ARUA. Nothing grabs attention like a gospel music blazing out of a disco hall after mid-night. But that is what disco goers in the West Nile region are getting accustomed to. And it is also what generates more phone calls to Jimmy Candia, the lead artist in the Trust in God (TIG) ministry even though the songs are played without his knowledge.
“They call and say ‘but your songs are been played in a disco hall.’ That is the perfect place to play those songs. You cannot say that I should not preach to prostitutes for example, when they are most in need of the word of God,” he says.
TIG is a ministry that Candia began in a humble way. He got the inspiration in a night dream. There was this calm, beautiful girl surrounded by children singing to Candia in a language that up to now he claims he does not know.
All he remembered were the word “Mulokole” which means born again and the tune of the song. When the dream was over, he woke up, picked a harp that he had kept by the bedside and began singing in the similar tune but in Lugbara.
That nightmare experience challenged Candia who was around 14 years old by then, to evaluate his participation in fellowships as choirmaster and he realised that he needed to commit more to the course of spreading Christ’s Gospel.
“A gospel singer needs to be somebody who is devoted to church and trusts in Christ. As they say both salt and sugar cannot come from the same place, so, when you are double-minded, you may pass a confused message to the people,” he says.
As he kept rehearsing on his own until when he joined Vurra for secondary school education. Because of his religious commitments he was elected the chairperson of the scripture union.
That gave him the platform to mobilise interested colleagues for fellowship and music practicing. And it was from there that they mustered the first song Mulokole.
When they left Vurra secondary school in 2011 the group members agreed that they would be converging at Odianyadri for fellowship and musical rehearsals as it was a central position for all memebers.
They would write letters to different churches where they went to sing and fundraise with focus of recording their first music. But when they eventually recorded the song at sh80,000/= and played it I public, the product was so poor that it left people doubting the seriousness of the Candia and his groups.
“The instrumental was good but the voicing was very faint. Somebody told me that what people want is the message not instrumentals but there were those who wrote us off saying we were wasting time. That is why we named our group Trust in God, meaning if we trust in God, one day he will take us to another level,” he explained.
When they redid the song and recorded for the second time in 2014 that marked the real beginning of the TIG as a Gospel music group. They proceeded to compose and record 12 more songs giving rise to the first album, still named as Mulokole. The TIG group has got seven girls and three boys.
The group currently does CD recorded music but as Candia says plans are afoot to transform it into a live band in future.
They compose songs in both Lugbara and English to make sure the message transmits to a wide range of people.
Apart from Music, TIG also actively conduct pulpit ministry. They go to churches within the region perform the music and then preach the gospel.
“When we become a band we will start open crusades as well,” he says.