Why did you decide to settle in Kenya?
At first I didn’t think I’d settle here until I met my wife. We were introduced in January 2011 by a friend and we got into a long distance relationship. I was in Toronto and she was in Nairobi. The first conversation we had we talked for about eight hours and in March the same year I came to visit her family and in June of the same year we got married. Six years later, we have two kids.
What’s the inspiration behind your book Destiny of the Black Race
In 1990, I received a vision to write the book. I was born through a period of my life where I was experiencing spiritual discontent. There was just not enough black people in the ministry. There were many gifted black preachers who were not noticed and one day I came home and went to the fridge to get something then I just broke down and started crying. I asked God why aren’t there many black preachers and God spoke to me in that moment and said: “There aren’t many preachers who are ready to pay the price.” So my meeting my wife served a bigger purpose in my life because I said “God, send me.” This is how I was inspired to write the book and how I was born as a servant of God.
Looking back, is there anything you would change in your life?
As they say, hindsight is 20/20. But I think all of us have a part of our life we would change. A part which given a chance we would go back to and do things differently. However, I wouldn’t trade the experiences of my life and I know the best part is yet to come. I cherish my experiences. I don’t have any regrets.
As a pastor, do you at times feel like your son, Tory Lanez goes against your preaching and the Bible?
The scary part of being a parent is between the training and maturity. We can only instill the principles. We can’t decide for them. I rose to the top of my nation as a dancer in Canada. I was on every TV variety special and even did tours. I know what it’s like being young. We even did JUNO Awards and we thought we were invincible. So when it comes to my son and my daughter who’s also in music I teach them the principles and let them decide for themselves. Many young people feel the pressure of being preachers' kids and they run from church. I believe my kids have enough sense and wisdom.
Many people run from the church these days because churches seem to have lost their purpose and turned into money making institutions with false prophets. What do you think of this?
It’s unfortunate but I agree with this. I’m very concerned at the influence of Western culture on East Africa. It is producing this kind of thing. Some people leave off pursuing a relationship with the Holy Spirit because of what God puts one through. They practice witchcraft and hide behind the name of the Lord. The bottom line is we were warned. I’ve been here for six years, and my wife and I spent most of our time teaching people about the gospel. I’m very sad that one of the reasons the government doesn’t want to deal with the church is because we take and not give. We gained a reputation of taking and not giving. The government sees the Muslim community as one that gives back to society and the church one that takes from society.
What do you think of the local gospel industry?
The industry has a lot of potential but I think there is still more to go. There is still a sound that I am still waiting to hear. Right now there is a sound that is coming from West Africa that cannot be ignored. Some Kenyans seem to mix that in their music, so when they collaborate they push the boundaries. There is so much creativity in the industry. People shouldn’t be comfortable where they are. The industry has not yet tapped into that potential. Content is important. I don’t mean to be cruel, but slot of songs lack substance and content.
Who is your favourite local artiste?
I love music. For hip hop, Kaligraph Jones is really good. When we go to reggae, in from the Caribbean so I, critical with reggae, but I think Redsan and Rufftone have a really good reggae sound. For gospel I really like Mercy Masika. There is a sincerity in the way she delivers. But I find lots of it shallow in the male category of the gospel industry.
If you were stuck on an island alone what three things would you take with you?
My family, food and water, and a good relationship with the Holy Spirit because He would guide me on how to get out of the island.
Do people ever stop you in the streets just to say Hi?
I’m beginning to get alot of attention here. But most of it is because of our Sunday live streams. We are beginning to get an audience from it. People are communicating from nations like Qatar and Dubai which is interesting given that these are Muslim states.
Any final words to the youths?
Excellence is a choice. Don’t settle for excellence. If you settle for excellence, it is not enough. You must go from excellence to outstanding. The principles of success are universal. Principles of God must work for us. A principle is a fixed universal law that cannot be violated without negative consequence. It cannot be actively and diligently followed without positive results. I believe the youth of Kenya are the leaders of Kenya. They just need to know who they are and what kind of potential resides in them. It doesn’t matter where you came from; what matters is where you are going. Jesus started in a manger and He is now the King of the world.What is something you accomplished this year that you are proud of?