It takes a man who is confident and secure to know his woman is an additional blessing —Pastor Moji Alawiye
Pastor Moji Alawiye, popularly known as PMA, is a woman of many parts. She is a pastor at Durbar Christian Centre, music minister and a TV host. In this interview by TAYO GESINDE, she speaks about her life as a minister, the music ministry in Nigeria and parenting. Excerpts:
You are a woman of many parts. What is your driving force?
Everything we do can be categorised into music, media and mentorship. I sing, speak and mentor people. The Holy Spirit is my driving force.
He is my inspiration and strength. Also, my passion and vision to touch lives around the globe drive me. The investment of God in my life cannot let me keep quiet. I use every opportunity I have to touch more lives every day.
How do you combine your role as a pastor, gospel minister and TV host with being a wife and a mother?
It is a tough one. I won’t deceive you that it is not. The first thing I will say is it is through the help of the Holy Spirit God helps you and gives you wisdom and opportunities. Once you discover those opportunities and annex them, it makes it easier for you. For example, God puts people around you to help you. Recognise them and take advantage of their presence in your life. The second thing is priority. It is extremely important to know what to do first. If your family is in disarray, there is nothing you will achieve. So, God gave me the opportunity to have a husband who understands my kind of job, my calling and encourages me. That is why you cannot compare my life with yours. God gave me a husband and family that understand my ministry. Those are the things that help me to juggle all the roles because sometimes, I am looking for myself in the midst of all that God has put in my hands to do but through the help of the Holy Spirit, my husband, family and prioritising, I am able to cover a lot.
We live in a society where many still believe that women are to be seen and not heard. What is your view on this?
It takes a man who is confident in his identity and secure to know that the woman you have in your house is an additional blessing for you and posterity. It is, therefore, an opportunity for you to have that person in your life and push her to fulfill her destiny. Gone were the days that people would say women are to be seen not heard. Women are making a lot of impact in our world today. There is nobody in today’s world that can stand and say I can succeed without a woman in my life or organisation. God has graciously given women as a gift to our world and we should take advantage of that.
As a pastor and mother, how can we raise godly children in this day and age?
Your children must know your values from when they are young. As they are growing, they will continue to grow in it. One of my girls was telling her friend that came to visit during the holiday that, “our mum, not because she beats us or because she says we should not go out but by the way she raised us, has shown us her values and we continue to follow that value.” Most times, we don’t let our children know the value our families believe in. If you don’t tell them what to do, they will pick anything they find in the society and own it. They watch television and own the character they find there, but if they know your value they will follow it. Even if they want to derail from it, remembering the values of the family will keep them in check. When we were young, our parents would tell us “ranti omo eni ti iwo nse (remember the child of whom you are).” What does it mean? It means there is a way we do things in this family, don’t forget it. It means there is a way they do things where you are going, don’t copy it. Also, I want parents of nowadays to know that you don’t give children everything they want even if those things are available. Don’t let them have access to everything. Let there be restrictions and boundaries. Don’t say they are grown up, they know what to do. You have to continue to talk to them. For instance, don’t say I have told them to keep their virginity until marriage and you think it is automatic for them to do so. No. You have to keep hammering it into their ears and let them see reason with you. When you see your children going in the way they are not supposed to go, call them to order. There are so many things calling for their attention; we don’t think the way they think. We have to know that they have a different mind-set from us as parents so we have to continue to be on the same page with them. You have to play with them, let them be free with you so they can tell you their secrets. Today, a 12 year-old girl is already taking about boyfriend. If you think that they don’t know anything, it is a lie. You have to ask them questions. Make sure you put God first in your family. It is important to sit down with your children and study the Bible together. Let them know what the Bible says. In my family, we study the book of Proverbs; it has 31 chapters and we study one per day. In each of the chapters are loads of wisdom for godliness, profit, career and so on. As they are growing old, that wisdom is instilled in them. Another thing is that you should not compare your children to other children. Finally, take care of your children spiritually, physically and emotionally.
You have been married for 25 years. Can you share with us the ingredients of a successful marriage?
I am still young in marriage. My marriage is just 25 years. You don’t know it all. You must continue to learn every day. One of the ingredients of a successful marriage is communication. Communication is key. A woman wants to sit down and talk. So many men believe they and their wives are having the best time of the lives whereas they are wrong because they don’t even know what their women want. What you think your wife wants may be different from what she wants. Every woman has different needs. It is your duty to know what she wants. Men also have their own need. They should communicate what they want in a marriage. Sex is key in marriage. You can’t do away with it but it is not just about having sexual intercourse alone, it is important to have passion and things that you do together that makes you happy that will lead naturally to it, not just because you were taught not to deny your husband and you feel you don’t have a choice. It is not supposed to be like that. The feeling must be mutual. We must both be passionate about it. Passion is something that a lot of us have removed from sex in Nigeria. Go to the movies together, read together, get out of your usual environment and see things together. It helps a great deal. Another ingredient is to let the sleeping dog lie. Don’t always insist on your own way or your own opinion. Don’t be too hard to please. Be considerate. Just be sincere with yourself and your spouse.
What is the secret of your success as a gospel minister?
For me, it is a calling and the call of God is without repentance. Some people won’t understand you; it is okay because your callings are different. What God is telling you is different from what is in another person’s heart. The God-factor is an extremely important one. Another thing is keeping the relationships that God has given to one. You must maintain them and use them to your own advantage. Also, treat people well; don’t use and dump them. Relationship is the currency of the Holy Spirit. When money fails, relationship will not fail you. You also have to step up your game. Someone once said if you are a leader and you refuse to evolve, people may love you but sadly, they will leave you. You can’t be in the past and want to remain relevant in the present. Be consistent in what you are doing because that is what will give you an enduring success.
Today it is very difficult to differentiate between gospel and secular music. What is responsible for this and what is the way out?
Money is the major reason that is happening. I am a pastor I represent the church, I am a music minister I also represent music ministers. A lot of music ministers who have grown in the church have been neglected by the church. People in the church will use money to engage secular artistes to perform at their functions at the expense of gospel musicians who are in their churches, so, you are indirectly telling them to go into the world and make something for themselves. That is why a lot of music ministers are going into the world to find greener pastures, since that is where they are likely to thrive. Another reason is that music ministry is not like it used to be in the time of Mama Bola Are who received the call on the mountain. Some people just see music ministry as a good business and ventured into it. So, it is not all gospel musicians that are called into music ministry. Some are business people who are looking for ways to make ends meet.
How would you describe yourself?
Pleasant, peaceful, powerful. I am very real, kind and easy to convince. I love people and relate well with them. I love God. I can be very thorough and structured, sometimes to a fault.
What is your philosophy of life?
There is always room for more. You can be better. You can go further; you can be more than you are now.
What advice do you have for young ladies?
Add value to yourself. Refuse to be used. Focus on your future. In the next 10 years, one out of every 10 girls will be raped, killed, used or impregnated. Be determined not to be one of them. If the only value you have is to “slay,’ you will be disappointed in yourself and your future. So, concentrate on yourself and invest in your future and at the end of the day, you will be the better for it.