What my hubby did before I agreed to marry him - Funmi Aragbaye

– Gospel singer Funmi Aragbaye explains how she arrived at her high pitch voice
– She spills on how her husband forced his way into her life
– The Sioni singer also speaks of the role of late Gani Fawehinmi in her marriage
Funmi Aragbaiye

A peep into your journey in life
I spent the greater part of my working life in the media. I first got a job in the Herald in Ilorin and later transferred to the Sketch after my marriage, through the efforts of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi. He could not bear my frequent travelling on the Ibadan-Ilorin road which was a death trap then. Upon his election as the governor of Ondo State, Chief Adekunle Ajasin invited my husband to serve as his Chief Press Secretary, so we moved to Akure, where I worked in the ministry of establishment. Later on the second republic was cut short by military coup and we had to relocate back to Ibadan because my husband was on leave of absence therefore rejoined the Sketch. Also I transferred my service back to Oyo State where I worked in the ministry of finance, department of Establishment before I retired from the civil service.

How did the music vocation come up?
While in the Herald in Ilorin, my house was very close to ECWA church and ECWA’s music ministration used to be powerful even till today. I used to enjoy their music and I drew inspiration from them but I never knew it would be a big thing like this. However, I received the call into the music ministry by God and He led me into the studios to record my first album Olorun Igbala which included the super hit track Sioni. Divine Call was actually my second release where I publicly revealed my personal call and other messages God gave me about Nigeria.

How did you meet your husband?
He was visiting the Herald Newspapers. That was where we met. He used to come to see late Peter Ajayi who was my boss then. When he comes, he would tell Mr Ajayi. ‘I like this your sister’ and Ajayi used to respond by telling him ‘are you referring to Funmi’, she is an Scripture Union, a name given to born again then? Then he persisted and never stopped coming. He kept on visiting.
I remember vividly a day that I was going to church and a brother carried me on his Vespa and a little accident happened. I got injured and admitted in the hospital. When he heard, he came to see me all the way from Ibadan that’s strange but the surprising thing there was when they asked who he was and he told them her husband to be. So they brought him to my ward and I quarrelled with him for the statement. It was like ‘how dare you, how on earth can you introduce yourself as my husband to be’. Eventually when Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi influenced my transfer from Herald to Sketch Press Limited Chief Dayo Duyile was our boss them. So my being in the Sketch unified the relationship and we planned our marriage. Our wedding took place at the Emmanuel College of Theology. My reception was held at the popular Melanby Hall, University of Ibadan, Oyo state.

How did you respond when he proposed?
When he first came it was like the guys in Herald Newspapers have tried and failed, why you from Ibadan. I took the matter to church for prayer. It was the practice them, to seek the guidance of your spiritual mentors. More so, the man persisted. He was virtually coming to Ilorin almost every week, and whenever he comes I run away from the office. I would make sure he did not meet me in the office. Later he found out where I was living and I didn’t allow him in, but he kept coming. He was never tired.

Compare the composition in ECWA church to what we have now and how it has helped you?
Their compositions are very powerful messages taken from the Bible. That is what I have followed ever since and it has sustained me. Apart from good messages, their choirs also sing with sonorous voices. They influenced me a lot. When I started, I started singing in very high pitch because it is the most convenient for me. What sustains me is the Grace of God. Secondly, as a musician, if you allow obesity to get the better part of you, it will also affect your fitness. So I try as much as possible to keep fit. In spite of my age, I try to slim down. I believe that is one of the things that sustain me now talking about heredity; I think it applies to me because my mother is a good singer.
Up till now, if you come to Ibadan, you will see the awards. If you ask my mother to sing, you will wonder that mama, as old as you are. My mum sings very well up till now if she wants to sing for you, she starts from may be key A and she will flow very well. So maybe I have taken after her. In that aspect but upon all I want to say it’s the grace of God.

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