Very recently Innocent Ujah Idibia known by his stage name 2baba made known his intentions to leave secular music, expressing his desire to enter the sphere of religious ministry.

He made this known in an Instagram post in which he demonstrated his vocal skills by leading a hymn during a Christmas Carol service in a church.

In the accompanying caption, he laid out his plans, even revealing the prospective name for his envisioned church: ‘Straight to Heaven International Church of God Nigeria Limited’ (STHICOGNL).

He wrote, “To open church just dey hungry me. (STHICOGNL). Straight To Heaven International Church of God Nigeria Limited”.

Though this may seem surprising, however Tuface Idibia is not the first to dump secular music for gospel music as we have series of secular artistes who have dumped their secular music career for gospel music. While some are just gospel musicians, some went ahead to become evangelists, pastors up to opening churches as they felt they need to answer a divine call.

So, who are these singers who had to call the bluff of worldly music and managed to transition to evangelism and christian music?


Sonny Okosun was a Nigerian musician, who was known as the leader of the Ozzidi band. He named his band Ozzidi after a renowned Ijaw river god, but to Okosun the meaning was “there is a message”.

 He was one of the leading Nigerian musicians from the late 1970s to mid-1980s.From 1972 to 1974, he led a band that was originally called Paperback Limited but later regrouped as Ozzidi.

Prior to regrouping as Ozzidi, he and some members of his group teamed with Fela and his group, the Koola Lobitos, to play gigs in the Yaba area of Lagos. On forming Ozzidi, Okosun released several albums either with the band or as a solo artist. The albums included Ozzidi, Living Music and Ozzidi for Sale. His early Ozzidi sound combined the highlife roots of his Edo heritage with a touch of guitar riffs.

He had his first break with the single “Help”, which sold close to a hundred thousand copies in Nigeria. The lineup of the Ozzidi band was headed by Okosun as lead vocalist, supported by three backup dancers, a trombone player, keyboardist, bass and trap drums.

Towards the late 1970s, Okosun began to release a string of reggae infused Afro-pop music. His 1977 song “Fire in Soweto” became a major international hit and his first gold album. He was featured on the anti-apartheid album Sun City, and his song “Highlife” was on the soundtrack of the 1986 film Something Wild. He released another LP album, Power to the People, followed with a tour in some Nigerian cities.

He released his first American album in 1984 under Shanachie Records. His next American record, Which Way Nigeria, was released in 1985 under the EMI label in Nigeria and licensed to Jive Records for international promotions.

His mainstream success started to fade in the late 1980s, but he continued his career as a gospel musician under the name Evangelist Sonny Okosun.

By 1993, Okosun had started moving towards gospel music, he released the gospel album Songs of Praise, followed by another gospel piece tagged Revival. In 1998, he started the House of Prayer Ministry, a Christian church located at Ogba area in Ikeja, Lagos state.

Okosun died aged 61 of colon cancer on 24 May 2008 at Howard University Hospital, Washington DC. He was buried at his residence in Lagos.


Chief Ebenezer Obey is one of the front runners in Nigerian music, especially in the juju genre. Chief Ebenezer Obey started out by experimenting with Yoruba percussion styles. Later growing the band by adding more drum sets, guitars, and talking drums. Obey’s musical prowess is in incorporating complex Yoruba concepts into dance-floor tunes. 

The band excelled at praise-singing for affluent Nigerian socialites and business tycoons, as is typical of Nigerian Yoruba social-circle music. Chief Ebenezer Obey, is known for Christian spiritual themes in his songs. He became involved in Nigerian gospel music ministry in the early 1990s. He is now known as Evangelist Ebenezer Obey.

  • Chris Okotie

The senior pastor and founder of Household of God Church, Chris Okotie was once a pop singer. He dumped school temporarily in 1980 to pursue a music career under the stage name Kris.

Songs such as “Show me your backside”, “I need someone”, “Carolina”, “Fine mama” and many more came from him.

Chris however became a Pastor in 1986 and in due time, he rebranded into a gospel singer, releasing songs such as “Memories”, “Little things”, “Narrow to me”, “There is nothing that God cannot do”, “Supernatural” and many more.

  • Lanre Teriba

He started his singing career as a member of the Kegite Club (a sociocultural organization that promotes African cultural heritage) while in school.

Upon his graduation from the higher institution, he tried securing a job but couldn’t. In 1998, he ventured into singing and during the period, he met a music promoter, Tunde Olokodana and the rest became history.

Teriba released his debut alum titled ‘Atorise (Reformer)’ in 2000 and it performed very greatly, shooting him to the limelight.

After many years of silence, Teriba released a song titled “I’m back home” in which he re-dedicated his life to God, afterwards he went ahead to establish churches and prayer mountains answering the divine call.

  • Obiora Obiwon

Popular singer Obiwon gave gave us some of the best music in the 2000s. His 2005 debut album “Overture” featuring his hit single “Onyinye” remains one of Nigeria’s best classic ballad.

Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, Obiwon rebranded into an urban contemporary singer in 2008, changing it’s stage name to Obiora Obiwon. He said he has undergone a spiritual experience and he’s sure gospel music is what God wants him to do.

  • Banky Wellington

Olubankole Wellington, better known as Banky W, started EME records in 2002, releasing some of the best Rnb songs including “Yes/No”, “Jasi”, “Jaiye ori mi” and even “Ebute metta”, a cover of Rihanna’s “Umbrella”.

But in 2020, Rnb lovers were sad to witness him dump secular music for gospel music following his ordination as a pastor.

According to Banky, he was also shocked when the senior pastor of his church told him that God wants him to be a preacher.

Today Banky has released over two gospel songs including “Final say” and “Testimony”.

  • Chidinma Ekile

Chidinma Ekile who is a pastor’s daughter in 2010, joined the race for fame in search of a better life. She first won the 3rd season of the MTN Project Fame West African singing competition in 2010 and went straight into the Nigerian music industry. It didn’t take long for her to drop her first hit song “Jankoliko”. She became a force to reckon with, dropping “Emini Bola” and “Kedike”.

In return, they cheered her up for her incredible vocals and success, something no winner of the MTN project fame was able to achieve.

As far as we’re concerned Chidinma carried herself well throughout her pop years, from her dressing, her swag, to her vocals words. None of them was out of hand or extra. Chidinma took her time yearly and slowly maintained a music career.

However, in May 2021, Chidinma Ekile, the beautiful songstress with the voice of a nightingale dropped a shocker for her fans by asking them to call her Mummy G.O or Endtime Soldier, explaining that the old Chidimma has turned a new leaf after a call from God.

She emphasized how there is no time and how God instructed her to use her singing talent to win souls, adding that it has been the devil winning for too long. Chidinma explained how she had an encounter with God and he has called her to use her talent for his work.

Mummy G.O, after the new revelation, immediately dropped her debut gospels single “Jehovah Overdo” on her 30th birthday. She is currently signed under Easy Concept – a gospel record label.

Since heeding to the spiritual call, many of these artistes are doing fine.