Samson Serafu is a multi-talented singer whose journey into Christendom remains a misery. He was born into a Muslim family but today he is a member of the Cherubim & Seraphim Church using his God-given talent to propagate the gospel of Christ. The British-Yoruba gospel artist, as he’s fondly known, tells EMMANUEL ABODUNRIN how he was converted from Islam to Christianity among other sundry issues
You were born into a Muslim family 26 years ago. How did you become a Christian?
At the age of eight, my father travelled to Nigeria for one weekend and my mother, who is a member of C & S Church, was preparing to go church. She then remembered that I was at home, given that I would normally follow my father for prayers. But because he had travelled to Nigeria, she was forced to take me to the church, which happened to be a C&S worship centre. When I entered the church and heard the talking drum, I fell in love with it on the spot and that Sunday was special revival service. So, immediately I joined them (church members) in clapping. Then, my mother called my name; Samson, what are you doing? That was the day I said to myself that I would become a Seraphim. To be honest, I didn’t know what was going on or which God they were serving as I didn’t initially see the C&S as a church at the time; I just saw it as a happy place because I already loved music. I got to know more about the church when I grew older and grew in Christianity.
Do you have any regret converting from Islam to Christianity?
Regret? No! My father did use it against me a lot by reminding me of being a true Muslim, but I still hold my respect for Islam as much as Christianity.
What has been your experience following Christ?
Following Christ has been real. Coming from another religion to join Christianity and then finding out who Christ is has been exciting; His story, miracles, love and covenant in my life. I always say if I haven’t returned to Islam till now, then I believe Christ is real by the works of His hands and my faith.
Was there pressure from your family when you converted to Christianity?
No pressure, but because I came from a strong Muslim background, I had to hide the fact that I converted to Christianity. I started using social media to send a message to them that I’m now a Christian and it worked. I returned to Nigeria after 12 years of not seeing that side of the family and they did question me but funnily enough, there are few other family members who had also converted to Christianity but who were hiding it from me. So, it was a big cover-up on both sides but today we give God the glory.
What is the idea behind your Voice of the Garment concept and what are you trying to achieve?
Voice of the Garment was given to me by God. I entered 2020 with many ideas as it’s a new decade. I also had loads of people saying I should voice out. It is aimed at waking up the people who have never done anything useful through the years of being in the C & S because of the lack of hope and discipline in prayer. What I hope to achieve is to speak to the people, keep them motivated, make them believe in their prayers and make them understand the power of faith. I prayed about it but didn’t hear anything from God until He gave me the name: ‘Voice of the Garment’ and honestly, it takes a bold character to be such a voice with the ultimate aim of moving the white garment church forward.
Being a multi-talented person, do you consider yourself a gospel or a juju artiste?
I found my talent via the gospel platform and I would always put the gospel ahead of whatever I’m doing. Even if I start rapping tomorrow, I would rap about the gospel which would make me a gospel rapper, because you never want to confuse the people as I once did by calling myself a Fuji artiste. Music to me now means message. Whatever platform there is to send the message, I will.
About your album titled ‘Different’, which was released in 2018, why did you title it as such and what was the message you were trying to pass across with the album?
The album, ‘Different’, was to showcase to the world that my talent is different. Born in London, people thought I could never actually wax a record but only do live performance. They also thought I didn’t know how to compose songs. During my foray into Fuji career at the time, I used to tell people that I was a different type of Fuji artiste for the new generation. So, I took it on as a platform to show my talent and have different sounds, melodies and waves. These were all for the younger generation because if I was to do a strict gospel or Fuji album, they wouldn’t understand it especially the ones in London. I still incorporated gospel because at heart, gospel is always the essence of my music.
You called yourself a revivalist, crusader, entertainer, showstopper and others, can you really juggle all of these and still claim to be a gospel artiste?
Yes, I’m more of a public figure now than a musician. I can host, teach, speak, act and create. There are so many things people don’t know I can do until they see me doing such. So I don’t just limit myself as a gospel artist anymore. It’s always good to do more for the community.
You have ministered in many churches in the United Kingdom, Europe, United States, Nigeria and Egypt, did you at any time receive an instruction from God to participate in revivals across the world?
I received many prophecies growing up as a kid, especially when I joined the C&S church. My first ever message was that I would become a singer and would sing all over the world which, at the time, I didn’t believe because it seemed highly impossible. However, years later I started singing and was given the name ‘Serafu’. I started travelling the world at 16 and from there I have been back and forth to the glory of God. I always knew a ministry isn’t for one place, God’s work is everywhere and I always tell God to use me everywhere he truly sends me and if it’s not of Him, He should keep me at home. I could have been to many more places in the world but if I’m truly sent by God, let’s say nothing can stop God.
How long have you been in music and what informed your latest single?
I have been singing since the age of 13 and now I am 26. I taught myself by learning from others all over the world. Gospel, juju, highlife, Fuji, and other genres of music can fit my sound. I have worked with many people, both old and young. I have always wanted a band of my own and to God be the glory, He has blessed me with one, and they stood with me to make my last single, ‘Iwo logo ye’. It was a one-take freestyle made in 2018 and recreated in 2019 with both UK and US-based instrumentalists participating in the project.
How do you fund your trips to some of the countries where you have ministered?
Majority of the trips are funded by churches and supporters. I get invitations and they agree with my proposal. There have been times I paid for myself to support my friends in the ministry.
What single thing would do you say the Lord has done for you for which you are extremely grateful?
I had a dream that I had a sold-out show in 2018 and I told God that I really want to see the dream come true. That was when I celebrated my 25th birthday and launched the album titled, ‘Different’. Though many doubted that the day would be that successful but as it was shown to me in the dream, I knew God wouldn’t disappoint me. It was faith in action and I remain grateful to God for making my dream come to pass.
You have always celebrated one woman of God whom you credited as being the person who led you to Christ, could you tell us about her?
Yes, my spiritual mother, Apostolic Mother Adedoyin Otusile. We came across each other when I was a child but funnily enough I didn’t recognise the face when I was called to her church for revival programmes. Sadly, I was out of church for six months due to the issues I had with the C&S and I found myself going to her church; Love of God Ministry, which is my church today. For three weeks that I was uninvited, God asked me what I thought and how did I feel about the church and I replied with the word ‘peace’. We created a mother and son relationship from there and she saw my faults, took me in and groomed me into the man I am today with prayer and the Word of God.
If you weren’t an artiste, what would you have been?
I love fashion. I love textiles. I have always said I would love to be a tailor if God grants me a second life. I still wish to pursue a craft in garment making as I call myself the white garment specialist.
Have you ever been under pressure to turn away from God?
So far, no. I found light and I know what darkness I have come out of. This world is worldly and I can never be perfect but I will do the most I can to impact lives and see everyone around me do very well.
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