•LAGOS Designer, KENNY JONES Explains
Kenny Jones is a popular Lagos Fashion designer who is doing so well, along with his twin brother, Taiwo Jones. Both of them like living legend, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey. And Obey in turn likes the twin brothers too. He said so recently at his 81st birthday thanksgiving at his Decross Church in Lagos. The twin brothers also have never hidden the depth of their love for Baba Obey, as they like to call him.
“Every year, Kenny Jones and his twin brother have a special way they celebrate me.
Truly so. They celebrated Baba Obey last Monday when they hosted a concert in honour of his 81st birthday.
The event was taged Resumption Praise and it was held at their 14 Modupe Street Complex, Off Obafemi Awolowo Way, behind Lagoon Hospital, Lagos. Those who were not physically present joined virtually on Facebook, Instagram and Yotube. There was a Question and Answer segment anchored by Mogaji Kola Olotu. All Obeys fans all over the world joined and threw in questions that took Baba Obey back in his over 66 years career.
Why does Kenny Jones keep celebrating Evangelist Ebenezer Obey annually? “As we celebrate Ebenezer Obey we are remembering our past. Ebenezer Obey contributed to our success, and achievements in life. It is good to celebrate our icons whilst they are still alive. Lets celebrate our parents, our fathers and mothers. When my mother was alive, I made sure she lived well. She lived in my 1st house that I built in 2012. She has been living there since 2010. I built that place for me and my wife and twin brother but we now said lets put our mother there. Let her enjoy the fruits of her labour. So, when she departed in 2021, we did not have any cause to regret because people know that we celebrated this woman.
Lets celebrate these icons when they are still alive.
Baba Obey is a great man. Do you know how many of Baba’s music various radio stations play in a day? Like Baba said: do your best and leave the rest.
Very many years ago, when Baba 1st called me Kenny Jones of the universe, I didn’t know what he meant.
The 1st time I will fly in an aircraft, in my life I flew with Baba Obey. That was the 1st time I flew in my life.
Do you get what I mean? We went to Calabar in 2003. Obasanjo was the President then. We wanted to go shoot a video for one of Baba Obey’s songs in Calabar. We boarded Arik.
That was my 1st time of flying. Since then, I have travelled. I have been in Dubai, Jerusalem. I followed Baba Obey to London also one day, he prayed for me.
He said Kenny Jones, I pray for you from the bottom of my hearts”.
“I started my business since 1992. I met Baba Obey in 1995”.
How did their paths cross? How did he meet Baba Obey? “I sewed clothes for somebody. He saw it and he liked it. I sewed a shirt for Mama Funmi Aragbaiye. I made a shirt for her. I now wrote Funmi Aragbaiye on that shirt, on the breast pocket. The shirt was pure cotton, white shirt. She wore that shirt and Baba Obey now saw that shirt on her. Baba Obey now cracked a joke with Mama Funmi Aragbaiye and said Haaa! You too sew your shirt, where I sew mine in Hongkong. Because Baba Obey makes all his clothes abroad. He will go there, they will take his measurement, they will sew his shirt and put his name on his outfits-Baba Obey put name on his shoes.
You will see Ebenezer Obey written on his Mauri shoes. The woman now said the shirt was not done in Hongkong, but by a small boy in Nigeria. He said really? She said the boy even goes to your church. He says he wanted to meet you. Mama Aragbaiye now called me that Baba Obey will like to meet with you. At that time I sewed ladies dress. I usually make clothes for her. She even told me that she used one of the outfits I sewed for her on the jacket of one of her albums, and somebody called to say he likes that photo.
That is how I met Baba Obey in 1995. He said he doesn’t know if I will be able to make the kind of suits he wears. He said you know I make my suits in Hongkong. You know I am a celebrity. Baba Obey is a stylish man. Baba Obey likes good attires, shoes and wristwatches. I followed him from church home. He was using a white, Benz then 230. That was the 1st time I will sit down with a celebrity. I stood there. I didn’t know where to enter. Is it the front or the back.
I wanted him to tell me where to enter. Our daddy taught us home training, a little bit. It might not be much. He now said Kenny enter. You can sit down anywhere. I now sat in the front. When we got home he now told someone to go and bring out some suits. Baba Obey is a man of details. At any point in time, Baba Obey knows what he wants. He showed me a suit made by an Oyinbo. He told me the colours he wanted me to use. He told me everything. After I finished these clothes, Baba Obey wore it and everyone liked it. He himself liked it. He made more. Baba Obey is the first person that will give me like 5 suits at a time to sew. That was in 1995.
After that, Baba Obey stopped wearing readymade suits again. I make all his shirts. I make all his suits, later, I jumped into this wool kaftan.
I do suits. I do native. We now moved on to native now. He abandoned the suit. He told me that this man, any time I wear I your suit abroad people always like it. They always say wow! Wow! Now, I will call you Kenny Jones of Africa. He had a concert in America and I made another dress for him and Pope said wow! He said people are saying the performance is good, but almost 90% of them kept saying we love your clothe, almost 90% of them came to me and they were touching the fabric that I wore. And they said this clothe is wow. Now, I will now send you to where they are doing wow with your clothe. So let me now send you to America.
I will not call you Kenny Jones of Africa again. I will now be calling you Kenny Jones of the universe.
I didn’t know we have 2 airports in Lagos State. I didn’t know we have local and international. I just see planes flying past. I did not know where these planes land. Anywhere Baba Obey sees me anywhere he sets his eyes on me, he will say Kenny Jones of the Universe. He was just prophesing. I didn’t know that I will become Kenny Jones of the Universe. Until one day in 2010, I found myself travelling abroad. Since that 2010 I have been travelling abroad. I travel at least 3 times a year. If I don’t travel in a particular year, I will travel 3 times, since 2010. I do world trips atimes. I spend 2 days in London.
From London I will go to Paris, via train and go to Germany, Holland, Paris back. I go to Italy, Switzerland. Atimes, I go to Turkey then back to Nigeria. Atimes, I tour 7 countries at a time, on a trip. I go to Holland, Belgium, Dubai and many more. I go for research. I am looking for the best machines. I am looking for the best fabrics.
I am looking for the best accessories around. I have taken it as a challenge. Since Baba has proclaimed me, as Kenny Jones of the Universe, I will try. So I applied for Visa to go to America they gave to me.
I applied for China they gave to me.
Now, I travel to any country I want. There is no Visa I apply for that they won’t give me Visa, because Baba Obey has proclaimed me Kenny Jones of the Universe. That is why I tell you that there is authority in prayers. That is why I keep telling our youths, let your father pray for you, let your mother pray for you. Let your mentor pray for you. The youths of today don’t want to learn skilled jobs again. They are all just looking for short cuts. There is no short cut. For me to keep hanging with Baba Obey, it is because, of what he has said about me.
I don’t know why he single me out. I don’t even know what he saw. I don’t even know why he embraced me then.
Atimes when he is travelling, he will call me. I am travelling. I am the one that will iron all his clothes he is travelling with. I will take care of all his pants, singlets, and handkerchiefs shoes. The man knows that this young man is very sharp and corporate. I am a fashion designer, so I know how to combine colours”.
How did he and his brother Taiwo Jones celebrate Baba Obey, 81st birthday this year? “We started a programme, that we call Restoration Praise. God told us that we should put something together on Monday. So, this is the first of its kind. We just started it. It is to celebrate our icons like Baba Obey and Baba Adeboye. Go and read Baba Adeboye’s Open Heavens. If you read it, you will think Baba Adeboye knows what is happening to you. I have been telling people and introducing people to go and be reading Open Heavens.
You can’t read it for 3 to 4 days and not think Baba Adeboye is talking about your story and that he used your story to write the Open Heavens. Believe in the power of Holy Spirit. It is only Holy Spirit that can tell you what will happen tomorrow. When you are working with the Holy Spirit you will always be relevant and be current. Everything we did to celebrate Baba Obey is all about Praise. The programme is all about Praise. The 2 people we are celebrating, we are praising God on their behalf. Holy Spirit will not cease in our family.
It is all about Praising God. Me and my brother are entertainers. I sing, I preach, I play instrument, I dance. I am a designer. I am a multi-talented person. I can play many instruments. I can sing very well. Me and my twin brother are entertainers. He is a talented drummer. Everything we put together is all about Praise. Celebrating Baba Adeboye. Celebrating Baba Obey, is all about Praise. Then we are doing Restoration Praise. Everything is all about Praising God”.
Is that why he has the phrase Praise God on all his logos, in the office, at work, on the house, on his cars? “No, that one is different ooo. Praising God is all I am about. On my cars is Praising God. On my house you will find Praising God. My business is Praising God. My ministry is Praising God.
Everything in me is Praising God.
We went through a lot in 2020. That is the Covid year. Yet we built a house in 2020 and the same year God gave us PRADO.
Its God that did it.
It was in 2020 we started Mega Praise, when nobody could go anywhere. Me and my twin brother, we called Tope Alabi, Mike Abdul, Bukola Becky. We paid them the little we can pay them and we were praising God. Even the clothes we were serving them, we were serving nose masks and dashing people. God doesn’t want to share his Glory with anybody. He built that house for us. His glory should not be shared with any man.
It was God that did it. Everything is Praise God. Everything you see is the faithfulness of God upon my life. It is the Grace of God. The Holy Spirit is central to all these successes.
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