Evangelist Tope Alabi is one of the most sought after gospel artists. Just as her music has enjoyed massive airplay for many years now she has also gone through a lot of turbulence. City People recently had a mind blowing interview with her where she spoke about her life, career and why she doesn’t have a permanent church where she worships. See excerpts
You are one musician that people cannot seem to get enough of, what are you presently working on?
I am having Praise The Almighty Concert. It is a yearly concert which we started about 7 years ago. This is the 4th year and we take it to different churches but now we just take hall ourselves and it is always 3rd Sunday of February. I want people to not only attend but they should use it.
One of the artists who performed 2 years ago, with name Samose, has been married for 5 years without a child. She said it that as she is going on stage, if it was truly God who called her, he should give her fruit of the womb. She brought the baby last year.
I also use it. Like every last 3 days of every month, my family and my ministries go to the Mountain just to praise God. It is our normal routine every month. We just came back from Ori-Oke Ede. We are still going this month, even my driver, guitarist and crew. God told me he loves praise and worship so much.
For how long have you been doing this?
Time immemorial. I always visit Ori-Oke to pray. I am created to worship God. When I am down, I praise God instead of praying. I have so much turbulence in my life. So much lies have been told about me on the internet to belittle me, but I quenched the fire through praise. I told one popular newspaper that I can destroy a whole city with my praise. I know what David did with praise.
You have been through a lot of tribulations but you always triumph, what is that thing that keeps you strong?
It is God and it has been God. I went to minister at CLAM this morning and I told the congregation my story. How my father will come to my room and say “Aiye e O da lati ju yin, ijo wo la aiye e fe da? (Nothing good is coming from you, when will your life be meaningful)? I was trying to make it but all my effort was futile. Where I worked, they told me to stop coming to work. I also joined acting yet I was not used in a single movie. I acted for 21 years and it was hard. I didn’t make it. I followed Ishola Ogunsola to schools to sing back stage. Nothing came out of it. The acting was what I wanted. I didn’t like being in a musician. God loves me and put me at the right position which was singing.
Why singing after 21 years in acting?
Alade Aromire called me one day and said you have been in Orire caucus for years but I don’t know why people don’t like using you in their films but anytime you sing, people listen to you. He said he will write a story while I turn it to song. I left his caucus because of that, I wanted to pursue the acting career. I ran to Yemi my lover and Yemi used me. I sang “Atolly se o gbo.
I was ready to pay, so that people will use me in their movie. Though my parents said Wooli came to our house in Mafoluku, Oshodi and they said, the girl of the family will be used by God. They didn’t say if it will be singing or preaching. I am the only female in the family and we were Catholics. I said me I can’t be a Reverend Sister. So my mother said if you don’t want to be a Sister, let see how God want to use you.
You have been married for how long now?
Seventeen years and still counting. My husband is my partner and my best friend. God has sustained my marriage this long. He put me there and sustained it.
How is it like running the crew and your husband as the Manager?
Do you want me to say we don’t fight? Do you also want me to say he doesn’t do something and I won’t feel like dropping the microphone? I told him “Ki lo de, you are shouting at us. It has been God. If not God, the fame would have got into me. I just finished cooking for him now.
How many films have you acted in?
I acted Malomo in “Abiku so ologun de ke.” I am Titi in Remilekun all Alade Aromire films but the story was not written by me. I did Ija Ibeji and Ikoko dudu and it was my personal film. I ran at a loss for both films. I still act but it has to be a Christian drama.
What petty job did you do before you made it?
Aside acting, I hawked raw eggs, rice, and stew, garri before going to school in Ewutu grammar school. It was in Ibadan that I sold boiled egg.
We saw the portrait of Bishop Oyedepo as we came into your sitting room, what is the relationship between Bishop Oyedepo and Tope Alabi?
Well, I don’t know Bishop Oyedepo personally; I just hear about him and I love his ministration and teaching. But there was a day Daddy Oyedepo called me and said I should come and minister in his church. I got there and after I finished, I just went to sit within the congregation.
He used his Microphone to call me and spoke to me one on one. I was like “Can you see? I got to know he is so much in love with my music and people say I am his covenant daughter without my own knowledge.
I also remember the day Pastor Kunle Ajayi of Redeemed called me that Daddy said I should come and minister at Redeemed Church, even before I went through turbulence, I remember Pastor Oladiyun of CLAM called me and said, God said I should be praying for you for the past 1 years. That was a year before the problem started. I asked if I could come and see him, he said I shouldn’t worry. I tried the number and the number wasn’t going through.
A year after that time, the problem of Ajanaku came. Then I remembered what he said ‘God said I should be praying for you.”
So I had to go to CLAM after the victory and I said, this is the man of God I can say I am boldly connected with. He told me boldly that God said I should be praying for you when the turbulence started.
Mummy Adeboye sent me 2 delegates that God said I do not know anything about this and I should just be calm. They said, they love the way I didn’t answer any questions or grant any interview.
Just keep praising God. Then Daddy Oyedepo called me and said, just keep on edifying God as you always do. Those are the words of encouragement I got from men of God.
Which church do you worship now?
I am a Redeemer, I am CLAM, I am Covenant. I take my ministry to all churches.
Despite the turbulence, what gave you strength?
It is God, I cried a lot. I am a very passionate person and very emotional. I cried even when God said to me there is no problem, I still cried.
Let’s talk about your husband, how did he react in the face of the trial?
Let me thank God for the life of my husband. He is a very nice person. He is my Daddy and my best pal. He stood by me. He likes doing everything for me.
How did you meet him?
We met in the studio and he loves staying there a lot. I didn’t play hard to get because he is calm and we were friends for 2 to 3 years before he asked me out. Thank God I made the right choice. He stayed with me throughout the trial. (She hugged her husband tight).
Many say you don’t produce your music like you used to do?
I don’t produce unless God tells me to. Sometimes I do twice in a year. He tells me the titles first and we go through the tracks. I don’t think on my own. I get inspiration from God and that is why I only produce every 2 to 3 years.