Biography of Pastor Joseph Adebayo Adelakun (Ayewa)

Biography of Pastor Joseph Adebayo Adelakun (Ayewa)

Born June 11th, 1949, Pastor Joseph Adebayo Adelakun, popularly called Ayewa Music is a preacher, teacher, evangelist and gospel music artiste with a deep revelation of God's word. He was born into the family of Alhaji & Mrs. Salami Adelakun and hails from Saki, Oke Ogun, in Oyo State, Nigeria.

Popularly known for his hit gospel song titled Amona tete ma bo (meaning, Come quickly, Saviour), he has built a fulfilling gospel music career and ministry with the help of God.

Growing up, despite his muslim background, Pastor J.A Adelakun was a lover of Christ from his youth. He developed great interest in music from his primary school days and spent most of his time playing drums especially at Baptist Church, Oke Ogun, in Saki.

He was brilliant as a young boy and popular in the school as a result of his running skill in sports and had won so many prizes for himself during the school Inter-House-Sports.

Despite series of challenges in his extended family, he proceeded to Ogunpa in Ibadan to study Electrical Engineering at Kareem Electrical Engineering Company with the help of his elder brother, Magistrate Bayo Adelakun. He later joined Nigerian Army in 1968, after his studies at the Electrical Company and was posted to Nigerian Army Barrack - Engineering Construction Regiment (ECR) based in Ede, Oyo State.

(Now Osun State). In 1975, his sport ability won him gold Medal in 800m race during Army Sport Week. He was gifted and had great interest for music and sports while in the Army. He was among the first eleven that played Army Engeering League Match in 1970.Pastor Ayewa formally called 'Amusa' met with Christ at Christ Apostolic Church in Ede in 1972 under the ministration of Prophet S.O. Akande (Baba Abiye). He since then dropped alcohol, cigarette and Indian hemp and became a born again Christian.

Pastor Joseph Adelakun (Ayewa) was later transferred in1976 to Kaduna where he became musically active at C.A.C. Kawo where he was a chorister and the chief music composer of the choir. His singing ability led him to gather five people with him to form a band popularly known as 'Ayewa International Gospel Singers today. The name of the band was derived from a song titled 'Akuku ye Wa' meaning 'It shall be well with us' which was rendered as special number in one of the glorious Sunday in C.A.C. Kawo.

He released seven album while in the army during his service as Orderly with Brigadier (D.O.) Ajayi (RTD General) his boss and mentor. He resigned in Nigerian Army at the Command Staff College Jaji, Zaria, Nigeria in 1982 to proceed his musical career.


He joined C.A.C Olaleye - Shomolu in Lagos and became one of the church member and chorister under the leadership of Evangelist D.K. Bankole. He launched one of his record album at C.A.C Olaleye in 1982 where his relationship with Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi (Obey Commander) started.

Pastor Ayewa released his first album titled 'Emi yio kokiki Re' in 1978 with help from Evangelist Bankole who sold his Vespa Motocycle at a give away praise of N 200 to support the band in producing the album.

He remained in Christ Apostolic Church where he was ordained as pastor in 1989. He became Assistant General Superintendent (A.G.S.) in 1999 and today he is the planter of C.A.C Mercy Land District Head Quarters, situated at 1/3 Ayewa Street, Ishasi Road, Akute in Ogun State.

Pastor Adelakun (Ayewa) has produced over  30 powerful albums to his credit till date. His ninth album titled 'Amona tete maa bo' was the record that brought him to limelight in 1984.


He has since then taken the gospel to all part of the world through singing ministry and had received so many awards till date.. His musical album was formarly distributed by Ogo-Oluwa Kiitan Group led by Pa (Chief) Joseph Ola Afolabi (who took him to London for the first time) and now distributed by Ayewa Gospel Music Ministry International. Today, Pastor Ayewa has a recording studio situated at Akute in Ogun State and he is available every week for ministration. He love righteousness, holiness and truthfulness but hate falseness and lying.

He is haed to his heartthrob, Pastor Mrs. Clara O. Adelakun and they are blessed with children - Emmanuel, Josiah, Chianah, and Joseph all graduated from the University. His vision is to take the gospel to doorstep of people with the intention of wining their souls for Christ and helping less privileged with his God's given resources. He had sent so many people to school and also cater to orphans and widows.

 


Full Biography of Pastor Joseph Adebayo Adelakun (Ayewa)


Pastor JA Adelakun has His musical releases include:

Amona tete ma go (1984)









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JOSEPH ADEBAYO ADELAKUN BIOGRAPHY / PROFILE
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Joseph Adebayo Adelakun was born Amusa Adelakun on June 12, 1949 into the family of Salami Adelakun who was a Muslim and Rafatu now Sarah Adelakun. He is the second child and the first and only son of his mother who was the fourth out of his father's five wives. He is an indigene of Saki, Oyo state, Nigeria


Joseph Adebayo Adelakun Age
Joseph Adebayo Adelakun is 73 years old.


Joseph Adebayo Adelakun Early Life
Joseph was trained as an Electrical engineer at the Kareem Electrical Engineering Company in Ibadan, going on from there to join the Nigerian Army from where he was deployed to the Engineering Construction Regiment at Ede in Oyo State which he stated he did solely for a chance at dying, retiring in 1982,  to focus on gospel music.

As a natural athlete, Joseph participated and won so many inter house sports competitions while in school including a gold Medal in an 800m race during Army Sports Week. He was one of the first eleven that played the Army Engineering League Match in 1970.


Joseph Adebayo Adelakun Career
As a gospel singer, songwriter and televangelist in Nigeria, it is difficult to remember the time before he was a Christian. Joseph was baptized at Christ Apostolic Church in 1972 following the ministration of Prophet S.O. Akande (Baba Abiye), and with fire in his heart, started evangelism, giving up his old life which meant alcohol and cigarettes.

His career started when he joined the Christ Apostolic Church, Kaduna choir in 1972. Returning from the Army in 1982, Joseph established a musical group called the "Ayewa International Gospel Singers" which started with five people; Brother Mike Olorunponmi, now Pastor, Sister Elizabeth Sola Oludare now Evangelist Mrs. Olorunponmi, Brother Roland, the first Organist, Mrs. Ebajemito and Brother Abbey, now Pastor Abbey and with this band, released over 30 musical albums over the years. The name of the band was derived from the song, 'Akuku ye Wa' meaning 'It shall be well with us' which was one of their first songs ever performed.


 
In 1978, he released his debut album, "Emi yio kokiki Re". He remained at CAC, Kaduna and was eventually ordained pastor in 1989. His ninth album, 'Amona tete maa bo' which was released in 1994, brought him into the spotlight and he has since then taken the music and the message to all part of the world, sending children to school and catering for the poor.

He has a recording studio at Akute in Ogun State.


Joseph Adebayo Adelakun Personal Life
He is married to Mrs. Clara O. Adelakun and they are blessed with children - Emmanuel, Josiah, Christianah, and Joseph.

Joseph Adebayo Adelakun Awards
Evergreen Award" at the Crystal Awards 2014













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Home Entertainment  How I Was Miraculously Born 70 Years Ago – Pastor J.A ADELAKUN (Ayewa) Tells City People
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HOW I WAS MIRACULOUSLY BORN 70 YEARS AGO – PASTOR J.A ADELAKUN (AYEWA) TELLS CITY PEOPLE
written by City People
September 9, 2019
AYEWA
Pastor Joseph Adebayo Adelakun, popularly called Ayewa will be 70 in a few weeks time. But many don’t know his birth was historic. It was one of the stories that showcased the supremacy and existence of God. His birth was dogged by the host of hell to ensure that he didn’t come to this world. The devil tried what he could to terminate and destroy the pregnancy of this great man of purpose. The devil might have seen what he would become in future and the many lives God would use him to save.

Many don’t know Pastor Joseph Adelakun has a Muslim background. He is an indigene of Saki, in the Oke Ogun area of Oyo State. He is the second child and the first and the only son of his mother, Rafatu, who changed it to Sarah Adelakun. She was the 4th of the 5 wives of his father, Alhaji Salami Adelakun.

How do we describe his pregnancy that suddenly vanished after a poison was fed on his mun in her dream? No doubt, the devil had seen the star of the unborn baby. When the pregnancy was about 4 months, the mother saw signs of miscarriage. She was immediately given some concoctions so that the premature baby would not die and action followed urgently to transfer the pregnant mother to a nearby town called Ago Are, for hiding. It was when the young Amusa became 4 years old that he was carried back to his home town. He was still being protected by drinking Islamic washed tracts on slate called “Hantu” and all manner of concoctions to prevent his death after he had already got ten back home,

Recall that Pastor Adelakun Ayewa experienced a delay before he gained admission into primary school. The school authorities insisted that his right hand must touch his left ear before he could be enrolled, despite that all his younger brothers had been given admission. They believed then that admission should not be based on age.

It was gathered that it took about 10 years before his mother could give birth to another child, who was named AwulatuAdelakun, now Rebecca Wheghenu- a pastor’s wife and was later followed by the last born of this proud mother who was named Modinatu Adelakun. Now Adepeju Adedokun.

Let us quickly remind you that, as a little boy, Pastor Adelakun had some Christian friends who always came together and used various metal objects as drums. Anytime he came back from school, he could be sick if he had not played his improvised drums. His father always called him all manner of names such as lazy boy, because of his attitude. Sometimes, he would sneak to Oke Oro Baptist Church, Saki, to play the drums with his friends without the knowledge of his father who was a Muslim.

The struggle of life started for him when Ayewa’s father died in 1965. It led to hopelessness, frustrations and dislocations. His elder brother who was working then wished to help him and the family members, but being a salary earner, he could not do more than his income. Amusa, therefore, left his home town to struggle for survival.

After his primary education, he would have loved to proceed to Olivet High School in Oyo town, Oyo State, but there was no financial power to go. He also had the opportunity to attend and train at Oyo Trade Center, now known as the Technical College, still, there was no means of attending it. He, therefore, lost all the privileges to further his education. Hence, the struggle continued.

Ayewa, as a young man, thought that he could still do something else even when it appeared that all the openings for furthering his education had been blocked. He then joined Kareem Electrical Engineering Company at Ogunpa in Ibadan between 1966 and 1968 as an apprentice through the help of his elder brother, then Magistrate Bayo Adelakun, though his mother was not happy about his learning of the trade because whenever she heard “electricity,” being mentioned  she was always afraid of the danger about it, not to talk of seeing her only son taking it up as a profession. But his older brother, Bayo Adelakun, assured Ayewa’s mother that there would not be any problem.

After the completion of his apprenticeship period, he still thought that it was not his bus-stop or the purpose of his coming to the world. He later pursued the development of his God-given talent that eventually made him who he is today.

We asked him to tell us a bit about birth and upbringing. “My father was an Alhaji, Alhaji Salami IsholaAdelakun. He was the leader of Action Group during his lifetime. My mother’s name was Rafatu Ashake Adelakun. My mother converted to Christianity before she died, she said we would serve the God who delivered me from smoking Indian hemp. She did before she died at the age of 101. My siblings and I were 16 in numbers, though some of them are late now. My father got married to 5 wives.



Pastor Adelakun grew up in Saki until he was 15 years old. At the time, he had just  finished modern school, a preparatory school to go to high school. Although, he was the only son of his mother he had 3 other female siblings, we are 4 from my mother’s side. When my mother conceived me, she said she didn’t see blood or water, but the pregnancy just vanished. In our town, there was one house in a compound they called “Ile Bada”. My parents went there to meet with powerful Muslim marabouts when people encouraged them to go for a consultation, and obviously what happened to my mum was not normal. So they went there and the marabout told my parent to come in the middle of midnight. He told them that when coming, my father should wear only his Boxers, they called it Knickers then, and my mother should tie the only wrapper. When they got there, midnight, my mum was given washed-tract from slate, they gave to her to drink, and after she drank the concoction, the pregnancy mysteriously returned. I was born 70 years ago. My mother did not tell me all these at first, it was God who revealed the secret to me when I gave my life to Christ.

God told me I should go and meet my mother, enquire from her what happened to me when I was in her womb. My mother was flabbergasted when I asked her. She said, “who told you? Even your sister wasn’t aware till date, the secret is between your father and I”. I told her God revealed it to me. God also told me that some forces didn’t want me to come to life because they had seen the glory of God in me He was the one who hid me (the pregnancy) at the back of my mother, I have never heard of such. As if that was not enough; when they wanted to give me tribals marks, I was told that I fainted 5 times. I was told that whenever a mark was incised on my face, blood would gush out as if a cow had been slaughtered. That was why they invited a veteran, called Onikola, an old man, who had even retired a long time ago.

He was the one they later summoned to help. They were told that, with the way they put the mark, if care was not taken it will become abnormal, swell up and disfigure my face for life. I was told that the man was so surprised at the way and manner they did it and yet nothing happened to me. So, enemies planned to kill me through that exercise too but God rescued me, I escaped it. I was also fed with vegetable and beans in my dream, even if I belched, the odour would come out of my mouth. It as if my intestine has decayed, but the Lord helped me and I escaped it. My father didn’t know any herbalist, he didn’t visit herbalists from the beginning. Even in our house we don’t drink common palm wine, the highest we did was probably when we wanted to sit for an exam or reciting a special prayer and they gave it to give us, and we washed tracts from slate to drink, even though I still used to vomit it away, on my clothes and they would start beating me. So I’m a miracle child. And God really helped me. I took care of my mother until she departed.







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How I Became A Prophet, Started My Ministry In The Army —Ayewa
TRIBUNE CHURCH
By Seyi Sokoya On Jun 25, 2017

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It is not every day one finds a man with 15 years’ experience in the military, dumping his career for music. Pastor Joseph Adebayo Adelakun, a.k.a. Ayewa, one of the pioneers of gospel music in Nigeria, who enlisted in the army in 1968 and left in 1983, and who recently marked 40 years of his Ayewa group, speaks with SEYI SOKOYA, on his life in the army, ministry and music. Excerpts:

 

You recently marked the 40th anniversary of Ayewa. How do you feel, especially with the calibre of people that graced the event?

Firstly, I give glory and adoration to God for the grace and golden opportunity. Why I am so particular about the grace of God is that all what I have enjoyed, as well as gained in this industry, as a music minister, is by the grace and mercy of God. The 40th anniversary of Ayewa was awesome and those who attended the event witnessed the surprise God gave us, most especially, our father, the General Overseer (Worldwide) of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, who graced the event and my mentor and dear father in the Lord, the president of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Worldwide, Pastor Abraham Akinosun. I really thank God for making the event a reality and success; my greatest joy is that God took absolute control. Though the event has come and gone, I will continue to thank God for the success it recorded in the history of my life. Another thing that made the event special to me was that it became a confirmation of the revelation I had in 1997. In the revelation, I saw myself in agbada (white regalia) sitting with Baba Adeboye and I was told he is the great man of God carrying the modern call of Prophet Babalola, but I didn’t take it serious then because I felt that it couldn’t come to a reality, especially as I was neither learned nor influential. Besides, I am a member of the CAC. But I thank God that the dream I had 20 years ago came to pass when I sat side by side with Baba Adeboye at the event. I would also like to appreciate Evangelist Ebenezer Obey and King Sunny Ade for their unrivalled support. What I am driving at is that no one knows what the future looks like, but one will reach the promise by faith.

 


How has it been these past 40 years?

It has been a journey filled with mixed experiences. It has taken the grace of God to still stand firm in the journey of 40 years.

 

How did the ministry begin?



It started when I was in the military, with the then Colonel D.O. Ajayi. I was posted to the Nigerian Army engineer in Kaduna in 1974, because my boss, the senior late Ya’radua, General Buhari, and three others went on course to the United States of America (USA). I would say the birth of my ministry was the main reason I was posted to Kaduna, because at the time, Southerners didn’t really like to be posted to the North and vice versa. I was even advised to bribe the clerk not to post me to the North, but I refused to do that. I thank God that I followed my heart by insisting on the posting. I was there from 1974 till 1976. We started singing in the church in 1975 and in the military, we didn’t constitute a choir. However, we sang a song at the CAC, Kaawo which went thus: ‘Akuku yewa oo Akuku yewa oo, baye gbogun be esu di te Jesu onigba, akuku yewa oo…’ which was widely accepted by people and became a slogan around January and February 1976. Gradually, the group took off and some elders, who loved what God was doing through us advised us to be careful to prevent sanctions. We were placed under watch and the elders eventually discovered that the ministry was real and they decided to pray for us, when five people joined me, and that was how we started the Ayewa group professionally.

Later in December 26 that same year I had a call that stated that I had been posted to Lagos. My boss requested for me when he returned from the US; I left Kaduna and I worked with him for seven of my little-over-14 years’ experience in the army. In fact, the group was blessed and approved in my absence, because I left immediately I was posted to Lagos. Afterwards, precisely in 1978, my boss’s friend, Pastor Peter, who came on visitation, fell in love with some of the songs I played. He asked whether I had heard about the Good Women Choir in Ibadan, noting that the Ayewa group was not different from what the Good Women were doing. He encouraged me to do a record and I told him that would not be possible, since I was in the military. He eventually told my boss. As God would have it, what I thought would be impossible, was made easy, as my boss gave me a four-day break to do a record with other members of the group who had come from Kaduna to Lagos for the recording.

 

You spent 15 years in the military; what was the experience like?

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Honestly, the military experience changed my entire life to the extent, such that I still see myself as very young and active, in spite of the fact that I am above 60. I still love and respect the military, because I gained a lot during my service, especially in the area of discipline. You don’t talk anyhow as a military man. We love and respect one another, as well as live in harmony. Irrespective of time and chance, the principles and responsibilities of the military will continue to stand. Though, I have left the army, I am still in the army, because I still relate with the military directly or indirectly. I can tell you authoritatively that nothing, even coup, can take place in this country except solid retired military men know about it. These are intelligent people, who would pretend as if they knew nothing about what would happen. Personally, I don’t believe in coup and I don’t pray for it. I believe the way we are moving on as a democratic country is better. I don’t see a coup succeeding in Nigeria again, because it is not the will of God. Despite the fact that I am now a prophet, I still maintain military tactics, which is one of the reasons I don’t talk anyhow.

 

As a prophet, you have a duty to share revelations. How does that align with your military stance?

You are right, but I am always diplomatic with what God reveals to me and that is why I chose that prophetic style of singing. I usually use wisdom to share revelations, because God can change His mind anytime. This is why some clerics are seen as fake pastors or prophets. I am always very careful with revelations. It is painful that some men of God can’t differentiate from the words of the Holy Spirit and God’s revelation. I prefer to pray over situations or persons God reveals to me than making it public or calling people’s attention to it, because God particularly revealed the secret to me. I would not deliver revelations for financial gain. I believe so much in my integrity and, so far, God has been rewarding me, even beyond my imagination.

 

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When did you receive the call of prophecy?

It was in the military, though I had been receiving some revelations about it for a very long time. I could remember that Baba Abiye, whom I love so much also told me one fateful day in 1978 that I could not escape doing God’s work, as he put it. I laughed and didn’t take it seriously. I never envisaged that I would finally find myself in the vineyard, because I felt that I was comfortable as a military man. However, the pressure was so much in 1982 that I had no choice but to do the will of God, even when I was considering completing my 15 years in the service. A prophet told me to fast for three days because I was afraid to tell my boss that I was leaving the army. I did accordingly and on the last day when we returned to Kuru, Yar’Adua, who was a close friend to my boss, came to visit him and later left late in the night. Afterwards, I summoned courage and went to him, knelt before him and told him that I wanted to leave the army for the work of God. To my surprise, he did not contradict my decision, but instead, encouraged and assisted me till I left the army in 1983.

 

You’re a prophet, pastor, and a musician. How do you create a balance?


 
It has been the grace of God, but I feel the military experience still helps me. I was also very determined to do the will of God. I was used to praying on the mountain, before I embraced my calling as a musician. I thank God for grace even in old age. I wake up at 3am every day to thank God, since the moment I discovered that I carry a special grace. I knew nothing about music from the onset. It would interest you to know that I didn’t go to music school. You can imagine the experience of a Muslim-turned-Christian, who knew nothing about rhythm, but whom God gave the gift of music to the extent that I teach music professionals now.

 

What is the secret of your youthful look?

I don’t have any special secret. One will age gracefully if one plans to live well. I don’t believe in ‘eye service’ and will never give room for gossip. I don’t care what people say about me, because God warned me strongly that my glory will drown if I entertain the spirit of jealousy. Also, I have made things easy for myself through division of labour and I will deal with anyone that fails to do my assignment instantly, and move on with life.

 


Was the situation of the country worse than now when you released your hit song Amona Tete Mabo?

Unknown to many, this song is in my Volume 4 and I would say that it was a prophecy. My baptismal name is Joseph, and like the biblical Joseph, the dreamer, I receive revelations through my dreams; even when I was in the army. One day, God told me to rework the song, which I informed the members of the group, but they frowned at it because they felt people would think we were running out of songs. We argued till we got to the studio and recorded the song in that state of mind. The drama that happened in the studio the day we recorded that song would have made the song a failure, but God made it interesting when it came out. The argument that ensued in the studio also led to the composition of other two songs entitled: Waba Mi Gbe Rumi and Satani Oluwa Bao Wi.  I would say that Amona was our worst recorded album, but it became the watchword for many people and a covenant with God. This is why God used it as our breakthrough.  The revelation was timely, because dollar was 4 to 1 back then. This was one of the things that informed the song then. You will also agree with me that the song is still relevant even today, especially with the present state of the country.

 

How do you think the country can overcome its many challenges?


Nigeria is the Israel of Africa and God really loves us as country. Our major problem is that there is no unity and, without unity, we cannot grow. We no longer need payers in the country; what we need is deliverance.

 

As a pastor under the leadership of the CAC, what is your advice on restoring unity to the church?

The main reason that has kept CAC from collapsing is the covenant of its founding fathers. That is why I feel sorry for those that constitute problems for the church and are leaving the fold, without proper restitution. If we go by the Bible, many people may not make heaven, except only through God’s mercy. The problems facing CAC is similar to that of Nigeria. We need God’s intervention to solve all these problems and I want to urge Nigerians to start praying for the will of God to restore the church and the nation.








I met Christ where I went to buy Indian hemp – Ayewa


Joseph Adelakun fondly called Ayewa is a gospel singer, songwriter and televangelist. 

You have been a musician for over forty years. When you started out, did you ever imagine your brand would be this big?

I thank God for everything but if I say that I ever envisaged that I would be this great in life, I would be telling a lie. I was just like the biblical Joseph who did not know how great he would be in life even though he had visions and dreams. I was from a Muslim background. My father was an Alhaji and he built a mosque for the community. I had in a staunch Islamic background where we never drank alcohol not to talk of smoking.

In our house, once we woke up, the next point of call was the mosque and I loved God. I had dreams that I would be great like Joseph in the bible. Like they say, no pain, no gain; no cross, no crown. There is no one that has attained success in life that does not have a story. There are some dignitaries in our society that hawked several food items as kids just to survive but when it was the appointed time of God, their star came out. One has to go through some suffering in life before attaining success. I hawked food stuff as a child. After school, I would take the foodstuff and hawk; in fact I did this with my school uniform. My father was not a poor man but our mothers made us do it as a form of training. I was raised in a highly disciplined family, the kind of family where you dare not eat your meat till you had finished your meal. I am saying all this because if there is no glory, there would be no story until your life changes before you can tell your story.

How did someone with such a strong Islamic background become a pastor?

It happened miraculously through the will of God. Many people do not know that I did not go to secondary school and the reason is that the year I proposed to go to Olivet High School was the same year my father died. That was in August 1964. My father had five wives and 16 children and after his death, we were like a herd of sheep without a shepherd. The first son who had just left a school of agriculture could not fend for us because his salary was just a stipend. We all had to find our way. I did an exam to go to Olivet High School and I was accepted but I had no money. I passed exams to study at trade centres in Oyo and Osogbo but lack of funds hampered my admission. So when one of my elder brothers approached me asking what I wanted to do with my life, I told him I wanted to become an electrical engineer. My mother was devastated. She said it was the same job one of her friend’s children did before he was electrocuted, she began to cry but I maintained my stand. Luckily, someone came along and told her to let me do what I wanted so as not to regret it later in life. Then I was taken to Kareem Electrical Engineering Service in Ogunpa, Oyo State to become an apprentice.

Back then, Ogunpa could be likened to the rough parts of Ajegunle and Mushin in Lagos. There were a lot of urchins there. It was a very rough area. The gutter where we urinated was the same place we ate and our constant food was gari and groundnut. Most times, we had to help people sweep or do other menial jobs before we could get some food to eat.


My elder brother paid for my apprenticeship and I spent about two years there from 1966 till 1968 and when I left Kareem Electrical Engineering Service, I immediately joined the Nigerian army through one of my friends. He first enlisted into the army and when he came home to visit, he was spending money and we believed he was a rich man. We began to follow him everywhere but as of the time, I was only smoking cigarette till I went to visit him and I met him with some soldier friends of his smoking Indian hemp.

They offered me Indian hemp, initially I declined but shortly after, I joined them and that was the first time I took the substance. Till date, I do not know how I left that place. The next day I woke up with gari and milk all over my body. I was scared because my boss must not know what I was up to the previous day but I really thank God for the life of one of my boss’s wives who covered up for me on that fateful day.

Normally, whenever I woke up, I was charged with boiling water for my boss to have his bath but on that day because I was so messed up, I could not perform my normal duty. When my boss asked after me, his wife told him that I had fever and I was sleeping, so my boss permitted me to take the day off. I vowed never to smoke Indian hemp but shortly after, I broke the promise. Few days later, I accompanied my soldier friend to the cinema and when we were returning home, we stopped to buy Indian hemp again. That was how I started smoking marijuana in 1968. After moving around with my soldier friends, they advised me to join the army because they were recruiting in Agodi Ibadan. Even though I did not meet the required age qualification, my friend urged me to enlist with the promise that he would ask someone to influence it. That is how I joined the army without the knowledge or permission of any of my family members even though I am the only son of my mother. I was about 20 years at the time I joined the Nigerian army in 1969.

I went to Abeokuta depot and after I completed my training, I was posted to Nigerian Army Engineers due to my skills as an electrical engineer. In 1972, I met Christ when I was posted to the Nigerian army engineering regiment in Ede, Osun State. That year, we went to a compound in Ede to buy Indian hemp and as I was going back to the base, they were having a revival, so my friends and I decided to attend and look at what they were doing. We heard that a blind man was leading the ministration but he was very powerful. When I got home that night, I went to pray as a Muslim and in the middle of the night when I was sleeping, I heard someone speak to me in a loud voice saying, ‘I am the person you came to meet and if you allow me I would make you great. I am taking you to great places. I am Jesus whom you know as the Prophet Isah.’ Immediately I woke up, I rebuked the dream. Later that day, while I was sitting among my friends, I heard someone say, ‘I want to use you for my glory.’ I told my friends what I was hearing and I began to make jokes out of the message but they asked me to stop. I did not know that God had chosen and prepared me since I was in my mother’s womb. When I started going to church, my friends said it was because I was trying to get women. They believed I would get fed up but I went because of my conviction as a Christian. Gradually I began to attend church programmes and the Lord began to show me some revelations.

If your father did not die, do you think you would have become the man you are today?

What has been written has been written. Anything that pertains to covenant must come to pass. Even if my father were to be alive, I don’t think anybody could disturb the work of God. I don’t think my father would have disturbed me because he was not an irrational person. He was a staunch Muslim though. When I became a Christian, some of my uncles were unhappy. There was a particular one, although he is dead now, who said that if they had known I would convert to Christianity, they would have given out the ram for my naming ceremony to beggars and God would have been happy. They overreacted but the Lord told me to keep quiet.

What was your mother’s reaction?

Mothers would always be mothers. She was quite happy but she did not let the family members notice her excitement. The main reason she was happy was because I quit smoking Indian hemp after my conversion. She was very bothered about my smoking habit. She felt that as a soldier, no one could talk to me but after accepting Christ and I quit smoking Indian hemp, she was elated. I am glad that my mother later became a Christian before she died. She lived as a Christian for about 29 years before she died.

Before you ventured into music, was there any singer in your family?

There was no single singer.

How did you discover your talent?

I would say it was God. The spirit of music had been impacted in me right from my mother’s womb. The Yoruba have an adage, ‘it is from a black pot that a white pap is produced.’ We did not have any singer in my family but God had impacted that spirit in me because He knew He wanted to use me. Even before I became a Christian, I had always dreamt and anything I saw in my dreams always came to pass.

As a child, I could be going to the market with my mother and I would see some people walking with their head. Out of fear, I would hold my mother and yell that a certain person was walking with his head but my mother would shut me up because she knew the meaning. I saw a lot of strange things as a child, so my mother decided to take me to an Islamic cleric who did some things to me so that I would stop seeing those strange things. Despite that, could not hinder God’s plans in my life. In retrospect, I could have been a very powerful prophet if I was not taken to the Islamic cleric.

As someone without any musical background, how have you been able to produce some evergreen hits?

Sometimes when I listen to my music, I am always surprised. Someone asked me one day about the secret of my success and I told the person that if I knew the answer, it meant that God is no more God. You cannot know the secret of your success because the foundation of any success is God. I am a good composer but it is a God-given talent. I was never a composer till I met God.  One of my hit songs, ‘Amona,’ I was just sitting down one day when I began to scribble down the chorus for my other band mate and the other lyrics of the song came to me effortlessly as we were recording the song. That is why I tell people that I was not the one that made the album, it was an angel. It was a covenant album. All my albums have solid messages but they cannot be compared to the album, Amona, because it was a covenant album after I accepted God’s call. God had been  calling me since 1978 but I did not want to listen to his call because I was enjoying being a soldier.

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It means that initially you were reluctant to heed to God’s call?

I did not want to listen to God’s call because I was doing well in the army. I was the orderly to a senior army officer, Gen. D.O Ajayi. I was in charge of everything; be it money, food, drinks, etc. but I never took what was not mine. I was comfortable in the army but when God’s call came, I was at the Command Staff College at Jaji with my boss. A prophet came to meet me and told me that I should either work in the military and wait for my pension after service or quit the military and receive what God had in store for me.

Do you regret or feel bad about the fact that you did not complete your education?

At times I feel bad but the main reason I don’t blame God is because he knows better than any man. Who knows, if I completed my education I could have been a ‘Mr. Know it all’ or I would not humble myself. There was a day I was thinking about it and God told me that he is the one that created man and he knows our capabilities. Since I heard that voice, I have stopped thinking about that.

Also, I would never forget Pastor Ashimolowo.  I still have the letter of the first appointment he gave me in London. When I got to his office, he told me that he realised that I had potential but I should not be shy about speaking because I did not complete my education. He said that I should call some of my members and speak with them even if my English was not correct. Ashimolowo further told me that I should speak bravely and with time, I would improve. He advised that I invest in buying books. I went to a bookshop and spent over £200, that was in 1996. When I got back to Nigeria, I bought an English bible and also a Yoruba Bible. I would study the English Bible and if I came across a word I did not understand, I would check the Yoruba Bible for its meaning. That was how I trained myself gradually. I tried to employ a teacher at a time.

What were some of the challenges you faced when you founded your Ayewa group?

I faced a lot of challenges but our forefathers had witnessed worse. I was just able to overcome due to the discipline I learnt in the military. If it is possible for me to enlist in the military again, I would because I still like that job. I love the job so much because of its discipline. I don’t like lies, so I do not indulge in such. I faced a lot of challenges but I don’t dwell on them because I know that God is in control. I know that if I put those challenges at heart, that would be a burden to me and I would not be able to face what God wants me to do. I am just glad that there has been no history of conflict in the group and if any member wants to leave, I pray for them and we depart amicably. I am also thankful to God that I have never buried any of my band members. This time last year, we had an accident and even though some of my band members were hurt, I thank God that none of them lost their lives. Two of my sons were in the vehicle with my band members but I thank God there was no casuality.

How many albums have you released in your career and which would you say is your favourite?

I don’t normally pick a favourite album out of all my works. The Bible says all what God created are beautiful and fine. All the messages God gave to me are beautiful and fine. The grace in each record may differ from each other but they are all impactful. I don’t think I have any favourite album and I love them all.

At 67, do you have any plans of retiring from music?

Do people retire salt from soup? Until I die and God says it is time for me to come home, I would continue to sing. I love music a lot. Although I am a minister in CAC, the retirement age in the church is 75, I am praying to clock 75 years on time so that I can face my music squarely.  I don’t think I can retire from music.

Why did you choose the name Joseph after you converted to Christianity?

When about nine of us from the military converted to Christianity, they asked us to line up and choose Christian names, I picked Joseph. Later, Pastor Akande told me that I would face what Joseph in the Bible faced. He said that it was an angel of God that opened my mouth and gave me that name. He said that I would face envy and jealousy but I would also emerge victorious in life. I thought it was a joke because I did not have anything worth being envious or jealous about. I did not know he was talking about the future. Till date, if I know that you don’t like my ministry, it does not move me. Everybody is my friend but I know where I am heading.

I don’t talk anyhow and my family members know that about me. That is why I said that being a military man has helped me a lot. Even when someone comes to backbite with me, all I do is watch and when it becomes too frequent, I tell the person that I do not like such an attitude. At first, people began to avoid me especially my family members but I pleaded with them not to do so because I need information but the correct one. Not information that would pollute my mind.

Does it mean that if you come back to this world, you would still want to be a military man?

Yes, I would want to be a military man because of the discipline in the army. If I had an opportunity to join the army again, I would do so.

How did you meet your wife?

I met her in a miraculous way and I know that God chose her for me. I went to Ile Ife to visit a pastor who is now late, Pastor Josiah. My wife also went there to see one of her students who was a prophet and her mother’s pastor. She was teaching in Gbogan, Osun State, at the time. When we met, another pastor was around and he said aloud that she was my wife. On the spot, I told him not to say such because we were about to embark on a spiritual journey to the mountain. Ironically, we left that location to another place and we met my wife there again to our surprise. Then another prophet saw us and called me aside to tell me that she was my wife. I went to pray about it because I am a very prayerful person and God told me she was my wife. He further told me the kind of woman she was and my visions about her turned out to be true.


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