Pastor Wale Adenuga is a singer, song writer, social entrepreneur, public speaker and pastor-in-charge of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Jubilee Christian Centre, Lagos. With over two decades’ experience of ministering the gospel through music, as a social entrepreneur, he is the convener of the annual ‘Worship for Change’ concerts, through which over N20 million has been raised for the benefit of over 1,500 orphans and children with special needs. RITA OKONOBOH had an interaction with him.
HOW long have you been a music minister and what has the experience been like so far?
It’s been since 1988, when I gave my life to Christ at the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University. It has been an interesting experience so far.
What challenges have you faced as a minister of the gospel?
When I do my music, I look at affecting people, one person at a time. There are times I meet someone who has been blessed by my music six years after the ministration. It has been the grace of God. If you know how much you have been a blessing to people, then there could be a problem.
Are you a member of the popular RCCG Praise Team?
Well, I’m not part of the praise team. However, I do worship sessions at the RCCG camp ground.
What is the driving force behind the popular ‘Worship for Praise’ concert?
I got to a point in my life where I asked myself what I wanted, fame, more fame or great impact. The truth is that once you have a name and a little fame, you can leverage on that fame to do something better for people. So, we decided to have benefit concerts which will focus on orphans and children with special needs. The concerts are an annual event, and we choose a specific charity or orphanage and we raise money for them. We haven’t done so much, but in the past 10 years, we have raised about N25 million. It doesn’t seem like a lot but for many of these charity organisations, receiving a cheque of N3 million moves them to tears and you wonder. For me, it’s not really about the money the organisation gets. The concerts are also a way to bring the organisation to the attention of the attendees of the concert, and after the event, they get more donations. The effect just snowballs.
Is the concert not also for evangelism?
Well, we reach out to souls, so we could say we evangelise.
What else are you into apart from music?
I organise conferences. For instance, recently, I had a conference called the Green with Creativity conference which Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Ali Baba, Jimi Tewe attended. The idea was to challenge people’s way of thinking. It’s a challenge for people to do things differently, especially with the state of the economy.
You have performed alongside international gospel artistes, such as Bob Fitts. With your experience, do you think Nigeria has what it takes to shine globally?
I think we do. It’s just that we don’t have the structure at home. However, if the artiste operates on an international platform, there is better opportunity. Here, no one knows how many records are being sold. There is also the issue of piracy.
Now in your 28th year of the ministry, how many albums do you have to your credit?
I didn’t start recording till around 1997. Till date, I have about seven or eight albums.
What kind of books do you read?
I read different kinds of books, not just about music. I read books on business and on pastoring. It depends on the appeal. I have to read because I pastor and it will reflect in my teaching. Also, some of the activities I am engaged in involve creativity, so I have to read books.
How do you create a balance with your busy schedule?
I became a pastor six years ago and that is a different kettle of fish from the music ministry. However, by the grace of God, things have been moving on.
How did you discover your talent? Is there any creative person in the family?
It just happened. I didn’t study music. I just knew that I could sing. Growing up, it would have been a problem if I had told my father I wanted to sing. The popular Wale Adenuga of Super Story is my uncle. My younger brother sings as well. However, I draw my inspiration from God.
How do you address young Christians who come to you for advice on following in your footsteps?
People come to me and say they want to minister with the gospel. Because of my schedule, I may not be able to minister to them one by one. So, what I do is to organise a gathering to share experience and educate them.