Don’t be shocked. That is what Timaya wants for himself. Yeah, you may know him as the otherwise aggressive, sometimes brash-talking music star with occasional lurid songs like ‘Ukwu’, Pull Up, My Body, and Girl Dem among others; but deep down, the Egberi Papa 1 of Bayelsa as he is also known, has a relationship with God that is so profound and enviable that he admitted recently that he would end up a pastor.
“Yes, I am going to be a pastor. I‘m just doing everything I am doing now to be rich and no matter what I do, I‘d still be rich. My pact with God is that after serving my people, I want to spend the rest of my life serving him. I want to build a church in Nigeria and abroad where I‘d worship him till I die,” he said.
Interestingly, one of the few scandals that rocked his career back in the day was the way his celebrated relationship with actress, Empress Njamah, whom he dedicated a song to in his second album, Gift and the Grace, hit the rocks. That did not come as a surprise anyway, given the dynamics of the union. They were a very in-love couple, both young, budding stars in their different careers. Timaya proudly showed her off to the world. It was, however, the manner they fell apart irredeemably that stunned many. In the process of retrieving his car key, Timaya was alleged to have fought his estranged lover inside a Festac, Lagos church.
For somebody who was accused of such indiscretion and sacrilege, Timaya says unequivocally, “I will end up as a pastor. I have always had a close relationship with God and as such, could never have fought anybody inside a church. It is not possible. My reverence for God is beyond any anger I might feel.” He added, “As a kid, I told God that I’d like to be a superstar and he has granted my wish. I have also told Him that the next level for me is to be the Governor of Bayelsa State. Thereafter, it is to become a pastor.”
Looking retrospectively at Timaya‘s career, apart from the autobiographical and sometimes conceited slant of his songs, a recurring theme is his love for God. He has espoused and referenced his love for and relationship with God in several songs like ‘Hallelujah, Bow Down, God You Are Too Much, among a slew of others.
As far as consistency goes, Timaya is one of a few artists that have remained at the top of their game for over a decade. His first album, True Story, released in 2006, and containing the breakout song, Dem Mama, was the turning point for the Port-Harcourt bred singer. He followed up with Gift and Grace and the monster hit, Plantain Boy. Many albums thereafter have solidified his esteemed place in the Hall of Fame of Nigerian music.
Fourteen years later, his discography brims over with chart-topping hits while his shelf is filled with local and international awards. But there doesn’t seem to be stopping Timaya who just released a new single, Silikon, days back. Meanwhile, fans have not got over his last single, I can’t kill myself.