Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey
& His International Brothers Band
(Decca WAPS 62)
side one: Odun Keresimesi / Irinse Lo Jona Obey O Jona / Irin Ajo / Ile Oba To Jo
side two: Ka So Wo Po / Oro Obi Pelu Iyawo / Oro Oko Pelu Obi / Olatunbosun Banmeke
Ebenezer Obey speaking during his interview with Tunde Akingbade (2008)
"... the inspiration that made my work, every release, behind every work that I made to be devoted to God and philosophical lyrics - the secret is, I believe, it was my mother's influence. And what is this? My mother was a believer.
The circumstances that surrounded the life of my mother made her to be a good believer. My mother after spending several years with her first husband, there was no issue. That marriage was not blessed with children. And the parents of that man looked at the marriage of so many years, I think it was almost 20 years - definitely over 19 years.
The influence of parents in those days was great. They spoke to the man, 'you cannot continue like this.' So, they had a family meeting and called my own mother's relations and that man's parents. They said: 'We love this woman, but just look at it. After these years, is it not good for them to separate because the doctors have told this woman, that she would not be able to have a child?' So, it was a big blow. It was a shocker to my mother.
That was in Lagos. The man was a senior station master with the Railways. You know we used to have SM, that is station master. The man was a senior station master, SSM, a big post. The incident was a shocker and a blow to my mother. That was how my mother's brothers took her to Idogo. They were in Idogo because of the cocoa production business they were involved in. You know the Egbado, now Yewa area was noted for cocoa production.
My father actually went to Idogo to be a cocoa farmer and, at the same time, he was a carpenter. So, my father was a friend to my mother's elder brother who came to Lagos to bring her to Idogo to hide her face from shame. But the man of God who prayed for my mother said, “The grace of God is sufficient for you” despite the fact that the doctors said she could not have a baby. The man of God said that the grace of that God covers everything and can do anything in the life of a person.
Grace is a five-letter word. This is the month of May - the fifth month. So, grace in my own life is so important. That man did not just say those things to my mother. It was the Holy Spirit that guided him to say those words. And that became a factor. My mother leaned upon that word of the man, that word that said, 'The grace of God is sufficient for you!'
And the man told my mother she should be praying and saying, 'God, your grace is sufficient for me despite all that the doctors have said.' So, my mother became a believer, a strong believer that she held on to that word, 'God your grace is sufficient for me.' So my mother was doing everything, praying. And when she got to Idogo, even though the doctors said she could not bear a baby, she became pregnant with my sister. Truly, the grace of God was sufficient for her. Before she knew it again, she became pregnant and had me. And my mother told me that when my father called her, 'what are we going to name this boy?', she told my father, 'Ebenezer! Hitherto, the Lord had helped us!' which in Yoruba we say, 'Nihin Ni Oluwa Ran mi Lowo De!'" - Ebenezer Obey (2008)
Merry Christmas to everyone!
Special thanks to John at Likembe and Moos at Global Groove for posting the files for this music.
And thanks to Toshiya Endo for his Ebenezer Obey discography.