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40 years on stage: The untold story of gospel music icon, Peter Otulu

Written By Idoma Television on Friday, November 18, 2016 | 10:31:00 PM

By AMEH Jerry

Evangelist Peter Otulu became ‘immortal’ when he abandoned his civil service appointment after his calling by the Supreme Being to minister through music to the world in 1976.

Otulu is not just an artiste but also a talented music minister and an amazing songwriter.

His ability to sing the scripture from verse to verse reminds one of the biblical David. He is a gospel act that defines class and confidence.

The veteran crooner whose contemporaries are the likes of Bongos Ikwue, the late Tom Abah, Isaac Itodo, the late Edoh Olega is as a down-to-earth gospel singer, songwriter, teacher and cleric.

His mission is “to create an environment for the manifest presence of God”. His kind of music style is one of jubilant praise and individual excellence on local musical instruments. He is one of the founding fathers of Idoma entertainment industry.

In this hearty chat with Idoma Voice in his Otukpo home, the Opechi crooner and father of six whose latest album, Kwuyumehi just hit the music shelves openes up on his career, family and personal life. 

He equally spoke on how he escaped abortion and other germane issues bothering on his life and career. 

This is the story of Peter Otulu as told by Otulu himself.
It been a while sir, what has been happening to you?
I remain where God wants me to be. I have been going around doing the work my father asked me to do, which is music ministration. I am very much around.

Many persons have been giving testimonies on how your music uploaded online by Talents Voice Media has been blessing them, how do you feel?
I feel fulfilled and honoured that my music is blessing people both at home and in the Diaspora. I learnt some persons called from Israel and the United States all testifying how my music has been blessing them. I am fulfilled because this is what I have been praying for. I can’t thank God enough and TVP team who has solidly being behind the online promotion.

Severally you were rumoured to have died, how would you react to that?
The devil had severally tried in my life but God in his infinite mercy kept me. Those who went about carrying the rumour that I was dead were only promoting the goodness of God in my life. That was why I sang in one of my songs that God added to my years like that Hezekiah because I will live to propagate his kingdom.

How was your growing up like?
I am the only child of my parents. My father had fives wives but none of them could conceive except my mother. In fact, when my mother was pregnant, nobody believed it was a true pregnancy because of the wind of childlessness blowing in my family as at then. They took my mum to a traditional medicine thinking that she was sick, they gave her some concoctions to drink so the protruding tummy could deflate but all to no avail. The man eventually gave up and said my mum was carrying not jut a child but ‘God’. That was how I got the name ‘Owoicho’ which means God in Idoma language.

So you were almost aborted?
Yes, because they didn’t believe what my mum was carrying in her womb. I spent 11 months in my mother’s womb. I was destined to be great and that was how God preserved me and I narrowly escaped abortion.

How did your foray into music start?
It all started one morning while I was praying at about 5 am, precisely April 14, 1976. During the prayer something hit me on my head and I saw a company of Angels who gave me two tablets like paracetamol. I heard a loud voice saying, ‘swallow it, that is music,’ and I did. It was a great encounter. So you can see that my journey into music ministration was not an accident but a calling.

So how long have you being singing?
I started in 1976 as a choirmaster in my local church even without being born again. But latter when the pressure was too much I gave my life to Christ and resigned my appointment as the Medical record Assistant in 1994 to face my music career fully.

What would you say is the secret of your success being the most popular gospel singer in Idomaland?
I thank God I have 70 albums to my credit. I must confess, music has been paying my bills as a matter of fact, I never regret abandoning my civil service appointment for music ministration. Aside music, I don’t think I can do any other think that will give me joy.
The lord has blessed me with a lovely family. A beautiful wife, lady Ojoma Otulu and six blessed childrte, Ojo, Inalegwu, Godwin, Princess Ondugbe and Daniel.

Out of theses numerous albums, which was would you say is the most successful?
I think it is Opechi and Okwu Lohi Gam. All my albums are good but I think Opechi brought me to limelight.

There was a time you featured in some Idoma movies, was that part of your calling too?
Not really. I am a versatile artiste, can do anything provided it s godlily. Some of my friends in the industry invited me to feature in their movies but some Christian leaders cautioned me to stop appearing in secular movies. They said it would distract my original calling but I can still feature in some good Christian movies in invited because they are all part of evangelism. 

We heard that there was a serious crisis in the Idoma gospel singers’ association when the pioneer, Edoh Olega died, what really happened?
In every association there must be conflict, but I can tell you my brother that one has been settled. We are ambassadors of Christ, so no fight. Jesus only is our leader.

What would you say is your challenges as a gospel singer?
There are so many things on my mind to do being hampered as a result of finance. I have this dream of erecting a modern studio here in otukpo. Better learning environment to Otulu Music School and some other things. So I am calling on any individual or corporate organization or even the local government for support and partnership to make this dream come true.

Peace suddenly disappeared from Idomaland following the invasion of Fulani herdsmen, as an elder, what do you think is the possible panacea to this nagging problem?
We have to pray hard for God to intervene. We cannot do without prayer.

What is your last word for your other aspiring gospel singers out there?
Allow God to lead you. Make sure you sing what God gave you to sing. We are not ‘worldly’ musician and we must be led by the spirit of God.

They must not be profit conscious. The God who call you will never let you go hungry.

Where are you from?
I am Peter Otulu. I am from Upipigbagbo Ejilo in Ugboju, here in Otukpo.

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