Tosin Ajirire and Joan Eregare
Fast rising gospel singer, Chidera Getrude Igwe gathered many people for praise and worship last Sunday. It was in line with the vision God gave her a few years ago.
Tagged: ‘Empowered for Worship’, the mega concert, which held at Christian Pentecostal Mission (City of Word and Excellence), Festac, Lagos, was a huge success. It paraded top gospel musicians like Wole Oni, Pat Uwaje King of the Midnight Crew fame, Rev. Paul Chikwem, Nene Uko, Efe Nathan, and Chika 100% among others.
In the heat of the show, the artiste simply known as Dera Getrude found time to field questions from TS Weekend. She opened up on many issues including her beginning, music, challenges and future plans. Enjoy it.
Can you tell us briefly about yourself?
My name is Chidera Getrude Igwe. My stage name is Dera Getrude. I am a gospel artiste and I’ve been around for some time.
How long have you been around?
I came into the music industry officially in 2016, but before then, I’ve been doing music in churches.
Do you have any album or single in the market?
Yes, I have an album in the market. It’s titled ‘In His Presence’ and I am also working on some singles…
When did you release In His Presence?
‘In His Presence’ was released in July 2017. It’s a full album with seven tracks. In it, we have In His Presence, He Will Not Forsake Me, God of Heaven, Dependable God, My Prayer, and He Came.
What actually inspired the album?
In His Presence is one of the songs in the album. I actually discovered that it is only in the presence of God that I find peace. You know, that’s where I get my inspirations. I don’t know how to write songs on my own, it’s only when I come into the presence of God to worship that I draw my inspirations. So, that’s why I decided to put the song first in the album. It should be the first (song) because that’s where I started from, in the presence of God.
How is the album doing in the market?
It’s doing well, but for the challenges being faced in the Nigerian music industry.
What’s the idea behind the Empowered for Worship concert?
The concert was inspired by a vision God gave me about gathering people together to worship Him. God loves worship but I discovered that people don’t worship God; they prefer to pray than to worship. God gave me this vision to bring people together to worship Him in the fullness and atmosphere of worship. When you come, you don’t do any other thing but focus more on worship. So, I decided to bring other artistes who believe in the vision that I have, to do it together with me, because if it’s all about me, it will be somehow…
Is this the first edition?
Yes, this mega concert is the first edition, but the Empowered for Worship concert is in its third edition. We did the first one on a smaller scale in April 2019. The second edition took place in Assembly of God Church in August. This is the third edition, which is a mega concert to round off the year, and it’s taking place here at Christian Pentecostal Mission (City of Word and Excellence), Festac, Lagos. It shall be coming up yearly. We decided to use a bigger place because we wanted more people to come and understand what the programme is all about. In that way, they can always look forward to it.
You have some big names on the bill. What informed your choice of artistes for the concert?
In life, you have people that your spirit naturally goes in line with, people that you flow with. So, I decided to bring onboard artistes that are mostly in line with what I am doing. I didn’t want it to be more of praise; I wanted it to be more of worship, because that’s the vision, that’s the instruction I got from God and I didn’t want to go outside of it.
What challenges did you face in putting this concert together?
I faced so many challenges. To start with, funding, most especially when you don’t have a main sponsor. Right now, my husband is my major sponsor; you know what that means? It’s not easy for him, to carry everything on his shoulder, at some point you will want to give up. But then, looking at the vision ahead, you just keep pushing. Having the right people to work with is another challenge. When you don’t have the right people who have the same mindset, who understand the vision, it will be very difficult for you to achieve what you set out to achieve. And also, the music industry itself, getting those who believe in you as an up and coming artiste, some of them are already there, they already have their colleagues so it’s not that easy to relate with them. And then the running around, trying to put things together; having someone to mange, to direct, it’s not really easy.
Aside being an artiste, what else do you do?
I am majorly a gospel artiste, but aside that, I do business. I run the same cosmetic business with my husband. I also do some other small, small things.
You are beautiful and charming, how do you cope with male admirers that want to go beyond being mere fans?
Ordinarily as a human being, it’s not easy, but God is always there to give me wisdom. It’s not easy but I know how to handle such issues.
What has been your greatest moment as an artiste?
The greatest joy I derive as a gospel artiste is going for a programme to minister and at the end of the day you see that people are blessed and touched by the ministration. My greatest and best moment is seeing people being impacted by my ministration.
Have you ever had any low moment, when you look back and ask yourself ‘what am I doing here?’
Yes, of course, at some points when you face certain challenges, when people don’t understand your vision, when they feel you are wasting your time. You tell people that you are a gospel artiste and they are like ‘is it that you don’t have any other thing doing?’ Also, it gets to a point when money becomes a problem, you want to run an event or programme and the money is not forthcoming, nobody is there to help you. Sometimes you feel discouraged, sometimes producers disappoint you. Some producers don’t believe in you, they don’t understand your kind of music; they want you to be in line with another person’s music. And they make you feel like you don’t know what you are doing; you don’t know how to sing. These are some of the low moments I have experienced as a gospel artiste.
Looking forward, what are your plans for 2020?
From here, I am moving forward to bigger dreams, bigger goals, and bigger things. In 2020, I am having more albums. I am going to do more collabos with bigger artistes. I want to travel outside the country to do a video of one of my songs. And I want to get sponsors for this programme.