“It really wasn't cool when I started singing gospel music because I had to drop so many things, some friends left, and back then in my school fellowship, I had so many challenges, even my music director at the time won't call me to sing because everybody used to see me as a secular singer but everything changed the day I rededicated my life to follow Jesus Christ” – Mike Adekunle
I am Michael Adekunle Oluwatomiwoloju popularly known as Mike Adekunle, I'm an urban/ contemporary gospel recording artist, songwriter and a lover of Christ Jesus. These gifts have helped me to use the God-given songs to spread the message of hope, worship and encouragement to people home and abroad to the glory of God.
I grew up in a lovely family, I am the first child and the only male child with three beautiful sisters, I studied mass communication at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Ojere, Abeokuta (Mapoly) in Ogun state, Nigeria. I was born and bred in Lagos, Agege to be precise.
Growing up was fun and I really enjoyed it. I grew up in a very devoted Christian family where we don't joke about church activities. I actually didn't mingle with bad friends though I play a lot but not too stubborn because I’ve been exposed to the things of God right from birth. My Dad was always monitoring me because he knows as a boy if you're not monitored you can go the wrong way and due to where I grew up from, it's very easy to become a street boy that doesn't sleep at home and go wayward.
I could remember I started my secondary school education in a public school, but when I got to Junior secondary school two (J.S.S 2) my dad withdrew me and took me to a Private secondary school where we were not much in class and everyone was cool and easy going students. Just because I missed the rugged life I was exposed to during my time in the public school, I still find a way of going there to mingle with my friends and after the closing time, we won't go home directly but go to a game centre to play games for hours without eating, we do keep our monies just to play games and it continued like that because once I returned home my parents won't allow me to go out anymore but to stay indoors and read school notes. Back then in my secondary school days, going out with friends made me love listening to hip-hop songs and makossa.
Singing for me started at a very tender age, it became very serious when I joined the choir in my church then as an acuba player (local wood drum), since then it has been a journey of discovery of my purpose. I started writing my own songs after I left senior secondary school but I wasn't recording them, I just write for keeps because I was always at home instead of playing around, I devoted my time to songwriting and it really helped me. Despite the fact that I was a choir member, I started writing secular songs and would leave the church service to go to perform outside.
While doing this, I played the drum set for juju artists, Fuji and so on just to make money. Everything I was doing then was to use my gift to get additional money and I used to be a RnB singer and sometimes I Afro-pop and it took me to so many ungodly places to perform, while I was a very active choir member at my local church before we relocated to another area.
In 2007, I did my first studio work, a single titled 'Ife re (Your love)' and the following year I gained admission into the above mentioned polytechnic where I graduated from in 2013 and throughout my years in school, I was busy going to shows though I do attend classes too, but in 2012 I had a dream, and I explained to my pastor then, he told me God needs me, but have not been using my gift in the right way, because of this I ran away from the man of God because I was just singing to make money, have lots of female friends and get famous and for several times, the dream kept on coming back in another form, this is one of the reasons why you don't joke with dreams... So in March 2013, I did a song which was the last secular song I ever did and that put an end to doing secular songs and that was my 8th single track but I didn't do Gospel, I was just there, focusing on my final year project.
My salvation story came still in 2013, I was in class that day and a friend Ogbaji Stephen by name came to me to invite me to join him as a backup singer to sing at a Gospel concert he was invited to, he knew I sing hip hop but he only told me to help him do the backup and I agreed. The concert was tagged "Worship in His Presence" by Pastor Feyi Ojuri. We rehearsed and went for the program, we actually sang that day and it was awesome, so after his ministration, we went back to our seat, we didn't leave immediately.
The program continued and I was feeling restless in my spirit, I was feeling bad that I used to be a chorister in church at the same time, I go to clubs to sing hip hop, even that day some of my fellowship-members in school came and when they saw me, they were surprised to see me on the stage doing back up, from there I started feeling useless for God and have wasted time using my gift for myself and not to glorify the name of God.
A question came to my mind that day that do I know if somebody was to be saved during our ministration because of me that person might not get saved because people knew me to be a secular singer? So many things were just running through my mind. Right there towards the ending of the program, an Altar call was made for the people who haven't given their lives to Jesus Christ, though have done that before, I went out and rededicated my life to follow Jesus.
After the program when I got home, I felt brand new and immediately Gospel songs started coming to my mind and I was inspired to write five solid songs that day. A few days later, I told some friends that I'm no more singing secular songs some were happy and some were not, the same week I took all my singing notes for secular songs up to five exercise books I set them on fire because I don't want to keep reading the songs I wrote there.
Ever since then, my life took a new shape and I love the things of God more. He (God) actually worked on me by Himself and He took my thirst for secular songs away and gave me a new spirit. When I told my parent I wasn't singing secular music anymore, they were happy because my Dad is a pastor and my mom is very devoted till now. My first stage experience to minister as a gospel singer came in 2014 during another "Worship in His Presence" concert by Pastor Feyi, he knew my story, he knew where I was coming from and he gave me the platform to use my gift for God.
It really wasn't cool when I started singing gospel music because I had to drop so many things, some friends left, and back then in my school fellowship, I had so many challenges, even my music director at the time won't call me to sing because everybody used to see me as a secular singer but everything changed the day I rededicated my life to follow Jesus Christ. I felt like a newborn baby in another world and God has been helping me because am not singing Gospel music for my personal interest, am working for God according to the word He gave me in Mark 16:15 in my sleep. Now, I enjoy what I do for real, and to the glory of God, I’ve been to places in Nigeria to minister and hopefully more to come in Jesus Name.
Conclusively, it's good to work for God and if you're still in such situation and you don't know what to do, pray to God to grant you the grace to be useful for Him alone and train your mind to what you think and also train your ears to listen to spiritual things and read the Bible often.
"WHEN I DISCOVERED I HAD A CALL TO ANSWER, I FOUND MYSELF PUTTING LIMITS TO WHAT I LISTEN TO, I HAVE TO MAKE SURE I'M GUIDING MY EARS BECAUSE MY EARS LEAD TO MY MIND WHICH LEADS TO MY HEART."
Glory to Jesus, my life got a new shape when I became useful for God... Hallelujah!!!!
YouTube link to Appreciate video
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