By Richard Thomas, Ibadan
No doubt, Evangelist (Dr) Funmi Aragbaye has written her name into the sand of time with her success, strides and track records both in her private life and in the gospel music world.
The testimony of her success story from the secular world to the gospel music world is not only inspirational but insightful and of tremendous activities.
Her story is never complete without talking about her sojourn in state government organisation (ministry) where she aquired much administrative experience, and in the Newspaper industry where she and her husband Elder Bola Aragbaye bestroded the media industry like a collosus.
Elder Bola Aragbaye is a veteran journalist who worked as editor with the defunct Sketch Newspaper. “He was a founding member of the Herald where I also worked in Ilorin. He worked with the likes of Ebenezer Williams, Peter Ajayi, Chief Segun Osoba and many others. He also served as the Chief Press Secretary of Chief Adekunle Ajasin whe he was elected governor of Ondo State.”
Dr Aragbaye said she spent greater part of her working life in the media,
“I first got a job in the Herald in Ilorin and later moved to Sketch after my marriage. And after the election of Chief Ajasin as governor of Ondo Stat he invited my husband to serve as his Chief Press Secretary, so we moved to Akure where I worked in the ministry of Establishment. After the coup which cut short the government in 1983, we moved back to Ibadan where my husband rejoined Sketch and I also transferred my work back to Oyo state where I worked in the ministry of Establishment and Training, then ministry of Works and Transport where I retired from civil service in 1997. I retired as Principal Administrative Officer in that ministry.”
Relaying her journey, experience and how she became a famous gospel singer, Evangelist Aragbaye said she has been singing while working but God led her into full time singing after she retired, “I was no longer a nursing mother when I started singing.”
She said, “When God called me, He told me that He will take me to every part of the world through singing, then I heeded the call at the ministry of Commerce in Ibadan. And since then I have been singing gospel music to the glory of God. I have been to many parts of the world according to what the Lord told me”.
She said she receives her songs in her sleep and through inspiration of things happening around her.
With about 25 albums in her Kitty, Dr. Aragbaye said her first album, Olorun Igbala with the popular hit song Sioni o ilu Ayo was released in 1988.
“During this experience, my husband was very supportive. He was always there for me”, she added.
On how she is coping with her tight schedule and her office as the president of Gospel Musician Association of Nigeria, (GOMAN) the dynamic and inspirational gospel singer said the Lord has been helping her, adding that her civil service esperience has really helped her too.
“I didn’t really want it because I thought I will not be able to cope to do things well owing to the much pressure of works and commitment in my hands. But the Lord has been so good to me since I took over mantle of leadership as president of the association. Asked to reveal the secret of her strength and her healthy look, she said, “I use to gim and do all sporting activities at all times. I am sure many who see how healthy and strong I am don’t know this secret.”
Dr Aragbaye called on gospel singers especially the young ones to sing for the advancement of the kingdom of God and compose songs that will correct the ills of the society.
“I advise them to follow divine call because the sign of God always follows those who are divinely called.”