A video is fast trending on social media. It is a video of a live concert performance of multiple award winning gospel artiste, Evangelist Tope Alabi.
Perhaps the video is an old one and her critics may be using it for whatever reasons best known to them....But it appears to be a new or recent video which makes the issue even more controversial and provoking if not outrageous. Be that as it may, it still raises an issue for discourse anyday considering the outrage in the social media.
In the video, the ace singer made a scathing remark on the song of Adeyinka Alaseyori titled ONIDURO MI. In that song Alaseyori referred to God as her GUARANTOR or SURETY or REFEREE in all her life endeavor. Apparently, she meant God or Jesus is her pillar and assurance.
This writer believes the Book of Hebrew 7 vs 22 buttresses the standpoint of Alaseyori. God is our guarantor in a situation whereby and or when there is no one to speak, defend, support or stand for us.
Tope Alabi suggested that God was more than her guarantor. In fact, she literally said that, it belittles God for Him to be addressed as ONIDURO MI (a mere Guarantor).
She added that, once, she wanted to sing that song, but the Holy Spirit asked her to shut up.
This has attracted huge criticisms among and from lovers of gospel music of the Yoruba genre...many of who feel that Tope Alabi was trying to "run down" a young artiste just cutting her teeth in the Gospel music sphere. Some even said Tope Alabi's action through her comment represents gross envy against Alaseyori. If it really is then, Yours Sincerely thinks, Tope Alabi through or by her comment or action has made Alaseyori more popular if not famous.
I really wonder why Tope Alabi with all her fame, honour and recognition in the gospel music should thread the path. I wonder why she would stoop this low. Why would she go into this unnecessary and avoidable controversy? What does she stand to gain if really she was trying to rundown a younger or upcoming artiste?
Here is a woman who is at the top of her career. In fact, she is the most prominent and most successful female gospel music of the Yoruba genre if not generally the most successful in both genders. So what does she want to achieve by running down a lady who should be her daughter in music circle?
This is how the rivalry starts....and people are already insinuating that Tope Alabi may have sown a seed of unhealthy rivalry between her and Alaseyori. We have seen such rivalry over the years.
There was the King Sunny Ade vs Commander Ebenezer Obey rivalry....Late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister vs General Ayinla Kollington equally had theirs...What about Alabi Pasuma vs Saheed Osupa...and Wizkid vs Davido among several others. But most of these rivalries in music were not essentially bitter.
This writer as a huge fan of Tope Alabi thinks she doesn't need this "bad publicity" which she has attracted to herself deliberately. She may even not mean her comment the way it is being interpreted by her critics but do you blame them? There is a saying that, he or she that fetches ants infested firewood invites lizards to his or her party.
Tope Alabi should therefore live with the controversy and criticisms she has invited to herself. Her publicity has a lot of work to do now....in the area of image laundry.
Mr. Desmond Ekwueme is a renowned Nigerian journalist based in Lagos.