Music man Felix Duke
In the beginning of his journey into the world of music, he was a drummer in Daniel Wilson’s musical band. A talented drummer at that; but like a Yoruba adage says, ‘twenty children cannot play for twenty years.’ He later went solo and to his credit are many songs like ‘Wa, la re, Baba Baba and Johanna,’ among others. Then, the unexpected happened. God arrested him and today he has answered the call of God. In this interview conducted days after his return from Sweden where he had gone on a ministration, he told Charles Okogene, how God arrested him among other things.
How is your music career, how are you coping?
I have been coping. God has made and has been making a way for me. He is the reason I am still living. There was never a time Nigeria was perfect for everybody. It’s just that things are going down and bad every day. Our prayer is that God would make things good and well again.
We noticed that you are gradually shifting from music to preaching of the word of God in his vineyard, what informed the transformation?
I am not shifting from music. Music is part of me. I am music and music is me. This vineyard you are talking about is a calling and if you check the ones before me, they have passed this route before. And you do not go into it without a calling. You only go on the route when you have a calling. I was told far back in 1992 that I was going to do the work of God. I never took it seriously and if you know how God works, you can never ignore his call. If you are in doubt go read about Jonah. And it has been hanging. People around me will tell you how God has been using me underground to do his work.
So many years ago, God used me to deliver a Queen of The Coast. She was screaming ‘oh, you have power, you have power’ and she later confessed that she was ruling seven kingdoms. I did not make noise about it. But a lot of people who are closed to me knew what happened. And to me whenever I want to write song they turn out to be gospel songs even though, it was supposed to be contemporary songs. I had love songs in my mind, but they turn out to be gospel songs. That is how they were released. ‘Wa ra le’ was a success, ‘baba, baba’ was a success. So, I was not surprised because I had the feeling and when the time came, God started putting a stud in all that I was doing. I recalled not too long ago when I opened a club, a night club, around this New Okoba here in Lagos and my wife called me and said, look, ‘you that had the calling of God went around and opened a club, so when will you answer the call of God?’ That was when the turnaround came.
Everything I Put my hand kept going down, even the supermarket I opened went down because of the club. A lot of things started happening to me negatively. My son went for eye surgery. A lot of things, I mean negative things. And I said ‘father, I surrender.’ I had to let many things that is not of God in my life go. And ever since, God has been wonderful to me. He has been supplying my needs in the right quantity. When I speak a word, my word does not come back to me without accomplishing what I said because I no longer live by myself. What I do, I no longer do by myself. So since I decided to heed the call, God has been revealing Himself to me. He has given me the power to bind and loose because that ministry of deliverance is by God. A lot of pastors have gone deaf and dumb because they are not called. But if He calls you, He fortifies you, protects you, your children, your wife. In fact, all that I have belongs to you. I have no power of my own. I depend on Him, on His name; a name that is above any other name. That is the name I call and depend on. A lot of pastors have stroke because they dabble into the area they are not called. The name of Jesus is a healer. You can heal in any area you are called.
So how has the transition from the world to God’s kingdom been?
Well, it is been a struggle, that is why most people who know me way back are like ‘ha! Felix Duke! Because I was in the world, when I say I was in the world, I was in the world. But I am in God now and to the Glory of God, truth must come out of me. I am not going to tell you that all my youth, I was holy. I wasn’t. Youthful exuberance was there, though, I was a church man. Even way back when my songs were top of the chart, I wasn’t drinking or smoking. You know that about me as a journalist but that doesn’t make me holy but when I get on stage, I was very active; very active on stage. What I was doing then back in the days was womanizing. Yes, womanizing and it was very bad. But for many years I have stopped all that. I don’t have a girlfriend; my wife does not live in Nigeria. We have not seen for the last two years; not that I cannot go but I am too busy here in Nigeria. Though, she will come this year. And I will also go this year. The Bible says that any soul that sin must die. Should we continue in sin so that grace may abound? God forbid! So in as much as our Lord Jesus Christ has paid the prize for our sins, I don’t want to take it for granted. Some have lost their voice; I am not condemning anybody but I pray I do not derail from my calling. You must walk in the fear of God and you must follow instruction because if you do not follow instruction, you are on your own.
What is your calling?
Well, you can see what God has done. You saw some of my videos in Facebook. God has given me power to deliver; God has given me power to heal. God has given me power to heal in Nigeria and in America. God has given me power to do all things in His name for those who believe in Him. Even on telephone, I pray for people and they get healed.
Do you have church?
The people that know the anointing that I carry always say ‘but you should have opened a church’ and my reply always to them is “if God has not asked you to open a church, don’t open a church.” If you open a church, you will have yourself to blame. And I have been like that. I once had a dream in which Holy Spirit appeared to me and I told Him that I have opened a church and in that dream, He said ‘no, no, no. Start with fellowship; from fellowship it will grow into a church.’
Are you still a member of Revival Assembly?
Apostle Aslem Maduabuko is my spiritual father and I am still a member of Revival Assembly. Okra ‘no dey’ grow pass the owner. Apostle Aslem Maduabuko is my spiritual father. He is my father in the Lord; I love him and I am still a member of his church.
How do you react to this if one says that you went into the vineyard because you did not make it too much in music?
Who will say I did not blow too much? All my albums that were released were all hits. Is it ‘Wa la Re’ that you can sweep under the carpet or ‘Mr. Goody, Goody’? ‘Mr. Good, Goody’ was a bang or is it ‘Johanna’ album that took me on tour of Europe, America and everywhere? All the albums I released were all hits and if anybody comes out to say because of my inability to make hit albums I went to the ministry that is wrong. Because God’s work you cannot run away from it. Signs and wonders come with a calling. So if I don’t have a calling, those signs will not be there. So, who will say that I did not blow too much? All my albums were hits. Whoever that is saying that is not doing me justice. I never did any album that was not a hit. God has always been with me; He has always blessed my songs. I don’t just write songs because I want to write songs. God gives me inspiration to write and that was why when I released them, there were always a success.
Music is the fastest way to reach God; it is also the fastest way to reach Satan. So chose the one you want. But thank God, He sent Jesus to reconcile us with Him. I was involved in sexual immorality. I knew what I was doing was bad. When I said I wanted to quit devil will bring a very shapely one to me. But I thank God that He has broken that chain of sin from me. He gave me the power to overcome it. He has broken that power of fornication that held me captive. I don’t even think about it anymore. I don’t even go out. When God call you, He remolds you. He works on you. Gold cannot be Gold until it goes through fire several times.
That is what He has done with me. When God has plans for you, He will not rush you. It is a gradual process. You need God’s fear and when you have God’s fear, you have wisdom and when you have wisdom, you have all. I am not in the gospel of pay N500, pay N1000. I am not in that gospel. I am not in the gospel of bring N50, 000 before I pray for you because God has given me enough. I have never ever asked anybody, give me this. The Lord said freely I have given thee so why should I charge any amount. I will also use this medium to appeal to all those I may have wronged to forgive me.