Thursday, July 4, 2019

Mercenary “Investigative Journalism” in Service of Fraud

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.

As a scholar and teacher of journalism, I am troubled by an emerging character of Nigeria’s diasporan and homeland digital-native news formation, which had functioned as alternative outlets for the sort of critical journalism that the homeland legacy news media have abandoned. 

They start by attracting attention to themselves through what seems like uncompromisingly adversarial journalism against venality in government. But just when they succeed in persuading people to invest faith in their journalistic integrity, they cash out and become indistinguishable from, and sometimes worse than, the compromised homeland legacy media they were thought to be an alternative to.
It started from Elendu Reports, the first successful diasporan citizen media outfit, which, after sensationally unmasking high-profile corruption in the high reaches of government in Nigeria in 2005, turned around to furtively serve as “media consultant” to the same politicians it exposed as venal. Most other online-only news outlets have followed this template, the latest being the dubiously named “International Centre for Investigative Journalism” (ICIR). (Neither its reportorial purview nor its workforce is “international,” but it ignorantly calls itself one nonetheless).

I became aware of ICIR after it routinely tagged me to its reports on Twitter about a year ago. It appeared to be committed to the sort of critical enterprise journalism that has gone out of fashion in Nigeria but that is crucial to sustaining democracy. So I subscribed to its news feed.

Although I liked what the site did, there was always something fundamentally defective about its reporting. It usually lacked depth, thematic coherence, and intellectual sophistication. The quality of English of its reports was and still is also bewilderingly dreadful. It appears like a crucial criterion to be hired as a reporter on the site is an ability to demonstrate capacity to write illiterate English, to show contempt for grammatical correctness and completeness, and to write mind-numbing clich├ęs and solecisms.

But I chalked this up to the possibility that the owners of the site had the passion to uncover sleaze in government but lacked the education to do so. That was good enough for me. I thought they might improve in the coming years. Nevertheless, before they even gained traction in the Nigerian public sphere, they have chosen to cash out.

On June 24, the site published what it purported to be a “fact-check” of “social media influencers who shared fake news during the 2019 election.” I had been alerted several weeks in advance that some people had been “commissioned” by Bola Tinubu’s media team in Lagos to both launch an aggressive media onslaught on my person and to buy credibility for Buhari’s fraudulent “reelection,” which I have spent a great deal of energy exposing as the most barefacedly duplicitous election in Nigeria’s history.

I thought this would come in the form of the predictably sterile “attack” pieces in newspapers and on social media platforms, which I am already used to and for which I have developed a thick skin since Goodluck Jonathan’s days. But my informant said, “This would be different.”

Just when I got tired of waiting, a “Damilola” who said she was a reporter for “SaharaReporters” sent me a WhatsApp message weeks ago about videos of rigging that I shared on Twitter during the presidential election. She said she wanted to know the source of the videos or whether, in fact, I witnessed the events in the videos. No one who has even a day’s training in journalism would ask me those sorts of boneheaded questions.
First, the videos had gone viral before I shared them, so I couldn’t possibly be their original source. Second, the “reporter” obviously knows that I live in the United States and that I couldn’t have witnessed the rigging in the videos. If, for any reason, I did, I would have stated so—and would be the first to share them. Most importantly, though, no real journalist does a story about other journalists’ confidential sources of news, although I was, in fact, not the source for the videos she “fact-checked.”

The “fact-check,” which was published on ICIR’s website (and not Sahara Reporters) by two bylines, said I shared two “fake” videos during the 2019 election. The first so-called fake video was of INEC officials furiously thumb printing ballot papers on behalf of a political party. I wrote the following to accompany the video: “See shameless rigging by INEC officials: Thumb printing on an industrial scale.” I didn't mention the year this happened, and said nothing about what party was a beneficiary of the mass thumb printing because I couldn't tell that with any certainty, although other people who shared it before me said it was during the 2019 election.

The “reporters” said their “investigation” confirmed that the video indeed showed INEC officials thumb printing ballot papers except that they found it wasn't during the 2019 election. But I never said it was. Nevertheless, the “reporters” said I "implied" it was during the 2019 election. Was sort of “fact checking” is that?

You can’t fact-check what’s on my mind. That’s babalawo (or is it mamalawo) journalism! I am capable of saying it was during the 2019 election if I wanted to, but I didn’t. Others, however, did. The fact of INEC officials feverishly thumb printing ballot papers on a mass scale in support of a party, irrespective of when it happened, was worth sharing, particularly in light of similar things that went on at the time, which the second video confirmed, as I’ll show shortly. So the video wasn’t fake by any definition of the term. If anything, it’s the analysis of it by the venal, uneducated philistines masquerading as “reporters” that is fake.

The second so-called fake video they said I shared was real even by their own analysis. They confessed that they “set out to debunk many videos we believed to be old or not related to the elections. We were not prepared to deal with actual, blatant rigging, not with the PVCs and not with the improved vigilance that was supposed to be a key feature of the 2019 polls.” If you ignore the woolly, incoherent thought process of the sentence, you will see their bias seeping out like fetid pus. They were disappointed to find the video to be an authentic “recent case” case of rigging. All I said about the video was: “Why would anyone accept the outcome of an election like this? Democracy is supposed to be one person, one vote.”

They agreed that the video, which clearly showed INEC officials rigging on behalf of a party, was from the 2019 election. They only said they couldn’t “emphatically state that those stamping and thumb printing the ballot papers are INEC officials” and that they “could not distinctly make out the party being thumb-printed.” That’s blatant partisan claptrap. They could “fact-check” the thought-processes that resided in the inner recesses of my mind, which I didn’t verbalize, but they couldn’t fact-check an obvious fraud in a video. Nevertheless, neither the video nor what I said about it was inaccurate by any stretch of the imagination.

Can’t Tinubu’s media team get smarter mercenaries for their hit jobs than these pitifully lowbrow vulgar buffoons? Other dimwitted daggers for hire like a faceless, ignorant “Okanga Agila” have joined the fray to attack me.

But the truth remains that it was Buhari’s government that hired Israeli disinformation agents to spread fake news on social media against his main opponent, Atiku Abubakar. According to a May 17, 2019 Associated Press news story titled “Israeli Disinformation Campaign Targeted Nigerian Election,” “One of the pages that Facebook cancelled appeared filled with viral misinformation attacking Abubakar, the former vice president of Nigeria. The page’s banner image showed Abubakar as Darth Vader, the Star Wars villain, holding up a sign reading, ‘Make Nigeria Worse Again’.” The AP story added: “The report also featured a page that explicitly lionized and boosted Buhari, with amateur videos eulogizing the accomplishments of his presidency as though he were not locked in a tight battle for re-election.”

Interestingly, the ICIR “investigative report” on fake news only briefly referred to this report but didn’t point to the fact that it was Buhari who hired an Israeli firm to spread fake news during the election. ICIR has killed itself before it’s even had a chance to live. That’s such a shame!

Related Articles:
ICIR's Sponsored Fake "Fact-Checking" about Fake News
Propagandocracy and the Buhari Media Centre
Nigerian Media as Comforters of the Comfortable, Afflicters of the Afflicted

Nonfiction Manuscript Submission Tips for TCK Publishing

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo—Ruby in the Sky. They are moving to their Forever Home




RUBY IN THE SKY

By Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo



Sometimes, it seems as though everything goes wrong in a person’s life. Is it asking too much to want a true forever home? In Author Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo’s novel RUBY IN THE SKY, Ruby and her mother are moving to their forever home. Only it doesn’t work out the way they had planned. Ruby’s mother is arrested, and that’s only the beginning of events in Ruby’s life. As she befriends an old lady and a boy in school, she learns that people are not always what they seem.

RUBY IN THE SKY is a story of family and friendship, forgiveness and bravery, along with a touch of magic and the realization that everyone has his or her own story. I also learned something about the real “Ruby Moon", which is very rare, sort of like Ruby Moon Hayes in the story. Do you know what it is? 

This novel is ideal for school libraries, as well as your own private library. Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo has written a story that will make you smile. It will also bring tears to your eyes, at least it did to mine. I also  want to learn more about this girl. Happy Reading!

Available at AMAZON     BARNES AND NOBLE and other places

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Excerpt of the story, “My World” from the forthcoming novella, “The Drunken Cop and other stories” by Omoruyi Uwuigiaren


I was born in Lagos and I have no regrets that I have spent my entire life in the city. When I was a boy, I had so many dreams, which shaped my life. I have accomplished some. Others are completely out of my reach. If I could turn back the hands of time, I will certainly do some things differently. For instance, I won’t venture into writing and publishing. I will join the military and save myself the nightmare of an ordinary Nigerian who is constantly at the mercy of a system that has little or no value for life. It is easier to die and harder to live.

 If I have a gun as one of the drunken policemen, I have power. To a large extent, my safety is guaranteed. I will sleep at night with eyes closed. Those who know I have a house full of death will avoid me. They won’t want to have anything to do with me. Barring unforeseen circumstances, I will live longer than the man who has no defense, for he has everything to lose including his own life.  

One of my dreams as a little Lagos boy was to secure my future and enjoy the beautiful earth. Go to the beach. Embrace nature and pleasure my good soul under her watchful eyes. Life is good. A man can hardly have enough. Pursuing my dreams has put me at odds with many people. I lost some good friends. I doubt if our paths will ever cross again. I was sincere. I sacrificed a lot to make the relationship work. I worked longer hours for free. Put my poor soul on the line to be trampled, sucked and squeezed like an orange. Yet, things did not just work out.

Lagos gave me everything. The city gave me hope, hell and life. Every morning that I open my eyes upon the light of the world, I feel the freshness, warmth and toughness of a city in the hearts of men.

Growing up was tough. It’s never easy to hold your ground in a world dominated by sharks, wolves and the devil himself. They feed on the weakness of others. If you don’t want to be wiped out, you must learn to stand above them and stand above hate. To survive in my world, you must be tough. When I say tough, I mean you must be as hard as the back of a turtle. Your life is yours to lose.


I had my expectations each passing day. They were inscribed on the palm of my hands. I was a curious little devil, spoilt by the toughness of a city that doesn’t forgive mediocrity. Your mistakes will eventually hunt you down if you don’t act fast. That is the nature of the world. It spares no one. People are hunted down like a dog if they lack the necessary ammunition to survive. If you wish to survive public life you must hide your imperfections.


I love fried fish more than anything else. The people in my life never that I was obsessed with fish. It was my little secret. There are things you just cannot tell people no matter how close they are. I grew in a world where little means was exaggerated. It was real. I could feel the heat on my face. No one had a better explanation of poverty because he was our noble visitor. Once your rations are over, they are over. You must accept the defeat and move on. Go get a life! There is nothing you can do. It’s like a door that is shut against you and the key tossed into the deep blue sea. You either wait for another chance few hours later that seems like eternity or you take laws into your hands.

My curiosity led me to the street…



About the Author....


It is a tragedy to remain in a world you cannot control and all the more tragic if you do not have control over your own life. People who have surrendered leadership of their lives to others are always at the mercy of those they serve.


Omoruyi Uwuigiaren is a former cartoonist turned writer. When he was a kid, writing was the last thing on his mind. He loved music and composed rap songs for his high school band. After school, he wanted to pursue a career in music. Instead he embraced writing. Thanks to a pastor who encouraged him to write little books and make them available in bookstores.

Ruyi lives in Lagos. Next to his family and friends, writing is his passion and happiness. Today, he writes middle grade adventure fiction and picture books. Some of his published books include The Adventures of Nihu, The City Heroes and other stories from the heart of Africa, The Mystery of Taiwo Da Silva, the Promised Land; I am Jane, Jane the Good Girl, Shadows in a River, Little Okon and the Outside World, Giant in a Hut, and the Little King.

He is the founder of Ruyi’s World of Books and Stories and Human Change Communications Company. His literary works and short stories have appeared on Moronic Ox Literary and Cultural Journal, San Francisco Review of Books, QWERTY Thoughts, the Story of a Writer, the Guardian Newspapers, and the Vanguard Newspapers.

Most of his books are printed (in-house) on either 60 grams or 70 grams bond quality paper by Human Change Communications Company. Covers are printed in full colour on pelican or FBB paper (thick and durableand laminated. 

The little books and pamphlets are moved to his trimming station where they are folded and bound (by hand) using a commercial-grade saddle stapler. Each book is carefully trimmed using an electric trimmer, making the outside edge crisp (just like perfect bound books have). Every book is neatly packed and new-looking until they are sold. The extra effort means his books are more expensive to produce, but beautiful and highly collectible. Most of his little books are produced in large numbers from 300 to 1000 copies and are usually sold out in three months or less. His books are distributed to primary schools in Nigeria. Quality is key. He builds his books to last.

You can buy some of his eBooks hereApart from his blog where you can read his books, articles and short stories for free, you can also download his free books in PDF, Epub, Kindle and TXT formats here.

Reach him at: Ldsomoruyi@yahoo.ca

Monday, June 17, 2019

Book Review: Love, War and Glory by Denis Olasehinde Akinmolasire




Do what is right. Not what you like…
This book is for anyone that wants to experience complete happiness and you will discover many new ways to show love and appreciation.
The author did not disappoint me. I wasn’t stranded.
I got what I wanted in a nice collection of poetry.
Denis is a huge talent.
He knows how to make people happy!
This story would make a nice addition to your home library. 

Denis Olasehinde Akinmolasire is a software engineer who has always enjoyed writing and is taking the opportunity to share his unique insights and hidden talents to the rest of the world. His perspectives have been formed through his own journey in finding love, battling to overcome the challenges and fears that have been put in front of him in the pursuit of glory and being the very best he can be at everything he does.





Enjoy!

Reviewed by Omoruyi Uwuigiaren




Sunday, June 16, 2019

Book Review: Big Red by Damien Larkin




We have always been here...

Traumatized by the effects of Compression travel, soldier Darren Loughlin holds the key to the fate of Earth’s Martian colonies. With his Battalion decimated, his fractured memory holds the only clues to the colony-wide communications blackout.
With time running out, Darren pieces together his year-long tour of duty with the Mars Occupation Force. Stationed in the Nazi-founded New Berlin colony, ruled by the brutal MARSCORP, he recounts his part in the vicious, genocidal war against the hostile alien natives and all who question Terran supremacy.
But as his memories return, Darren suspects he is at the centre of a plot spanning forty years. He has one last mission to carry out. And his alien enemies may be more human than he is…

Release date - May 14, 2019
$18.95, 6x9 trade paperback, 304 pages
Science Fiction – Military/Alien Contact/Alternative History
Print ISBN 9781939844606 / EBook ISBN 9781939844613
$4.99 EBook available in all formats


Damien Larkin is a part-time Planning Analyst and a full-time stay-at-home father of two young children. He enjoys turning terrifying nightmares into novels and currently resides in Dublin, Ireland.
Website 



Reviewed by Beverly Stowe McClure


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Coming Soon: Misery of the Popular God


Imagine Africa without poor leadership, corruption and religious fanatics. And high moral values and innovation are adequately rewarded.

What if you realize that you don’t need to be a Christian or Muslim to be rich? Nothing guarantees success like following due process.

Can religion build a country? The idea of applying spiritual solutions to physical problems has to stop. Great countries and continents are not built by faith—they are built through vision, integrity, hard work and scientific creations.

Some people are poor or below average in Africa, especially Nigeria because they value religion more than anything else. What if the man you so trusted to give you spiritual guidance is actually a fraud and all he wants is for you to remain impoverished so that you could be his puppet?
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of backlash.
Fear of failure could hurt anyone.
In the world of a charlatan, winning is all about keeping majority of the people poor with a religious card.
Have faith.
Don’t only settle for the supernatural.
Dominate and enjoy the beautiful earth.



Excerpt...



There are people who think they are better than others. We are gods and there is a “Supreme Being” that rules in the affairs of men. The Supreme Being is the God of us all. “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh…” Jeremiah 32 v 27a. He is the one true God that is love and ever willing to accept people irrespective of their weakness and shortcoming. He is eternal. He is the beginning and the end. He is open to help anyone because we are all inscribed in the palm of his hands. He is not a material God that requires sticks and stones before He will respond. He is a spiritual being and it requires a high level of spirituality to work with Him. “God is a spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth,” John 4 v 24. While you are spiritual in your service to God, you are expected to be in charge of your own life. As children of God, you have the power to take decisions, rest when you are tired, and find something to eat. You can also cloth yourself, seek advancement, embrace modernity and have a personal relationship with God. You are the number one prophet of your own life. If you have Jesus Christ, you do not need a middle man no matter who he is. According to the book of Genesis 1 v 28, mankind have been prophetically unleashed by the his Maker to dominate, control, multiply and subdue the earth irrespective of his religion, race, background, affiliation and ethnicity. 
In Africa, especially Nigeria, not many have encountered this God because He is not popular. God is slow to anger. Slow to react because He is a God of process. God thrives in orderliness.  God moves faster where there is order. Because many people are not willing to follow due process, they seek alternative route. A project that ordinarily should take five or more years to achieve, many Christians in Nigeria want to have them overnight. Some Christians are like a student who gains admission into college for a four year program. After just two days in the school, he is already thinking that he is due for graduation. With the little or no knowledge, he jumps into the labour market to seek employment. He believes that since he has paid the tuition fee for the first year and spent some days in the class, he is good to go. He is qualified like the person who endured the hardship of learning for years. His status has to change since he is a child of God whether he is qualified or not. Sadly there are people who are willing to feed the ignorance to their own advantage. All they need to do is tell the people what they want to hear. Large percentage of the people wants to hear that the process is not as important as the proceeds. Just give or sow seed and you are going to be blessed. You will receive power from the miraculous. God will break protocols to bless you. He is a merciful God. He is going to turn your sorrow to joy right away. When mischievous people tell their followers that God is a miraculous God and that things can be achieved quickly by trusting Him, they don’t tell their followers how the seventeen year old Joseph who was sold to Egypt by his own brothers. And it took Joseph thirteen years of hardship, perseverance, serving the Lord in truth and in spirit, and frustration to become the governor of Egypt. “And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.
“Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck.
“And he made him ride in his second chariot. And they called out before him, “Bow the knee!” Thus he set him over all the land of Egypt.
 “Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
“And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-paneah. And he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On. So Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh King of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt,” Genesis 41 v 41-46.
In the kingdom of God, there are no short cuts. There is nothing like quick fix. Samuel anointed David as the King of Israel when he was just a boy. When David was anointed, King Saul was still the king of Israel. Anointing is not a guarantee that you will not encounter trouble. It is only symbolic that you are for something special. It does not guarantee safety from attacks, enemies and struggles.
However, ascending the throne ordained by God for him nearly cost David his life. There was enmity between the house of Saul and the house of David which lasted for several years, and David had to flee for his life. Because the work of God is a process and you cannot cut corners, David had to learn the hard way. First, instead of becoming the king of Israel, he was first appointed the king of Judah. All these are part of the process.  2 Samuel 2v 1-4.
You must accept the challenge and pay the price. There is nothing free in heaven. Even if the gifts are given freely, you must earn it.  Natural laws must take its course. The atheist, Christian or Muslim all have equal chance to make it in life. When God commanded mankind to dominate, subdue, multiply and replenish the earth, He did not limit this to any particular race, religion, affiliation or people. “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth,” Genesis 1 v 28. You don’t need to be a Christian to be rich. Anybody who understand the rules of how to get rich and applies them will be rich. Wealth has nothing to do with your affiliation to God or any religion. The earlier you know this, the better for you. Having God by your side is only a bonus. The power to decide whether you want to stay poor or rich is in your hands. God did not create you to have ears, mouth, eyes and brain for nothing. They are all you need to have all your needs met. Financial security does not come by being a Christian. You need to know the process. It is the process you apply that will make you rich. Do not allow anyone to deceive you that sowing seed in the church will make you rich or lead to instant miracles. It does not guarantee success.
Becoming a Christian only enhances your chances of going to heaven or having relationship with God. Being born again does not mean you will be financially secure. If your pastor tells you will be rich once you are born again, he is deceiving you. The true God does not require financial inducement to get His attention.
People who struggle or want the quick blessings always connect themselves to where they can get result without following any process or they are made to commit financially to cut corners and get the attention of God. In reality, they are only sowing to the wind. Breaking protocol, cutting corners or paying to get what you should ordinarily access for free is not the hallmark of God. It is Satan appearing as the angel of light. If God cannot answer your prayers in your house, He cannot answer your prayers in the church.




About the Author...


It is a tragedy to remain in a world you cannot control and all the more tragic if you do not have control over your own life. People who have surrendered leadership of their lives to others are always at the mercy of those they serve.


Omoruyi Uwuigiaren is a former cartoonist turned writer. When he was a kid, writing was the last thing on his mind. He loved music and composed rap songs for his high school band. After school, he wanted to pursue a career in music. Instead he embraced writing. Thanks to a pastor who encouraged him to write little books and make them available in bookstores.

Ruyi lives in Lagos. Next to his family and friends, writing is his passion and happiness. Today, he writes middle grade adventure fiction and picture books. Some of his published books include The Adventures of Nihu, The City Heroes and other stories from the heart of Africa, The Mystery of Taiwo Da Silva, the Promised Land; I am Jane, Jane the Good Girl, Shadows in a River, Little Okon and the Outside World, Giant in a Hut, and the Little King.

He is the founder of Ruyi’s World of Books and Stories and Human Change Communications Company. His literary works and short stories have appeared on Moronic Ox Literary and Cultural Journal, San Francisco Review of Books, QWERTY Thoughts, the Story of a Writer, the Guardian Newspapers, and the Vanguard Newspapers.

Most of his books are printed (in-house) on either 60 grams or 70 grams bond quality paper by Human Change Communications Company. Covers are printed in full colour on pelican or FBB paper (thick and durableand laminated. 

The little books and pamphlets are moved to his trimming station where they are folded and bound (by hand) using a commercial-grade saddle stapler. Each book is carefully trimmed using an electric trimmer, making the outside edge crisp (just like perfect bound books have). Every book is neatly packed and new-looking until they are sold. The extra effort means his books are more expensive to produce, but beautiful and highly collectible. Most of his little books are produced in large numbers from 300 to 1000 copies and are usually sold out in three months or less. His books are distributed to primary schools in Nigeria. Quality is key. He builds his books to last.

You can buy some of his eBooks hereApart from his blog where you can read his books, articles and short stories for free, you can also download his free books in PDF, Epub, Kindle and TXT formats here.

Reach him at: Ldsomoruyi@yahoo.ca






Thursday, June 13, 2019

Latoya—Sing a New Song with Empress of Gospel Music.


Ruyi: How would you describe yourself? Tell us something about where you are based, and how you came to be a song writer and musician.

I am Josephine Latoya Okunbor. I am married with two children. I am from Edo State. I studied Business Education at the Adeniran Ogunsaya College of Education, Ijanikin, Lagos state, Nigeria. My journey as a musician and song writer started when I joined the 144,000 music group many years ago.

Ruyi: Ah! I remember. Then I was the coordinator of the group and it was like 144,000 or nothing. How time flies! Yes, you are now a gospel artiste. You are aware that secular music is doing well in Nigeria. Davido, Wizkid and a host of other secular artistes are making cool hard cash from music nowadays. As you know, no reasonable human being wants to be left behind. Have you considered secular music? Some say it is a goldmine!

No, I have not considered it. Well as for today, it is gospel music all the way.

Ruyi: It’s all right. I know a lot of popular secular musicians today who were once choristers in their church. So I won’t be surprised if someday you make the transition because you are also a chorister in your church. And you are doing well. Brandy, Snoop Dogg were once in the choir. The world is a small place. Anything can happen, Latoya! Once the opportunity comes, I expect you to take advantage of it. Anyway, that’s my candid opinion. So let’s move on. Tell us something about the songs or contents that you have written or created and the story behind them.

Most of my songs are true story of my life, the challenges that I have gone through and how God helped me to overcome. My life is a testimony. My life is in God’s hands.

Ruyi: Life is good and God is good. What place does music, song writing or content creation hold in your life?

Well, I always tell people who care to listen to me that once you take away music from me, I will cease to exist. Music, writing songs and content creation holds the greatest part of existence in me.

         Ruyi: I am a writer. So I understand you. The music industry in Nigeria is very tough and challenging. I have seen promising artistes fall by the way side due to one reason or another. It appears if you don’t have money to promote your songs, you will never be heard. So it is winner takes all. As a Gospel artiste, you have your challenges too. People hardly want to pay for gospel shows. Now tell me. What marketing techniques have been most effective for you? People need to know how you have been making money from your songs.

         That for now is in the hands of my producer.

Ruyi: Who is your producer?


       Ruyi: Ben Jossy? I know him. We are friends. He knows a lot about the music industry in Nigeria. You are in safe hands, Latoya!

Thank you, Ruyi!

         Ruyi: You are welcome. What do you think makes a song or content sell, or makes a person buy it?

Creativity, instrumentation and choice of words.

         Ruyi: What’s the most moving or affecting thing a reader or fan has said to you.

I remember recently someone said, “Ma, your songs have immensely blessed me and healed me from sickness and discouragement. Keep it up!”

Ruyi: What are your favourite three songs and why?
i.       Sing a new song
ii.      Alashe nla
iii.     Oluwa mi
These songs speak a lot about my background.

Ruyi: Who are your favourite three musicians and what do you like about them?    
i.       Cece Winans
ii.      Juanita Bynum
iii.     Frank Edward
I love their uniqueness, passion and lyrics of the songs.

      Ruyi: Everybody knows Frank Edward and Cece Winans are prolific singers. I hope someday you will be like them. Tell us about the songs that you are currently working on and their progress.

I will be releasing a single with my friend and gospel minister Dayo dayspring anytime soon. Title of the song is “Oba Ni Jesu”.

Ruyi: What challenges do you think are faced by musicians, song writers and content creation like you and what’s the worst thing about the industry according to you?

There are lots of talented musicians out there but they have no sponsors. And even the established musicians are not helping the upcoming artiste to fulfill their dreams. I would have come into lime light long ago but no one was ready to help me. Not until I met my Pastor, whom God has used to help me fulfill this dream.

          Ruyi: Ah! I like to have that kind of pastor as a friend. God bless him. He is a good man. Apart from singing, song writing, what goals do you want to achieve in life?

I want to help the needy and be a motivation to many, especially young people.

Ruyi: Is there anything else you would like to mention?

We need the church, government and corporate bodies to assist young people in Nigeria to achieve great things in their endeavour.

Ruyi: Okay. You are right. All of us need support. We can help one another to achieve great things. What is the title of your recently published or released song? Please include an extract of the song here.
           “SING A NEW SONG”
My mouth is full of your praise Oh Lord
For all the things you have done for me
I can only bring to you a song of praise.

          Ruyi: What message do you want to share with budding musicians, song writers and content creator?

Let your songs be creative and meaningful. Be prayerful and work hard.

        Ruyi: Thank you, Latoya! Where can your fans find you on social media?