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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: FIFA Licensed Football Agent and Musician, Gideon Yobo talks Family, Joseph Yobo, Football, Gospel Music, Book Plans and much more…


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: FIFA Licensed Football Agent and Musician, Gideon Yobo talks Family, Joseph Yobo, Football, Gospel Music, Book Plans and much more…

Gideon Michael Yobo 33, born into a believing and practicing Christian family in south south Nigeria, raised in PH city Nigeria in the name of their Dad Late Mr Williamson Michael Yobo renown journalist, writer & editor that worked with one of Nigerian reliable newspaper company called “The Tide” and their humble mother Mrs Comfort Yobo who gave birth to 9 of the 12 siblings of Mr Yobo including ex-professional footballers Albert Yobo and Joseph Yobo (OON) former Everton FC & Nigerian Super Eagles captain.

Gideon has had to contend for his faith a number of times since he decided to dedicate his life to walk with God. Stood in the gap for his wife who deeply draws inspiration from him (Gideon) as they both grow stronger in faith in Christ to weather the storms of life including series of health challenges with some of them categorised as close as near-death.

Being a father of their miracle baby Caleb G. I. D. Williamson Yobo who was miraculously born in faith has been a rather exciting, more than a challenging mandate for him as this has helped to direct Gideon’s energy to focus on his primary responsibilities.

A FIFA licensed & English FA registered football agent means Gideon can make the most of his boyhood passion for the game as well as the experiences of growing up around professional footballers. Gideon believes that in today’s business world, your network is your key asset.

Check out my exclusive interview with him below:

Hey Gideon! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
Gideon Yobo GYobo

Talk me through an average day in the life of you?
I take pride in babysitting my baby boy, being my first ever child. I cut my hours of work just to be with him, carter for him and put him to his ideal routines then get on with my business – on-the-go research with hundreds of emails to deal with daily.

The Mrs would most often than not, come back from her part time shift and fix us tea (dinner). Prayers in between is just out way of life, talking to & hearing from God, I’ve got to carry out my priestly duties to break bread with the family then a night cap after a massage session for the Mrs is always on the cards.

What institution(s) did you attend and what did you study?
First degree in Civil Engineering back home at The hen Rivers State Polytechnic Bori Ogoni; now named after Ken Saro-Winwa – Nigeria’s own Nelson Mandela. I obviously was born and raised in the city of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Structural Engineering BEng with honours in Liverpool England & Msc Oil + Gas project management at the University of Liverpool. Learning never stops for me, age isn’t even a barrier, 18 years teenager or 80 old Great Grand Dad I’m a lifelong student of God’s word.

Why the interest in gospel music and how will you describe your type of music?
I come from a school of thought that music is food for the soul/mind. I do subscribe that it is an act of entertainment and even a more powerful tool when it’s very informative. Put it this way, I do feel the beat, flow with the melody and I’m more moved by the lyrics because Gospel music as you call it, does hit the spots and it sticks. Music naturally fades away with time, you gauge good music by its coexistence with time. Stand the test of time. Only real music is going to last not just in he way people merely memorise it but the impact it has in transforming and empowering souls for greatness.

Tell us more about “Rhema Project-Engineering Ltd (RPE)” and “Precious SEED Management Ltd”?
Rhema is a specific word I received from God in 2012 after I graduated from my second degree in Liverpool looking to get a Job, had a couple of offers but I was instructed to quit job hunting and rather create jobs and be an employer. I said yes sir!! I’ll do so, okay how do I go about that with no real experience? I was told to concentrate my passion and build experience myself. Fast forward, Precious SEED is born. The acronym could be best described as the faith of a mustard (SEED) is simply Sports. Engineering Entertainment Development. Rhema Engineering is only a subset (Engineering segment) of Precious SEED. God promised me that seed time and harvest time shall never cease. Two years later I registered RPE Ltd with company house (company registration body in the U.K.) and still trading within and around the Real Estate, Construction, Civil Engineering & Project Management industry in the U.K.

How’s the music industry in the U.K. compared to that in Nigeria?
Music is very much commercialised in the UK! Nigeria is catching up real fast given the issues with piracy but the talent reserve in back home is outstanding. When you’re in a tight corner, your inherent creativity kicks in. Life’s hard generally but the Nigerian economy and its administrative leaders aren’t doing enough to make life so liveable as it should be in my opinion. Easier said? I reckon you we need compassionate servant-heart leaders in Nigeria who’d genuinely feel the people’s pain and be compelled. This would reflect in the country’s music industry too.

Do you feel the industry is doing alot to encourage upcoming acts?
Not enough. The standards are a little bit short compared to mainstream. Many people are delving into music out of desperation rather than genuine drive for it. More training, educating & resourceful empowerment are critically essential.

In 2016 despite doctors negative reports, your wife delivered a baby boy despite her chronic health challenge. How did that make you feel?
Respect to the doctors man! I really do appreciate what they do – They try as much as they know and speculate from statistics and sciences but I build my faith and my family on God’s word only. So, it feels humbling to be used by God to demonstrate His power in faith and to encourage atleast some one or some people out there even though it was like walking on black ice. You’re calm when you’re sailing with God steering your ship even in this cold stormy weather.

So how is your son and wife doing now?
Totally blessed bro, they’re in Cloud 9.

Blessing’s attention to every tiny detail is phenomenal.. one of the best Mom I know. Time will prove her to be in the same class with my Mom whom is the sacrificial human on earth yet the meekest for that mother; that combination makes her such a rare breed. I mean when our (Gideon & BlessinG Yobo’s) kids grow up and be independent, it’s be another test altogether but we’re learning from the best anyway. Parenting by grace & purpose.

You were born into a believing and practicing Christian family, will you say that as given you a brand-new perspective towards life?
That’s right! It certainly gave me a good foundation to build on. You know what, I’m so in love with my parents, grand parents and any parent to raise their kids in the way of the Lord. Good start and I’m looking forward to a stronger finish. That would be gauged by how much we successfully pass the good foundation on to our immediate kids and the next generation the we’ve been entrusted with. They should be even better standing on these shoulders. No excuses no pressure, we work together with one vision, one purpose and at their own pace. Holy spirit lead.

Caleb King C for courageous, the lil Gideon is just that blessing perfectly commanded by God. Missed my Dad so much and would’ve love to see the smile on his face in heaven because he’d be pleased to see me transferring the God’s obeying virtues and foundation to my kids and his grand kids. Agreeing with my wife Blessing we named him after my name “Williamson”. He’s decided to skip crawling and he’s trying to walk, he’s taking huge strides. Such a strong spirit, no surprise for miracle child that was born in faith as the press puts it.

Do you plan to return and invest in the music business in Nigeria?
I don’t see why not. It’s easier to point fingers and see the fault from a distance but what really counts is leading by example, get off your high horse, roll your sleeves and show working. Action is the loudest word I know.
I’m looking to start a radio, TV programme to be called “lyrical breakdown.” Just to sit down with various artistes and get a deeper insight to the message behind the beat. I believe it would help inform the public more effectively.

You are a FIFA licensed & English FA registered football agent, so what clients are on your list?
Still early days for me as an intermediary in this beautiful game but I sure do have enough passion and abit of exposure to cover as much ground. Its a dog eat dog industry but fundamentally, “your network is your networth” At the moment I’m working around John Shittu’s Management, a good learning ground to ply my trade given his vast experience with players like George Weah, Joseph Yobo, John Mikel Obi etc. Currently I’m keen to be involved with Dele Ali and the younger talents from around our kindred background. Many of whom don’t get he right opportunity, direction to match the raw talents and time waits for no one. Sad not have been able to work out even a trial for Tachea Mark Gotring – one hell of a talent plus level headed protege with a great attitude. Ah, wait on it, it is coming.

You are a young entrepreneurial minded guy. How do you balance your personal and professional life?
Balance is the word. It works better with just that extra bit of wisdom to know when and how to switch different hats. Joseph Yobo is my sibling and my business ally yet a very good friend overall. I don’t envisage any problem in being both a father and an agent of Caleb GID Williamson Yobo in due course as much as Leo Messi gets on with his agent father – I mean, I’m a natural who gets on well with everyone and could easily work with anyone. Discernment is key though.

Every challenge is an opportunity for me.

How often do you go to the gym and how many hours do you spend while you there?
Fitness is a strong bedrock of my lifestyle. Makes me think good, feel good and look good. I only get to use the hotel gym and spa facilities when I’m away local or international. I do more my daily aerobics on the go and my wife bought me a little keep fit gift, an extra weight I have to lift as many times as I can so I get on with in as much as I want.

Gym is so enclave and a bit restrictive in my opinion as compared to jogging a couple of miles on the street, seeing people and never mind the weather.

Also, most weekdays (Monday night football with some Afro ballers at frame 2 in bradford) and particularly on Saturdays I do play in the English FA organised Christian league for Bowling Eagles Bradford West Yorkshire. Just before we went to play for Widnes Vikings (Semi pro) across the the Mersey river I took my boy tachea My great friend and love advocate ReubenI started off with playing for similar league in Merseyside during my time with Frontline Academy in Liverpool. They’re the best, the banter, he competitiveness and he love I have and got is special. My great faith-filled friend and Christ’s love advocate Reuben Morley, player manager Mike Conolly what a guy haha my fellow soldier John Cain & my strike partner Liam Truman – we score when we want; It’s more fun running on the pitch with 21 other players and a referee trying out the lovely game rather than being an arm chair critic that likes to have a go at professional players for not doing x y z properly. Saturday Football league in England has a sense of purpose to it as working class semi professional folks gets to live the life in a small way too.

What’s your 5 Dos and Don’t when it comes to music?
I’d like to finish with the positive. Against positivity, I don’t like the word “don’t”. Certainly God doesn’t. Life should be lived focusing on the positives but I appreciate the opposite could be a structural guide to aid growth. I believe in continuous improvement as much as get it right first time. Relationship over structure for me so I’m gonna just say: more of the Dos if that’s okay!

Dos in no particular order:
1. Informative lyrics
2. Meaningful (rhythm) Afro beat preference
3. Positive vibe (impossible is nothing)
4. Love – the greatest for me.
5. Flows.. Melodies and harmonies.

What would you say is the main misconception the public have about Gospel musicians?
The first impression people get about gospel music is that it is a spiritualise slow tempo sound played on Sundays in church.

A lot of people get the impression that gospel music is about judging people, I think the real gospel is about loving people. When you love someone irrespective of his/her flaws then you challenge the person be even better not with your lips but your deeds – it’s a one way traffic. Upward and forward.

What aspect surprised you the most once you started as an artiste?
The amount of summary you’ve got to do.. First, you think, do I have enough? By the time you’re halfway through writing your 16 bars, you realise that you’ve got so much to leave out. That’s what I call the hidden laws of averages in songwriting. 0-100 real quick. Imagine how many people that’d given up. Catchy hooks does it for me.

Which brands, producers, directors, clients and musicians have you worked with?
I always have an idea what I want to talk about, what I want it to sound like etc. I’ve worked with a handful not an aweful lot of big guns around but dynamic producers that work so hard round the clock because they love the grind and I think they deserve more. LiberT, Timi Blaze of Genius Music Lagos, Jay of RolA productions Liverpool relocating to Abuja I understand & Kruza Productionz from London. Elmino Da great is one hell of director.. Naija (Nigeria) & Jamo (Jamaican) combo that one has gone global.

What has been one of the most memorable jobs to work on?
My first ever project is always going to be special. Faith in Action. Recently plans to work with made men music ground fell through. Still keep tabs with M I & Ice Prince too although it’s been a min. Working with Guvna B & Faith. child is billed to give me his take on faith in action – another rap verse to remix that song especially from a divine believing and practising artiste who’s name and experience perhaps says much about the topic. That’d have been epic. I’m looking to feature a couple of renown professional footballers who are big on music. Bigger plans ahead. No names yet – keep my cards close to my chest on this one.

Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
Lecrae.. more than music, the mandate and the movement. It’s the D R E – the legendary music doctor. Imagine that. Not a far cry from working with Don Jazzy! My wife knows afrobeat artistes more than myself but Pantoranking as is one blessed brother as are Phyno & Sarkodie. I could get use to having beautiful female vocals on my hooks though. Tiwa?

Tell us two things people don’t know about you?
1. I’m very sociable on the surface but more of a private person.
2. I’m trying so hard to learn from my mother to be a meek man. Could learn a thing or two from even a baby. I do stand up against bullying though. Mum would say: “stay humble” choose your battle wisely but the battle is the Lord’s so – His call

What do you consider your biggest professional success so far?
Building my family on God’s word as foundation. It’s be effort in vain except the Lord builds. Running my businesses by myself, breaking even with good turn overs over the years without taking up a day’s job.

Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
Oil & Gas powers that be in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria but I want to crack my teeth with it here. I wanna go home and give back my experiences.

What has been your biggest challenge?
I enjoy every challenge that takes me steps toward my life’s purpose as predestined by God in his perfect love book. Loving my life unconditionally. I’m already doing that but I’m determined to be consistent even in our 80s and great grand parents. Also, raising my children and grandchildren (whoever God entrust to me) to be God loving/obeying – success is defined therein. Also it’s pretty hard to love those who hate you and hurt you. God’s Given Gideon Great Grace (GGGGG)

You are active on social media. Do you think its important to be online and if so why?
Yes I’m. Going digital is a good change. Only God is constant, to get the best of life you have to learn and apply the change management skillset. Change is inevitable but how you change is what really counts.

Stuff happens, your reaction is what defines you.

Social media could go viral in your life in both extreme. I mean it could be either very destructive or really productive. It depends on what you use it for and how you use it.

I still use search engines to find a reference bible scripture that I didn’t memorise. I still use it as a platform to share my testimony so someone out there can be blessed and not quit on life or God.

The efficacy of Love include sharing good information that could save a life. On the other hand, I really do avoid going on Wikipedia.. to say the least. I mean when I’m streaming live sports online I do get these detestable ads but grace helps me ignore them or walk away.

You are originally from Nigeria, but now mostly live in the United Kingdom. How is that working out for you?
Perfect. Can any good thing come out of Nigeria? Oh yes of course I’ve learnt so much great ethics and virtues from Nigeria. Respect. Kindness, faithfulness etc. I’ve also learned many skills like time management, gentleness and being independent etc. It’s a fine blend of both really.

What are your must visit travel destinations?
Jerusalem-Israel, Egypt & other African landscapes. I live and work around Europe, visits to America, going to Dubai Asia next break. Not so much into travelling but I like a bit of adventure and to learn new things.

Name 5 things we should take seriously about our style choices?
Hmmm sounds like a former college lecturer in a class test now! Err, I don’t always take myself too seriously, honestly.
Take nothing for granted especially, people
1. Love.
2. Trust
3. Truth
4. Peace
5. Respect.

How would you describe your style?
Easy-going, loving, smile but highly principled. Relationship over tradition. Love over politics.

What music genre appeals to you the most?
Not gospel! Did I just burst your bubbles? (Chuckles) I don’t see gospel as a genre. I think it’s life itself.. can’t put it in a box, no! Think with me for a second, Gospel summarised is love! Every single genre can relate to love. I listen to virtually everything and I pay more attention to Rhythm and blues. Singing & Rapping. Sing-Rap! Hip hop and Afrobeat.

Name your five must have accessories/essentials?
In no particular order, let me attempt to enumerate
1. Bow tie.
2. Pocket square
3. Time piece (wrist watch)
4. Wallet / card holder
5. Sunglasses (clear for all weather)

What are your favorite fashion trends?
Use to be Moschino Love but I’m not sure If it’s that kind of love I represent so I’m making my own brand now. Look out for it: Rhema Apparel – Love Over Everything!

I still like Versace for the gold of it.

I’m avoiding Alexander McQueen and the likes, I’m just not big on wearing clothes designed with skulls. My son is getting too comfortable rocking Louboutin trust he’d focus on the Christian then you have the likes of Vivien Westwood with a little cross symbol on top of their emblem.

What is your favorite dish?
Spaghetti carbonara it must have king prawns inside + well marinated grilled seabass fish
My wife’s afang soup and my Mum’s egusi soup and semolina.

What songs are currently on your playlist?
1. I listen to myself a lot so I’ve got all my collections (PhD album, singles, mix tapes, freestyles etc).
2. I listen to my protege Kxng Moss (Francis Mutanda) jumping on his life mixtape too.
3. God over everything by Patoranking.
4. Never go wrong with Lacrae, old school does it for me too – Tupac, BIG, Nas, Jay-Z, 50 cent, Kanye, Common Kendrick Lamar & JCole.

Apart from music, what other projects are you currently working on?
Writing a book called “Goal” – Hand of God! Seen so much of God to be quiet. Obviously the clothing line is gathering momentum too. There is also a significant exciting project in the pipeline but I’d let my son announce that on his first birthday on march 8, 2017.

Seeing you’re doing your dreams, what advice can you give others to pursue their dreams?
I’m not quite there yet but I decided to enjoy every step of it. Life isn’t all about breathtaking destiny that blows your mind but the moments that define those.

I’m still learning myself but I can share the bits I’ve learnt.

First of all, know who you’re.

Don’t let the public or any situation define you.

Find yourself, your passion, your calling per se in God’s plans – they’re good and they give you a hope and a future.

Second remember who you’re after looking at yourself in the mirror of God’s word.

Keep confessing it, meditate on it till clicks just like the concrete (mixture of sand, cement, water & aggregate) sets into a mortar brink. Then, arise and shine, for your light is come and the glory of the lord is upon you.
Don’t be afraid of mistakes, get clarity from the love master who’s upstairs, don’t give up, go again another step better than before.

Don’t fit in, stand out being yourself.

People will judge you by the numbers, misunderstand you etc just stay focus on your goals and yes decide to enjoy every step of it. God did not delegate your happiness to anyone or on anything. It is simply your call – your decision.

The best way to remember is to teach.

Keep learning and find a trusted source of inspiration and be mentored. Give back, be a blessing to someone too, freely you’ve receive, freely you should give because this is the ultimate reason God is blessing you to be a blessing. Live on purpose.

Any specific plans for the future?
Big plans for the future. I’d update the public in due course when I get the green light from my Dad upstairs. One step at a time.

Any final words?
I’m that type of songwriter that shares the practical truth from my personal life experiences and encounter with our maker. Please don’t take it personal if you find it offensive, the best way to look at it is by customising God’s word to suit you. Tailor made bespoke sort of. There’s no competition, everyone is running their own race, stay in your lane and we can only learn from one another. The word is “completion” not “competition”. For God so love the world. He created the world. The world is a global family. On the back of the whole brexit, racism, terrorism and antiChrist-ism, I’ve written and produce song you should look out for this new single called “Family” x Mrs BlessinG Yobo x Ms Honey Ogundare. It’s going to be on my upcoming album this this summer.

Where can we follow you online and on social media?
The most important thing for me is to inspire folks to follow Christ the Messiah.

Nice for folks to follow me and I’d follow back as much as their vibe blesses me. Then again my social life is just a personal touch of my family life. Mostly on facebook. Instagram is touch and go. Rarely on twitter nowadays but I respond to email very swiftly than anything.

Thanks for granting this inclusive yet informative interview Gideon.

My pleasure Asuquo. Blessings always.

DOWNLOAD NEW SINGLE: Immanuel – Love’s with us

Asuquo Eton founded, now one of the most visited TV, music, tech and features website, in 2011. He is also a social media analyst, media and entertainment consultant.

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