Minister Ken is a gospel artiste worth his salt. The father of two who is an embodiment of music is a producer, recording artiste, music director, performer and songwriter wowed the audience a fortnight ago with a five-hour live concert on DVD. In this chat with SAMUEL ABULUDE, MK whose real name is Kennedy Ogeleka and hails from Delta State speaks on his essence and the journey
How was your Awesome God live concert DVD?
It was fantastic. I give glory to God. It was a sold out concert. There was also a time out during the live concert to give way for me to change costumes and all that. A drama performance by Baba K titled ‘Short Family’ was showcased. The live concert on DVD was for five hours and it was mentally sapping. I had guest artistes like Chika 100%, Brenda Joseph, Nosa and Efe Nathan and it was a wonderful time in God’s presence. We had to use Terra Kulture and not a church setting to give us the effect we wanted.
What inspired the live concert?
I was in America last year and was jogging one day in the city of Maryland when the dream was laid in my heart. My son was born with complications. He could have lost his life but God saved him. He was my first son and second child and God saved a five-day old baby who had to be operated upon.
What happened to your baby?
After he was born, he couldn’t receive food or breast milk as he always passed out what he ate. It was difficult for me and the mum. They ran tests on him and didn’t see anything. They tried again but didn’t see. Finally, they decided to use a fluorescent-like light machine to pass through his body and discovered his intestines were not in good shape. So the doctors said they had to open it up and see if they can undo what was causing the non-digestion of breast milk. So they told me that if his intestine were black (pointing to a picture on his phone), then there was nothing they could do and my five-day old boy would not survive but if it was pink related , it could be redeemed. So my wife was outside the theatre room praying for God’s intervention. I was kitted to the teeth as there mustn’t be a trace of dirt or moisture. So I was with the doctors praying under my breath that my son would live. They did open my son up and found out it was black. God did two miracles: the doctor was confused not knowing what next to do. He now looked at the intestine and untangled a section of it and suddenly it brightened. That was the glimmer of hope and life for my son. The colour brightened again and changed to pink- the original colour of a healthy intestine. That was the miracle of life God did to my family as it wouldn’t have been possible in Nigeria. So we came back to Nigeria after six months. God instructed me to go back to Nigeria and do a live concert on DVD and showcase the testimony of my five-day old named King Aku (Aku means Wealth). So the concert was a five-hour live concert at Terra Kulture titled Awesome God. One of the songs, “God of Miracle” chronicled the testimony of my son, King as told by my wife.
How Challenging was it to produce a live concert?
It was really challenging as we had rehearsal for six months. I had to involve other back-up singers to add to my band, ‘Fine Wine’. We were 18 singers that rehearsed for the live concert. The live concert was to show that God still Restores, He still Saves, He gives Hope and Faith to all those who want it. God is still in the business of doing miracles.
So after the live concert what next?
God promised that He would do some things and I am looking forward to see them manifest. We plan to make an album and audio from the concert and release it to the public later this year. The album, “Awesome God” has 12tracks.
How did music begin for you?
Music began for me when I was 11 years old. I grew up at the Alaba area of Lagos and we attended Four Square Gospel Church. I was fascinated with being a drummer in the church, so I used to sneak into the choir stand and play the drums during non- service hours. I was in the children’s choir then and they knew I could drum. So it happened that the drummer boy left with his family on account of a misdeed which made his mum to leave with her family. It was now for someone who could drum to replace him for the mean time. Thus, my friends and peers pushed me to go and assume the drummer’s seat and I drummed on that Sunday service for the Adult church. Remember that I was in the Children’s Church before now. Thus, I became the youngest in the choir and the drummer. I didn’t know God was actually training me in the desert. The family later came back and the drummer also but the pastor announced that there was no vacancy for the drummer and that I was the drummer and it was only when I permitted the former drummer to drum would he be allowed to. That was how I became a celebrated drummer at a young age. I now progressed to the bass guitar and became self-taught on it. The Holy Spirit taught me how to play the instrument; I can categorically tell you that. I just became proficient on it. The only thing I can say is that I became passionate where music is concerned. So I became part of the 4Square National Youth Camp. This was in 1995. In 1999 I had already finished my secondary school and gained admission to the Delta State University, (DELSU) Abraka. But I lost my dad and couldn’t continue my education. I was devastated but the Holy Spirit redirected my life and told me, ‘Leave school and face your music’. I have not regretted taking the decision.
How did you start your ministry in music?
I came back to Lagos and continued with my church. Along the line, someone told me a notable artiste needed a tenor singer, so I started working with Hope Davies as a back-up tenor singer and it was a great time and a learning curve.
After working with Hope Davies, a friend told me, Sammy Okposo who was the toast of the moment needed a tenor singer and asked if I was interested. Why not! I took the offer and learnt a great deal working with Sammy Okposo for eight years. Working with Sammy was good for me as I got to travel around the world with him. After I left they had to hire, three tenor singers to capture my tenor voice.
At what point did you start your own career?
After working with Sammy for eight years, I felt it was time to do my thing and I don’t do anything in life without God’s leading or take any step in my life without the guidance of the spirit. I told Sammy and he released me. Working with Sammy was a training experience. I left and released my debut album in 2013 titled Arugbo Ojo. My song Arugbo Ojo brought me to limelight as a solo artiste.
What do you want changed in gospel terrain?
Oh I don’t want to say it… We need to change our lyrics. There are so many bad lyrics in gospel music. So many people want to write their songs but they write badly and it affects the song and the lifespan of the song. We have a lot of beautiful voice, bad song and bad lyrics. I am a songwriter and I know when a song is badly written. I sell my songs abroad. Nigerians don’t pay for songs and I won’t give them free. Song writing is a vocation that can fetch you money if you‘re good at it. Another thing is, there is so much clique thing in Nigeria- what they call here, ‘parapo-ism’ from Yoruba word parapo. We need to unite more. There is so much hating, envy and competition in the gospel industry. I wish we could be more united. We have lost the essence and calling.
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