EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE FOUNDER ARISE AFRIKA NETWORK,
CEO FACE OF ARISE AFRICA & PUBLISHER ARISE AFRICA MAGAZINE
1. Can we get to know you sir
My name is Ikechukwu David Anyanwu fondly called IDA. While I was growing up.
Founder of IDA Foundation, Sommies Foods, Gcfn Consulting and Arise Africa Magazine -a news and human empowerment blog www.ariseafrika.com
I am the last born of Late Rev Mark & Deaconesses E. Anyanwu of Umuoke Obowo, Imo State. My parents were pioneers members of Church Of God Mission Int'l.
By the special grace of God, I'm a creative writer, blogger, music minister, human resource & leadership development expert, Media strategist and management consultant. I have set up and managed fast food companies across Imo, Enugu, Rivers, Abia, Abuja before my foray into the creative industry.
I was born on 6th December at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Umuahia Abia State in the year 1979 into a family of seven.
Growing up was a bit normal , nothing too spectacular. It was fun growing up. My Dad called me "Son of my Old Age", I was his favorite. A.k.a John 10:30
I was informed how I spoke non stop from Lagos to Obowo at age 3 when my parents were traveling home. So I would say my gift of public speaking manifested very early in life. (Laughs)
I preached firstly from Dad's pulpit. He gave me platforms to express myself even while he was in rural areas during his pastoral work
2. SCHOOLS ATTENDED
I attended Central Primary School Ihitte Uboma, at the then Etiti Local Government Area before my mother who was a civil servant was transferred from Isinweke to Aba, and I completed my primary sch at Aba-Owerri Primary School. Abia State
My secondary education was at Ngwa High School Abayi Aba before coming to Owerri to study Sociology/Anthropology at Imo State University Owerri.
All these while I was very close to mumsie, And as a Civil servant everywhere she was transferred from, we move with her. She was transferred back to her state of Origin IMO when Abia was created. That was how we came to Owerri. I have enjoyed my stay in O Town ever since.
After my first degree at IMSU, I did attend Living Word Training Center, -A Bible School of Practical Application to get equipped for the work of ministry.
Living Word Ministries International properly harnessed and fanned the gifts of God in my life into flame. My coming in contact with Bro Emma Okorie changed my life for the better. He ordained and licensed me as a minister of the gospel.
3. When Did you Discover God's call on your life?
I discovered God's call on my life when I was 12 years old.
How did it all start?
It started from my Junior secondary school. At a young age, I was very passionate, zealous and committed to the things of God.
The zeal of God had consumed me, it burned in my soul. I had a strong passion for souls, reaching out to my peers. Soon I became the Chapel Prefect & President of Scripture Union and before I left school.
I was hosting crusades, evangelical outreaches, prison and hospital outreaches
4. Who motivates you?
Truly the one persons that motivated me as a young boy when I was coming up in ministry was my beloved mum Dcns Edith Anyanwu. I love her so much for the solid foundation she gave to me while growing up.
I will wake up to see her kneeling and praying even before the time for family Altar.
My mother will compel us to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. And then you would write down what you learnt from the pages of the Scripture. She is very hardworking and catered for us. I really want to give her the best. Putting a smile on her face because she been through a lot for us.
Another great influence is my Big Sister Chet Chux Amaechi was the one who taught me the meaning and power of choice that I should not allow any peer pressure or negative influence. Her words spurred me to excellence.
Also my wife motivates well. Am blessed to be married to a unique and virtuous woman like her.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR LITTLE BEGINNING, HOW DID YOU NURTURE YOUR DREAMS?
I love writing & singing as a child. It started with my publishing what I called FRIENDS NETWORK FASH
I also started singing because I love it. In fact everything about music.
But I cannot ever forget what made me to stop playing musical instruments. At an early stage , I was playing Keyboard and Trumpet. But one day during rehearsal , I was mocked at by someone who i looked up to. I became so embarrassed - my expression on stage was bad.
I just kept singing passionately, setting goals and achieving them.
I entered the youth choir and told myself that in the next few months , I will be leading and I worked towards it till it happened. I was a soloists as far back as 1995-96 with the Angels Choir of Living Word Ministries International
I also became ordained as a youth pastor and when I got admission to IMO state University, I became the pioneer Pastor of Living Word Campus Church
I started nurturing the vision of raising the beautiful continent of Africa as a child and at each stage of my life, I used all the platforms I had to touch lives.
HOW DO YOU RELAX
My best form of relaxation is spending time with my family.
I love hanging out with the kids. Infact you can call me 'papa umuaka'
My love for children made me start doing a lot of educative, entertaining programs for kids. KIDDIES FUNTIME, CHILDFIRST, BEGINNERS WORLD were my programs for kids even before God blessed me with mine.
Music is also relaxing for me. I flex with friends. I go to church. It relaxes me and motivates me. And I spend time with the people I love.
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO START WRITING, SINGING
I started writing when I was in secondary school . that was when I released my first book -DETERMINE WHEN YOUNG. I wanted to make a positive difference in the world and the book told the story of a young man who determined to make it in life and he passed through a lot until his DREAMS were achieved.
Anointed atmosphere inspires my song but sometimes songs come to me in the bathroom or when am taking a stroll
8. WHEN YOU ARE ON STAGE MINISTERING, WHO DO YOU SEE YOURSELF REACHING OUT TO?
When I am on stage ministering, I basically connect to God, then flow to the people, I lead people to enjoy His Presence which is the best place to be.
I see myself ministering to GOD that is why am totally lost each time I sing.
God always helps me because on my own I am nothing.
People get blessed, lifted when I sing.
WHICH TYPE OF MUSIC DO YOU ENJOY DOING MOST?
I do almost all forms of music. It is beyond style. For me , it is about the message.
WHAT IS SUCCESS?
The worlds definition of success is far from mine. Many are far loosing it today because to them success is all about one having fashy cars, big mansions, fat bank account
Because there is a very wrong definition of success and achievement. What is success?
Success is doing what God has called you to do per time.
Jesus is my model. Jesus is a success.
The world is still benefiting from that success generation upon generation.
But by history, he died - a criminal, he had no house of his own, he rode a borrowed horse, was buried in a borrowed tomb. He had no material possession. But he lived a successful and fulfilled life.
Your life is not measured by the abundance of things you possess. It is by living for something.
What is that thing you are living for? Are you looking for money or first do you want to make a positive difference in the world.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOURSELF FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?
In the next five years, I see myself being a blessing to millions in Nigeria, Africa and outside the shores of this continent on a regular basis
YOUR ADVICE TO YOUNG MINISTERS
My advise is for every young minister to always know where your strength is coming from and *stay connected to your source!*
For me God is my source, so I stay connected to Him.
The Bible made me to understand that
All good and perfect gift comes from Above. In whom there is no variableness neither shadow of turning
"A man can receive nothing except it is given from above. "
God gave you that gift not for you to make a merchandise of it. Use that gift of singing, writing etc to the Glory of God.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR BUSINESS?
Its OK to seek for gain and fame but for me it is of utmost importance that every entrepreneur thinks about his/her chosen business it initiative more as a gift to the entire works which he or she has been made a custodian of rather than just an idea for personal aggrandizement
For me when I founded Arise Africa, the primary focus is adding value before taking value from the society.
In business, you have to think beyond your time. What will become of the firm in the next 20 years, then the next 50 years, 100 years. Is your business just to exist as long as you live or will it continue for generations to come?
Thinking in this perspective will enable you frame your firm around certain core values and objectives that will stand form in winds and in storms.
Make sure your business is built to serve the masses first before serving your bank account
WHAT ARE THE VALUES?
For a business it brand to last for decades or centuries after the founded is gone, one major value it must be built on is integrity.
Integrity is forged in the fire of truthfulness and consistency. Truth may be buried ،attacked, libelled, slandered against, kicked and ridiculed but at the end of all these, truth will still survive and will become stronger and shine brighter each time.
By consistency, I don't mean remaining stagnant on outdated ways of doing things, I mean if you are known for making the best bread in town, don't ever make good bread. Go for the BEST
Another major value a business will thrive is Satisfaction of all clients (as much as possible) One fully satisfied client us better than 10 unsatisfied clients in the long run.
This is very important to take note of especially for young entrepreneurs who might be lucky to get overwhelmed by rush of clients at the beginning of their business. Rushing the job or delivering goods that are not satisfactorily done all in the bid to attend to all the customers in a short time and seemingly prove your speed.
In as much as speed of completion is complimented, it is better you take your time to deliver a satisfactory and excellent service than to rush and deliver something the client will frown at.
Map out value systems that can ensure your business will last beyond you. You can start with building the business around integrity. That is what I call having a Business Sense & Thinking beyond you