Queen of Gospel music, Tope Alabi’s 4-in-1 celebration of her 50th birthday started on a good note with 50 days of Golden Praise, designed to appreciate God for how far He has taken her, her ministry and her home (family), and most especially to mark her 50th birthday.
For the programme that started on Sept 7th, many testimonies has been trooping in from all the participants all over the world and it has been massive.
On the 4th day, Tope Alabi recounted many challenges she has faced in life with her husband while setting up her band. Below are excerpts.
“Lord, I thank you for taking care of me. I remembered when out first car was bought with factory fitted AC, but within a week it got spoilt. We would pack all our band boys in the boot, the female singer would sit at the back, I will sit with a back-up singer at the front, while my husband would drive. We travelled to Akure one day before we got there my husband’s clothe was socked with sweat, just because the car was not in good condition, but this is us today.
God’s favour and blessings take gradual process. As if that wasn’t enough. We decided to buy another spare bus Chrysler, that served us for a while too before it developed fault, it was so bad to the extent that it can develop fault at any time, at anywhere. It left us stranded in Sagamu times without number and at times Ogere; and we would be looking for tyre and water. There was a time the petrol pipe got busted and our fuel was wasting. Thank God there was no sparking. It was so frustrating we have to change its name from “Chrysler to Chrysyler”. That’s how God has been so gracious to us. The car we enjoyed most is the Camry but wasn’t spacious. All the bands; We are 8 in numbers but the car couldn’t contain us, so we would have to reshuffle; I back up singer, I drum setter and another back up that will double as P.A. and Secretary. There was a time we drove this Toyota Camry to Abuja. God has been so grateful to us. He was helping us grow like until we get to this stage, where we are today. If one is not ripe for growth God will not allow it. He was increasing us gradually.
We faced so many battles and challenges, but let me share a few. I remembered the day we were coming from Ibadan with the Camry and a car faced us, coming to hit us, we have to maneuvered into the bush, we lost control the extent that my baby, Debby I was carrying fell off from me but God kept us. How many can we count. Is it when Armed Robbers attacked us that I should I talk about? When they started beating and collecting phones from our band boys. What surprised me most that day and that made me know that God is taking care of us is the fact that one of the Armed Robbers came to my side and demanded for my purse and their leader reprimanded him, that he didn’t ask him to come to me. He told him point blank “don’t touch that woman”.
They collected all our band boys phones and money but said “don’t touch that woman”. That can only be God. If they had killed me or killed my husband what would we have done? God really took care of us. If God did not take care of one, it is not possible to take care of oneself.
Is it when I have not even gotten London visa yet there was rumour that I carried cocaine? So many challenges. How many will I count out of all His goodness towards me and family? I remembered John, a cloth seller in Oshodi. I will go to him to collect lace pieces to join Ankara somebody gave me at Balogun Oshodi.
At time, he would give me 2 yards, at times 11/2 yard of dry lace, and I love white and red. Whenever Remdel gives me Ankara, it’s always bigger than my stature, I will go to John shop, loose the Ankara and joined it will lace. I also remember Fausat, my tailor at Kollington. She’s the one that always help me sew them after sketching it.
People did not know, they would think it’s my SU style that doesn’t make me wear earrings, but it is because I don’t have it. When I was repeatedly using a small earring, they didn’t see me until God blesses me and I was able to buy long and visible one, they said I have backslided. I bought the one I was repeatedly using for 25 naira and it never fade; in fact, I took it to my husband’s house and I continued using it after our marriage. I remembered how I packaged the box they told my husband to fill with clothes on our traditional wedding. Danfo brought my husband on our engagement day and when the man that was supposed to borrow his car dissappointed him. On our wedding day we got to church late because my husband’s best man refused to show up. We started begging him. I have every reason to give God all the glory now that I clocked 50 year on earth because I know many things He has done for me. How He has changed my story.
I remembered when we wanted to rent an apartment and everything we had on us both in the bank and at hand was 35,000. We had to start borrowing money from people even we borrowed money from the agent.
The apartment was a self contain but it gave us a serious problem, the toilet wasn’t okay. I give God all the glory. God knows how He operates step by step, let’s always learn to exercise patience in life. When we moved to our house and we showed our children room to them, my first daughter said “mummy, are you sure I am the owner of this room, are you sure in my life I am going to have a room to myself? Why because she understands where we are coming from. That is how God works. I give God all the glory”.