Controversial gospel artiste, Gloria Doyle, met with DEBORAH NWOKOCHA and talked about her life as a divorcee, hotel manager, and the challenges of the music industry.

How did you come to be so known with just one album?

Firstly, music didn’t bring me out, events management did. In 2005, I decided to come out with an album which made a lot of people think or believe or judge me as a gospel artiste. I actually would not say I am a gospel artiste.

How would you describe your songs?

It’s some good inspirational contemporary songs that are good for the church and anyone to listen to.

You say you are a gospel artiste, but people see that you are not really portraying the image of a gospel artiste?

That is quite interesting. As I always say, I believe in being real. By nature, I am a very wild person, but at the same time, I am a God-fearing person, and I know that this same God made me wild and He made me for a purpose. So, I don’t see why anybody wants me to be otherwise or to be what I am not. This is how I feel; to dress the way I dress. If I feel like wearing a suit tomorrow, I will wear it. But I will not say that because I know God, I have His Spirit in me, I keep to his words and I fear Him, I have to live in a box. No, God did not make me like that. He only told me that, anything you are doing, do it but have my fear, and I think that is what living is all about.

In this part of the world, even the Bible told us that our lifestyle and every thing we do should portray Christ and bring glory to God. Can you say that you are Christ-like and that your life brings glory to the Almighty?

Ok, let me ask you this question: Is my hair not moderate? It’s a weave-on, I just decided to use the colour one. But that does not mean that if I close my eyes and talk to God that He’s not going to answer me. That is the mistake we are making. I could tell you that God answers me faster and better than those people that are without ear-rings and all that. I have already said it before, God looks at the heart, He is concerned about the heart not what we wear.

Your music is classified under the gospel category, to win souls, but you say you are a wild person. Do you think your look and music portray a good and exemplary servant of God?

I have nothing to portray, I have nothing to give to you. The only thing I tell you to do is to be an imitator of the laid down principles of life. Don’t look at me or the way I look, but listen to my words. My songs edify people. I was born to edify. Listen to what I have to give not, what I am putting on. For the dress sense, I am not saying one should be explicit, but remember you could be a model, a God-fearing one and you are asked to model it is your job, but you still have your personal relationship with God. Let me ask you, which of my videos can you rate X, XX or XXX. By the grace of God, I have mounted pulpits and I have spoken words that have touched people. I meet unbelievers on a daily basis, and the only thing I tell them is “for everything you do in life, fear God”, because it is the beginning of wisdom. That is the only principle I know that God laid down, and when you fear God, you must keep His commandments, when you keep His commandments, He will bless you. It is as simple as ABC. I cannot tell you not to commit adultery or steal, I will only tell you to fear God, because when you fear Him, you will know that His word says that you should not commit adultery or steal. So I always say fear God and worship Him in truth and in spirit, anything outside that, I am not interested.

You once managed a club, now you are managing a hotel and you are still a gospel artiste. How do you reconcile that?

Managing a club or a hotel is my job. It is how I get paid. I go to church on Sundays to serve my God, pray to Him whenever I wake up, and committing my ways to Him in the mornings and all times. It has nothing to do with my job. These are two different things people are merging and they both stand apart. My faith stands while my business stands. I don’t practise religion that is why they call me controversial, I don’t practise tradition or do what every body expects. Even Christ said it that we cannot have a head way through religion and tradition. All I know is that, I have the word of God strongly in me, my heart is not condemning me, I know that I feel and I know that I have the presence of God with of me.

You say you fear God, don’t you think been divorced is not keeping to His word?

This is another place I am going to take you through God. In marriage, it is two parties involved and God Himself knows the party that was wrong. I will leave it that way. You can tell me that I was the person that was wrong or it’s was my husband, but God knows who and what was wrong and He is the one that is going to correct everything. That is the way I see it.

Which ever party was wrong, God commanded that we forgive one another, so don’t you think divorce is never an option for one who claims to fear God?

Yes, I have forgiven and God said he does not want divorce, but I am not a man to divorce a woman and I am not a woman to divorce a man. But what I am trying to say is that, God knows who was wrong in the relationship. I rest my case like that.

Are you saying that, in your marriage, while it lasted, you were so clean and that your wild nature did not contribute to its death?

For heaven’s sake there are people wilder than me and they still have their marriage. I would just say that my relationship was not real and when a relationship is not real, the next thing you see is trouble. What I know is that for my marriage, I was blessed with two boys and a girl. They are grown up and are doing well in America.

Coming to the entertainment industry now, how do you see it compared with the past years?

Well I would say it is improving. But some times I don’t really know where it is going to.

How do you mean?

You know there was a time this Zion music reigned everywhere and crashed. I am seeing us just sitting down on one style of music and reigning and at the end of the day, I don’t know where we would find our self. I traveled and I listened to some music that are reigning here, then I found out that our musicians uses the beat and the rhythm of those places, they use English, pidgin or Yoruba and change everything. But when you travel to those places and listen to their music, you find out that theirs are the original concept of the song. And those people doing that, get awards for their songs. But I know that somewhere like America which we are trying to copy, people that receive awards are people that are original. So if we can begin to learn to appreciate originality, it will be very good. That is why who ever comes out to sing anything; I appreciate him because he came out with his own thing.

We get to hear series of fall out between producers and their artiste daily because they didn’t meet up with their promises, has it ever happened to you?

That was what killed my first album. My producer ate all my money. That was what killed Folake me as an album. I was with Kunle Agboola of Hitma Records and he messed me up. So coming up again became like starting from the scratch. What I have been doing is release some singles to keep the name Gloria Doyle going. It is now that I am working on my album, and that is why I am not working with anybody, just to do it the way I want to do it, so that if I am making a deal, I know I am making a deal directly.

You are an artiste and now you are managing a hotel, where are you coming from, where are you now and where are you going to?

I am on a sole train and right now, I am really working on my coming album. I don’t really believe in being idle, for the fact that I am an artiste doesn’t mean I can’t do something else.

When is this album coming up?

I am still working, when it comes out you will know.

What do you have to say to those who look up to you and want to be like you?

The first thing I would say is that they should believe in themselves. Before you can have any one believe in you, you have to first believe in yourself, when you do that making others believe in you and appreciate you would be easy