Radio and Television broadcaster Jeremie Van Garshong narrates her first encounter with God in this powerful spkoen word piece titled ”Surrender”.
‘This is not a song. It’s a real life narration of my first true encounter with God. It’s raw as I whisper into your ear. So raw you can hear me cry. But I don’t mind sharing my deepest moment with you. Listen till the end. You’ll understand…’ – Jeremie
In an age, where youth are being impacted daily by social trends, media and peer pressure, community leaders and educators have taken a stand to properly educate youth on how to become “Agents of Change” in today’s society.
In the early 1980’s, Chicago birthed it’s own, “Agent of Change”, Veriner James, from the city’s south side, who understood at a young age, the importance of structure and education. Veriner James, later blossomed into a highly successfuladministrator and educator, who has served in some of Chicago’s hardest hit communities since 2001.
Growing up in a household, where both parents made it a priority, that she would received the best education, Veriner was confident that, education was the key to changing the community around her.
“My parents worked hard to ensure, we had a quality education. My father worked two full time jobs to put my brother and I through Private elementary and high school.”-Veriner James
In 2017, Veriner James “took charge” and decided to make a change, when she founded, Exousia Leadership Academy for Girls, which will be the first all girl’s STEAM Middle School in Chicago, IL. Like the meaning of Exousia, the students will learn how to walk in authority, power and carry influence as “Agents of Change”.
Exousia Leadership Academy for Girlsis a non-profit private school, whose mission is to provide an integrated educational system of high standards to engage all students in an academically rigorous project based curricula, promoting a strong foundation in the sciences, technology, engineering, arts, and math relevant to real world context and building on student character, health, and community assets to prepare students for future academic endeavors. Exousia Leadership Academy for Girls is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2018.
It’s no surprise, that Veriner James has taken major steps to build and develop an institution of learning for young girls in Chicago. As an educator for over 15 years, she has been successful in devising plans that decrease inappropriate behaviors school-wide, increase student achievement and support teachers by implementing strategies that evaluate and improve their instructional practices.
Veriner James has been recognized for having an authentic “Grace” and ability to connect with, direct and instruct youth of all ages. James’ gifts were being cultivated, early in her life as she interacted with family and friends. “As a little girl, I always wanted to be the person “In Charge”. When my cousins and I played house, I was the mother. When we played school, I was the teacher. When we played church, I was the preacher. Looking back, I didn’t realize those moments in my childhood were preparing me, for moments in my life, where I’d need to “take charge.” -Veriner James
Exousia Leadership Academy for Girls, Veriner James is dedicated to providing a quality education, that challenges young girls, to identify who they are, by shaping their minds and character, growing them into women who will one day transform the world.As the Head of School for
Mrs. James holds a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Behavioral Science (National Louis University), a Master of Arts in Secondary Education (University of Phoenix) and second Master of Arts in School Leadership (Concordia University). She is currently working towards attaining her doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. When Mrs. James is not in the classroom, she enjoys traveling with her husband and son.
History was made on Tuesday, 9th of May 2017 as TOLA @spiceonthemic Omoniyi made a new record for the longest non stop talk show in Africa. It was a day full of excitement, laughter and fond memories of the past.
On this day, TOLA Omoniyi, CEO of Praiseworld Radio celebrated 9 years of being a radio personality. He celebrated this achievement by hosting a show tagged #TalkathonWithTOLA.
The show was a non-stop 12 hours of talking, with conversations ranging from Media, Entertainment, Real Estate, Politics, Business, Fashion, Internet, Health, and much more. He took breaks off conversations at the top of every hour to read the news, keeping listeners updated with happenings around the world.
TOLA stepped into the Praiseworld studios at 8:30am looking sharp with his dark blue long sleeved shirt which had different patches of African print. He stepped into the studios with his usual smiles and then began to gear up to run the show, which began by 9 in the morning and came to grand end by 9pm.
Among guests and friends featured on the show includes Segun Obe, Ope Bakre, DJ Gosporella, Omojuwa, Seun Shobo (The Brand Master), Victor of Gospogroove, Seyi (All Socks), Prince (CITY FM), Honeypot (TVC) to name a few.
There was no dull moment as listeners contributed to the show all 12 hours long, via phone calls and social media, using the hashtag #TalkathonWithTOLA which trended on Twitter in Nigeria.
With a whole lot of congratulations and well-done’s to the man of the hour TOLA, guests, friends, colleagues and family members dropped by every hour, bearing gifts as well.
This was consistently sustained till he hit the 9pm finish line, making history as the first 12 hour long talk show in Africa, with shouts of joy. But we just couldn’t end like that. There had to be an after party LIVE on air with DJ A’Cube in the mix.
Follow TOLA on Twitter and Instagram @spiceonthemic to stay updated.
TOLA Omoniyi, popularly known as spiceonthemic is set to celebrate his 9 year old radio career with a Talkathon; a 12 hour Talk Show on May 9, from 9am-9pm.
The media veteran and CEO of Praiseworld Radiotook to Instagram to share the exciting news:
On May 9, I’ll be celebrating 9 years on radio with a TALKATHON Radio Show #TalkathonWithTOLA A 12-hour talk show, from 9AM – 9PM.
I’ll be hosting several of my friends, past colleagues, professionals, entertainers and resource people that will make it a lively show all 12 hours long.
THIS TALKATHON WILL BE AIRED ON @PRAISEWORLD_ RADIO (PraiseworldRadio.com)
I need as much of your support in making this loud, and in any way you think you can, as I’m aware a 12 hour talk show is no joke, and this is a first.
Thank you for your support over the last 9 years of my radio career. God bless you.
#spiceonthemic #TOLA #radio #9 – #regrann
Official hashtag: #TalkathonWithTOLA
Download the Praiseworld Radio mobile app from your mobile appstore OR log on to PraiseworldRadio.com to tune in, and be a part of this historic show.
TOLA whose real name is Olutola Omoniyi, but popularly known as ‘spice on the mic’ is the CEO of Praise world radio, Africa’s number one gospel music radio station.
He is media veteran, public speaker, event compere and mentor to lots of young aspiring broadcasters and entertainers.
He currently hosts the award winning radio show ‘The Praise O’Clock Show (The Official Breakfast Show)’ on Praiseworld Radio.
He has interviewed top notch personalities in the gospel entertainment industry ranging from J Moss, VaShawn Mitchell, Jamie Grace, Kierra Sheard, Sammie Okposo, Joseph Benjamin, Midnight Crew, to name a few.
He has rare leadership skills, passion for quality music and a unique gift at spotting talents.
TOLA leads a dedicated team of On-Air Personalities, DJs, journalists, IT specialists and other seasoned professionals from different fields at Praiseworld Radio in the quest to achieve the corporate vision of ‘becoming the world’s most influential Kingdom lifestyle channel.’
#TalkathonWithTOLA will be aired on Praiseworld Radio.
It is no doubt that Isabella is one of the finest female Gospel artistes of Nigerian descent. An ever sprouting vessel of worship, so much that she was labeled the ‘Lady of Songs’ and ‘Isabella Melodie’ – all tags pointing to the ceaseless fountain of in-depth adulation from which she draws her inspiration.
The quintessence of Gospel music diva, Isabella is a shining example who balances the spiritual essence of the music ministry with aesthetics and professionalism flawlessly. Her many awards, books and other milestone achievements are testimonials of the premise.
Isabella, released the critically acclaimed single ‘Hallel’ few days ago and the impact has beckoned on her to tell the inspiring tale of the beautiful – yet divine – moment when the song was conceived. She sits with Alex Amos for a brief chat and if a picture can tell a thousand words, then the words captured in a moment can reveal a thousand things!
Aside the Hallel-story, Isabella reveals plans for 2 new albums, with production credits to Wilson Joel & Niyi P respectively, a new video directed by Uvi Orogun is also on the way. Moreover, she speaks on her stance on mentorship, family and lots more in this interesting chat.
She did not mince words when she describe the reception of “Hallel” as ‘incredible’while speaking on the inspiration behind the single.
“‘Hallel’ was released on Monday 24 April and the response has been beyond incredible.” Isabella said. “Hallel” was received during a studio session when we were actually working on a different song. This happened whilst I was visiting in Abuja, November last year. One of my daughters (in ministry), Gracia and her husband, Michael, who is a gifted songwriter, came to visit me. During that visit, he told me he had written a song for me as a gift and that he would like me to record the song in the studio. They arranged with a Producer, Niyi P, for us all to come to the studio to record the song. Due to the fact that my time in Nigeria was so short, it was far from convenient for me. Moreover the Lord has given me hundreds of songs that are yet to be produced so my natural response would have been to cancel the appointment. Anyway, we ended up at the studio that night. It was during the arranging and recording of that song that I suddenly began to sense and hear another sound. Almost immediately I knew without doubt that this was a divine moment. I was literally jolted up from where I was sitting and I began to pace around, breaking out in tongues. I could see and hear the sound clearly. The sound and words (Hallel in groups of four) looked like clusters floating in the heavenlies, almost like they were waiting for someone to grab them! I stopped the other song and asked the producer to keep playing as I was hearing a sound. As I started releasing the sound I was hearing, the anointing fell right there in the studio. That’s how “Hallel” was received. Unplanned and unexpected. And I haven’t stopped singing it ever since. Although I live in the UK and could have produced the song in more sophisticated studios, I was led to work with the same producer in whose studio the song was received.”
Reacting to the feedback, Abuja based producer Niyi-P, affirms the experience saying:
“My experience working with mama was awesome, till now I am still feeling the aroma of the grace of God in her life”.
Another Gospel artiste Gracia who was in the studio during the recording, confirms Niyi P’s assessment.
“The power and tangible presence of God was visible in the studio that day. Still revelling in that one experience. Now I understand the term ‘anointed minstrel’ better.
As an offshoot from the release of ‘Hallel”, Isabella has got a lot in the pipe for the year 2017, which includes 2 new albums and a video.
“I recently finished working on my 7th and 8th album.” She explained, “The 7th album titled “Indescribable (The Complete Album)” has a total of thirteen songs, all produced by Wilson Joel (Music Magnate of Doxology Studios). I recently shot the official video (directed by Uvi Orogun) to the first single titled “Omnipotent God” from that album. I will be releasing release the single in July.
“The 8th album titled “A New Beginning” has a total of ten songs, all produced by an Abuja based producer named Niyi P. “Hallel” is the first single to be released off that project.
“Both projects are now complete and I am excitedly looking forward to sharing the songs with the world. I do love both albums but they are very different sound-wise. “Indescribable” is more contemporary, edgy and universally appealing. On the other hand, “A New Beginning” is more spiritually stirring and more intimate. Having recorded seven albums before it, I can honestly say that I had my most memorable intimate worship moments in the studio whilst recording “A New Beginning.”
…and just when we thought we’ve gotten Isabella to give us a tell-all chat, she kept a few tricks up her sleeve.
“Both albums have a surprising twist with the last few songs in the albums. I had a bit of an adventure recording those songs but I guess you’d have to wait to find out what the twists are!” Talk about building an intense anticipation!
Isabella was not as acquiescent as one would have presumed a multi-award winning Gospel singer, songwriter and author would have been to give her perception where her brand is concerned. She is of the opinion that “our perception of ourselves can sometimes be very far removed from the reality of how we are perceived externally.”
Nevertheless, as a mentor, Isabella sees herself as reasonably accessible, amiable and relatable person. According to her, “everyone is valuable to God. No one is indispensable and the most important thing one will be remembered by at the end of the day is how they impacted lives (positively or negatively). Those who leave lasting legacies are the ones who genuinely prioritize and invest in people.”
“I do mentor a number of Gospel artists and I do also have a mentor.” She continued. “I take that responsibility very seriously as these people are very important to God’s heart. I consciously and deliberately create time for my mentees. I commit to not just counseling them but praying for them and with them individually as much as possible. I prioritize relationships.”
Isabella’s who did not grow up as a church girl said her liberal years while growing up makes her more sympathetic and a better counselor as far as ministry goes.
“Due to the fact that I didn’t grow up as a church girl, I had the opportunity to experience life differently from some others who had always been in church. I think my exposure (to worldly ways and lifestyle) and liberal orientation helped shape me to be less judgmental, more sympathetic of human weakness and more compassionate towards those who have personal or private struggles. I am open minded and able to offer practical counsel without over-spiritualizing everything.”
Isabella is also notable for her sense of fashion.
“I’ve always loved fashion. Not outrageous fashion but I do take pride in my femininity and love to look graceful & elegant. I am blessed that I have my sister as my stylist and fashion designer so I get a lot of stuff for free! (laughs). I think God has blessed African women with a certain body shape, which ironically, our cultural mindset tends to openly condemn but secretly admire! I am bringing this up because the issue of ‘modesty’ in dressing has always been a sticking point for Christian women, especially in Africa. But that’s a topic for another day. Let’s just say I am not averse to people being trendy. As long as there are no private body parts on public display, I’m all for it!”
Isabella currently has six albums out with two more to be released shortly. Her first album was released in 2009 and the sixth one in 2015.
“The Lord granted me divine acceleration in ministry, for His glory. Along the way, I have been honoured by many awards which I don’t find necessary to list here. It has been a journey of growth to the glory of God. In addition to the albums, I have authored a book tiled The Worshipper After The Father’s Heart, foreworded by the American worship leader, Terry MacAlmon. I have also traveled extensively across the world for ministry, as God has opened doors in Africa, Europe and America. I am enjoying my adventure with the Lord. My relationship with Him is growing deeper and my love for Him is waxing stronger as I navigate my way through life with the help of the Holy Spirit.”
She believes more established Gospel acts who will genuinely commit their time, energy and resources for posterity sake and not as a publicity stunt or for selfish means, needs to take on the role of mentors for the upcoming ones in the ever expanding Gospel music ‘industry’.
While she works on her new materials for the year, her itinerary keeps getting new entries as she has been billed to minister in England, Scotland, Italy, Holland, Texas and Maryland. She is also looking forward to be in Nigeria towards the end of the year.
We expect the unveiling of the album cover arts soon as work progresses on the graphics.
“The albums cover artworks are currently being designed and I am hoping to release the 7th album by November and the 8th one shortly afterwords. I’m also working on my next book titled The Ministry of Wifehood.
Isabella and her husband Pastor Ogo celebrated their 22nd marriage anniversary in January of 2017 and with the wisdom gathered through experience, they have without a doubt earned the feathers of counselors
“Myself and my husband have been married for 22 years. We have four children (young adults): two girls and two boys. Our first daughter who will turn 22 years this year graduated from university last year (2016) and our last son is 14 years old.
“My husband, Pastor Ogo, has indeed been the backbone of my ministry in the sense that God has used and is still using him tremendously to support and sustain the ministry financially and spiritually. I wouldn’t be where I am today without his unflinching support and I bless God for his life.”
Having toured the U.S. singing background for blues artists Willie Clayton, Omar Cunningham, Kenne Wayne and touring for three years with the popular Festival of Praise Tour (Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, Hezekiah Walker, Israel Houghton, Karen Clark-Sheard, Kim Burrell, etc), singer AUTUMN CANNON is stepping from behind the BGV mic to the lead mic in Godly confidence with a emotional and inspiring new single and book “Why Not Me”.
“Why Not Me” is a tender and melodic ballad from this warm and versatile vocal alto. The Mississippi native and now Dallas, TX resident explains her conception of “Why Not Me”:
“My producer and I spoke over the phone about our possibilities for putting a song together. He asked me to tell him about my testimony. I began to vent and cry for over an hour on the phone about my life and the events that kept me bound. I could not stop crying. The very next day, he expressed that he heard my heart through my story on the phone the night before and wanted to put my words to melody.
Why Not Me is my story. It was scripted from my life experiences of being mistreated by friends, suffering through bad relationships, experiencing infidelity, abuse and neglect, and often wondering why God would allow me to go through so much? I was often asking God the same question – Why Me? Then God spoke to me in one of my worst storms asking me “Why Not You?”. After realizing that in every past situation, God still got the glory and now I am able to minister to so many people. My response was an eye opening, confident response…Why Not Me! So, I wrote and recorded the song with tears in my eyes.”
Autumn has also documented her personal testimony in the pages of a book. She is the author of a new inspirational book under the same title WHY NOT ME. She openly shares her intimate conversations with God as she journeys through life’s highways with twists and turns that have dispensed hurt, disappointment and pain. She shows how the closeness with the Savior has saved her and given her a life of victory over the past and victory for the future.
Autumn’s WHY NOT ME book is available on Amazon. Her single is available on digital music outlets and is climbing the Gospel radio charts. Autumn is continuing to do background singing with Fred Hammond, but has an increasingly busy schedule as a solo artist with the intension of her music and ministry employing others and reaching the masses from country to country.
Gospel Music Leaders Talk About Autumn! “Autumn’s ministry comes from her heart. Her patience and faithfulness is heard through her music and read from the pages of her writings. You will be blessed by her ministry.” – Fred Hammond
“Autumn has such a melodic voice with two main ingredients – the anointing that destroys yokes and amazing voice control.”
– Pastor Shirley Caesar
“You will definitely receive fresh anointed oil through this music by my girl Autumn.” – Karen Clark-Sheard