Evangelist Vera Success is a preacher and Gospel artiste. A graduate of All Nations Bible School, Benin City apart from her singing grace has pastored several Churches and even attempted to start a Church in Benin City, Edo State. She narrated how a bigger Church dislodged her young congregation form the facility she had rented for worship. In this interview, she explained to DAYO EMMANUEL how lack of support is hindering gospel music in Nigeria because Churches most times don’t support their own.
When did you start singing?
I started singing when I was in the Apostolic Church choir in Benin-City many years ago. I was in the LAWNA choir where I used to sing solo for the choir. We used to come to Lagos to sing and represent the church.
When did you go professional?
That was in 1994 when I did my first album. I was with the Mark of Christ which is now called the Voice of Freedom under Abraham Chibundu, the 1994 album was my first but it didn’t sell well.
Why didn’t it sell well?
It didn’t sell well because I didn’t have a marketer. I was selling from Church to Church, that was my first album, it had six tracks. I did another one in 2011 and I marketed it myself, I had a marketer in Alaba Market. I still used my money to print it, I was selling from Church to Church, singing and selling in Winners in Delta, Edo and River States. I was selling.
So why didn’t you use that same method since you were selling?
I don’t want to do that anymore. I wanted to go higher. This new one has seven tracks. I’m just worshiping God, expressing myself.
How do you get your inspiration?
When I read the Bible or listening to message or someone is preaching, the Holy Ghost just gives me the songs and I start developing them. I write my songs.
What Church do you attend?
I am a pastor kind of. I went to All Nation Bible School, Benin City. I have been pastoring since. I attended Living Faith Church too. I have pastored many Churches. There was even a time I tried to pastor my own Church which did not last because of finance.
Is it finance or anointing you need in starting a Church?
Money is needed even when you have the anointing. If you have the anointing you still need the money. In my own case I had members but there was no place to keep them so another ministry came to the place we were worshiping, rented it and I lost my members. We were just starting then.
A bigger Church came to swallow up a smaller Church?
Yes that was what happened, they paid higher amount to the landlady. May be it was not time, my banner was outside so they knew they were displacing a Church, that was what happened.
How did you feel?
I felt bad. I cried for two months. That church was like my child I was going to give birth to but I couldn’t give birth to it. I said may be it was not yet time. Sometimes you have anointing and you are not matured you are just coming from Bible school and you have zeal.
May be you would have started in your sitting room
Yes I started in my sitting room and when we were increasing in number I went to hire that place. I am not discouraged. The Bible says the calling of God is without repentance. Like Moses, he was anointed to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt but he was driven out of Egypt or he ran away. He stayed in the wilderness with Jethro for 40 years and it seems it was forgotten but when the fullness of time came, he returned. So that is how it is with God. When there is anointing, when God has called you and His hand is upon you, you will fulfil the vision at the right time. He will tell you this is why I have called you.
Don’t you think this your music ministry may be replacing your preaching ministry?
I don’t think so, I have a double anointing. When I’m preaching, people say I’m a preaching machine and when I’m stinging people say I am anointed, so I don’t think the music can take the place of preaching.
How do you think Nigerians are accepting the gospel music?
Nigerians are godly people, they accept gospel music well and they are trying. Gospel artists are struggling, you can see I’m struggling. It is not only in gospel music but also secular music also is facing it. If it is in the civilized countries, you’ll have promoters for your music who would buy you cars, give you clothes, facilities and start taking care of you while you have not even gone to the studio. Here they will look down on you, they will even dupe you. It’s not easy for artistes in Nigeria.
You are known in winners in Edo state, can’t they support your music?
No they don’t support like that. Winners will give members money to go and do music? No I don’t think so. They will not. They believe in you asking God to give you money to do music if it is the will of God.