Interview :: African praise style has changed the atmosphere – Sonnie Badu
In this interview with SEYI SOKOYA, Ghanaian footballer-turned-musician, Sonnie Badu, needs no further introduction as his popular hit Open the Floodgates, among others, have made him the toast of many across the globe. The award-wining artiste, who visited Nigeria recently, speaks on his life and career. Excerpts:
You are one of the few Ghanaian celebrities that love Nigeria. What fascinates you most about the country?
My relationship with Nigeria has been awesome. It is an amazing place to be. I have been here for different reasons and I have never regretted my stay anytime I visit Nigeria. I have performed at various concerts, churches and places and the experience has been memorable. I also have Nigerian friends both in sports, gospel, and so on. I don’t see my love as a special one, because we have a lot of Nigerians in Ghana and in other African countries that are doing well. My relationship with Nigeria and Nigerians is not an exception. Personally, I feel that this is how we can show love and associate with one another as human. This is what God has sent us to do and I am glad to express my unending love, as well as to promote unity across Africa and to the entire world in my own way.
You are left-handed; does this add any value to your career?
Yes. We, the southpaws, don’t think like ordinary people think; we are extraordinary. I am ‘terrible’ when I was playing football; I used to play football with my left foot as well. Literally, I cannot even write anything with my right.
Why did you dump football for music?
I think mine was destiny orchestrated, because I just wanted to do football and nothing else. Along the line, I got injured, but God had his own plans for me. I couldn’t go back to football as a result of the injury. This was how music surfaced. But, I am still very much in touch with football, because I have a lot of friends in sports, especially Nigerian footballers such as Odion Ighalo, Onazi. In fact, I have very a close relationship with many footballers in Nigerian, Ghana, and other African countries, including Appiah, Gyan, Jonathan Mensah, Emmanuel Adebayo; I am like their pastors.
So, how has it been since you started music?
I don’t see myself doing any other thing than winning souls for Christ in the gospel way. It has personally turned my life around positively. I have been able to carve a niche for myself in the industry through the divine call. I have been able to display and impact lives with true gospel music.
At what point did you discover you had passion for gospel music?
I have been doing it for 21 years now. It was through a period of challenge between me and God that I got into the industry. That season, I got very sensitive hearing from God. This was as a result of one of my hits Open the floodgates. At that time, I had a mentor, we teamed up. Unknown to many people, the song is 12 years now and it is still big and so amazing.
You are a pastor, musician, motivational speaker, among other things. How do you combine all these?
When you are gifted, you are gifted. It is needless for any to struggle to do whatever God plants in you. Ordinarily, it is not easy, but I have been able to strike a balance and make a good life out of all what I do. Primarily, I am saddled with nurturing lives spiritually and physically and I can’t thank God enough for what He has been doing through the ministry.
What are some of the challenges you have had to contend with so far?
I don’t see challenges (as challenge), I enjoy what I do. I just see it as an avenue for God to elevate me. The way one sees things in life determines how far one can go. No challenges will come your way without God knowing you are capable of handling them. He brings a challenge to your way because he knows you can handle it. So, challenges are good and they make you better and wiser.
How would you compare Ghana gospel music industry to that of Nigeria?
It is growing and we are happy with the development we have achieved. We have the like of Joe Mettle, who broke a record of years as an Artiste of the Year. In 20 years, nothing like that had happened in Ghana gospel and people love his music, as well. I am confident that we will get there. It is not a matter of comparing one country to the other. This is not the mission God has sent us to do, but to use music to win souls, impact lives and promote unity among humans and nations. I am delighted that both Nigeria and Ghana are achieving this goal. I am proud to be an African, because there is always a change of atmosphere when praising the African way. Africa is a beautiful continent; I am proud of our rich culture.
How have you been giving back to the society?
This is one of the things I derive joy in. I have a foundation tagged: BADU Foundation. In fact, 2018 is our year of giving back. I also want to encourage people to do all they can to make their nation to be proud of them. We must learn to love everyone, no matter any situation. It’s a blessing to be a blessing to the underprivileged.
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