life to Christ at the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

Why the choice of Redeemed and not  the orthodox church where you were born?
What’s wrong with the Redeemed? One thing I want to let you understand is that it doesn’t matter which church you worship. God is one. The church does not count as far as I am concerned. Inasmuch as you are convinced within yourself that the spirit of God dwells in the church, my brother, you can worship there, and anywhere. At the end of the day, God is not going to ask you where you worshipped. Does God care about your church? No.

Evangelist Bola Are said that she heard from God that she should deliver a message to you about God’s calling upon your life. Before she met you to deliver this message, was there any sign to you that something like that was going to happen?
I thank God that people like Mama Bola Are could come out to say something like that had happened. Truth is, she is not the only one to have brought message from God to me, I have heard a lot of people say the same thing over the years. I don’t believe anybody can say God said you should become this or that. These people can only guide you. For instance, if I send you to the world so that  you would know how many people are praying for me, or are hearing words from God on my behalf, I am sure that we won’t complete that exercise for the next one year. So, Mama is only expressing her happiness, her joy, to have finally seen me in this position today, worshipping in my own church. I have been active in the work of God for many years and I am not planning to be a pastor, but if God calls me to be anything, I will surely follow Him. The fact still remains that I am yet to hear from God on what step I should take next. People can only tell you things, do this or do that, but you have to be careful and listen to God to guide you through.

But people are already seeing you as a Pastor. Do you see yourself as one?
You can’t just call yourself a man of God. There must be a very strong covenant between you and God before you can claim that you are a man of God. I don’t see myself like that, but if people call me a man of God, it means I have to be very careful because I have not heard from God. All I know is that I am a son of God, not yet a man of God.

You are about to step into that spiritual realm with this new development, how prepared are you for this new challenge?
I have always been a spiritual person and I have been surviving as a spiritual person since I was born.

How do you mean sir?
There is a touch of spirituality about my existence that I can’t even explain, even as I speak with you now, I still can’t explain it. The fact is that I don’t even know how I have been surviving till now. I didn’t study music, nobody taught me music. Nobody taught me how to play the guitar. But I know it has been God all along. Nothing else could have sustained me till now and surely no one has, except God. I think people are still looking at me with the impression they had in those days when I was still looking for fame. Those days, I sang all sorts of songs because I wanted to be famous, especially in Ondo town where they worship Ogun. Every year, we worshipped Ogun in Ondo those days, so I thought that if I sang Ogun songs, people would accrpt me; buy my album. But it does not mean that I am worshipping Ogun or anything.

To the question: How prepared are you for this phase of your life?
I am prepared for anything knowing very well that God Himself will not watch me fail. As long as you agree to obey God, you have prepared yourself for His work and He will take over from there. He will use you the way He wants to, not the way you want to.

Are we likely to see a complete gospel album from you and what do you think will happen to the secular side of your music career from now on?
If God says I should come and be one of His men, I will gladly take it. But the fact is that you won’t even know about it. If God calls me, I can’t run away from His call. Like I used to say, when we get to the bridge, we will cross it. Only God knows what plans He has for me. He was the one who brought me to this level and I am sure He will see me through another phase of my life.

With the feat you have achieved in the industry, what do you still ask God to do for you?
When I go to sleep every night, my usual prayer is that, ‘God, you have given me the grace to see the end of today, grant me the grace to witness tomorrow. I don’t ask God to give me this or that. If we all ask God for a long life, prosperity and other things that people usually ask, how do you want God to answer all those prayers? (laughs) What do you want the angels to write down?(laughs) The fact is that you will even forget what you have asked God yesterday if you keep asking him different things every day. I always keep it simple with God because He knows all my needs and He alone knows when, how to meet them.

Looking back into your life, what have you gained and lost?
I have gained the mercy of God and grace. Like I told you, I don’t know how I got to this level today. I don’t know why God decided to favour me this way. For the past four days now, I think I slept probably for an hour or so.

Because I wanted to be sure that everything is in good condition for my birthday celebration. The devil does not want things to go smoothly for anybody, so you have to make sure you defeat the devil at all times. He’s never tired of hurting or destroying. Talking about what I have lost, that should be the current state of the nation. I am sad because Nigeria is not in the position that I met it when I started singing. I had hopes, dreams,but all that is not happening. I know our leaders are trying, but a lot still needs to be done

What inspires you?
The grace of God is so inspiring. Anytime I want to record, I just call my band boys and we will come up with something good at the end of the day. Inspiration comes from everything about life.

How have you been able to keep the KSA brand on top?
The truth is that I wouldn’t have been successful with it if the media had not been my friend. You guys have been so wonderful over the years and that is why I always refer to you as my first friend. It is the media that builds a brand first. But the brand, or people behind the brand also have their roles to play. Any little mistake on the part of somebody known to be close to a brand can have a negative effect. So, the media, staff, friends, clients help to build, sustain a brand and I am glad KSA has not been negatively portayed in, and outside of the region.

Recently, you were in the news doing some stuffs for Coca-Cola in Kenya, could you tell us about that?
I was invited by a friend, David Sanders, a TV presenter in Kenya, but it was sponsored by Coca-Cola. On getting to Nairobi, I discovered that Coca-Cola had already erected a Coke Studio in Kenya. It’s a different style entirely. These days, musicians don’t have other jobs than to go to the studio, handle the computer and record. If you tell the same musician to come and perform live, it becomes a problem. Coca-Cola said they were looking for the present generation to plan ahead for future generation by fusing the old and new music. They want us to work together so that musicians, either old or young, can have something to fall back on at the end of the day. It was an opportunity for me to blend. I told them that I wanted artistes of all genres of music to work with me.

Flavour was with you in Kenya. How was it working with him?
He was great. So were the other artistes, they were all great.

You are the real global name after Fela, do you see this as a burden?
It is not a burden. It is like I am moving from one class to another one. I don’t know which lecturer I am going to meet when I get there. That is why I love to work with everybody. My brand would not have been successful or popular, but for the support of the media, I am where I am today. I have said that before. So, whatever class I find myself, I am always ready to learn from everybody, especially from the press. I have learnt a lot from you today with the way you asked your questions,and even the suggestions you have given. That is why I always perform very well because you have educated me a lot.

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