TOPE ALABI’S TESTIMONY DURING HER 50-DAY GOLDEN PRAISE
At her recently concluded virtual praise concert from 7th September to 26th October 2020 as part of Tope Alabi’s 50th birthday celebration, she interjected the Worship and Praise sessions with her testimonies of not just a humble beginning but some of the challenges she encountered as a result of lack and abject poverty.
From rejection by her relatives who warned their wards not to mingle with her because she was seen as a child full of misfortune; borrowing of cloth and shoes, just to attend a party; lying about her parents because they didn’t fit her superficial social identity; to the rejections she got from 6 suitors with one claiming that she didn’t have the right pedigree to fit into his family.
Her marriage to Mr Soji Alabi in 1998 was meant to be a recipe for multiplied poverty, but God turned it around. She humorously said, Omo Iya Ologi (the daughter of a female Pap Seller) getting married to Omo Iya Elero (the son of a small grinding businesswoman). Anytime Soji told her, “I love you”, her response was, “I love you ‘sugbon’ (but)…Their ‘happily ever after’ didn’t happen immediately, in fact she recollected that the house agent had to borrow the newly weds money to complete the rent of their studio (‘self-contained’) apartment.
Below is an excerpt of the testimony she shared on the 4th day of the event:
The first vehicle we bought was meant to be an air-conditioned one. That was the way God was taking care of us. However, after one week, the factory fitted AC returned to the ‘factory’ (it stopped functioning). The men in the band sat in the boot, the females sat at the back seat, I (Tope) sit with a back-up singer in front while my husband drives the car. We went for a function in Akure and my husband was drenched in his sweat, I had to ask my husband if he had a shower in the car. We were all soaked in our sweat on the trip to Akure but look at where we are today.
If it is of God, it takes a gradual process.
As if that wasn’t enough, we bought a Chrsyler space bus but we had to change the name to ‘Crisyler’ based on the issues we encountered with the vehicle. We were initially happy that the band members won’t have to sit in the boot again. After a while, the space bus developed engine problems, stopping randomly at odd hours in odd places (i.e Sagamu in the night). We once had a leakage from the fuel pump, it was only the saving grace of God that it didn’t result in a fire in the engine compartment…
The car we enjoyed the most was a Camry vehicle. We were 6-8 members in the band, however there wasn’t space for everyone, so we had to select one ‘gangan’ (talking drum) drummer, one back-up singer, one drummer and another back-up singer who doubled as a Personal Assistant/ Secretary; we went for an event in Abuja from Lagos and by the time we arrived at our location, the vehicle had almost broken down while the only thing we could afford on the road trip was ‘boli’ (roasted plantain) and sachet water.
God continued to move us from one stage to the other gradually. If you have not developed capacity to do something, God won’t permit you to do it.
We faced a lot of battles. It was in the same Camry vehicle that we almost had an accident along Ibadan Expressway with my last daughter (Deborah) sitting on my laps but God miraculously saved her without a scratch. She fell but I didn’t even realise it…
Or was it when we were attacked by armed robbers on the road. All the band boys were asked to bring out all their valuables. But what surprised me, which further confirmed that God was taking care of me was that the armed robber that came to where I sat down by the driver (my husband) said, “where is your purse?”
Only for the gang leader to tell the armed robber: I will curse you, I only told you to stand there. I didn’t tell you to collect anything from her. ‘Don’t touch that woman’.
That was God at work. They collected all the phones, money from my band members and the gang leader was repeatedly saying, ‘Don’t touch that woman.’
It is only God’s preservation: What if I had been killed or if they had killed my husband? What would I have done. It’s God’s care…
Or was it the time that I had not gotten a UK visa and there were rumours that I was caught with Cocaine in London…
My fabric seller (John) would give me pieces of lace material and I would re-combine it with used Ankara dress gifts. People thought that was my style of ‘SU’ dressing, I only had a set of earrings which were quite tiny, almost invisible.
By the time I had money to buy new set of earrings, people started complaining, “this woman has now become worldly ooo. She wasn’t using earrings before.”
It wasn’t my fault, the only earring that was presentable, wasn’t original, I bought it for 25 Naira but it never faded. It was an earring and neck chain set but the neck chain was yanked off my neck at Oshodi (Lagos). That was the only earring I had as a single lady and I continued using it even after marriage.
My husband was only able to afford two sets of lace as part of the traditional wedding gift, I had to fill up the box with old clothes while the new ones were on top. My husband came to our house on the traditional wedding day with ‘danfo’ (commercial bus), the person that was meant to borrow him a car disappointed him on that day, saying, “we don’t know the kind of wife you want to marry. Let’s not borrow him the car so that there won’t be transfer of misfortune.”
Another drama on the wedding day. At the last minute, the best man said he wasn’t going to do it again, I had to kneel and beg him.
God deserves my 50-day praise. Do you know what God did for us? When we wanted to rent an apartment, it was 60,000 Naira but we only had 35,000 Naira and we had to borrow money from people including the house agent (Bro Tunde). The toilet in that apartment was another story… My fish seller used to keep un-iced fish for me. Glory to God in the highest.
Wait on God, wait on God patiently. It is a gradual process, He does it little by little. Don’t be in a haste. It will get better, it just looks like that now but keep following God. I am rejoicing today, I pray that you will rejoice soon in wealth and affluence.
When we moved to our personal house and we showed the children their rooms. My first child said, “Mummy are you sure I’m the owner of this room?” This was because we all slept in the same room, with a warning to my husband, “sleep your sleep, I sleep my sleep, do not touch.” The mattress was worn out, almost flat.
First daughter: “are you sure? In my life, so I will have a room to myself?”
That’s how God does, why won’t I praise Him. Look at where we are coming from, this is just some of the challenges we faced in mid-life…
Today the rejected stone of those days is now a celebrated gospel musician with 2 Million followers on Facebook 1.8 Million followers on Instagram and recently reached 100,000 streams on Boomplay with her newly released ‘Tope Alabi Hymnal’.
WAIT on the LORD, and keep his way, and HE SHALL EXALT THEE TO INHERIT THE LAND: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.