By Tobi Ogunyemi
A couple of years back, whilst I was still a very young teenage secondary school boy, I kept a book, somewhat like a diary, where I recorded the names of actors after every movie watched, whether secular or gospel. Interestingly, I was always glued to the screen even after it was glaring that these movies had finished and every other persons had dust their buttocks and probably forgotten that they just saw a film. I would look out very intentionally for the names of the movies’ cast and crew, and then, carefully take down these names. The reason I did this so passionately was not far-fetched, this was because I knew quite early enough in life that this was where I belonged; this was what I will live the rest of my life doing and so I needed to get myself acquainted with the system.
Fast forward to a few more years later, when it became pretty obvious that I was eventually going to do ‘gospel drama’ even when I hadn’t surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus Christ as at that time; my convictions were so strong, subsequently birthing my confessions and salvation experience. My inquisitiveness and strong passion for this supposedly ‘career’ but fortunately and unarguably ‘area of calling’, prompted me to begin to curiously make very detailed research about the drama ministry, generally, and drama ministers, particularly. Meanwhile, reading interviews, editorials and biographies or autobiographies of actors and filmmakers were my hobbies. Of course, words cannot grossly quantify the joy I always had whenever I stumbled upon any of such materials to read. Unfortunately, I got very little or limited amount of information on the internet about drama ministers and faith-based filmmakers, talk-less of gospel content creators. I can still remember vividly even as I write this article, how that after scoffing the internet for information regarding this line, I ended up being discouraged and not getting much of what I desired on several occasions. In fact, I also do remember how I struggled to gather relatively few pieces of information here and there, while preparing to attend the Mount Zion Institute Of Christian Drama in 2014 until a CD jacket of one Mount Zion movie came to my rescue. It was that bad an experience for me.
Graciously, in 2018 came an answer to the questions of many prospective drama ministers like myself. God said, “Let Gospel film news be!…” and there was information!
God gave the vision of GFN to one man and with the unrepentant support of very unapologetic vision carriers, came this new breed; a timely alternative indeed. The emergence of Gospel Film News, produced amongst several other blessings to the drama and film ministry, an avalanche of editorials, interviews, exclusives, movie reviews, news, personality profiles, features from columnists, et cetera. The Gospel Film News’ website which started initially as a blog, not despising the days of her little beginning, has grown to becoming a fully blown safe haven for trusted and reliable news in whatever facet of the drama and film ministry one would love to conduct a research, whether academic or ministry related. Prospective and aspiring faith-based filmmakers can now from the comfort of their homes, read up on biographies and exploits of the pioneers of this genre of ‘evange-tainment’ outside the mainstream Nollywood as well as works of established filmmakers whose laudable feats are causing great havoc in the kingdom of darkness with reckless abandonment.
A closer look at the commitment, dedication and success of the Gospel Film News’ vision, reflects how much of hard-work is being invested daily, behind-the-scene. On Wednesday, 29th of August 2018, we had the ample privilege of hosting Oluwafemi Dosu, the Publisher of Gospel Film News, in our house alongside another filmmaker, both of whom we had as facilitators in a 3-day drama workshop organized by our drama ministry. I watched closely each morning how that between the hours of 4-6am thereabout, Mr Femi would have been up with his phone compiling and sending daily news reportage on the blog, without fail. Whilst observing him do his work, I saw so much passion and dedication at it’s peak, little wonder I am no surprised at the great things God is doing in and through the GFN vision.
In conclusion, I say a very hearty congratulations to my mentors, Oluwafemi Dosu (Publisher, Gospel Film News) and ‘Dare Fayemi B’shop (Ibadan Bureau Chief, GFN); to my highly esteemed brothers, ‘Damilare Daniel (Lagos Bureau Chief, GFN), Dr Faith Babarinde (Correspondent, GFN) and every other staff of the Gospel Film News’ mandate. This shall be your best year, yet, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Drama minister, faith-based filmmaker and gospel content creator.
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