One of Nigeria veteran gospel artists Samuel Oforishe Oghenetejiri on the 1st of July dropped his 4th studio Album ‘Yeshua’. We had a sit down with Samuel and it was quite interesting….
Samuel Oforishe Oghenetejiri Interview
- Tell us about you, your music foundation and ministry,
I am Samuel Oforishe Oghenetejiri fondly called, Sammy; was born on the 3rd of August in the year 1985 by Sunday Oforishe and Regina Oforishe(indigene of Delta State) in the city of Epe, Lagos State, South-West Nigeria. I started singing at age six, when my parents saw my passion for music, they instructed me to serve as a member of my church children’s choir, (Assemblies of God Church, Ughelli, Delta State, and South- South Nigeria).
I and my younger sister, Deborah Oforishe released an album into the market in the year 1997 while I was 12years old. The album was entitled “Let The Flame Burn” Two years later, while I was 14years old, I and my younger sister released another album entitled, “Glorious Manifestation” in the year 1999. It was this year I started attending different Private Music Coaching programs in order to consolidate on my music skill to combine with my inherent musical gift. During this period, we traveled the length and breadth of Nigeria performing in churches, crusades, and in various musical concerts. In one of these events, I and my younger sister ministered a song alongside Bishop David Oyedepo in 1998 in a city wide crusade organized by the International Headquarters of the Church of God Mission in Benin City, South-South of Nigeria.
Due to the great passion I have which is to impact the world beyond my local environment; I decided to travel out of the shores of Nigeria in the year 2008 to Israel where i was ordained a Deacon by Pastor Enoch Adeboye in the year 2009. I also had the opportunity to minister with Ron Kenoly in a live concert in Tel Aviv 2010. I became an International Corps member of the Chaplain Corps of America in the year 2009. I majored as Music Chaplain. I hosted a tour in east Africa three years ago and just celebrated my 21st year as a music evangelist two years ago; I am currently serving as the National Musical Director of Redeem Christian Church Of God, Israel.
- How many Albums do you have?
By God’s grace I have 3 albums to my name, two in Nigeria and one in Kenya. God has given me the permission for the Next album that will be out in October titled “Glory to God” the first single of this Album was released on the 1st of July 2017 “Yeshua”
- Why gospel?
Well it has to be gospel no other kind of music will go with my passion, I am called to affect my generation as a minister of gospel through music and as a result it must be gospel songs, therefore I must be focus and follow my calling to the end. For me Music is like this “are people going to get blessed? I am in, are people going to be saved? I am in, Is it gospel? I am definitely in, anything that is not in this line; I am not interested.
- The world and the place of gospel and Christianity in today’s world
The World is a definite factor here, because my belief is that without the world there will be no gospel. The gospel exists because of the world which needs the light of God. In the book of Mathew chapter 5 vs 16 “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your works and glorify our father in heaven. Now this light God is talking about here are the Christians of the world. The gospel that we are preaching has light, the gospel is the power of God for salvation, and nothing has changed this facts and truths. Notwithstanding the fact that the world may find it difficult to accept the truth of the gospel of Christ, the gospel has not changed because it is meant to change the world and make it a better place.
- Gospel music in Africa as against the globe, if you would collaborate with an artist now both foreign and local who would it be?
Gospel music in Africa has improved compared to before when we just sat back and admired the big ministers from other continents and wondered when we were going to have all these big equipment, instruments and gadgets to enhance our sound but glory to God we are living in that dream now. And come to think of it, most of these big ministers abroad want to collaborate with ministers here, big example is Frank Edwards did something great with Don Moen, Nathaniel Bassey more and more names, because they have discovered the new light shining in Africa. I feel it’s a big one and that we can do better, now most ministers in Africa are beginning to do Live recording, before you dare not go there, you dare not even talk about it. But thank God we are better and I believe we can do much ore better, I believe there is room for growth remains.
- Marketing and business of gospel music how hard/easy has it been for you?
Marketing and business of gospel in Africa is not easy when it comes to funding, because very few people are willing to invest in gospel music. You cannot just release an album or a single and just your family members and a few people will hear it, it is for the world to hear and identify with it and your ministry and for that to happen, you must fund it. Well for me God has been so faithful and I have a great desire to do more because I know he is faithful and he will keep providing.
- Church reaction to gospel song ministers
I would say averagely well, its rating would only improve when it concerns the big names, I mean those who have made it through. Permit me to say this, if you don’t celebrate what you have, people will not celebrate it. Imagine when a church is having a big program, very big crusade and all they do it invite the big gospel ministers and ignore the upcoming ones in our local parishes, you hear things like “son don’t worry one day your star will shine, one day your will become a name, one day God will bless you” NO the church should start from our local parishes and ministers that are there. More so it should be the responsibility of a man of God to introduce his ministers to other churches thereby promoting their brand, because if we look at some of the big names that have made it was the platform of the church. The church should react better than what we have now.
- The way forward for gospel music ministry in Nigeria
Way forward is one; there is need for investors to invest because there is lots of gain in investing in gospel music in Nigeria. Secondly we need the big name gospel music ministers to create more platforms, organize more personal events just like what Nathaniel Bassey did last month the Hallelujah Challenge, we need more outreaches like that, because it can serve not just for the fellowship but as an encouragement for young music ministers grow. Invite them to your concerts to minister and give them the opportunity to see things from a higher dimension. Finally I believe the young ministers that are coming up really need to work on their writings, should work more on themselves and sound better, I am not saying they should abandon their vision but to fine-tune their sound to sound the best they can.
- Final Words
Thank you for granting me this interview, a big appreciation to the management and staff of gospotainment media; to Perry martins I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity. I hope to meet you again. God bless you.