December 9, 2023

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How My Fiancée Scammed Me –Gospel Artiste

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Okorie Dickson Richard, a Port Harcourt based uprising gospel artiste, just like the biblical Job, has been through quite a lot in life. He has been robbed, scammed, devastated by flood, jilted and jolted.
In this interview with EDITH CHUKU, he shared his sad stories.
After the premiere of your second single, ‘Jiayama’, you disappeared from the music industry, what happened?
That’s a very strong, direct and realistic question. I went into the music branch of the entertainment industry in 2006, I was making head way to an extent in my town, before I went to school around 2010, I left the town and nobody heard from me again. I actually left the church I used to be, that’s Christ Resurrection Church, my birth church. In 2013, I did my first recording, a single whose inspiration came from Raphsody of reality of Christ Embassy. It was a rhema which says ‘focus on today’. I featured Kingsley Peters in that song. In the year 2014, I did my second recording, titled, Jiayanma.
That’s actually my favourite track?
Yeah, mine too (laughs). Almost everyone said the same thing- it’s good, the best. The song trended much more than other singles put together; it trended very well, then I went to sleep.
Are you still sleeping?
I was. I’ve been sleeping but no more. Before now, in 2015, I went for my third recording, but, I couldn’t get all the resources I needed because I wanted to get to feature some top artiste, but I couldn’t get to them. I kept hoping to meet with some persons because I needed to add some rap and all that, but that opportunity didn’t come. When I started business, my attention was divided between my career and business, and business had my attention wholly. That was how I lost the vision, I lost the zeal for my music career.
Why did you relocate from your state, Abia, to Rivers State?
In 2016, I started a business in Aba, I was doing very well, quite well. I grew the business from nothing to like three million. On the 1st of August, in my family house, someone very close to me made away with a huge amount of money I came back with from my office. That was about 450,000, on the first of August, 2016. I didn’t stop the business, though it affected it severely. But I kept on in the business. Got to December, the same year, I did an investment which I didn’t know was wrong investment and I happen to lose about 2.3million that same year, adding up to the one I lost 1st of August.
What then happened?
The next year, 2017, I still didn’t give up, I got a few aid and continued the business. On the 16th of January precisely, I met a lady, I liked her as a person, I asked her what she was doing, she said, she was not doing anything at the moment, so, I was like okay, why don’t you come and work with me?
Like a help meet, I guess?
Yeah, at the verge of working with her, I started making advances towards her, I took her as a girl friend, wanted to go see her people and all that. Then, based on this privilege she had, she took advantage of it and started looting my funds unknowing to me because I was this busy kind of person, I was into music and I’m still into music. So I was always going out for studio works and all that, I didn’t know she was looting the funds and bringing down the business.
After this period, in the month of March that same year, 2017, I started planning on leaving the country. I started processing my papers, international passport and all of that. Again, seeing how the business was going down, I got to stop, I made inquires, I asked questions, I consulted the lady to know what was happening in my business, she kept saying she knew nothing, after a while, that was June, the same year, the business got very critical that I could not continue with the business, so, I had to stop and I lost everything.
What nature of business was that?
Bags of Rice, beans, corn, garri, you know? So, in all this, I lost over 3million, in a space of one year, from that August that I lost my first money till June the next year. I was discouraged. I couldn’t face my business partners because I was owing them. So, I had to leave Abia State as a whole and came to Port Harcourt to start all over again.
When you arrived Port Harcourt, did you continue with that same business?
(Breaths down) No, I came to Port Harcourt with nothing, I was trying to survive, to God be the glory I started doing a little business.
Which is?
Selling Okrika(fairly used clothes). I started Okrika business, on credit though because I had no money, I was buying in bails. Unfortunately for me again, I stumbled into a wrong bail, so my money went down again. I didn’t still give up, I had to start a tailoring business which I never learnt for one day, I didn’t know a thing about it, though my late dad was one but I never paid attention to it. It was just a miracle in the quest to survive, the kind of grace I have, I started the tailoring business from November 2018, I employed someone and the person was doing it for me, the person didn’t work with me all through one month. His wife gave birth, he travelled and never came back. Then confusion came. So, I was caught up in a big mess. But I had to do this, I don’t know how I’m going to do it but I will do it, so I started making researches, how to pattern clothes, how to join them and in a space of two weeks, I started doing people’s cloths, in the first cloth I made so many mistakes, I told the person, his material was bad, (laughs).
Specifically, January, I got good jobs and delivered, I bought more machines, started equipping my office.
In the month of April this year, I lost my phone, shortly after I was robbed in my office, all the machines I had gathered so far was taken away, then, the same week, flood entered my house, (laughs). I felt like, ah, what’s going to happen next? I felt depressed; I felt ah, them don come ooo, (laughs) from my village, nobody came to help me. I had to raise some cash from the job I had at hand, I now bought a machine again, then after that, I became better in my design, I got a weaving machine, my jobs were amazing, people would always say, including those in the business before me, I became someone to reckon with, I got better.
I relocated because of the flood to a house close to my office. Shortly after, I entered a wrong vehicle, they took someone’s 250,000 naira I was to deposit in the bank and pushed me out of the vehicle just before the bank at Rumuokoro. Now, coming down to this November, that was November 6th, 2019, I got a call that my office was open(burgled) again. First, it was like a dream, then when I was certain that I was awake, I felt the guy was joking, I followed to my shop and lo and behold, everywhere was open and my machines were gone, (breaths down) Jesus Christ! I didn’t know what to do, if to faint for people to pour me water or take me to the hospital, or if to cry for crowd to gather or act like I was going insane (laughs). I was shocked, and I’m still shocked, I was like God, why me, why are all these happening to me? I looked back and remembered all that has happened to me, I don’t want to talk about my schooling because I didn’t finish up, I don’t know what’s happening but I won’t give up.
How would you relate these experiences with you abandoning such a talent as gospel music?
I was kidding when I said I was been followed from the village, (laughs) I got encouraged today and I believe God is taking me somewhere, with or without a certificate I will fulfil my purpose.
What’s the way forward?
You know, we work by faith and not by sight, like yesterday, I went to look for another shop because that place seems insecure, to my amazement, the rent is like 260 thousand naira, I was like Jess, (Laughs).
You don’t have the money?
I don’t, Jesus Christ; I don’t even have a tithe of the money, I don’t. As I’m speaking with you, I pictured a possible atmosphere that this thing will come to reality and I love the place. It’s spacious, secured. My spirit just accepted it, I don’t know where the money is going to come from, but my dear, I just have this mindset that I can achieve it and move forward.
Do you have any regret?
Yes I do. Most times I feel I am paying for neglecting my music career which is my missionary tool. I had persons I used to coach back in the day and today, they are super stars, a person like HI, they are doing great, while I was coming for this interview, I started laughing suddenly on the way, a scripture came in me, the righteous falls seven times and rises seven times, I laughed and was like, I’m I fulfilling the scripture? (Laughs), maybe that scripture was written because of me.
Let’s count, how many times have you fallen?
Six times.
Which means you still have one more fall?
Noooooo, (laughs)
Kindly stand up, walk towards the door and slip, let’s count that as the seventh.
(Laughs) no, no, no, I refuse to fall the seventh time, no matter the kind of fall, I refuse, I have seen things, experienced a lot, it’s not been easy, the trauma is too much, right now, I’m going through thick headache, chest pain, I don’t cry literary because I always tried to suppress it in my heart and later it comes back on me and all that, I will keep on but for my music career, I will devote my time and everything to it, I’m back to music, I’m awake and alive.

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