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My religious beliefs rarely clash with my royal duties 'Ologoara

Published by Tribune on Mon, 05 Jan 2015

Princess Kehinde Adebola, popularly known as Evangelist Dr Kenny Ologoara, is a gospel saxophonist with a difference. In this interview with Rita Okonoboh, she speaks on her 10 years in gospel ministry, the downsides of the industry, her signature scarf, among other issues. Excerpts:About your background'I was born in Kainji, New Bussa, Niger State. I had my primary education at NEPA Primary School and secondary education at Government Day Secondary School, Niger State. I have an ND in Music from The Polytechnic, Ibadan and a B.A. in Music from Obafemi Awolowo University.Why music'My parents wanted me to be a lawyer but due to the situation in Nigeria regarding JAMB, I gained admission to The Polytechnic Ibadan where I was studying Business Administration. Interestingly, the Music department is not very far from my department and it was such a pleasure to listen to them whenever they played musical instruments. So, I later changed to music.When exactly did you discover your passion for music'Music has always been a part of me. I started my music career as a chorister in church. It became a profession for me in 2002.Why gospel'My interest in music developed from the church and it is what I've been used to. I don't know much about other forms of music, apart from gospel.How did you come by the name 'Ologoara''I initially started with other names but later, God revealed the name, 'Ologoara' to me.How did you develop interest in the saxophone'I started playing the sax at The Polytechnic, Ibadan, in 2002. I see most gospel female artistes sticking strictly to microphones. I love challenges and I also wanted something that would make me unique. I sing very well but I wasn't something that would be distinct.How easy has it been playing such an instrument'It's God. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. With a lot of rehearsals and with God, I have been able to master the art.What is your favourite of all your songs'For the sax, it is Alapanla Aladewura, while for my voice, it is Oluwa Semilore, Emi ko ni gbagbe.10 years in the industry, how has it been so far'It takes the grace of God because ten years in the industry is not an easy task. There have been a lot of challenges such as keeping up with people's taste in music and marketers who don't believe in young and upcoming artistes. I just thank God for his grace and for the unflinching support of my husband, Prince Adebola Samuel Olaiya, who has made it easier for me. I also had the support of Her Excellency, Chief Mrs Oluwakemi Alao Akala (Mummy Ologo); Senator Aresogo Agboola, MON; Evangelist (Dr) Yinka Ayefele, Chief Engr. Lekan Omojowo; Evang. Remi Aderoju; Bukola Akinade (Sewele Jesu); Pastor Kehinde Abewagba; Oba Adeyemi Adediran, Owamiran of Esa-Oke land; Olori Prophetess Caroline Awobajo (Awaland); Most Senior Apostle Majiyagbe, Bisi Alawiye; the Praise Vessels crew, the Adedirans, the Olaiyas and all that attended and supported the great occasion.What has been your greatest challenge'Without challenges, there is no glory. I faced a lot of challenges during when we were looking for marketers and there was nobody interested in supporting the dream. One time, we trekked all the way from Idumota to Berger because we wanted to save money to come back to Ibadan. We couldn't even buy water to drink. One time, after performing at an event, someone dropped a cheque, leaving the name blank, for me to show appreciation. You won't believe that someone blatantly stole that cheque before the event was over. There have been a lot of challenges. My husband was really supportive through those hard times. However, I thank God for everything.Comparing secular to gospel music, what is your assessment of the Nigerian gospel music industry'People should understand that music is a profession that all should embrace. However, there is the tendency now for people to accept secular music more, even if the lyrics make absolutely no meaning unlike what it is with gospel music. However, because of the message that the end time is near, people now listen to gospel music and even enjoy it. I think the necessary authorities should sincerely screen and even ban some of these songs. It really depends on acceptance. It is my prayer that people listen to the word and be willing to honestly distinguish between what is good and that which is evil.Your signature scarf, what's the secret'When I was still a child, my mother used to tie the style for me which she referred to as Shagari style. With time, as I became older, I decided to make it Ologoara style. If you see other similar styles, you'll notice that mine is unique.Isn't there a kind of clash between your traditional role as a princess and your being a gospel artist'I'm from the royal family of the Alaba Okere of Ijeshaland, Osun State. Apart from being royalty, I'm from a Christian background. So, my religious beliefs hardly clash with my duties as a princess. In fact, I perform at the palace too whenever I'm asked.Your family and career, how do you create a balance'It is not easy but with the grace of God and my husband's support. We go out together and he supports my dreams.You grew up in Niger State. Considering your background, what is your assessment of the current security situation in the north'From my experience, the northerners are very good people. Then, when we were growing up, we encountered a lot of support from them. They were usually very impressed that we could speak the language even if we were not from there. However, for the current state of insurgency, only God knows what led to this and God will solve it.What is your advice for upcoming artistes'My advice is that upcoming artistes put all their hopes in God. People promise and fail but with God, the sky is their stepping stone.Where do you see yourself in five years'I want see myself as an international gospel saxophonist, known all over the world. I promise not to fail God and not disappoint my fans.If you were not a gospel artiste'Music is what I love most. I believe I would still be a gospel artiste.
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