10 Minutes With Mummy Blessing, Veteran Ogoni Gospel Singer
Catechist Blessing Suanu Yaede, JP, is a traditional gospel singer of repute with the Bori Diocese of the Christ Army Church Nigeria (CACN). Mummy Blessing, as she is popularly known in musical circle, is a mother of four girls and a son, another music sensation known as Highlife Bobby whose latest hit, ‘DPO’ is currently making waves in Ogoniland due to the exploits of the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Bori, SP Bako Angbashim.
National Network Editor, Ken Asinobi, had a 10-minute interview with the singer in Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area on Sunday during the occasion of the valedictory visit of the retiring Prelate of Christ Army Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Most Rev. Abel Serebe Vurasi, JP, AM.P, DSSRS, to the Bori Diocese of CACN where he intimated the church of his retirement from active ministry in April, 2023.
National Network: You are always an attraction in St. Luke’s Christ Army Church Nigeria and other church circles because of your singing prowess. How did it all begin; I mean when did you discover your singing ministry?
Mummy Blessing: I came to discover my talent in gospel music as early as seven. It happens each time I am down with fever. I would refuse to take drugs and instead tell my mother to allow me to sing. I will continue to sing until the fever will disappear. Singing has remained a great passion for me, and I can sing without getting tired. The more I sing, the more I draw strength.
National Network: Has your singing in any way interfered with your matrimonial duties?
Mummy Blessing: Initially, people had the wrong notion about singers being rascals. My husband was disturbed by that and was being uncomfortable. But at the end of the day, he saw that it was something God gave to me. It was resident in me, and very soon my husband saw that it is not something he could interfere with. Today, I am happy because my husband is my number one fan. Anything given you by God will stand every test. But, if God gives you something and you fail to handle it well, it might destroy even the good gifts given to you.
National Network: How much cooperation do you now enjoy from your husband in your music ministry?
Mummy Blessing: My husband supports me greatly. Whenever I have to go and minister in any crusade, whether in Ogoni or outside, I always seek his permission and he gives me his blessings. We discuss it and I only go when I get his go-ahead.
National Network: How do you get inspirations and from what source do you receive your songs?
Mummy Blessing: The Holy Spirit comes each time I am cooking or washing. As I cook or wash in my closet, I hear it come. Sometime, it is so loud I will ask my husband if he is hearing what I am hearing, because most times it comes when I am discussing with my husband in the kitchen or where I am washing. Sometimes, it is so clear that I will have to grab my phone and record it.
National Network: What genre of music do you sing, I mean the type whether traditional or contemporary? Do you sing only in Ogoni or English?
Mummy Blessing: I sing majorly traditional Ogoni gospel songs. I also sing in English depending on the song. But because I started from this our local church with Ogoni as the most popular language, ninety-nine percent of our songs are Ogoni.
National Network: Non-speakers of Ogoni like myself believe you have a special way of singing Ogoni songs as if you are rapping. You are so fast that one can hardly pick one word of what you are singing. Is it something you do deliberately or is just your style?
Mummy Blessing: (laughs) I think its because you are not Ogoni and do not understand nor speak Ogoni. Like I said before, it’s the Holy Spirit that directs me to sing. In fact, he sings through me. Most things I do when I am singing, I do not know. It is usually a moment of ministration and a moment of the power of God at work.
National Network: How many albums do you have in your kitty? And who is your Manager and Producer?
Mummy Blessing: I have seven albums in the market. My Manager and Producer is Wisdom Yaede, popularly known in music circle as Highlife Bobby. He is my only son. He did the popular song called DPO, to eulogize the Divisional Police Officer in Bori, SP Bako Angbashim.
I also have four girls. They are good singers but not in the level of Highlife Bobby. My husband also sings well. You need to be in our morning devotion to know what I am talking about.
National Network: Can you name the seven albums you have in the market. How are they doing?
Mummy Blessing: I have: ‘Bariwayira’, ‘Barikirama’, ‘Tonuamom’, ‘Jesus Niaparabe’, ‘Bye bye to Poverty’, ‘Barizubere Nabe’ and ‘Buto Jehovah’. The songs are popular here in Ogoni. My one challenge is piracy. People will steal your song and do a little editing and it becomes theirs. They change the beat and put it in memory card and do what they like with it. Another challenge that I have is sponsorship. With a strong financial backup, I will do my songs, retain and release them to bless humanity. I sing to bless the people, that is me. If I have good sponsors, I would host crusades and bless them with my songs. I am calling on governments, organizations and public-spirited individuals to sponsor this God’s project. God will richly bless you if you do.