Born over 60years ago in Saki. a popular town in Oke Ogun axis of Oyo State into a family of farmers, he had the intention becoming an electrical engineer; but his parents could not afford the fund to raise him to the desired standard. thus he enrolled at a training centre in Ogunpa. Ibadan, Oyo State, where his came to reality though not through western education, He once got admitted to Olivet Baptist College, Oyo but he could not go due to the financial incapability of his parents. bur today renowned man of the pulpits, who became famous through music, Evangelist Joseph Adebayo Adelakun wines and dines with the most powerful people in the society as a result of his total submission and obedient to the call of God.
In this interview with Kunle Bakare, he disclosed how he began his career as a military man and how he became a vessel of God.
How did you spend your childhood days?
I was born into a Muslim family in Saki over 60 years ago, it was painful that I lost my father when I was just 16 years old, but when he was alive, he took good care of u. Though he did not believe in beating us, my mother was the opposite of my father, after my elementary school, I got admitted to my dream school, Olivet Baptist College, but I could not go because of lack of fund, so I went to Ibadan to learn electrical engineering at Labaowo in Ogunjpa area at one Kareem Electrical Engineering Services for two years and when I completed the training, I joined the Nigerian Army and I was posted to the Engineering Department in Lagos.
At that time, I was a heavy smoker of cigarette and hemp because we never saw it as something that was not good as an army officer. I worked under many prominent generals including former president Olusegun Obasanjo. I am a straight-forward person and I hate stealing, when I was in charge of the store, I was not carried away by worldly things because the trend then was that many of my colleagues were actually owners of many taxi cabs in the town.
How did you meet with the Holy Spirit?
There was a time I was posted to Ede in Osun State, it was there that I met Christ on the way from, where we went to smoke hemp and that was the beginning of my Christian life, it was at a crusade organized by a church, so whenever I want to worship, I would take permission from my boss to attend Baba Abiye Prayer Mountain in Ede and since then I have not looked back and I thank God for that.
How did you form Ayewa Group?
The formation was a divine intervention because it was beyond what I can explain, but to give a brief history or how we started, I would say the band was started in Kaduna, then I was looking for a Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) where I could worship and somebody directed me to Kawo area of the city, where one is located and I joined the church and I joined the choir. Though I love music from my childhood days, there is no trace of music in my family at all so it is the favour of God upon my life that made it happen. One Sunday after the choir presentation, I rendered a special number titled; ‘A Kuku Yewa,’ and the congregation were fascinated by the song and they encouraged us to form another group within the choir to present special numbers on Sundays. At that time, I was afraid of job duplication because I was still in the military. Later, Pastor Ore from Kaba in Kogi State anointed the band, when It was obvious that we could not rebel against the church.
In 1977, I invited my colleagues in the band to Lagos after I was posted to Lagos and then we solidified the band and then I had been pressing for my disengagement from the service because God had actually told me to serve Him fully but my boss did not want to release me because of my humility and faithfulness to him and the work. But I finally pulled out of the service in 1983 finally and God inspired me to release an album titled; ‘Iyin’ to thank God for His grace upon me throughout my years in the military.
What prompted the release of ‘Amona Tete Mabo’?
We first released that album in 1972 and God redirected me to do it again so I called the owner of Ogo Oluwa Records, Chief Afolabi and I told him about it and he said ‘you this man will not listen to anyone except that soldier blood in you.’ So he said we should enter the studio to do it as God directed. Also, I was very close to Evangelist Ebenezer Obey at that time, he called me and commended that I have almost the same calling with him and that I can always improve on my composition, so he gave us his guitarist, Paul Tao now a pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God to assist us and that was all. On completion, the album was all over the place that was in 1984.
What is your source of inspirations?
If you listen to all my songs, you would find out that I derive my inspiration from the Bible and that is why I don’t sing to praise anyone it is purely the word of God. Although so many people had invited me for social engagements, I politely told them that God has not called me to sing about people, but to sing to draw people to the vineyard of God.
Do you think there is a difference between your brand and those of other gospel musician in town now?
It is only God that can judge that. Initially, I didn’t criticize others, but later Gold told me that if I didn’t do that it mean I wanted so many people to derail from the vineyard and I called those who were with me that God had called me to correct others and that’s why you see me constructively criticizing those, who take me as their spiritual father because He warned me not to condemn Gen: I vs 31. Nowadays, gospel musicians do not have time to pray for God’s direction, they are always in haste and they depend on the knowledge they got from the college and that is why they are lazy and real gospel music is beyond that, which is why they lack identity. They always have temporary identity, what they need is the Holy Spirit and the wisdom to excel.
If you are truly called, the grace will be sufficient, when I left smoking and alcohol drinking, I commune with the Holy Spirit, but nowadays, alcohol and smoking are the major sources of inspiration of some singers.
What’s your source of joy?
I thank God for his sustenance, I have been known worldwide and my children and the home fronts also contribute to my joy, while I have trained many popular gospel musicians like Esther Igbekele and Omo Olope. The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye has also given me a permanent slot to perform at Holy Ghost night for the past six years.
However, the landed property where I built my church and studio was bought for me by my boss in the army because of my obedience.
How do you cope with your family despite your tight schedule?
God has been given me the grace to cope despite my tight schedule. I have an apartment in Evangelist Obey’s house to rest if I want to do so, and we use the same doctor. There was a time he noticed stress on my face and he tricked me to see the doctor and when I got there, the doctor took all my phones and gave me sleeping pills, which made me slept for five days and after I was discharged from the hospital, my children bought ticket for me to go and rest in the United States of America, when the stress was clearly written on my face and the doctor over there exclaimed that I wanted to kill myself as they said that if the mark should burst, that means the end had come.
What are your most challenging moments?
I have lots of challenging moments, but I see them as if they never exist at all because the Holy Spirit has told me that He would be revealing things to me. In fact, one of my songs; ‘Satani Deyin’ (Satan Desist) was released after I passed through a turbulent time. Some people ganged up against me, but God told me he has a covenant with me and not a promise. I do have challenges, but I overlook them.
Do you have any message for upcoming artistes?
They should allow the Holy Spirit to control them and all other things will be easier for them and they will get the master key of humility, which will make them to be much more useful for God.
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