From Accounting to Gospel Music – How an ‘Encounter’ Totally Changed the Dreams of Miss Ivy Okyere

Her dreams of wearing high heels and working in corporate Ghana as an Accountant was cut short a few months after she graduated from the Pentecost University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. She wears high heels, though, but this time she stands in front of large congregations and her mission is it is to win souls, heal the sick and encourage everyone through her eight-track gospel album.

The musician, who completed Achimota School in 2006, is also a pastor at Zoe Outreach Embassy in Accra. Ivy Okyere’s life and dreams were altered when she began her national service and had a near-death experience.

“In November 2011, I fell sick and appeared somewhere that I can’t tell but I knew it is some kind of spiritual experience,” Miss Okyere said.

In what appeared to be a vision, the gospel musician went to a ‘certain place’ where she saw people dressed in white gowns and in there, she began to ask questions.

“I saw people in a queue as if they were going somewhere. A man walked up to me and told me that these people are going to present themselves to a king,” she said. “The man said I should not join because I was not part but I could only observe.”

According to the musician, that was when she moved out of the queue and became more conscious of her environment. She does not remember how she came out of the trance but what the singer recalls was the instruction she received from the ‘man’ in the said experience.

“Go and sing because this is the time for you to sing,” the exact words of the unknown man in the ‘experience.’

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It was with this instruction and later, a confirmation from another Man-of-God [name witheld] that Miss Okyere, with no prior experience in singing, began to work on her album that was released in April, this year. In between heeding to the call and to the release of her debut album, the singer made some adjustments to her career and prepared herself to do full-time ministry.

“I was working in Multicredit Savings and Loans in Kumasi before I moved to Accra and I have worked in an automobile company. Currently, I am in the process of setting my own business,” said Miss Okyere.

The musician recounts with excitement, how close friends and family react when they listen to her songs for the first time. Most of them are surprised at how an aspiring accountant could switch into full-time gospel ministry because, to them, the change has been ‘drastic.’

“They are happy. Everybody goes like I am happy for you. Everybody goes like the songs are powerful. Everybody goes like you hear the lyrics clearly and they are biblical,” she said. “It’s amazing that the whole thing happened just like that. I remember, the first time people heard me singing, actually even my own mother, she was like ‘how, what happened to you?’[Miss Okyere giggles] No one actually knew I had the voice to sing but right after the encounter, I began to have this whole experience. So it’s amazing,” the gospel artiste added.

WhatsApp Image 2018-10-17 at 14.34.10.jpegWhen questioned on the choice of her style of music, Miss Okyere remarks they are exactly what she receives in her spirit. Unlike some gospel musicians who write songs based on their experiences, she receives her inspiration while she worships and prays.

“Sometimes, I see myself singing in a dream and when I wake up, I still have the songs. What I do is I write them or I pick my phone and record them,” she said.

Her favourite track on the album is the praise song titled ‘Nkunim’ [meaning victory]. She likes it because even though she received a revelation of it, the song summarises her experiences.

Nkunim because I believe that through all the experiences I’ve had, the Lord gave me the victory. I have other songs that portray that but for now, that is my favorite,” she said.

Miss Okyere lists Don Moen, Sinach, Nathaniel Bassey, Joe Mettle, and Willy and Mike as some gospel musicians who inspire her but commenting on the current gospel tracks being produced in Ghana, the singer believes artists should be more focused on spreading the word of God.

“Money is good, fame is good and I think you have to use your talent but you shouldn’t neglect the fact that we are in the ministry with a purpose. It is a call and you have to heed to the call and not any other thing,” she said.

The gospel artiste, together with her team, are working on shooting music videos, finding radio slots to lead live-worship sessions and preparing to record tunes for her next album. In subsequent releases, she hopes to translate the songs into several other languages.

“That is what the Bible says and this is the ministry the Lord has given me. I also need to make sure that every tongue, every tribe, everybody understands the message to know what the Lord is doing, so,  it is going to be in different languages and the songs will be all over the globe,” Miss Okyere said.

“For upcoming gospel artiste, I would say, once you are in, do things right. Do not imitate the bad but correct what you think is wrong and stay focused. As long as you have chosen to go with the gospel, remember Jesus is the reason for the gospel.  Do it the Jesus’ way. Say it right and sing it right by portraying what it stands for,” she concluded.

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To listen to Miss Okyere’s album, please click on the play button. Let us know what you think about her tracks in the comment box. 😊

Meet the Blogger: 7 Questions with Delali

This is the 100th post and according to the polls which ran on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the majority of you want to know more about the blog administrator/manager. I am, therefore, going to pose questions and answer them myself. If there is anything else you wish to know about me, you can leave that in the comment box. I will try to be as frank and fun as possible:

About Delali

IMG-20180616-WA0013My name is Delali and I do an 8am-4pm on weekdays as a Communications and Marketing person with an NGO. I am a mother of an almost two-year-old, a wife of almost three years and a blogger.

In 2013, I started a personal blog and a year later, I got a job as a content developer, managing the blog for a real estate marketing company. I have also blogged about cars but I made the big switch to Christian blogging in 2015. I started by posting content every day but along the line, I fell back (I was adjusting to married life, probably 😂). I wasn’t consistent in 2016 but I picked up from where I left off last year. I am more consistent, deliberate and I ensure at least a post goes up each week.

Why Christian Blogging?

First, I believe I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to start this. Secondly, because I thought there weren’t a lot of serious Ghanaian Christian Bloggers but as I searched wider, I have identified a number of them who are doing amazing things (blog post for another day). Thirdly, I see so much content that needs to be developed in this niche. In other words, there are a lot of stories that can be told about our belief and anyone who ventures into this niche will never lack content. Amen!😂 Finally, because of my background in communications, this blog gives me the avenue to apply most of what I have studied eg. in print journalism, graphic communications, advertising etc.

What inspires you?

Everything around me. I think I find it easier to write and a couple of friends have remarked that my posts are more in-depth than my speech (I don’t know why). I guess it’s my gift.

As a blogger, I make time to visit, read and comment on other people’s blogs and that provides me with ideas on what to post. Through that, I have made a number of acquaintances, an activity every blogger should take seriously. I also draw inspiration from a lot of people. I don’t have a role model yet, but, I pick lessons from the lives of different personalities.

What are your struggles as a blogger?

Do I have any? At first, I used to worry about the number of people who visited the blog after I wrote on certain subjects but I have gotten over that. How? Because I’ve realised this blog had two types of audiences – Ghanaians and other nationalities. Different posts appeal to different audiences. For instance, when I do a book review, the number of non-Ghanaians who click to read is higher and the opposite is what takes place when I create funny posts. 😂 I am learning to find the balance, ie. creating posts that appeal to both groups.

My other challenge is finding the time to put together the content. Currently, I have conducted an interview with a former classmate of mine, who is doing gospel music and I need to transcribe, create a post and upload it to the blog. I need to do a review on my first Christian novel – Francine River’s Scarlet Thread. (***Don’t be shocked. I didn’t know anyone wrote Christian novels. 😂 Perhaps, you can drop titles and authors of Christian novels in the comment box so I search and read.*** ). I am also planning a special giveaway for loyal followers of the blog and I need to find time to do all of that.

What are some of your favourite tools as a blogger?

The whiteboard hanging in my room and a marker.😂 That is where I write my ideas and because it is close to my bed, it does not only serve as a reminder but haunts me when I do not meet my timelines. I also have ‘Keep’ on my Nokia 8 which serves as a notepad and I use that to jot down my ideas.

Which are your most read posts?

My most read posts include 3 Reasons I Dislike the Empire Series for 2015, To my Husband on our Second Wedding for 2017 and for this year, Me? A pastor’s wife? Never. And the blog’s Homepage too. 😂

How do you use social media? 

I am deliberate with what I post on my personal social media pages. I am guided by this principle: I do not want people to know everything about me with just a click of a button. If you want to know more about me, you need to ask and I will provide you with the details. With this, I can say I am a very private person and that is why it has taken such a long time for me to create this post.

For blogging, social media is a useful tool. I started this blog by using a pseudonym because I had wanted to remain anonymous but I realised it was very difficult getting people to read the posts. 😂 Most people will read your blog posts because they know who is behind what they are reading, therefore, promoting the posts on social media prompts them to take a look at what you have.

How does the future look for Delali and Christian Blog?

For the Christian Blog, I am working hard to get it established. I also envision a Christian magazine whenever I look at this blog. I am also working on finding ways to remunerate guest bloggers and contributors. It wouldn’t be bad to write for the blog and get some money for sharing your personal experiences and knowledge.

Personally, I would love to take a 12-months vacation to Bali or The Maldives or Cancun and work on my first Christian novel… (it’s a dream. Please allow me!) 😂

© picasion.com_9CWp

 

Young Adults & Youth Ministry Of ICGC Believers’ Temple, La to Host Rev Dr. Anthony Cudjoe and Mrs. Comfort Ocran

GospelHub Ghana

03a6c479-c40b-4b3a-ae58-a9c168899ff8.jpg Icgc Believers’ Temple Young Adults and Youth Ministry to Host Rev Dr Anthony Cudjoe and Mrs Comfort Ocran in their Power Conference
The Chief Executive Officer of Legacy and Legacy and the Co-Founder of Combert Impression, Mrs. Comfort Ocran, is gracing this year’s Power Conference as part of activities to mark the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) Believers’ Temple Youth Ministry Week. This year’s event promises to be bigger and exciting as each programme has been designed to impact every young adult and take them a step higher in every sphere of their lives.
Other special guests, who will grace this Conference, include the Regional Overseer, Accra South Region and the Head Pastor of ICGC Calvary Temple, Reverend Anthony Cudjoe and renowned Gospel Musician, Luigi Maclean.
The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘The Power in Us’ and it starts on Wednesday, 22nd August at 6 pm with a Career…

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“Understand the Seasons & Embrace Technology,” Gospel Artiste Advises

Contemporary Gospel Musician, Samuel Osei Kwarteng, popularly known as Kwame Kwarteng is calling on musicians, particularly, those doing the gospel genre to understand the ‘times’ and adopt its accompanying technology in the production and distribution of their music.

The writer and singer of the hit single, Signs and Wonders, says this music industry is currently receiving its fair share of educational influences on both producers and consumers, therefore, a twist in the way the music is being made. He, however, refuted claims that the gospel industry in Ghana is collapsing, but, rather sees the genre as entering into a new ‘season.’

“Music is a tool for evangelism and our music will change. We should, however, update the way we think and accept whatever that comes with it. If you don’t update yourself when the season comes, you will perish,” he said. “Now, some songs become hit on social media so our ability to use this tool very well is what will take us there,” Mr Kwarteng added. 

The 2016 graduate of the University of Development Studies, who has been singing since IMG-20180709-WA0012childhood, believes prophecies in the Bible concerning  the pouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh in the last days, is being manifested in the increase in the number of gospel ministers who are also skilful in the art and performing miracles through their music.   

Mr Kwarteng, who is yet to go into this Ministry fulltime, admits there are challenges in the gospel terrain compared to other genres of music, therefore, his decision to combine singing with a regular job. In addition to the hit single, Signs and Wonders, the artist has Onim Wo Din, two songs which were inspired through scriptures. 

Signs and Wonders is a prophetic song and I see this season as a prophetic one. I got the inspiration for this song from Mark 16:17, where Jesus said signs and wonders will follow them who believe. For that reason, if you become a believer, you should not struggle for certain things in life,” he said.

“His death brought victory and blessings. First, we used to live in bondage and curses and were in deep sin but he came to die for us. If I lift up my hands and pray, the sick should be healed because that is the umbrella I operate under, so, we are made for signs and wonders as Jesus Christ said,” Mr Kwarteng said.  

The contemporary-style gospel musician traces his influences to Ron Kenoly, Alvin Slaughter, Don Moen, Tye Tribbett, Travis Greene, Lawrence Flowers, Mali Music, Donnie McClurkin and William McDowell. In Africa and Ghana, Nathaniel Bassey, Uche Agu, Joe Mettle, Jeshurun Otchere and Pastor Emmit are musicians Mr Kwarteng looks up to. 

The Righteous Cry.

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This Saturday, July 21, Kwame Kwarteng in collaboration with Kharis Life Foundation will be hosting a worship and prayer service dubbed Righteous Cry. The programme is taking place at the African Regent Hotel at exactly 3pm. Other ministers who will be ministering include Jeshrun Okyere, Pastor Emmit, A.B Kwarteng, Min. Mary and Rev. Nana Perbi.

The theme for this event, according to the musician, was inspired by Psalm 34:17 and it is an attempt “to get believers away from the ‘noise’ to a time with God when His words will be quoted back to Him.”  

“It will be ourselves and God and if we do that he is going to hear our cry.  It’s worship, prayer and the word and it’s free,” Mr Kwarteng concluded. 

 

© picasion.com_9CWp

Christians Laugh it Off with Parrot Mouth

It was an evening of good music and laughter at the fourth edition of Laugh it Off with Parrot Mouth. The event, which took place at the International Central Gospel Church, Prayer Temple at North Legon, saw dozens of comedians from Nigeria and Ghana mounting the pulpit and cracking a selection of jokes to a jam-packed auditorium. Comedians who performed at this year’s edition included Funny Mouth, Onumsky, MC Linkage, T-Kay, Jacinta, Forster Romanus, MJ, Comedian Waris, Parrot Mouth himself among others.

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The subject of the jokes varied and included those that made fun of the popular pastor, Bishop Obinim, relationships issues, the behaviour of girls/ladies and the differences between Ghanaians and Nigerians. A few of the comedians broke the jinx and told ‘trotro’ jokes and one on popular local nursery rhymes which got a massive reaction from the audience.

Personally, the comedian who ‘killed’ it for the night was Uncle Kobby who doubled as the MC in the initial stages. He shared jokes about his looks and how using Obinim’s sticker had improved that. He made fun of other performers and almost everyone who walked into the show. His taunts knew no bounds and even when the Host Pastor, Reverend Ofori Awuku walked in, Uncle Kobby asked the audience to assess the extent of God’s glory on the man of God. This was a preamble to an earlier joke he had made about the glory of God (good looks) rubbing off on either a man of God or his wife.

The host of the show, Parrot Mouth, also did his thing. He shared jokes on the Ghanaian-Nigerian differences, made fun of the people who contributed to his productions as well as other comedians who were present at the event. Parrot Mouth also shared his testimony on some of the challenges he faced in producing the annual event in the past four years. He did not fail to acknowledge the influence of Rev. Awuku on his life and the course he has taken. The Bishop of Comedy, as he likes to be known, emphasised on how his relationship with Rev. Awuku had aided in shaping his vision and helping him surmount his production challenges.

There were some musical interludes from Max Praise who shook up the venue with his rendition of some popular gospel tunes. Urban Gospel Musician, Kingzkid also performed I got my Jesus on and his latest track which is yet to be released, God Forbid.

Praise is the Winner of Our #EarlyChristmasGiveaway Contest

Christmas has come early for Praise Ella-Eyram Sogah. Praise found all 20 words in our Word Search puzzle.

The excitement in her voice, when she received the news that her entry had won the first prize, was infectious.

For her prize, Praise walks away with a bag containing quality wax print from Holland, hand towels and a box of chocolate from 57 chocolate.

This is her second time of winning a prize from the Christian Blog Ghana.

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Early Christmas Giveaway Contest Begins Today

So you think you know the Biblical Christmas story eh? Then this is the chance to show your prowess by taking part in our word search contest and winning some amazing prizes. How?

Instructions

A word search puzzle has been shared on our three social media pages – Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There are 20 hidden words related to the Biblical Christmas story. Find as many words as you can and send them as messages via these social media pages and not as comments. You can also email your entries to christianblogghana@gmail.com. Remember to include your full name and phone numbers. Special attention will be given to entries which are turned in early and to contestants who find the most number of words. The deadline for submission is Sunday, December 10, 23:59GMT.

 

Prizes

The ultimate winner of the word search contest will take away quality Hollandaise wax print, handtowels, and confectionery from 57 Chocolates.  The second and third winners will also take home wax prints, hand towels and some consolation prizes.

 

So you think you know your Biblical Christmas story, eh? Show us!