Uprising Nigerian Gospel artist Zack Dekera, who formerly based in Port Harcourt took to the media to send a striking message to his fellow gospel artists in the Nigerian industry. After facing some tough challenges that shook his ministry and family, Zack goes on soul searching and seeks to inspire and teach others what he has learned from his journey.
Zack Dekera is a lead singer with COZA workforce at Port Harcourt campus. He started his music career at age 20. Hosted 11 gospel concerts since 2007, tagged “The Truth”. He has two major singles to his credit. “TAKING OVER” AND “Lokuchina”
He is a graduate in mathematics/computer science. A Gospel singer married to Anita Dekera with son -Dewan Dekera.
He was once working with Intels Nigeria Ltd at Onne Port Harcourt as a CCTV operator. There he was able sponsor his music passion effectively and affected lives as well. But when the country entered recession making many companies to reduce staff strength he was affected. He shares;
“I ventured into palm oil business with some money I got from company so as to have sustaining income for family while he searched for another. But got duped along the line which left me no choice than to sell my car and some house appliances so as to travel out of the country in search for greener pastures. Along the line I got duped too by agents. I had no choice but to send my pregnant wife and son to stay with my mother in-law in Delta State, while I relocated from PH to Lagos since the house we lived in was already expired by two years.
I applied so many places for job to no avail. In order to keep things rolling for the family I decided to do laborer jobs to get daily pay.“
He took to his Facebook page to post a video of himself with pictures. Advising many out there that;
There is difference between ARCHIVED SUCCESS and BEING SUCCESSFUL
“For my family and music, i am not ashamed to start all over again, i am ready to do anything positive to keep my dream”
He went further to release a video where he advised two set of people:
1.All budding singers, artiste, actors and
2. Those at top of their career. Here is a transcript from the video :
He further shares;
“some people wait to die and be in Hell fire before they seek who would advice their beloved on earth, i choose to be Zack Dekera; who in my hell situation here on earth, cry out my advice to two set of people today” First set of people My fellow upcoming singers, musicians, artiste, actors, stop begging to be known, to be heard or to fulfill your purpose., stop pursuing people to carry you along. All that ends up reducing your value and worth. If i may ask who wants to help you? Is it the Pastor, Music director, church members, celebrity? Or abi this people aint humans who need help too ni? I remember in 2011 i asked my pastor for N5000 to execute a music proposal i had then and he asked me if i was a member of the church. That was his way of shelving me aside. My advice, start with what you have, where you are, those around you and be consistent. God alone will find you when you are strategic, Truthful and Dedicated Second set of people i will advice in my Hell situation *Those of you who think you’ve made it to the top, look around me very well. This i am passing now and something similar is real. I once used to work and earn real comfortably to sponsor my music career and family. I have hosted big music events before nw, dropped two singles as well but when recession came, i lost my Job, Had to sell my car, sell some properties just to feed wife and son..”
In his video he clearly stated, that everyone should learn to;
1. Be strategic with Gods word when you achieve success
2. Be truthful to Gods word when u achieve success
3. Be dedicated to Gods plan and purpose for your life. Don’t digress
The profound lesson
1. We should learn to start with what we have and wherever we are.
2. We should learn to depend on God for uplifting.
3. We should learn to save and invest as well assist others grow well.
When all these are done you live a successful life and won’t end up in bad times and situations, just like he did.
The emergence of Nigerian Christian blogs have aided the growth of Gospel music tremendously. Prior to its emergence, gospel artistes existed in clusters, with one or two popping up at intervals and cutting across. Examples are Lara George, Sammie Okposo, Buchi, Midnight Crew and more. These ones beat the odds and stamped their faces in our minds even before the first Christian blog could publish its first article.
Notwithstanding, what we could not achieve in ten years, we have been able to do in 3-5 years because of these crop of new media (Yes, another name for online media is new media). There is actually a platform for the gospel and the online media have aided the growth of terrestrial media tremendously in that it is the first point of contact which the other media leverage. We have been able to form a chain of network readily available to serve the christian audience – an alternative to the perversion of its counterpart and strong enough to disseminate message and give a backbone to ministers and their ministry. Be it music, church, literature, event, and more.
However, a lot of gospel artistes have failed to acknowledge the importance of this media and have either been relegated to the background or have picked up pace slowly in a jet age.
The least an artiste can do for himself is to be social media savvy, at least, it has worked very well for some, so well that they can have a successful release just by posting a link on their social media accounts, but even then, the blogs still play the role of taking the release to the next level and we have seen numerous occasions where a song became major because of the power of these blogs. (Allow me to use “blogs” although most of these platforms have integrated online radio, TV, soft copy magazine and the likes).
It may cost you a token to put your material on some of these platforms as an artiste. Others may take your materials for free as long as you satisfy some conditions but I guarantee that you will pay less and enjoy more access if you paid more attention to presentation. Yes, online promotion depend largely on presentation because you are appealing to the sight before any other thing and this could be achieved in more ways than one. It can also be used to sustain an awareness campaign such that you draw maximum attention to your material, however, I will like to mention one of the most overlooked ways this can be achieved.
The Artwork/Album Art
The artwork or album art is an illustration prepared for inclusion in a publication. According to the definition, the artwork is the graphic illustration of your material. In this case, music. It is an expression of the music and the saying goes, put your best foot out, therefore if you have made a great song, you also should be willing to give it a great expression. Often times, a lot of great songs have gone down the bloggers trash folder because of the artwork. Imagine having about 20 songs to attend to and the blogger switch to elimination mode. I don’t think the first form of elimination will be listening to the songs, rather, it will be discarding poor presskit. Now when a presskit is opened, nothing tells the story of the song like the artwork does, therefore the blogger goes for the artwork first – even before reading the press statement in most cases – especially when the artwork is displayed inline in the email.
The problem is that most Christian artistes undermine the importance of the artwork and do not take the making seriously – that is not to say I have not seen some artwork that have astounded me over the years… shoutout to Glowreeyah – the artwork for “God Alone” video still stands out as one of the best ever, Wole Oni‘s “Cover Me Lord”, Joepraize‘s “Introduction” DVD, Nosa‘s “Open Doors” and Ada‘s “So Fly” & “Lifted” album artworks too, amongst others. But for the most, Christian artistes have received a label because of the kind of artwork they produce for their music releases so much that it has become a turn off. I have advised some artistes pertaining to artwork but as soon as I recommend a graphic designer stating his price range, they take to their heels! Now tell me, if you will not invest in something you would use to add value to someone else life, where is the value you are adding? Can you give what you don’t have? Moreover, you took the pain to make a great song, why let something as simple as an artwork be the undoing of the song’s destiny?
Everyday, somewhere on a blogger’s table, great songs are going down the trash folder and it’s all because of bad artwork. It’s time we stepped up comrades! The harvest is still plenty!
I will like to talk about the press statement too but that is a topic for another day. Meanwhile, as an artiste, do you write your press releases yourself? Do you hire the help of a PR? Do you check what has been written before publication? Watchout! a lot of writeup have marred the good image of the artistes because of lazy writing and writers, unnecessary CAPITALISATION (hehe… for emphasis sake), using small letters for nouns (e.g name of a person, place, etc), bad spellings and social media IMs (e.g “@” instead of “at”, “U” instead of “You” etc) and more
As Gospel music becomes more popular with its emotive power to win the hearts of the general public from all ages and backgrounds. An initiative to bring gospel artistes into the mainstream by bringing their music out of churches to the world stage, laying a platform of employment, where anyone who truly desires, can compete into relevance tagged “Most Talented Gospel Artiste In Nigeria”
MTGAN is an initiative of Bennie Media Concept Organization geared towards creating a positive society through the much needed information, education and socio-mobilization.
This talent hunt affords every talented gospel artiste the opportunity to showcase his or her God-given musical talent and launch himself or herself into limelight, to the glory of God.
Season 1 saw Auditions taking place at the following venues; Abuja for all the northern states, Lagos for all the Southerns states, Uyo for the Eastern states and Edo for all the Western States while the grand finale took place in Lagos.
After a keenly competitive contest Hassan Olakunle from Lagos emerged the Winner,going home with a new branded Nissan Altima, N250,000 and a recording contract .
Florence Ogbuka from Abuja was 1st runner up winning N150,000, a trip to Dubai and a recording contract.
Oluwafummilayo Raji from Oyo state clinched the 2nd runner up spot and went home with a cash prize of N100,000 ,a trip to Ghana and a recording contract.
The Most Talented Gospel Artiste in Nigeria (MTGAN) is endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Development.
Intending participants are expected to register with the sum of N2,500.00 only and send their payment details, location and name to our telephone number: 09093662663 and thereafter receive their identification numbers and other relevant information.
Registration is open from July 1st to September, 2015. Auditions will take place in five major cities in Nigeria (Lagos, Abuja, Uyo, Benin).
All participants that made it through auditions are expected to report at the MTGAN Camp House in Lagos for two weeks during which they will be trained as the talents hunt progresses, to help them develop their best talents.
The grand finale is scheduled for 21st January, 2016:
Lagos-14th – 19th November, 2015
Benin-21st – 24th November, 2015
Uyo-26th – 30th November, 2015
Abuja-4th – 8th December, 2015
Prizes to be won are:
-A branded car
-Opportunity to represent Nigeria in an International Gospel Music Competition
1st Runner up
-A paid trip to Dakar
2nd Runner up
-A paid trip to Accra
MTGAN has on this race, personalities like Dr. Ndidi Oguejiofor, Bishop James Adekoya, Arch. Bishop Emeka Samuel, Evang. Dr. H. E. Odemubingie (JP), Col. & Mrs. Victor Ogbomo (Rtd), Prof. Abubakar Momoh, Mr. Austin Erotor, Praise Machine, Rev. Bassey Ekpeyong, Wole Oni, Mr. Isaac Uhunwmangho, Pst. & Mrs. Lanre Saba, to mention but few.
You can follow the competition on various social media platforms