Friday, 5 December 2014

Meet Mr. Survival Eyong - Founder of Dew of Hermon


2014 has indeed been a great year. On this last Personality Highlight of the year, I have here a great man of purpose, who has pioneered and ran an annual Gospel Music Concert for seventeen years and counting.

He is the founder of Dew of Hermon Music Concert, the Executive Director of Omoku City Mass Choir and Mentor to most potential youths. I managed to steal out time from his busy schedule to have this interview with him. Here we go.
Sir, tell us about yourself.
I am Mr. Survival Eyong. I'm from Idomi in Yakurr LGA of Cross Rivers State. I'm married to my very beautiful wife Sukariba Eyong and have been blessed with six lovely kids: five girls and a boy.
Mr. & Mrs. Survival Eyong
The Eyong's Family
What did you study in school and what is your line of profession?
I got my NCE in Technical Education at the Federal Technical College of Education, Omoku. Proceeded to Rivers State University of Science and Technology and got Bachelor's Degree in Technical Education.
I am  currently studying for M.Sc in Industrial Education at the same University.
I work with Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited as an NGL DCS Supervisor at the OB/OB Gas plant in Obrikom, ONELGA, Rivers State.


It seems you are as interested in education as you are in music.
What inspired you to start up the interdenominational mass choir that gave birth to the annual Dew of Hermon Concert?

First of all, I got born again in the year 1988 while in secondary school. As a newly born again Christian I noticed I had a particular dream every night for at least four consecutive days. I saw myself organising a concert; the crowd was massive and the hall was filled to the point that the only space I had was just where I stood.

I immediately knew that was my destiny shouting at me. I developed so much love for music and choir and attended a lot of concerts. I became a Music director in my church - Christian Pentecostal Mission, Omoku.  I desired to host the first Gospel Music concert in Omoku and it took ten years for that dream to manifest into reality.

I went to see Rev. Christie Bature Ogbeinfun for an invite. She told me she wouldn't come if it was just my church. She insisted we got other churches involved. That's how the Omoku City Mass Choir was established and she inaugurated the choir in 1998 at our first concert. And since then Dew of Hermon has come to stay.

Crowd: Dew of Hermon


Omoku City Mass Choir
Worshippers
What do you think about gospel music in Nigeria? Would you say it is as penetrating and widely listened to as non-gospel music?
Wow! I would say Gospel Music in Nigerian is really getting better by the day. I remember some years back, whenever we wanted to listen to good gospel music, we listened to Maranatha Music and foreign gospel Artists like Bob Fits, Ron Kenoly, Don Moen and so on.

All that has changed now. I really have listened to very good gospel music from Nigerians. There are so many Artists in the Nigerian Gospel Industry that have made us proud both locally and internationally. It may not be as lucrative as secular music but I tell you the truth, Gospel music is as penetrating and widely listened to as non-gospel music. You will be amazed as to how far gospel music goes, even in night clubs gospel music is played.

I agree with you on that, Midnight Crew's Igwe was blasted in clubs. 
Sir, you are a mentor to a lot of young people including me. We would like to know our Mentor's Mentors.
I have mentors locally and internationally. Rev. Christie Bature, Pastor Frank Opunye,Pastor Adefarasin Paul, Pastor Lanre Oluseye, Pastor Nnamdi Echezona, and others. Bishop T.D.Jakes, Bishop Noel Jones, Pastor Myles Munroe are all the people I look up to.

Thanks for mentioning Pastor Myles Munroe, may his gentle soul rest in the blossom of our lord.
Everybody loves Survival. What is that quality you possess that draws people to you?
Wow! Everybody? I'm not aware of that. Anyways, I am a father to many. I'm simple, humble, down to earth, open-minded, tolerant, and conscientious. I love people and most of all I love God.


I would add generous to the list, I am a beneficiary to that.
I believe a good number of the Omoku city Mass choir members are indigenes of the town. What would you say about the potentials of an average Omoku youth considering the restiveness of the town as instigated by some other youths?
An average Omoku youth is full of potentials. Whenever they are determined to do a thing, they go all out to achieve it. AJ, you are one of the promising indigenes of Omoku; a member of the Omoku City Mass Choir, a great Writer and a Winner of  Star Quest. Every youth in Omoku has the potential to achieve same and even more if they give themselves to positive ventures and shun evil vices. 


You have organised Dew of Hermon for seventeen years back to back, what have been the challenges faced so far? 
Sponsorship has been a major challenge. The security situation in Omoku has also become a major challenge in recent times. It's been God all the way that has been on our side.

If you were to receive sponsorship of N15, 000.000 cash for Dew of Hermon, what would you do with it?
The yearly average cost of the program so far is approximately N5, 000, 000. If we get a sponsorship of N15, 000, 000, it would be a great leverage. We would bring in international gospel Arts and get better sound, light  and video equipment. Those things cost quite a huge sum of money. Sponsorship would be highly appreciated to make the program fuller and richer.

On the 12th of December 2014, Omoku Civic Center Pavilion would be full with attendees of this year’s Dew of Hermon Concert. What would Friday night be like, what should we anticipate and which guest ministers would be performing on stage?
This year's Dew of Hermon promises to be awesome. It's an encounter between divinity and humanity, between infinite and finite, between eternity and time. God will inhabit in the praise of his people. We intend to make his praise glorious and we will see his glory.

It's an experience the entire inhabitants of Omoku and its environs look forward to. People come from far and near to attend the programme. It's a congregation of praise, worship leaders and National Gospel Artists.
The ministers performing are Tim Godfrey & De Extreme Crew, Pita Sings, Chioma Jesus, Atonye Dauglas, Jesus Boy, Wisdom K, Soteria, Kebe 5:7, Sholadance, Soul Tune, De C Effects and lots more.

Buchi at Previous Dew of Hermon
Considering the state of emergency in Omoku, what security measures have been put in place to ensure a safe and successful event?
Normally, we involve all the security agents in the town from the police to JTF and we intend to do same this year. Not to worry God would always watch over his own.

Jesus Boy at Previous Dew of Hermon
Just in case I can not make it to the event how would I watch the ministrations?
We are streaming live online on  www.gethopemagazine.com. It's an all night event so you really have to feed your gadgets with power and data to watch us.

Its been really enlightening chatting with you. We would appreciate a word or two to young gospel artistes out there, all attendees of Dew of Hermon, and everyone who is working hard to make the event a success.
I strongly believe that as we gather to worship this Great God of ours, He will meet us at the point of our needs. For those labouring towards the success of this program: be strong and do His will, He will reward you in due season. He owes no man. He pays in full and his reward is with Him.
Don't quit on Gospel Music - it's the reason you were born with a voice. 
Mr. Survival Eyong
Thank you so much, Mr. Survival Eyong for your time, effort, and resources put into Dew of Hermon every year. The good lord would continually bless you and bring helpers your way.
For sponsorship, seat booking and other enquiries call 080-371-02912.


© Ajumoke Nwaeze 2014.
Aj_ajumoke
Ajumoke8@gmail.com

4 comments:

  1. I miss Aunty Benny and every member of Omoku City Mass Choir.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The word is "Secular" and not circular.
    # Nice piece.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Barry for that well observed correction.

    ReplyDelete
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