Chinelo Dilimono is a Music Minister, Recording Artiste, a Teacher of God's Word, an Author, an Entrepreneur, Radio Host, Co-Pastor of The Place of Grace, she is the current Chairman of Fellowship of Gospel Music Ministers of Nigeria (FOGMMON) Rivers State Chapter, Vice President of Elect Ladies Int'l. She has featured on 700 Club and also worked with CBN Africa in some of her video production.
She steps on The Platform and shared with me her passion for the work of God and how she has practically expressed that passion.
ThankGod: Who is Chinelo and what part of Nigeria are you from.
Chinelo: Chinelo is a Pastor, Music Minister, Recording Artiste, a Teacher of God’s Word, an Author ,an Entrepreneur and currently a Final Year Law Student. She’s the daughter of Ogugua and Ifeoma Eze from Awka in Anambra State, Wife of her ‘Glossy Black Lifetime Boyfriend’- Rev Frama Dillimono from Adamawa State, the mother of four children, Co-Pastor of The Place of Grace, Port Harcourt, Current Chairman of Fellowship of Gospel Music Ministers of Nigeria (FOGMMON) Rivers State Chapter, Vice President of Elect Ladies Int’l but after all has been said I think Chinelo fondly called Pst Chy or Mumina, is a simple 'girl' who loves Jesus Christ with every fibre of her being!
ThankGod: You were a member of all female Quarter HighCall and you did backup for the legendary Dr Panam Percy Paul, can you share your experience working with Dr Panam.
Chinelo: Yes! Between 1992 and 1994, I was part of an all female quartet in Jos called HIGHCALL. We were just 4 young ladies who loved the LORD and loved to sing the songs of Zion. God amazed us by the impact our ministry had back then. Truth learnt is that God uses ordinary available people. He did use us and till date once in a while we meet people who remember and remind us of the experiences. Well HIGHCALL at some point was part of Dr Panam's travelling team and studio backups. It was quite an experience then. In fact, much of what I learnt as a backup singer both in live stage performances and professionally was from my experience working with Dr Panam. One of the most profound things I learnt personally was to bring the fullness of my craft and anointing to the stage because we had little time for rehearsals so sometimes we would learn the song on the bus to the program but with Dr Panam's stage skills and excellence he carried us along such that you would think we had weeks of rehearsals.
ThankGod: You are a writer, a Music Minister, Radio Host, a Pastor, Wife, a Mother, and you’ve successfully authored 4 Books. How have you been able to manage all these different offices and still remain relevant in all.
Chinelo: You see when you read the Parable of Jesus about the Talents, there's one that was given 5 talents. I think I fall into that category. Having said that I learnt from a senior friend of mine how to compartmentalize my life. I have learnt to attend to each office and item when the time for it arises. I am an unrepentant hands on mum however am not on active physical duty 24/7 so when am not in active 'mummy' service, I attend to other matters arising. I guess with time I have learnt to just attend to stuff as they come and refuse to be under unnecessary pressure. I also delegate a couple of stuff and try to be in the know of current things so I can remain relevant. I could say one of the things that drives me most is the desire to remain relevant for a long time to come.
ThankGod: You host a magazine programme on Radio called Every Woman with Chinelo Dilimono, what inspired this move and what is your goal for Every Woman.
Chinelo: Yes I was the host to a women's magazine programme called EVERY WOMAN with Chinelo for about 6 years on Treasure FM 98.5 but that's now on hold though I have another radio programme brewing in my 'kitchen'. The whole essence and experience was to highlight the pains, gains, strength and purpose of the African Woman and to inspire her to become all that she has been created to be. I guess we achieved much of that. We had quite a followership and I trust God that the new one coming up sometime this year will have even greater impact. Amen!
ThankGod: Your deepest drive is to see the worship of JESUS fully and truly expressed in and out of the church, as well as see lives healed and transformed. My question is, what has been your biggest testimony related to this goal.
Chinelo: Oh Wow! ATHISFEET is one of the biggest testimonies in realizing that goal and I am eternally grateful to God to be chosen to spearhead it and everyone who’s ever attended was and is gloriously awed at the experience of being in the presence of God. The last one held last year was just as awesome.
It all started in December 2002. I went to minister in Bonny in Rivers state and on Saturday morning while reading my Bible, I came across Matthew 13:52 – and the LORD spoke to my heart very clearly, ‘you’ve been trained, so bring out of the old and the new’ He said to me you have waited for people to invite you to their meetings but now take your ministry to the people. He showed me the hearts of many in the Church who were hurting but hiding behind masks in Church. Then He said to me to take His healing to them through an atmosphere of worship. No one will lay hands on them but in the midst of sincere heartfelt worship, Jesus promised to walk through the aisles and heal. Honestly, that has been our experience. We held the first edition of ATHISFEET on Sunday Feb 28, 2003. People told us how they felt Him, they were unburdened, they were healed and so much more. I just feel so blessed to have been chosen to start what you could term the worship revolution in my city.
ThankGod: What do you think is the greatest challenge of the African woman, and as a woman who is passionate to enhance the African woman by empowering her to be the greatest she can be. What practical steps have you taken to solve these problems.
Chinelo: I believe the greatest challenge of the African Woman is self-actualization, self efficacy and in many ways tradition. Having said that, I'd like to say she's embattled mentally and emotionally because of culture and traditions some spoken some unspoken. As such permit me to say that many women who were born with skills, talents and great gifts for our world are going to their graves with them because her mindset has been programmed to be a 'dependant'. So you see that after education the next thing on the average African woman's agenda is to 'marry, settle down and have a man take care of her'. If a woman begins to pursue a vision, ambition or passion she doesn't get immediate encouragement. Gladly there are quite a number of women who have broken that jinx and paved the way for many to follow but a lot more is to be done. It takes a woman who refuses to listen to those voices to rear up her head. So one of my life's goals currently is to be an Encourager! My slogan is KEEP WALKING! I live to both inspire and encourage women to live life to the maximum and be ALL that they have been created to be.
ThankGod: What advice would you give to upcoming musicians, artists and worship leaders, and to those who aspire to be Music Ministers.
Chinelo: Truly, sincerely make Jesus the centre of your song and your sound. You Know, a prominent minister said to me, years ago, ‘Pastor Chinelo, your music is really lovely but I think it will sell better if you take out the Name and sing the principle. Unfortunately, many are really towing this path but you see it is only faith in the Name of Jesus that heals and delivers. Secondly compete with no one. Find out what your assignment is and the purpose of your gift and pursue it without comparing with anyone. You don’t have the same assignment. The tool (music) might be the same but the assignment is given as willed by the Holy Ghost. Besides, you will not be rewarded for how popular you became or how many churches sang your song but for being FAITHFUL to Him who called you.
Thirdly, there’s a crop of ‘Gospel Artistes’ who think it’s all about the stage, the lights the glitz and the glam, the applause, the money the photo shoots and videos, or how their music has gone viral, etc and all that yet when they come off stage and are caught off guard they have very nasty attitudes that in no way depict Christ Jesus nor what He stands for. They reek of arrogance and talk and behave towards people as Christ never would! Infact, their lifestyle is no way close to witnesses of Christ. Those ones, permit me to say, are frauds singing in the Name of the LORD for their belly sake! Every true music minister, Gospel artiste, worship leader is first a Christian (Christ-like) and a Witness that Christ lives. It is one thing to sing ABOUT Him and it’s another thing to sing FOR Him!! So, I’d say to them beware and watch who you project! Is it yourself or the One who sent you?
ThankGod: When is your annual worship concert At His Feet coming up, and when should we expect an Album soon.
Chinelo: Well the next AT HIS FEET comes up on Sunday September 25th and we trust God for a great outpouring of Grace on His people. As per my album I just released on on my last birthday Jan 28th and everyone can get it on iTunes (http://apple.co/1oCzTj3 ) or MTN Music Plus. It's titled NEW DAWN. I sense in my spirit that it's a new day and a new season for everyone who would hold on to God's promise.
ThankGod: Thanks Pastor Chy for speaking with me, it is my prayers that the lord bless you and continue to use you for His glory.
Chinelo: Thank you so much for having me on The Platform. I pray God will honour your every step and grant you unusual access.
Remain Rapturable and God bless.
You can keep in touch with Pastor Chinelo by email: email@example.com, Facebook: chinelodillimono, Twitter: @chinelodilimono, or Instagram: chinelodillimo
This interview was conducted by ThankGod Okorisha, All rights reserved, 25th February, 2016.