They are never in a competition in any way. Rather, they are both in composition of the words of God into comforting lyrics; which Nigeria in particular, and the world generally need in this season of sickness in which many have sold their souls to satan! Both of them, as well as many others are doing well in this regard, and they deserve commendations.
Obviously, in this world of exploitation, manipulation, deceit, wickedness, unfaithfulness and hydra-headed corruption in which the love of money is the order of the day, we need good music which drives away people from stinking thinking.
As Berthold Auerbach says, music, particularly gospel music washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life. I am a dyed-in-the-wool lover of gospel music. Gospel music has assisted me in a number of ways to overcome the challenges of life.
However, as opposed to the era in which I grew, when some of the then reigning secular musicians portrayed themselves as implacable foes, cursing themselves with their music and foisting unhealthy rivalries on the society, both Evangelists Bisi Alawiye Aluko and Bukola Akinade, Sewele Jesu, have come together in the love of Christ to establish a new paradigm regarding how musicians should relate.
Both of them are my friends on social media. I monitor their activities and I feel impressed with the way they relate.
There is mutual respect between them. Despite their affiliation with different Christian denominations, they attend each other’s programmes. They comment on each other’s post. This is good. This is how it should be. They are obligated to sustain the relationship. They must not allow anything to create a wedge among themselves.
Their different gospel styles are like two sides of a coin. Very complementary. Their waltz and voices are strikingly riveting. They are consummate masters (or mistresses) of techniques and artistries. Indeed, the depth of their musicality, as well as the significance of their messages, endear them to many Christians and non-Christians alike. They are both full of steam and strength as they rule the roost.
Certainly, both Mama Shindara and Are Olope are rare gifts to our generation. Their songs heal the ill. Their stylistic armoires provide sheer delight in language, phonetics and biblical allusions and allegories.
Clearly, we can find solace in their puritanical and prayerful renditions as they dish out soul-lifting songs that incubate hope. I have met both of them at different revivals and programmes and I can confess that they are wonderful to watch!
However, they must remember that no artiste can sustain a monopoly forever. With the effluxion of time, all of us will become a distant, fading memory.
Therefore, the trails they have blazed must be preserved. Upcoming gospel artistes are looking up to them as moral compasses, hence, the chemistry between them must be sustained.
Before the advent of the duo are Evang. Dorcas .A. Fasoyin of CAC Good Women Choir; Evang. Bola Are, Evang. Funmi Aragbaye, Pastor Shola Rotimi, Pastor Joseph Adelakun, aka Ayewa; Evang. Ojo Ade, Pastor Niyi Adedokun, Revd. Timi Osukoya, Evang. Akin Adebayo, aka Imole Ayo, among others.
God has used these people and many others to bless humanity with the ways they preach good news musically. May we all inherit the kingdom of God.
. Saanu is Media Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan