Gospel artiste, Psalm Ebube, believes in the oneness of the world. The artiste who has an NGO (PEPFOnd) which cares for the widows and vulnerable children speaks to ADENIYI ADEWOYIN on why he started the NGO, his latest song ‘One Love One World’, to celebrate humanitarian day and other issues. Excerpts
WHAT have you been up to lately?
After the release of my ‘Call to worship’ album, I became actually involved in my own efforts to address peace and unity, so I founded Psalm Ebube Peace Foundation, PEPFOnd, a not-for-profit organisation with the sole intent of touching lives and empowering people, mostly orphaned youths, women and vulnerable children in West Africa. With the increasing conflict, hunger and under development in West Africa, I want to occupy that space and serve as an intermediary between individuals and organisations, providing medical and emotional care for the widows. I have come up with viable programmes that will be run and maintained from the grass roots level in West Africa such as villages and local government areas. A monthly programme to tackle child hunger in West Africa and access to healthcare, distribution of mosquitoes net to the orphanage home by reducing the likelihood that children will have to go through fighting malaria and germs.
What really inspired your new song ‘One Love One World’?
It comes from God’s Word, ‘follow peace with all men’. These words have always inspired me to write songs. I have seen situations change and hopeless people have a reason to live and enjoy life through God’s Word. My life is a testimony that one can be anything and achieve anything. Music is a powerful medium that has been used to foster patriotism, promote religion and to inspire love, so I thought of using the universal language of music to permeate our culture with aspirations for humanity, unity, peace, love, tolerance and brotherhood.
Knowing fully that music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to imagination and life. It keeps striking a chord in my heart after several visits to northern part of Nigeria, orphanages within the state and West Africa as a whole and I was left with a strong urge to speak the voice of the children affected by Boko Haram and I’m so concerned for people facing conflict and violence. Just as mob violence is created by a critical mass of angry people with angry thoughts, peace can be created by a critical mass of people focusing on peaceful thoughts.
That is what the song hopes to achieve. ‘One love one world’ recognised the necessity of bringing the world together to renew our commitment to humanity and to work better and smarter to meet humanitarian needs. It is more than a song of financial pledges, rather, it’s meant to be a song of actions to change the way the international community operates so we better deliver people suffering from horrific forces beyond their control.
Today, one in four children lives in a country grappling with humanitarian crisis. I wrote this song to help millions of children forced out of school because of emergencies and protracted crises have the opportunity to get an education.
Most of your colleagues don’t invest time doing this kind of songs?
Yeah! I’m encouraging everyone to join us and help build a worldwide community that resonates peace. This is the time to remember the spirit of peace and unity that has prevailed in our land through the centuries, and drives us to work hard to achieve national unity in all its aspects, with reconciliation that comes through giving and loving
Just as Haffiz Oyetoro, Saka, heard the song ‘OneLoveOneWorld,’ he made a statement that touched my heart. He said ‘how I wish we can have songs like this to be more appreciated by all, this world would have been a better place.’ So I urge every musician across the world to look more into humanitarian as subject to their songs. The progress of our nation in unity peace love and understanding calls for everyone but also focuses on the elimination of corruption in all its forms, and encourages genuine service to the people by their leaders.
You’ve been married for two years now, how has it been?
Cool, I am happy to say I am married to the most beautiful woman in the world, Funmilola Akinyemi, and it’s been almost two years of marital bliss. For me and my wife love is not only about feelings and words but also actions. Love is a verb, isn’t it? (Laughs)… Well, again, we have to be grateful to God for His blessings on our union. Love will do the big things in every part of one’s life and she’s is a patient one. She’ll always find the way to solve problems with her calmness.
What are your thoughts on trends in gospel music today?
A lot of people are singing gospel music lately because they want to be inspired. The trend True worship is God-centred worship. People tend to get caught up where they should worship, what music they should sing in worship, and how their worship looks to other people. Focusing on these things misses the point. Jesus tells us that true worshipers will worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). This means we worship from the heart and the way God has designed it. Worship can include praying, reading God’s Word with an open heart, singing, participating in communion, and serving others. It is not limited to one act, but is done properly when the heart and attitude of the person are in the right place.
When would your fans get another hit like ‘Kabiosi’?
Every bit of my songs has substance that any listener can take valuable substance out of it. The power to make hits is in God’s hand and the ability for one to promote his product is key. So, my work is not based on the commercial aspect alone. My interest is passing the good news across to listeners all around the world, my sole aim is to affect lives.
Can you tell us some of the outstanding testimonies of your music ministry?
Can we really have a OneLoveOneWorld in view of global report that the earth is heading for destruction?
Absolutely! If not now then when?
It’s now or never actually. Humanity is at a very delicate and deciding point in history. This moment is crucial and every decision we make now, both individually and as a race, would decide the rest of our existence. I expect for the song to help foster global consciousness about the fragility and beauty in the wholeness of the human creation and hence the need to cherish this beauty in diversity and deliberately strive to sustain that which binds us as one.
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