TNBT EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH SONGSTRESS BLESSING OKORJI
WHAT'S in a name? TNBT met Blessing Okorji or simply known as Blessing a beautiful and humble International UK Gospel singer with focus of fulfilling her dream against all odds. Her strength of character and and encouraging story reflects that with God all things are possible. Blessing has a special personality and every word she speaks conciously gives glory to the God she serves.
This is the foundation of her ministry the power of praise. The strong willed independent singer inspired TNBT to look up the definition of the word 'blessing' we often take for granted. The dictionary describes it as; 1. the act or words of a person who blesses. 2. A special favour, mercy or benefit. 3. A favour or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness.
As a mother, mentor and self managed singer she definitely is a manfestation of her name. After hearing her life changing testimony Blessing's calling and faith will surely move you to make the necessary steps of turning a dream into a reality.
The soulful singer, songwriter and producer shows her African heritage in her Album The Whole World in His Hands. Her other influences range from Yolanda Adams to Mary J Blige and have helped to create a unique genre of her own known as 'Gospelafrenstric'.
'I started when I was 8 years old, I grew up with my grandparents for a while in Nigeria. My grandfather used to sing a lot in Nigeria. He used to teach me some of my songs in my language and I picked it up. He said I have to be in the choir. So I came to this country I started off in the choir. Then I was a choir leader.'
During her teenage years Blessing recalls 'I went to a mission to London event. When I was younger one of the ministers there when they were praying for people and they said God is going to use you. God is going to call you. If you notice something unusual with yourself maybe oil will be coming from your head or your hand then come to the front. So I looked at my hands and I was like wow, oil was actually coming out! I went up there and Morris Celluro said God is going to use me and I should get ready for it. That was it really from there my dream just started happening. I started writing songs down. I'd been in certain groups and it didn't go well. I know God called me out there to be an individual to preach his word through my music. I use my voice to glorify him at all times. So two years ago I said to myself I am leaving the choir it was hard because I was there for a while for like 8 years but I just pursued my dreams the rest is history.'
That doesn't mean it doesn't get difficult for the songstress. 'It happens all the time I mean we are all human. We all have feelings we all cry we all go through the same things. The devil is trying so hard because he knows there are so many people that God has called. And he just waits to hinder that. He will put family, friends, people in your way to give you negative feedback regarding what God wants to do in your life. Like this Sunday the pastor was preaching that when God gives you that vision it is between you and God. It is not between you, the devil and God. So no one else can see that vision in you, no one else knows why you are called or why you are going to where you are going to, only you and God. So it does get difficult but you just have to pray constantly and know that whatever you're doing is for the glory of God.'
It has always been in me to sing. Even if I wasn't called to be a gospel singer I think I would of still sung. I enjoy doing it. It was a passion that I had within me. I mean I've worked with children. I do own a child care company as well so those are my passionate things along with hairdressing.
My inspiration has come from my experiences in life that I've gone through and I convey that when I am singing. I know theres a lot of people out there that are going through the same things I'm going through. I wanna tell them you know what no matter what you're going through God can do it for you. I just want to touch people with my music.
And how about Secular music? Following the TNBT debate we were keen to get Blessings views on the hot topic...
Me personally I don't think it is right. There are people that are called to do things in this world. I don't want to see myself with the negative things that I hear manifest. I actually choose what I listen to and what I don't listen to. There's no way I'm going to sit there for example and listen to Lady Gaga! I'm not a fan of hers and I don't think anyone with a right sense of mind would be doing what she's doing. So the devil does use quite a lot of people to work the youth to follow what he's doing and try to blindfold as many people as possible. But if us as Christians can just stand together as one. Being in Christ doesn't mean you have to be boring.
You have to remain humble because Christ called me to do this. So I can't go out there acting like I'm all that or I've got a big head or look down on people. I just keep saying God don't ever allow me to be that way. I was having a conversation and most Gospel artists nowadays they just want to win awards, drive big cars and live in big mansions. And I'm like thats not me. I've been through bad patches but its made me a stronger person now. Knowing I am one of them in Christ I can walk around with my head high. [If you don't humble yourself] and you're all the way up there so high God can just close the door and bring you down to the lowest point of your life. You don't know the next door.
[The chaning point was] When I was in church I was listening to pastors and to the ministers of God. They were encouraging us and I was writing down so many things saying to myself for the past year I know I'm going to do something with my life. My mum wanted me to be a lawyer but it didn't happen that way. Sometimes God calls us to do something and your parents want you to do something else. But we have to honor our parents as well. One of the girls I mentioned her parents told her to do medicine. I told her to finish it. Get your Qualifications later on you can always become a singer if thats what you want to do. Educate yourself go into the choir learn some songs write things down. Sometimes we want something to happen today it might not be today that God is calling us it might be the next five years. He's probably just preparing us for that particular point of our lives. But really we just don't understand we just want everything now now now!
We just have to keep pursuing it keep praying towards it, keep making sure we have mentors. We have to open up to people and tell them this is what we want to do. Don't just keep it within yourself. Get a circle of friends, close friends you can tell and pray together with. Not everybody out there is going to have to know though. But having that passion that you are going to make it no matter what happens. Don't let anyone put you down or tell you, you can't do this or you can't do that. That is them telling you. You're not telling that to yourself. That is why negative influences are very very bad. They can break somebody or make somebody. It depends how strong you are standing in Christ.
When I did my album launch last year. I quit My job I was a full time nursery co-coordinator. I was doing that for like two years The money was good I was fine and when God called me he said this is enough I want you to do this 100 percent. I quit my job and I was like okay where is the money going to come from? I've got two young kids what am I going to do? Somehow he provided me with the money for abroad. I had £50 in my pocket yet I was able to stay, eat and everything. Sometimes I think where is the money going to come from but it just comes. I just don't know how. Even my music video I was like where is the money going to come from but by faith uptil now I still don't know how the money came. Sometimes you just have to step out in faith. And say look God if this is your will and this is what you want me to do you will provide for me. He will bring opportunities, he will open the door. Somebody will just bless you but it happens. Just be patient with taking your time to do things.
TNBT where definitely blessed by Blessing. To find out more about Blessing:
Facebook Blessing-Okorji Fan Page
Itunes Whole World in His Hand