Julius Agwu sat down to speak with Ayo Ake, Tope Ogunlowo and Adejare Adejobi about how his seizure, brain loss, three tumors the size of a golf ball landed him in the hands of contractor pastors whilst he struggled medically and spiritually, how got redeemed through prayers after being pronounced dead by doctors, his rebirth, inspiration behind his new book, how he sees life now, his new calling and how he is carrying it out, Striking a balance as an entertainer and Christianity, and how going to the Bible School in Port Harcourt almost crashed his marriage…
The inspiration behind my book, ‘Jokes Apart’ started as a Joke…..
As a matter of fact, now I know how I got here, it can only be God, because when it was titled, I didn’t know God was the one titling the book. But I thank God that is my first book and it was unveiled on my 40th birthday, 7th April 2013. It was edited by Toni Kan and Peju. It is actually an inspirational aspect of my life right from birth until I attained 40 and I’m actually working on another one named, ‘Life as I see it’; that will be more like a sequel to ‘Jokes Apart’ how did I get here? Life as I see it is the process that I passed through, my encounter with death, my resurrection; that is what I call it. I call it the ‘The birth’, the rebirth of Julius Agwu and it is also another inspirational story of God’s glory in my life and the whole idea is for people to understand that my perception of life has changed, and this is the reborn ‘Julius Agwu’
Life began after 40…….
After I turned 40, when my first book was unveiled, I decided that, as they say, life begins at 40, so I started trying to work out, look good because my business is show-business and I need to show for the business to come, so I decided to work on myself, keep fit and all
that. That was when I realised that I was shrinking. I didn’t know what was wrong with me over then; there were different distresses, it wasn’t natural any more. I decided to embark on getting closer to God and you know that there are so many contractor pastors all over now, even as I
was facing the medical challenge, there is also the spiritual angle to it. So, I decided that it would be necessary as well to look unto God, while you are also looking unto God, you need to know that the same God created the doctors, medical professionals.
My grouse with Contractor Pastors pushed me to Bible School….
I would have medical doctors rather than pastors, so-called pastors, some who think that God called them, meanwhile God didn’t even flash them. But right now, the level of anointing and grace upon my life and the best thing that happened to me is that I heeded to that call to go
and attend bible school.
With my seizure, brain loss, three tumors the size of a golf ball each Doctors had pronounced me dead, but prayers and Gods report brought me to life from Coma ……
hey say if you don’t know, you don’t know. And the bible says my people perish for lack of knowledge and that was exactly my case and the case of so many billions of people out there. This thing called knowledge, we need to acquire it; not every educated person is
truly educated. I would just allow it because they say prayer no get over dose. Even as Adeboye is Daddy G.O, people still pray for him. I mean every pastor needs someone who backs him up in prayers. I didn’t know of this until I was shooting my series titled ‘The vendor’,
and I was playing the lead character ‘Joe’ and the way the vendor has been shaped. The way I created the story is about the story of Joseph, and the ‘Jeo’ there represents me as well. I know there’s something special about ‘J’, Jesus, Julius, Joseph, so I am the voice of the
voiceless in the vendor using a platform of, he is a graduate, he finished from school, no work, in our present society where people are looking for jobs, it was the practical re-enactment of the character of ‘J’ which was also somehow the person of me. So, this guy is a vendor and sells newspapers, disseminating information, free readers come there to stay and talk, which is what happens in Nigeria.
How do we use those talks for positive change in our society? So, that’s who I
am. I want to deal with topical issues, societal ills, see how I can, at least, try and be didactic. I happen to be the executive producer, it is under my production company; ‘Reel laif’ - that is the name of my company. The day after the shoot, 7th April, my birthday again, that was the day we finished shooting ‘the Vendor’. God has always been there for me. My wife told me everything, because I had a terrible seizure and I was rushed to the hospital, and by the time I got there, I was in coma. The doctor tried everything to bring me back, I wasn’t coming back. At some point, the doctor gave up and asked my wife to call my elder sister. She happens to be the general manager in my company. She called her, the doctor spoke with her and said, ‘listen, we have tried everything to bring your brother but he is not coming back, and according to report, since he is not coming back, let’s put him in mortuary.’ My sister told the doctor that it was not God report, so they started prayers in the fellowship. I remembered in the spiritual realm that I was seeing dead people in the past and my dad was telling me to go back, then I came back and when I came back, I was more like a vegetable. I lost my memory. I couldn’t recognise my wife and everybody, but I have different men of God who prayed for me until I got a bit strong. Then I told my wife that we had to go and check the root of the thing. That was how we flew abroad. We went to Texas. That was where we had different tests; my scan now revealed that I had three tumours in my brain. The doctor had to advise an emergency surgery, which was carried out. The one behind here was the size of a golf ball; that is the one that was removed and that is why I have this new look to cover the scars. And then there were still two remaining. Another stage of the whole challenge was checking if they were cancerous. We entered into prayer, we never stopped, it was another miracle. At the end of the day, they said thank God they were not malignant, so I have been on heavy medication, that is why you noticed my dark face. If did not tell you that I had a brain surgery, you won’t know this is me, I’m a living testimony that God truly works. I tell people that Satan works in mysterious ways and God works in miraculous ways. I told my own story first. I did a song called second chance, it is a thanksgiving song to God, just to thank him for this rare privilege of a second chance, and I had a show on 7th of February that I called life as I see it, because my perception of life has changed.
My perception of life now is that this life is not our own. If you don’t hold unto God; the author and finisher of our faith, the one who gave us the life in the beginning first, the one who, just by words only, spoke life to existence. People only remember you in a moment. When you are gone, you have faded, that is what life is about. So, it was a very difficult time for me, but it is a covenant I have with God. I decided to use every platform to glorify him, to promote him, so it doesn’t really matter, so far as it is the story of God’s glory in my life, and it must impact on one of you people. We should learn to always give because in giving comes receiving.
Striking a balance as an entertainer and Christianity
How I have struck a balance is, first, let us start with the fact that I was part of the presenters at the last ‘Headies’. My very good friend, Ayo Animashaun, he is my brother, my friend; we went to the World Cup together. We were at the Grammys two years ago, at times I’m part of his presenters. So I had to come back from the America to be part of the award presenters, the category I presented was with Elblis, because it has to do with the Best Rapper of Year, and behold it was won by MI and I made a statement. I said one of the reasons why I like MI is the fact that he must always pray first before climbing the stage. Balance is the fact that, primarily, I am an entertainer. I found the new love in God but that does not stop the entertainer that I am, it is just that it has made me to realise that there are certain jokes I shouldn’t say any more. I can talk about the negativity and at the end of the day, the triumph
of good over bad, because that is who I am and before now I have always said it to my colleagues that it is not just joke for joke’s sake; There are jokes in the bible; that book of life. We need to always remember God in everything we do because He gave you
My new calling
I am saying that God chooses whom he wants to use. My point is God can let you know where you are coming from. Joseph faced so many challenges, but it never stopped his vision. I have a saying, my personal saying, wise saying, I say: “Never allow your mission to becloud your vision”. I give thanks to God, which is necessary. Now, for instance, most of the songs I do, even before now, I don’t curse. Agreeably, I have done or two vulgar jokes before, depending on your audience. The way devil structured thi
s thing is that people laugh more to vulgar jokes.
Carrying out the calling….
I’m not looking at that. One thing I did as soon as I had this encounter, I started a fellowship. I spoke to Basketmouth, Bovi, and some of my colleagues, and I got my personal keyboardist. I started using my house, the second and the third, even when I had another seizure and I had to travel out, I still told them, ‘even if I am not there, you guys should always meet.’ It is called (CEO) Christian Entertainers Outreach. God has not told me to go do that. As I said, I started that CEO and I want to open a gospel club, night club, it won’t just be a night club, it is gonna be a lounge, and I am working on it. Believers do not have alternative, there have to be alternatives for believers.
There is something I do on daily basis on Instagram, it is called Julius Agwu Daily Inspiration. It is inspirational messages that I send. And then what I do now, I speak in churches to youths, to peo
My new-found faith
The best thing that has ever happened to me in this new faith is the fact that I am in this bible school.
My going to Bible School almost crashed my marriage. In the midst of all these, I family comes first…
It’s called life as I see it. Those things, they summarise life as I see it, which is my realisation that my perception of life has changed after this whole thing. At the end of the day, it is family first. My marriage almost crashed; for over two months I was living in a hotel.