I just thought to do a series on the Gospotainment story and share how we started and how far we have fared. The purpose of sharing this story is to connect with you and to testify of what God has done, inspire others and also see how we can work together to help other persons come out of poverty and fulfil their dreams.
The Genesis – In the beginning.
Around July/August 2009 (I am not exactly sure of the day, but I know it was at the end of my last semester in school) I was in my corner, in our room in the Jumbo hostel at Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri, beseeching the Lord for my life and future (If you are familiar with Federal Schools in Nigeria, you will understand what I mean by “Corner” in a hostel, each room is divided into three corners).
My Future looked so bleak then because I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do with my life when I graduate. This is because I had so much trouble and pain going through school that I was sure my results won’t be great. That would be a story for another day.
This was final year, we had finished writing exams and we were working on our project. That faithful morning, during my devotion, the name Gospotainment; a fusion of the words “Gospel” and “Entertainment” dropped in my heart. I was a pianist, so I had a fair knowledge of music. I loved Broadcasting and Journalism, even though I read Physics and Electronics, but I had no idea about how to run an entertainment media platform or firm.
When that word dropped in my heart, I knew it was a vision, so I picked up my pen and wrote down the name and the purpose – A platform to promote gospel music and Christian entertainment.
I moved to Lagos same 2009 around September and God ordered my steps to meet Mr. Michael Chima. He showed me what blogging was and I learnt how to blog. By April 6th 2010, I announced Gospotainment.blogspot.com for the first time on social media and on December 7th 2010, I shared Gospotainment.com on Facebook for the first time.
Gospotainment is officially the premiere gospel music and Christian entertainment blog in Nigeria and probably in Africa by extension.
Since then it’s been an interesting journey. Bittersweet I dare say. A mix of failures and successes, in fact, more failures than I could say success. The cybersphere and the blogging world was new to Nigeria then. There were just a few players then. Bellanaija LindaIkeji, Notjustok were the major players then, so no one really had all the knowledge.
I had to wobble and stumble through it with no capital, little knowledge and no support. I remember writing to about 10 churches and hand-delivered each letter, soliciting for their support for my budding platform, none of them responded. In fact from the beginning it was never a business venture, it’s just vision and passion for me, a ‘calling’ to put it succinctly. The journey was a very difficult one, but God kept sending me people. People like you who have stuck with us all these years.
My first set of contacts in the gospel music circle was majorly influenced by a music producer known as Dr. Sankty. He literarily referred and recommended me to all his Facebook contacts.
Then I was homeless…..
I squatted with a few family friends in Lagos, for about 1 year and 8 months while rewrote some courses I had carry over in. By the time I went for youth service and came back, they wouldn’t let me stay with them again, so I was homeless in Lagos for about 8 months.
I remember that afternoon clearly. My distant uncle told me they had no place for me in their house, so I went to squat with a friend on Falolu Street, Surulere. At about 4 pm I was in a cyber café working on a story for Gospotainment when my friend who I was squatting with called me. He said “Martins, come house now now” I asked “Wetin Happen, hope all is well”, He answered, O Boy come house first. So I logged out of the computer and crossed the road into the street and got to the house. Standing outside was my friend’s uncle who is the caretaker of the building and their aunty who just came from the village the day before.
The uncle looked at me and said, who took the 20,000 Naira that aunty kept in her bag? I was shocked and stunned at same time. I had just been living there for less than a week, the room is a quarter of a room, two people had to literarily squeeze to lie down at same time and we are three boys who sleep there, but because of the aunty that came, we all had to sleep outside for her to have the room. So I had no slightest idea about what he was talking about.
I answered him, “I don’t know and it’s not me”. He ordered me to pack my load and get out. That was how I became homeless.
Stay tuned. There is more.