Thanks to David Chisomeje for Giving me the Privilege to sharing my Hustling story.
My name is Frank Edward. The story of my life is that of God’s manifestation.
I am a product of my worship. It is not by singing. It is by Grace!
I am living in a house I didn’t pay one naira for.
Did you know what it means for someone to finish building a house and give it to you? Every time I come out of my house and look around, I kept asking myself, ‘How old are you?’ Because I know everything I own today is not by singing.
It is time to let people know the secret behind the Glory they celebrate with me.
When my 1st album – THE DEFINITION came out, Loveworld Record (owned by Christ Embassy) helped me to produce it. The first time it was displayed at NIGHT OF BLAZE worship programme, we sold 100,000 copies in just one night.
I said ‘Wow!!! That was a whole lot of money. Back then, I was always jumping from one Okada to another. I didn’t know it was going to sell that much. We took the rest to another Night of Blaze programme and everything was sold.
I was asked to see the people in charge and they told me, ‘Look, we made money from sale of your Gospel CDs and will like to give you N1 million.
I said, “Ehen, one million? That is a lot!”
Not knowing what to do, I called my mum. Oh, God bless that woman! She brought me up in a godly way. I grew up going to Church with her every day. That was how I got to know more about Scripture Union.
She looked up at me after hearing about the money and said, “Son, you know it is your first fruit. Leave the money for them. I was shocked and thought to myself, ‘Leave N1 million for them?’
Funny enough, she that was asking me to leave it for them did not even have one million kobo at that time. Of course, I recalled how we both used to hawk together in Enugu way. If I moved in one direction, she would go the other way. Just when I thought she would start rejoicing with me for hitting N1 million, here she was telling me to leave it for them – ‘It is your first fruit!’
Well, at that point I had no choice but to obey her. I went back and told the Loveworld people that I didn’t want it. They were taken aback and asked me repeatedly ‘Are you sure?’ Each time, I replied in the affirmative and said maybe I will consider the next sale.
Did you know what God did?
They took me to South Africa to shoot my first video and said, ‘Okay! Since you don’t want money, let us help you to shoot the video.’
While we were shooting I met some people who kept looking at me and finally asked, ‘Are you not Frank Edward? Wow! We love your music. We didn’t even know you are a Nigerian. You know what your music need to go beyond Africa and circulate across the globe.
Frank Edward taking a selfie with some of his fans abroad
“However here is what you are going to do. You are going to remove ‘Jesus’ and replace it with God. After all, it sounds the same. Nobody will even notice because for your music to circulate all over the world, people who find the name Jesus offensive need to be your fans too. By the time you start using God, it would not sound offensive to them anymore. That way, will be able to circulate the music well.”
When I saw the offer, I said there is not much difference. Jesus is after all God. Nobody will know as they said. Then God spoke to me and said, ‘If you try it, you will not last. Therefore overlook it. Whatever they promised you, I will double it.”
That was how I turned down the offer. It was a painful decision to make. Even my then manager was furious. You know how managers and their passion for big money moves. He thought I made a mistake but I told him I had made my mind not to go back. That was how I let it go and came back to Nigeria.
That was how God began to do His Thing in my life.
I released my second album and someone from nowhere called me and said that they have been trying to reach for long. In fact, she had ordered her staff that if they didn’t find Frank Edward, they should not bother coming to work. That was how they came to my Church and spoke to some of my pastors who in turn reached out to intimate me about their mission. I instructed them to release my number for them.
I almost screamed, ‘Me a big man? Please send the address first.’That was how the lady called and confessed that she had been listening to my music. “The more I listen to them, God keeps pushing me to do something for you. Will you like to come and see me in my office? I know you are a big man!’ she said.
Next thing I know, she called all her staff and took pictures with me. Thanking me, she said nothing other than ‘I just want to bless you as God placed it in my heart’ and she handed me an envelope. I thanked her and left.
On my way home, I opened the envelope and was shocked at what I saw. I quickly picked up my phone and dialed her saying, ‘Ma, the envelope you gave me.’ She replied, ‘What was wrong with it?’
‘I saw some money inside, ma’ I remarked. She laughed and said it was for me. ‘Besides, any time you want to do anything big, the bill is on me. Don’t hesitate to call me.”
I said, ‘Wow! I got $10,000 in an envelope without singing or do anything for you. I did absolutely nothing.’ I couldn’t find any other word other than to say ‘Thank you!’
I went straight home, remove my tithe and seed because they were important to me. The upper week, I received another call that someone was looking for me again and they gave him my number. ‘Sir, I have listened to your music. God placed it in my heart to bless you. Can you come to my house?
My people, I went there o. The same story! You know, God does not make empty promises. He knows how to cause a chain reaction. A week after, one other woman called me, ‘Where do you live?’ I replied ‘Allen Avenue, ma!’
Then, I already had a good home and living comfortably. But she retorted, ‘Ah, ah! Ikeja is noisy. How do you create you music in that noisy environment?’
While I was still fumbling for an answer, she said ‘Will you like to move to VGC (Victoria Garden City)? The first thing that came to my mind was mental calculation of how much a plot in VGC cost, even if I find one eventually. So I innocently told her, ‘Madam, I would love to. But at the moment I have other things I am working on that also require money.’
She smiled and wanted to when I would be interested to move. So I told her to hold on. All the while, I was thinking I would be the one to pay for it.
The next thing I know, I saw some trucks in front of my house. The drivers approached me and asked, ‘What will you like to take out of this house and what will you like to leave behind?’ I was surprised and told them that I would take everything. They asked me to relax and decide only on the things I need because the other place (VGC) is already furnished.
Goodness! When I say furnished, ask my manager. He knows my house and how I live like a king.
Quite interesting! As I am talking to you right, I didn’t lose the other house. I still have the two.
That was what God promised me and I have kept my own side of the deal. I did not disobey Him.
Encounter with Don moen
When I met Don Moen, all I ever wanted was to just take picture with him o. You know the usual feeling you get when you see a superstar. I rushed to him with my phone and muttered, ‘Good afternoon, Sir! Can I take pictures with you?’
In fact, I didn’t even know whether it was good afternoon sef.
He shrugged his shoulder, ‘Okay!’ and gave someone the phone. While I was waiting for the picture, he looked at my face and said, ‘Frank Edward?’ I was taken aback for the mere fact that he knew my name.
Then he told the guy waiting to the pictures, ‘Wait, wait, wait! I have told myself anytime I see you I must show you this.’ He then fished out his phone and showed me saying, ‘Look, all these are your songs.’
Immediately, he proceeded to playing them one-by-one. I was speechless!
‘I have told myself that anytime I come across you, we must do something together,’ he said.
Wow! Can you beat that! That idea wasn’t even my suggestion. I did not beg for it. If you ask me to even beg for it, I didn’t even know where to begin. I didn’t have and didn’t know how to reach him. You see how God keep to His promises?
Not knowing what else to say, I quietly replied, ‘Okay Sir! Invite me so that I can go to the embassy for visa. Don Moen laughed and asked if I have a studio, I replied in the affirmative. He then said he would come to my house.
I thought it was a sort of joke!
Don Moen came the day he promised and stayed with me from 8.00am to 9.00pm. He wasn’t in a rush. Honestly, I didn’t understand what was going on. Don later compounded the whole thing by saying for the story to be completed, we would had to record in Nashville (his home) and in my house too. At the point, I know I didn’t have a passport and I have started getting acquainted to ‘big people.’
Thereafter I started calling them one after the other telling them I needed a passport and didn’t want to go through difficulties at the embassy. This person spoke to that person, eventually someone was asked to take me to the consular general’s office in United States Embassy. I was taken in and sat face-to-face with the consul. Can you believe that I have been to this place before and they rejected my visa application?
I just kept asking myself, ‘Frank, you mean you entered here without queue and still got to sit with the consul? God is great!
When the consul general enquired what the problem was, my guide replied that she brought his brother (that’s me) here before and his visa was rejected. Now that he wants to apply again but they did not want to experience the same problem. The consul asked me what the issue was the last time I was rejected and I replied innocently that I wasn’t told. He looked at me and said, ‘Okay. No problem. Apply again!’
You see why I said that when God is doing His thing, He doesn’t want any man to take His Glory! I am sure God must have looked down at me then and said, ‘Well then. Now that you are feeling you know people, go ahead and satisfy yourself.’
I applied for the visa again and went for the interview. What did I get? They rejected me again. That got me seriously thinking. What was the point of having the reassurance of the consular general and ending up being refused the visa again? What else can one do? I really didn’t know that God wasn’t happy with that move. When the realization came to mind, I prayed knowing that God was probably not happy with such move.
Frank in a thoughtful mood at the Emzor Thanksgiving Dinner
With a solemn heart, I said, ‘Lord I am sorry if I have gone the wrong way. I want to apologise!’ As I prayed, I had a confirmation that I should go back. This time, I told nobody about it. I just picked the visa application, paid and applied again. I got hold of my passport and went back. Right from the entrance of the embassy, all the staff started reacted every time we came in contact, ‘Oh, Frank Edward! We love your music.’ This continued even right in the interview hall. The affection was overwhelming. I just kept teasing back that ‘This thing you are telling me, why not tell Oyinbo nah? Let him be aware that you know me.’ They urged me to go to ‘Counter 10’ and my heart started beating again.
I did not know that The Word has gone ahead of me and here I was standing before this lady at one glance. She started smiling when she saw me and I didn’t know why.
‘How are you?’ she asked and I said ‘Fine!’
The next I heard was ‘I love your music…’
That was the end!
She further told me that I was amazing at The Experience Concert (which took place at Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos Nigeria four years ago).
Few days later, I got the visa, went to America and completed our (with Don Moen) album.
In the songs, you will hear the man speak Igbo (dialect) for the first time. Also this is the first African collaboration with Don Moen. It has never been done before.
Even in America, God opened doors for me as Don Moen asked me repeatedly, ‘What can we do for upcoming African artistes?’ He discovered that we have much talent here. The only challenge is that they lack exposure and the right sounds that befit their music. I also got to know that he was the life president of Integrity Music and I also have my own label which God helped me to build. So he told me ‘Since you already have ‘Rock Town Records’ and I have my own, let us open another company to help the African artistes. I will be the president, you will be the vice president.’
Now the story is: from hawking in the street to being the vice president of arguably the best label company in Africa. I don’t know what you are believing God for, I don’t know your background. The thing is don’t let your background put your back on the ground. It doesn’t matter what you have done or not done, it doesn’t matter who gave birth to you. Maybe in your family, there is a false notion that they don’t get married or settle down, tell them THIS IS ME! He who is in Christ is a new creation. Old things have passed away and everything has become NEW!
If you are following me but haven’t received JESUS yet .. I’d like to introduce you to THE ONE Who made me who I am today!!
Accept JESUS today, Pleaseeee!!!