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Welcome to another edition in Priscilla’s  Place where I have two Chic Sisters: SONSY AZUKAH KELUO-UDEKE and ISABELLA OGO-UZODIKE who are blessed, intelligent, wise, talented, gifted, worshippers, leaders, achievers, mums, mentors who are beautiful inside out chilling with me today.

There is nothing as beautiful as seeing siblings supporting and caring deeply for each other, having said this,  I am not even gonna waste your time introducing them because this is a long but delightful interview that will keep you satisfied till my next publication which will be on Boxing Day.

So, I have attached lots of photos to feed your eyes with, hehe** two of Isabella songs that will bless you as you read, these two songs are my favourites’- the first one Alpha Omega which she featured her daughter- Shae (with the disciplined and soothing voice) as well as the classic Kabiokosi Song and if you get bored reading which I promise you wont, I attached her latest video- You’re So Beautiful somewhere.

Please enjoy with a glass of Juice and Cookies… hehe* Stay Blessed.

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Alpha, Omega by Isabella feat Shae (daughter) 

DOWNLOAD

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Soul Sisters.

 

MEETING THE SISTERS:

Priscilla: In 5 words, Who is Isabella and Who is Sonsy?

Isabella: A Worshipper, Wife, Mother, Pastor, Gospel Recording Artist, Author, Radio Host and Founding President of Women of African Origin in Music Ministry. (Laughing)

I know you said five, but I thought I’d throw in some ‘jara’! Laughs* (all three laughing)

Sonsy: Wife, Mother, Fashion Designer, Entrepreneur, CEO of Loisonell Couture and Philanthropist.

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Priscilla: As the elderly sister, when you see Isabella, what makes you happy looking at how far both of you have come?

Sonsy: I am grateful for the lives we are living. We have both been very favoured and blessed in more ways than we can say here. I am excited that we are both very happily married to great men and we have been blessed with gorgeous, healthy and smart children. I am also very happy that we are both making great strides in our chosen careers. We have a great relationship and I know that our mum would be very proud of both of us. We lost her over twenty years ago but she taught us many life values that we live by.

She was extremely hardworking so she taught us to be industrious. Our mum was one of the most generous, loving and kind-hearted people you would ever meet so she taught us to be giving and caring towards others. Our home was an open house for anyone who needed help and she was a mother to everybody.

Having to bring up children on your own is not an easy role for anyone but I guess everything works together for good because our mum taught us to be resilient and not to crumble in the face of life’s challenges. I am thankful for the upbringing we had.

To say I am proud of you is an understatement. I really admire the passion you have for God and the zeal with which you pursue your vision. Your achievements have been outstanding and I never cease to be amazed at this phenomenal woman you have become. You have always been such a generous, kind-hearted person and I am really thrilled the way your gift has blessed and continues to bless so many people. Keep it up and keep shining.

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Priscilla:  What have you learnt so far from your sister, since she’s been acting as a mother to you?

Isabella: Sonsy is very loving, she’s like a child in her heart and is very open with everyone. One thing that always fascinates me about her is that she can be best friends with a 10 year old and a 60 year old at the same time. She has a very open and pure heart towards people.

When we were teenagers, some of her best friends used to grate on my nerves. I really used to ask her how she could stand some of their very irritating habits etc and she just used to laugh it off and tell me to be more tolerant. One thing with Sonsy is that she knows how to build relationships. Some of the best friends she had when she was a teenager are still her best friends till this day.

I have learnt from her to be patient with people, to be more tolerant of people’s shortcomings and really to harness the best in people. I am naturally a very impatient person with very low tolerance for what I call ‘foolishness’ but Sonsy has taught me to focus more on people’s strengths than their weaknesses (seeing that I am nowhere near perfect myself!)

Also, I have learnt from her that dedication and consistency pays off. She pursued her passion from a very young age. She had her own clothing line and fashion house as a teenager and over the years, she has remained consistently committed to her passion. For me, that is a great example and I love that about her.

Seriously, Sonsy has been so supportive, I don’t know if I’ll be the person I am today without her. Thank you for always being there for me and Ogo. I love your passion for your craft and the way you stand out in what you do. You definitely are a great role model.

You are an amazing human being with a heart of gold,  selfless, loving, caring big sister anyone could wish for, plus it doesn’t hurt that you are an awesome fashion designer who I don’t have to pay to make me fabulous clothes! Hahahaha! (All laughing*)

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ON WAOMM {Isabella}

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Priscilla: As the Pioneer of WAOMM {Women of African Of Music Ministry} What is that one UNIQUE thing you want people around the world to know WAOMM for?

Isabella: I want people to know WAOMM as an organisation set up to genuinely support, encourage and empower people, not based on any hidden agenda or selfish motives but purely for the benefit of women of African origin in music ministry. I want WAOMM to be seen as a platform that celebrates uniqueness in every single one of us, where everybody is somebody.

Priscilla: So how many countries are you envisaging WAOMM to be?

Isabella: Every country of the world! We are currently in seven countries and now in Canada (woohoo!)  and we are expanding rapidly as there has been a massive show of support and interest from a lot of organisations and individuals as well.

So I encourage our women to visit our website www.waomm.org and join the movement. We are a force that cannot be stopped. African women have so much to offer and we want to bless the world with our variety of gifts and talents to the glory of God.

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ON LOISONELL COUTURE { Sonsy]

Priscilla: Tell us about Loisonell Couture; what does it stand for and what does it represent?

Sonsy: Loisonell is made up from three names: Lois which is our mum’s name, ‘son’ from my name, Sonsy and ‘ell’ from Isabella’s name. Loisonell focuses on signature couture but we have recently branched out to ready-to-wear fashion. Loisonell stands for everything classy, sophisticated and bespoke. Our strength lies in designing occasion outfits such as weddings, parties, red carpet events and basically, anything that makes our clients stand out from the crowd.

Priscilla:  I have seen some of your designs and they are just classy and exquisite, How do you do it? Inspiration?

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Sonsy in her Signature Loisonell Outfit

Sonsy: It’s in my blood! Laughs* I’ve always had a flair for fashion and I’ve always experimented with colours. My mum saw the gift in me quite early in life and she nurtured the gift very carefully. I am quite creative and adventurous. love seeing people look good and I have a natural eye for what would look good on people based on their shape, height, skin tone and even their personality.

It’s just a gift I’ve been blessed with. I also read Fine & Applied Arts in the university which helped me as well. I get inspired by nature, by colours, by textures, really anything. It’s just a gift that the Lord has given me.

Priscilla: Oh wow!! Amazing.. Good job ma’am, she said she’s going to make me a dress… right? Wink**

All three laughing**

Sonsy: Sure!!!!!!

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ON THE WOW SHOW (Isabella)

Priscilla: Tell me about the WOW {Women Of Worship) show?

Isabella: I host a weekly radio show called Women of Worship Radio Show, sponsored by  by WAOMM (i.e. Women of African Origin in Music Ministry). I am the founding president of WAOMM so, again, I encourage people to please feel free to visit our website www.waomm.org to learn more about WAOMM. The WOW show focuses on pertinent topics to help us in our Christian walk. The Show is currently aired across five internet radio stations and we have recently added a 6th station.

The stations include PraiseWorld Radio (woohoo!)Kent Christian Radio, Prayz.In Radio, Amen Radio, Gateway Christian Radio and more recently Liveway Radio. We have received some great feedback that the show is helping people, so I encourage people to tune in when they can! The Radio show is part of a bigger vision to equip the Body of Christ with resources to aid our spiritual growth and maturity.  The show also showcases and promotes the music of women of African origin.

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MUSIC & AWARDS {The Sisters}

Priscilla:  What defines your music?

Kabiosi {Unquestionable King}

Isabella:

1) Love! I am in love with the Lord and I just can’t keep it to myself. 99.5% of all my songs are really love songs directly to Him on a one-to-one basis. I don’t just sing about Him, I sing to Him!

2) Depth! The songs I write come from deep within my heart: a place of relationship, intimacy and revelation. The Holy Spirit has given me some anointed songs and they are all part of my love relationship with the Lord so I sing them from the depth of my heart.

3) Passion! I love the Lord so much and I am an extremely passionate person so my passion for the Lord shows clearly in all my songs.

4) Sincerity! My songs come from my personal encounter and knowledge of God. It’s different when you are singing songs written by someone else and when you are singing songs given to you, if you know what I mean? One consistent testimony I always get from those who have taken time to listen to my songs is that they hear sincerity in all the songs.

Priscilla: Congratulations on all your awards,  However, there is one award that intrigues me- and that’s the “Diaspora Award” tell me about it?

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Isabella: What can I say? The Lord has been truly gracious and there have been many nominations and awards over the years I have been in ministry. I have received awards for ‘Best Female Artiste in Diaspora’ for three consecutive years from Nigerian Gospel Music

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Awards in 2012 and 2013 and from Crystal Awards in 2014. I was awarded ‘Artiste of The Year, Europe’, by the African Gospel Music Awards in 2013 and more recently, I won the award for ‘Best Gospel Act’ for BEFFTA Awards 2014.

Diaspora simply means that I live in a different country from my country of origin. I am in a foreign land but I have won an award from my home country.

I think it is really important for me to say something here. I am very humbled, honoured and grateful for the awards. They are a sure source of encouragement, knowing that people recognise, acknowledge and respect the gift of God upon my life, however, I do what I do purely because I love God and I am privileged to be used as a vessel and a channel of blessing to Him and others. If I never won one award, I would still be doing what I am doing with the same fervour and zeal knowing that my service is unto the Lord.

Sonsy: Well, I won my first award in 2004 as Second Best Designer in Nigeria by Lexy Mojo, Eyes On Nigeria Fashion Show which was held in France. Following that, I won the Female Achievers Award for being outstanding in my chosen career by City People in 2010 and the Most Creative Designer Award by City People Media Group in 2011. God has been good to us and I am sure there are many more to come.

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Priscilla: How does it feel to be the official stylist for Isabella?

Sonsy: Well, she’s my sister so it feels great. I know her more than anyone else so I know what looks good on her and she trusts me completely. She doesn’t need to give me any specifications, she just says I need a red dress etc and I know what would work for the occasion. It helps that she has a body to die for! (laughs). It’s not just Isabella, I do have loads of celebrity clients who rely on me for their bespoke designer outfits. I ensure my clients stand out by ensuring our outfits always has the wow factor.

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Priscilla: How do you manage this office/title when you live in different countries?

Sonsy: The world is a global village so living in a different country really doesn’t make that much difference. I have very high profile clients all over the world, including actresses, politicians, first ladies etc. The same way I would work with a client who lives in a different state in Nigeria is the same way I would work with someone in a different country so the fact that we live in different countries is not a barrier at all.

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PriscillaIsabella, I know you and your husband are marriage counsellors, were there situations that you had to counsel someone and you just had a misunderstanding with your hubby? How do you handle that awkward situation if you have ever been in such?

Isabella: Hahaha**…the answer is yes. I remember sometime in 1998, shortly after we became marriage counsellors, we were on our way to counsel  a couple and on the way we started arguing. I can’t even remember what the argument was about but I was bent on proving my point and he was double-bent on proving his own point so by the time we got to the church where the counselling was to hold, we were not on speaking terms!

When we got there, I refused to come out of the Car after he came out. I was just being spiteful so I told him I wasn’t going to counsel anyone, he should go and do it alone. One thing is that my husband is naturally a very peaceful person, he just has this aura of peace around him and he does not like chaos or contention at all.

Well, he got back in the car and started counselling me about my bad behaviour (lol). Anyway, we delayed the session and talked in the car for a while to sort out whatever the issue was (which I really can’t remember what it was)

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I think the important point here is to note that there is nothing like a perfect marriage or perfect people. A successful marriage takes hard work, sacrifice, tolerance, forgiveness and open communication, amongst many other factors. It takes a man who is ready to die to self and a woman who is ready to submit to him. That’s the biblical formula anyway!

A successful marriage is made up of two people who are determined and committed to making it work! If one of the two people decides not to do their part, it may work for a while but ultimately the cracks will get wider.

One survival strategy we give to every single couple we have counselled is this: Never place ANYTHING or ANYONE else before your spouse! Never make ANYTHING or ANYONE more important to you than your spouse! If you place your relationship first, everything else will fall into place. Of course, your relationship with God is of paramount importance. I am talking about human relationships.

Priscilla: You are both wives and mothers, how do you combine your careers with your home responsibilities.

Sonsy: Yes, between us, we have eight children. I have four (two girls and two boys) and Isabella has four as well (two girls and two boys). We are very blessed to both have incredibly supportive husbands who genuinely love us and want the best for us. We are like one big happy family because our husbands are very close friends and all our children are quite close in age. Our husbands are also very industrious and successful in their chosen fields so we really complement one another.

Obviously, we all face challenges in balancing our responsibilities and prioritising our families in the midst of our busy lives but we can’t complain. We always place family first and ensure we create the time to fulfil our roles as wives and mothers. Thank God for understanding husbands and children, who are also super talented in their own rights.

 

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The Sisters & their Heartthrobs

 

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The Sisters & their Daughters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Priscilla: Any words for the people, your fans out there trying to achieve their dreams?

Sonsy: Persistence is key, I would encourage anyone with a dream to be determined and persistent in their endeavours. Resilience is very important, there will be many obstacles to overcome but only those who learn to navigate through those roadblocks will succeed. I would also say that it is important to build and nurture relationships because no man is an island. We all need each other to succeed in life.

I urge people to pursue their passion, don’t do something because others are doing it or because you heard that people are making money from it. The great thing about doing something you love and you have a passion for is that it is not dependent on other people or circumstances to validate you.

When the drive comes from within, you are unstoppable. Be willing to learn and grow, no one knows it all so it is important to keep evolving and developing in life.

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Sonsy

Isabella: I totally agree with everything Sonsy has said. It is very important to be prayerful and humble. Commitment is also very crucial, if you don’t take what you are doing seriously, then don’t expect anyone else to take you serious. You have to be prepared to sacrifice and invest in your dreams and I mean time, money, resources etc.

One fundamental point which Sonsy touched on is about building relationship. Help others, support others, don’t just focus on your selfish interests. If you support others in a meaningful way, you attract help for your own vision.

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Isabella

For music ministers for example, when I say support people in a meaningful way, I mean on a practical level, not just by liking or sharing their page/flyer on Facebook, take time to attend their events if you are invited, bless their ministry financially if you can, share your contacts if you are led to, recommend them for ministry engagements, give them a platform if you have one, pray for them etc.

Be a destiny helper to someone else not just to be seen but to be a blessing. Also, find a mentor or mentors to help you in your chosen field. It takes humility to submit to someone who knows better or more than you do in your particular field of endeavour. I personally would highly recommend spiritual covering, submit to someone who can cover you in prayers.

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I want to specially thank Sonsy and Isabella for their time despite their busy schedules created time for me. Kudos to their spouses for supporting their career and ministries. God bless your precious family. Below is Isabellas new video: Youre so Beautiful-

My review for this video

It takes a deep person with a great worship life to understand this video. Nothing can ever go wrong when a lover chooses to express her love to her ultimate LOVE via worship!!

Hey people, do watch out for my Classic Christmas Giveaway on Boxing Day (26th Dec) – Answer My questions and choose a gift!!!!

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SONSY’s reaction to ISABELLA’s new Video (extracted from her facebook page)

ʺI just can’t stop watching this spirit-filled video. It is so soothing and peaceful. I watched it about 15 times yesterday and I still can’t shake off the calmness it bought to my soul. I simply could not comment because I didn’t know what to write. My tears spoke as I watched it over and over again. It blows my mind to think that my lil sister, Isabella, created this masterpiece. What a gift! What a talent! My prayer is that you will continue to receive powerful and deep songs that will draw hearts close to God. You have done well, extremely well and I am very proud of youʺ

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