By Josephine Agbonkhese

In an era where young ladies travel thousands of miles with unapologetic tenacity to get-rich-quick by engaging in sex trade in countries such as Italy, meeting Beatrice Omorogbe would send goose pimples down anyone’s spine.

The Edo State-born jewel of Benin extraction agreed to join her mother in Italy in 2008 for a very unusual reason- to evangelise and win souls for Christ. Also a promising gospel music star to watch out for, Beatrice who flew recently to Nigeria to record her maiden album titled ‘Grateful Heart’ had an encounter with Feminista just before returning to Italy. She spoke about her album which will be set for launch soon and also reveals that Nigerians do not comprise the majority of sex workers in Italy, as against popular belief.

Tell us about this new album of yours?

The title is ‘Grateful Heart’ and it has five tracks. The album was inspired by the wonders God has done in my life since 2008 when I got into Italy. The experiences have been awesome.

Let us into these experiences…

First, my mum took me to Italy legally because she resides there; I also have two brothers residing there as well. I didn’t go there for prostitution like many think of our girls. However, there are mothers who carry their daughters to join them there, and who send them to road work (prostitution). I thank God my mother is not in that category.

I could still remember verbatim that God said to me “Go, you have a mission in Italy” when I was still refusing my mum’s offer to come to Italy.

I look back with gratitude because relocating to a foreign land like Italy with a different national language was not funny at all. One, I needed to understand the language to be able to do anything. So, I prayed to God for wisdom, especially because I knew He had a reason for sending me to Italy. Amazingly, in three months, a major miracle happened- I understood Italian! I still cannot explain how that happened.

Another thing happened again. When I got into Italy, I had a permit but had no job. I began praying to God and He told me not to worry but to start doing His work. So, I began evangelising.

In evangelising, were you targeting Nigerian girls prostituting on the streets of Italy or what?

Beatrice

I didn’t target only Nigerian girls because Nigerians are not the majority of people prostituting in Italy. There are also Romanians, Moroccans, Albanians, Chinese and all; not only Nigerians. It’s just that news spread like wildfire when Nigerians are involved. Another thing is that most Nigerians prostituting in Italy do not act with wisdom; they are ostentatious about almost everything. They make people want to think every girl in Nigeria is born and raised to become a sex worker. That’s why it seems they form the majority.

But I thank God I have been able to win some of them, including Italians and other nationals, for God. God actually performed a major miracle by making me understand the language because I would have been able to win Italians if I couldn’t speak their language. I still cannot understand how that happened quickly even though I attended their language school because most Nigerians there still can’t speak Italian fluently.

That was how I went into evangelism on my own, using Italian to preach and win souls for God, just three months after entering Italy. Eventually, God brought an Italian family to help me with a job. That family eventually sent and saw me through a school that enabled me apply for a nursing programme afterwards. I’m presently undergoing that nursing programme.

What was it like recording your maiden album?

God’s grace has been sufficient, I must say. I’ve been doing music before now but this is the first time I’m going into a studio for recording. I’m actually a member of my church choir and that’s Christ Embassy in Torino, Italy.

Has doing music ever been your dream or caught your fancy?

I’ve always loved music since childhood. I remember at about age ten when I would sing and drum with sticks and plates or bottles. Back then, I would demonstrate in front of a mirror. Interestingly, each time I sang and danced before a mirror, I imagined myself a star. Sometimes, my grandma would shout at me but I simply told her I was preparing to become a music star for God; one whose songs would give lives a meaning.

But what brought about that childhood craze for music?

I would say it is simply a gift from God. Actually, we were taught to sing while in the children’s department in church back then as a child. Maybe that nourished the gift.

And at what point did you decide to officially utilise this gift?

That was at the age of 18 when I got inspired by a 12-year-old who released an album. I didn’t get the ball rolling immediately until nine years later (two years ago) when a revelation came through my pastor that I should stir and utilise the gift of God in me.

Hope you’ve realised gospel artists do not make as much money as circular artistes…

My passion for music is not money-driven. Rather, it is to give meaning to lives like I earlier said. It is important to learn to live our lives for God.

Gospel music is the best at any time because life is meaningless without Christ. Circular artists sell because they beautify and make appealing their music. Gospel artistes can do same and even make theirs more appealing with the Meshack anointing which is available for everyone. I thank God that some gospel artists now imbibe this. Now we have gospel artistes doing reggae, blues, highlife and many more. My album ‘Grateful Heart’ for example has reggae, highlife and afro-beat in it.

Where do you see your music career in the next few years?

I see my fame in music spreading all over the world because I want to give lives a meaning; particularly that of youths and orphans. I want to reach out to these people with my songs, money and everything God has given me.

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