For a very long time, the corporate businesses in Nigeria stayed away from
openly supporting gospel music. Unlike their counterparts in some African
nations like south Africa and Ghana, the corporate big wigs in Nigeria did
not just want to associate with the gospel music scene for certain reasons
that some might say is obvious and other might be perplexed about.
That narrative might have changed in the last few years, visibly since the
advent of The Experience gospel concert. Who knew gospel music had such
massive following? Well; some of us did. In fact many knew that gospel
music has and is predominantly the most listened to kind of music in
Nigeria, but up until The Experience, our expressions where secluded
within the four walls of our various churches , sometimes hindered by
Denominational-ism, another big challenge with the church(let’s leave that
for another day). But like I always say, music is the only thing in
Christendom that defiles Denominational barriers.
Subsequently due to the immense growth of the concert, corporate bodies
began to identify with this success, we started seeing brands owning
stands at the experience, rumors even had it that the convener of The
Experience concert turned down juicy offers by big blue-chip companies and
telecommunications giants from branding the Tafawa Balewa Square. “Who
wouldn’t after all more people more money” But if you did not believe in
me when I was starting, who said you could join the success ship, when I
have pulled off 8 editions of the concert? Hello! Keep you money. Jesus is
Enter 2016, Yudala – an Online retail brand floated by Mr Leo-Stan Ekeh,
the Chairman of Zinox computers and his Son Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, comes on
board and hosts a series of gospel concert in 3 major cities or 4 if I am
not mistaken. Few days after that, they sign Frank Edwards as brand
ambassador. We started seeing Yudala online ads with Frank Edwards on it
and he was always posting photos of himslf at the Yudala stores.
After a while, we didn’t see anything, anymore. We were tempted to assume
that the contract was over and there was no renewal. Few questions come to
mind, was it worth it for them or not? Is gospel music bankable?
2017 saw the entrance of e-payment giant eTranzact into the gospel music
industry; developing not just an online song selling and distribution
platform but a strictly gospel music online sales and distribution
platform called – The Minstrels App. That was a brazen move considering
the fact that eTranzanct is a secular company, one of Nigeria’s leading
Few months down the line since the launch of the platform we can’t say
what their experience has been in terms of lucrativeness, taking into note
the fact that there are various factors militating against online sales,
free downloads being the chief of it all. They went ahead to host a grand
launch concert in the prestigious Eko Hotels and Suites – the holy land of
entertainment in Lagos. While enlisting the help of artists, The Minstrel
App developers headed by Mr Valentine Obi, the Chief Executive Officer of
eTranzact have been campaigning for people to rather buy songs than
These are the two major entrants into the gospel music industry in the
past two years. We are yet to know what their experience has been with
patronizing gospel music on a corporate level but we hope it was worth it.
We look forward to more entrants and investments into the gospel music
industry as we grow from thinking it should be free to knowing it should
be paid for. A lot of investment is needed to move this industry forward,
both corporate and private investments. Structures and systems need to be
put in place to make the industry attractive. If you love God like you say
you do, start something today to help grow the gospel music industry.
About the author
Martins (Perry) Okonkwo is writer for Gospotainment.com. He is one of the
foremost contemporary gospel entertainment stakeholders in the online
media sphere. He has been in the gospel music industry for the past 7
years, helping to chart the course for online gospel music and Christian
entertainment media and journalism.
He holds a Higher National Diploma in Physics and Electronics and a
Masters Degree in Media and Communications management. Perry Martins is an
entrepreneur, writer, speaker and presenter and loves gospel music.