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Alagbawi Nla Festival Has Come To Stay As Long As I’m In Nigeria – Popular Broadcaster, Alawiye

Daud Olatunji

Akinyemi Olatoye, popularly known as Alawiye Federation, has announced the enduring presence of the annual charity and praise festival, Alagbawi Nla. 

Speaking exclusively to PLATFORM TIMES, Alawiye declared that the festival, which has been a hallmark of his birthday celebrations for eight years, will remain a fixture in Nigeria for as long as he resides in the country.

He disclosed that the  genesis of Alagbawi Nla dates back six years ago, originating from a divine calling guided by the Holy Spirit. 

Alawiye recounted how a tradition of midnight praise sessions during his birthdays led to the expansion of the event, incorporating gospel artists and fellow worshippers to join in the festivities. 

Despite initial hesitations, Alawiye  said he embraced the mission wholeheartedly, recognizing the profound impact of giving back to society.

Reflecting on the journey of Alagbawi Nla, Alawiye emphasized the importance of faith coupled with diligent work, citing Psalm 67 as a testament to the reciprocal nature of blessings. 

He said with unwavering support from friends and well-wishers, this year’s edition boasts an investment of over N2 million, showcasing the commitment to making a meaningful difference in the lives of widows and the less privileged.

As preparations for the upcoming celebration intensify, Alawiye extends an invitation to all Nigerians to partake in the festivities. 

He urges individuals to draw closer to God and emphasizes the significance of proactive engagement, highlighting the necessity of combining faith with diligent effort.

Alawiye expressed gratitude to his planning committee members and reiterated his dedication to upholding the tradition of Alagbawi Nla. 

He said  “Alagbawi Nla,” which is the fifth edition, it all started six years ago, precisely in 2019. However, in 2019, due to the issue of Covid-19, we couldn’t proceed in March, which led us to postpone it to November. 

“Therefore, we formally commenced in 2020, making this the sixth edition approximately. Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19 in 2020, we managed to proceed.

“What happened was not that anybody commanded me, but it was the leading of the Holy Spirit, if I may use that term. Every birthday, I have a tradition of praising God from 11 pm till midnight, and this has been my consistent practice. So, during one of these sessions, I felt compelled to expand this tradition by inviting gospel artists and others who cherish praising God to join me. Initially, I hesitated, considering my role and the financial aspect, but I realized that when God sends you on a mission, you’ll know.

“Since our inception in 2020, we have never regretted it. Support for the event has always been strong, with supplies ready beforehand.

“Reflecting on the past editions, we started in a hall, then moved to another venue, and eventually settled on the Cultural Center for the fifth edition. This journey, coupled with the realization that at 42/43, I began something worthwhile, prompted me to continue. 

“As my late boss, Gbenga Adeboye, used to say, whatever your position, there’s always someone you’re better off than. So, we gathered friends and celebrated, which led to the idea of giving back to widows and the less privileged, starting seven years ago under the Samuel Adeolu Foundation, named after my late brother.

“I now align this charity with my age, giving a corresponding amount to the widows and less privileged.

“This event is not just about my birthday; it’s about giving back and praising God. My gain lies in the blessings received through these actions, as stated in Psalm 67: “When you praise God, the earth shall yield her increase.”

“As I celebrate my birthday this Saturday, I urge all Nigerians to draw closer to God and to not rely solely on prayer but also on diligent work. We shouldn’t wait for the government to provide; instead, we should seek opportunities and work diligently. Faith without work is dead.

“Expect blessings and answered prayers this Saturday. Over N2 million has been invested this year alone, with generous support from friends, both local and abroad.

“Alagbawi Nla” is here to stay, by the grace of God. As long as I’m in the country, this tradition will continue. I’m grateful for the hard work of my planning committee members.”

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