So on Saturday 4th November 2017, veteran Gospel singer, Evangelist (Dr) Bola Are (JP) celebrated 40 years of her Baba Ku Ise album released in August 1977. The celebration was earlier reported to hold at Jogor Centre, Hall of Grace, Opposite Liberty Stadium in Ibadan.
In a recent interview with citypeople when asked how she started music, she recounted how Apostle Ayo Babalola predicted that she would be a prophet.
See excerpts below…
How did you start music?
I started music when I was just a year old, according to my parents. They said I used to hum music. Any music they sing in church, when we get home I will hum it. My parents were usually surprised. They used to wonder how I can remember the songs they sang in church like the closing hymns. I grew into knowing Bola Are as a Gospel singer. I grew into it. Nobody taught me. Baba Apostle Ayo Babalola had predicted it before I was born, and he told my parents about it. He told my parents that they will give birth to a child who will be a Woli (Prophet). My father and mother used to attend Christ Apostolic Church at Erio, in Ekiti. Baba said they will give birth to a child who will be a Woli, a servant of God. So when they had me and I was a girl, they asked him again if this is the child he predicted. He said yes. Have faith. With time you will know you’ve given birth to a Woli.
I started singing as early as when I was 2 years old. From that young age I used to predict for my father and mother. I will tell my dad don’t go to the farm ooo. I told him once not to go to the farm one day. He defied my advice. He went. The first tree he cut hit him on the leg and wounded him.
He nursed that wound for years till he passed on. At age 2, I told my mum not to go to the market one day. I told her to wait 5 days more before she goes to the market at Aramoko Ekiti, 3kilometres to my town. My town is Erio Ekiti. My mum didn’t listen. She left that day in her pick up, loaded with foodstuff. Do you know what happened? Rain started from 6am and went on till 7pm. She sells foodstuff, rice, gari, beans – all those foodstuffs can’t the stand rain. Those who were to buy it couldn’t come because of rain. She could not bring down her goods, so she returned back home to meet me to tell me about her experience, that I, the Woli in the house had warned her, but she didn’t listen. I remembered that at the age of 8 years my parents put together people to join me to sing. I also put together my classmates, my group mates to sing at Easter period, all over town. Whatever money we realised we would give the church. As a little child, I knew I had to worship and love God for dying for us at Calvary.
And I began to sing his praise. It was at that little age of 8 that I began to put together my band to praise God, to sing gospel songs. My parents used to buy me and my band members fabrics to sew outfits. They knew that I was destined to be great. They could feel it. God had told them. They took great care of me. They encouraged everything that will promote my music career. They made sure nothing disturbed my music career. I began to sing like that in primary school, modern school, grammar school. In all those places, I was on top in Christian songs, in Gospel music. At CAC Grammar School, Efon Alaaye that I attended I used to go and play in adjoining towns. They used to invite me to sing when they have anniversaries in some of the churches around. I used to follow Baba Obadare. I used to go to Koseunti with Baba.
I will rush down to school again. When I finished my WAEC, I didn’t go back to my parents. I went straight to Baba Obadare to stay. That very day I finished my paper,
I went straight to Akure to meet Baba Obadare and I stayed there. Even when my parents were looking for me, they knew I was in safe hands. They knew if I wasn’t at an Ori Oke to pray, I will be at an Anniversary Concert or a Convention. It was the people that came from my town and saw me at Koseunti on the 1st of the moth that went back to tell my parents. They said haa! We saw Bola your daughter. She sang so well. She dazzled every body with her songs oh. My parents came and saw me. They only greeted me and left. They could not tell me to follow them back home. They gave me dresses and money, biscuit. Baba Obadare kept watching them.
That was how I began. That was how my career began.
In 1973, God gave me the song Baba Ku Ise o baba. This year makes it 40 years that I released it. God gave me that song in 1973 and I released it in 1977.