She is one of the most patronized Islamic singers in town. She comes across to you as a likeable and down to earth person. Rukayat Gawat Oyefeso won the 2016 best female Islamic artiste of the year at City People Entertainment Awards and also 2016 best female Islamic musician of the years from IMAN awards. She is adjudged to be the best among others now in the Islamic world and it was delight when she hosted Airwaves Report's Kunle Awosika to an exclusive chat at her Ogudu GRA residence. Excerpts;
How has life been with you?
Alhamdulillah Rabbil Al-amin. Though it has not been easy, but it is worth giving all the praises and thanks to Almighty Allah, because He has been there for me and my family through the tough time, but life has been so good to me and I thank God for His sufficient grace.
Four years after the disappearance of your father, what has kept the family so strong?
Allah has kept the family strong, hopeful and together. He left behind a good legacy and his good deeds have actually opened doors of opportunities for us. The name, GAWAT, has become a brand that is associated with love, integrity and sincerity of purpose with an usual passion for Islam.
Do you still have the hope of seeing him?
Yes. Absolutely. The Quran even testify to that, meaning that he can still be seen. I strongly believe that he will, InSha Allah return home soonest to meet his family from what I can describe as an excursion.
Recently, you staged a party for him; What was that for?
Yes, it’s not just a party, but a gathering for prayers in his remembrance, in accordance to the dictates of our religion. It is in the Quran that, one can organize a prayer for a missing person after the fourth year of his disappearance and that was exactly what we did. A prayer in his remembrance and also to appeal to Allah to make him return back safely, if he is still alive.
Will this be an annual event?
Yes, it will be an annual gathering of get together prayer session for him, until he returns home safely. The July 10 date will forever remain as a mark of honour in recalling his memories.
What do you miss most about your dad?
I missed his person. The laughter and sunshine he brought to peoples’ lives. I missed his teachings and the way he deprived himself of so many things to please and make people happy. My father can go hungry just to please people. My dad is the most caring father on earth, the best dad anybody can have. He loves his kids with passion and insisted that we all follow the right path of Allah. He never spared the rods, he beats me severally.
How true is it that your dad didn’t want you to do music?
It is very true but he later agreed before his disappearance. It is a known fact that parents don't usually want their children to go into the entertainment world because of the obvious misconception surrounding those in the entertainment industry. As a graduate from OSU, he wanted a white collar job for me. However, I give glory to Almighty Allah, because He has made music my way. Back in those days in Lagos Island, I was one of the youthful Islamic singers, and it was this exposure that eventually made me what I am today,
Why did you choose to be a musician?
I didn’t choose to be a musician, music found me. I grew up with a strong passion for music. I love my religion and I felt the best way to contribute my own quota to the propagation of Islam is through music and when I realized I could sing, I jumped at it.
Tell us about your music career?
To be honest, I didn’t know I can ever be where I am now in the Islamic music industry. Though I have the passion for music, but I didn’t know that Allah can actually make a star and make my jobs accepted by the people. My career started a long time ago but God made me prominent just about three years ago, when I produced Ogbe Okan. So far, so good. To be adjudged as the best female Islamic artiste by two prominent and highly respected medium is so humbling for me. I will forever be grateful to Allah for what He has done concerning my life and also in my career
Did your father influence your educational choice?
Not at all. He just wanted me to go to the University and I attended OSU to study Mass Communication.
How do you feel being one of the most-sought after Islamic singers?
I feel so happy and my sincere gratitude goes to Almighty Allah (S.W.T)
Winning awards back and forth, did you ever plan for this success?
Of course yes but I didn’t know that God will make me number one in the industry so soon. I have been so dedicated to my musical career and I knew someday I will get there. Alhamdulillah for today. Glory be to Almighty Allah. Meanwhile, Awards to me, are like propellers, making me to work harder to satisfy God and my teeming fans.
What is your philosophy of life?
My beliefs are based on whatever you do, do it well; because what goes around comes around. If you do good in life, you get the reward of doing good and if otherwise, it comes hurting you in later years.
What has life taught you so far?
Life has taught me that it takes only the prayerful and the intelligent ones to sustain the shackles of life and that no one is ever to be trusted.
Your husband is in a field totally different from yours, how do you combine your wifely duties with your celebrity status?
Thanks be to God, my husband is a very understanding man who loves my career as much as I do and with Allah's help I have been able to manage my home properly by performing my wifely duties without sacrificing them for my musical career. I say a big Thank You to him for his understanding, support, love and care.
If not music, would you have been a full time housewife?
Insha Allah I would have been one of the greatest broadcasters of our time.
What inspires your compositions, lyrics knowing fully well they are gospel?
The passion for my religion and its doctrines inspire my compositions and especially my lyrics.
As a beautiful woman, wife and one in the eye of the public, how do you ward off advances from men?
I feel Allah has endowed me with the knowledge to handle that. I turn them down politely without creating enmity.