By Ishola Kemi-Balogun & Ebun Babalola
For those who really know Bimpe Sorinolu, the younger sister to former governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, one thing that strikes the mind is how she has changed dramatically as a human being.
Her storey-building residence at Oko-Oba, Lagos is more like a home for the mentally challenged and a rehabilitation centre for people who suffer various kinds of depression.Â She eats, drinks and lives with them including her own children. Many of them are at various stages of rehabilitation.
During the interview, some of them came to exchange pleasantries with Saturday Vanguard revealing their conditions and how they have been delivered from their afflictions by the woman who also revealed how she passed through similar condition.Â In this encounter, she speaks on how she dabbled into her â€˜Destiny Ministryâ€™, caring for the lunaticsÂ and issues regarding her fatherâ€™s burial. Enjoy it.
What mistake did you make in the past that informed your choice of going back to God?
The mistake people make about giving their lives to Christ is that when they realize they have done something bad, they will then change and give their lives to Christ and becomeÂ Christians. That is why the word â€˜born-againâ€™ is not so powerful.
Were you an outcastÂ in the past and what made you so?
Yes, I was an outcastÂ . Whoever is on earth and wants to stand on the path of righteousness, the world will cast such an individual out.
Looking at my former life, I was an outcast . Now, I stand for justice and truth. But coming to Christ, I realisedÂ Christ is the only truth. Then I became the voice ofÂ that truth.
Could you x-ray those things that made you an outcast ?
There is no affliction that is not common to man. What has anybody not done before? If God is critical about sins, saying I was a robber, a prostitute and all that, how about those men who donâ€™t see anything in skirt and people who donâ€™t do all these but are worse off in other areas.
If youâ€™re here to put mark onÂ my sins in the past, youâ€™re still not getting there. Iâ€™d rather youÂ ask , what led me into this stage of conviction. But if you want to find out what I was doing before, youâ€™ll be surprised that some of those things still exist. At least, IÂ used to wear trousersÂ and I still wear them now.
SharingÂ your former life stories could help people sort out their lives.
I know what you want to know. And that is how I came to know Christ. Well I was practically thrown out of the world. Iâ€™d say I lost out in the regular life. Five years ago, my life crumbled before me in a manner that I couldnâ€™t rescue myself. Many things came knocking me down at the same time:Â my husband desertingÂ me, conspiring with my own brother and so on and so forth.
Then, the whole world coming against you, because I have a brother that was highly placed and before the world, I became a nonentity. In that state of mind, it is natural that depression would come. I was depressed and I became a failure. In that state, all manner of things would happen. But at the end of the day, I found the love of God through some men of God that came to me in a peculiar way.
Before that time, my father and mother were pastors but I never had the kind of conviction I have now.Â I was connected to the peace in the Bible and I realized that it was the easiest thing for me to receive. Then, I had nothing other than my children.
It was so bad. It was like a journey alone. But I later found peace with God and found myself in Bible school. Suddenly, it occurred to me that I wanted to become a pastor and then a message came to me that â€œIâ€™ve programmed your life like thatâ€.
I was convinced my going to the Bible school was not a mistake. From that moment, I told God if indeed â€œyouâ€™ve called me, remove this depression from meâ€. I was completely gone and my people didnâ€™t know what was going on. They were still putting pressure on me and hitting me. I was just an empty body, a walking corpse.
But when the messageÂ came to me, I told God, if indeed youâ€™ve called me, make it a mark for me in life that whosoever I encounter that is passing through depression, oppression or suppression, in any form, my encounter will touch him or her and set such an individual free.
Many people are on the streets as lunatics because of one problem or the other. They lost connection with their families and homes. They only operate within the area they found themselves. But God delivered me and God was conscious of what I passed through that period and is deliveringÂ those who are facing similar problems.
There is no other way to teach me than that. On July 19, 2006,Â I told God to make it a sign that truly he has called me. That day, I saw a man lying on the street. He was naked but my heart just went out to him in an unusual way. So I told my driver to stop. I came down and enquired about him. People around said he slumped and died two-three hours before we got there.
I requested for water and I said some Bible words into it and dropped it in his mouth and he jerked up and came back to life. I took him to National Hospital, and paid the bills.
Later at the hospital, he caused a stir and I was calledÂ and the hospital management chided me that I didnâ€™t tell them he was a lunatic. He scattered everywhere and people ran away. Something just told me that was a confirmation of what I received earlier. So, I moved closer to him and laid my hand on him and that was the beginning ofÂ his new life.
About the second day, he remembered his brotherâ€™s name but I couldnâ€™t locate his people and I wasnâ€™t sure whether to take him to my house.
I really did not desire it that way but once it is the will of God, I have no choice. I believe God wanted to show me that there wasÂ a time in my past that I was like that. But how did I overcome it? He showed me love and Iâ€™ve to show that love to those in similar position. So, whenÂ I am counseling a prostitute, I know what to say.
The sameÂ with a divorcee. God has givenÂ me a past to establish as testimonies in the present.
How many lunatics and those with depression have you healed and restored hope in their lives?
As at now, the people that were taken from the streets are more than 35.
What was the real cause of disagreement in your family?
No, it is just a normal thing if you belong to a polygamous family. It happened between the prodigal son and his brother, it happened between Esau and Jacob. It is not peculiar to me. Where you have more than one child, there tend to be unequal love.
That can produce jealousy, hatred of one and another and sometimes it produces depression. Many children have suffered it and many adults are also suffering the same thing. It is not a new thing. That was my story.
Was that why your brother, the former Governor was against you?
I wouldnâ€™t know. I think somebody needs to ask him that. Why was he hostile to Bimpe? Before , I used to ask that question with bitterness but today if I say it, it is to the glory of God, not because Iâ€™m offended.
Everybody was destined to play the role they played in my life for me to enter the glory of God. Maybe, if my brother had embraced me while he was a governor and I didnâ€™t drop the way I dropped, maybe I wouldnâ€™t have seen the plight of these people let alone affect their lives positively. But God permitted me to go down in the kind of life they lived so that I can be conscious of their feelings.
So why did your husband desert you?
The heart of man is desperately evil. They think evil. My husband is not an exception. Even me when I was in the world, I had some evil thoughts. It is only the Spirit of God that will not allow you to think evil.
To what extent did your husband do that?
What happened was that the spirit of greed and love of money overwhelmed him. But that is the way God designed it for a purpose. Now tell me, how many husbands will allow you bring lunatics to his house and youâ€™ll tell the husband that youâ€™ll heal such lunatics. Canâ€™t you see them? They have recovered. We eat and live together?
How many husbands will allow you bring somebody that will be messing up the environment all the time? How many will allow you bring prostitutes here and will not tell you that she is HIV positive. But God needs these people. Something must happen to prompt Godâ€™s interception.
Donâ€™t you feel the emotional gap created by your husbandâ€™s absence?
I thought about it in a very bitter way but I donâ€™t feel anything now. When youâ€™re with God ,youâ€™re made perfect.
Are you not weary of the stigma that could be ascribed to it?
I donâ€™t care what people say. What would you have said if I was on the street dancing? Which do you think is better? Right now my mind is as free as anything, ruled by the Holy Spirit.
Supposing he comes back to show love, will you forgive him and accept him back?
My brother, Iâ€™m no more ofÂ this world. Iâ€™ve become ofÂ the celestial, a prison of the Spirit. It is not enough for him to decide to come back neither is it enough for me to welcome him back. Marriage has no meaning to me again.
I was left with four children and the fear of how to go about it. But today, Iâ€™ve become a father and mother of over 30 people. But if by any means God wants me to be with a man again, heâ€™ll bring the right person into my life to assist in the work of God. So, if he decides to come and his heart meets the heart and standard of God, God will be glorified and nothing will come back to shatter me again. But for now, I donâ€™t have that desire.
How do you get sponsors for your ministry?
Initially, it was very tough but by my experience and the way I overcame my challenges, I know that God is faithful to his people. God delivered me in time of trouble. Besides, I have learned to be modest in the way I turn out.
In my previous life, I used to dress ostentatiously, appear in show biz magazines but right now I donâ€™t even wear jewellries, I donâ€™t desire anything fashion again and that has made me to cut down on my expenses. So, whatever is available is channeled to the welfare of people in the house and the assignment God has given me.
Secondly, Iâ€™ve been selling my properties and Iâ€™m happy doing so. Thirdly, God has sent some few people and they have been of immense help and as I speak ,God willÂ cause them to give good testimonies of eternal blessings.There are very few of them and in fact, they are Muslims.
They say blood is thicker than water. As an apostle, have you forgiven your brother?
Hmm, spirit relationship is thicker, stronger andÂ more eternal than bloodÂ relationship. Blood relationshipÂ is thick but cannot hold anything. My past experience has made me realise that it isÂ the devil that causes people to act irrationally.
Many things I did in the past, I did not do them on my own and that was because of the spirit of the world that was in me. It is not only people on the streets that are mad. Anybody that is not in his right state ofÂ mind is mad, the same way that I was mad before. Right now, Iâ€™m at a vantage position to see what happened and I now realized they have not offended me, even my husband Dapo Sorinolu. I love them like I used to.
I realized that if they were in their right senses, they will not do what they did to me. In my husbandâ€™s right senses , heâ€™ll not donate me to the occult because he wanted to win favour from my brother. Heâ€™ll not use me as a sacrifice to be mad because he wanted money from my brother. A man in his right senses will not do that.
Now that Iâ€™ve realized that, the best thing for me is to go on my knees and pray for him that God should deliver him, that he should come to his senses and reconcile with God, not even me. The same for my brother.
If you ask me this question three,four years ago, I wouldnâ€™t talk but my words are changing because my mind-set has changed. So for my brother, he is just a prophet that must be for me to be in the position that I am now.
How did you get to know your husband wanted to donate you to occult?
I saw his charm. I donâ€™t want to go into all that. My husband programmed me to be mad. It was what he had to do in the occult. I saw it and he confessed to it (showing Saturday Vanguard a video clip of some prepared concoction including an ambiguous note). I saw his handwritings of incantations and other rubbish.
And what happened between me and my brother was not ordinary. People who knew the story believed it was not ordinary. How can you get to the government house as a governor andÂ turn your back against your family, attempted to destroy them?
How couldÂ Ayo become a governor and the family could not stand tall or boast of anything, instead it was quarrel all through? Was that ordinary? But Iâ€™m not pointing accusing fingers at anybody. Thank God, the same madness they afflicted me with is the same area God has given me strength today.
During your fatherâ€™s burial, there were some controversies regarding the funeral rites. Could you please tell us what actually happened?
(She activated a video clip of her fatherâ€™s 82nd birthday from her laptop where the late Apostle J.O. Oluwayose said he should be buried where he domiciled in Ibadan and immediately without waiting for any child).
My father left a word that he should be buried in a particular way which he told the church. I witnessed it. I was the only child who attended that programme that day.
In fact, he said he should be buried the same day. He must have thought about the controversy that would trail his death considering the number ofÂ his children and wives. He was even afraid to celebrate his birthday.
He had made his mistakes by marrying many wives in the past and coming to Christ eventually. He wouldnâ€™t kill them and nobody would crucify him for that. He used his past to preach to people.
So when he died, my brother wanted the corpse to go to Ekiti. If you were in my shoes, with what youâ€™ve heard baba say, what would you do? He told the church, his friends, neighbours including the Kabiyesi that he would like to be buried in Ibadan.
My offence was that I stood by what baba said. That was the point of controversy. But because the world already looked at me as a trouble maker, they said a lot of things. (Showing also a clip where empty casket was interred).
So you buried empty casket in Ibadan?
Yes, I donâ€™t want to talk much on that issue. It is a past event.
Would you want to fulfil your fatherâ€™s wish by exhuming the body and re-buryingÂ him in Ibadan in future?
Well, initially my sister, Dupe, was going to press a charge (the second born of the family) to get a court order to exhume the body and bring it back to Ibadan but I counseled against the move.
We have expressed the mind ofÂ Baba. We fought, we had crisis concerning the issue, the whole world knew we wanted to carry out our fatherâ€™s wish .
Even God in heaven knows our mind. We have tried our best. So, it will not be in the best interest of God and my father to exhume the body.The remains is merely sand.