Biography of Testimony Jaga | Age, Songs, Background and more
Salau Aliu Olayiwola who is popularly called by his stage name Testimony Jaga, is a gospel singer, Nigerian, one crazy and energetic gospel musician of loveworld records. Testimony Jaga was born on the 9th of March, 1983.
Testimony Jaga is one of the fastest growing gospel artistes that is currently making waves, not only in Christ Embassy but in Nigeria as a whole. He has a Muslim background; his dad and mum are staunch Muslims.
How Testimony Jaga Started Music
His career as a gospel singer started in 2012 after he stopped making secular music. He is the pioneer of Street Gospel Movement.
Testimony Jaga became popular after the release of his hit single titled “Igara” which won him award for the “Artiste of the Year” at LIMA 2019. His loves singing his songs in English, Yoruba and Pidgin language.
Early Life Of Testimony Jaga
Salau Aliu Olayiwola was born on 9 March 1983 in Ibadan, Oyo State, but hails from Ijebu-Remo Ogun State. He took a strong interest in music at a young age.
He began his education at O and A Nursery and Primary School Ogun State, and later proceeded to Speed Ladder Secondary School. Because of his dedicated interest in music, he dropped out of school (University of Lagos) to concentrate on it full time.
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Career beginnings In 2012, his gospel music career kicked off. He later released singles like Igara, Take it, Jehova.2019–present: Igara In 2019, Testimony Jaga released his debut single titled “Igara”. The single which brought his gospel musical career to lime light.
His Arrest In 2011
Testimony Jaga was arrested and charged with car-snatching offense and jailed for 4 months prior investigation for alleged involvement in a car hijacking in Lagos. He was later exonerated, by a magistrate court and cleared of all charges against him and he was released.
On 20 July 2019, Revolution Plus Property unveiled Testimony Jaga as one of their brand ambassador.
Songs by Testimony Jaga
| “Igara (Boast)”2019: |
“Gone For Life”2019:
“Parti Pour La Vie”2020:
“Kpansa Kpansa (French Version)”2020:
“I Have Moved”2020:
“Omo Olorun Soro Soke”2020:
“My Thanks (Ese)”2021:
How his encounter with Pastor Chris Oyakhilome changed his life: Read full story
Few years ago, he started his music career as a secular artiste. He did a collaboration with Obesere and the likes before he joined Christ Embassy Choir, where he was nurtured and tutored. Today, he is doing well. He has won many awards and accolades. He is also the brand ambassador of RevolutionPlus Property Development companyFew days ago, he spoke with City People’s ISAAC ABIMBADE, about his career:
How he had his breakthrough at Christ Embassy Church.
He also told us about his encounter with Pastor Chris Oyakhilome and why he is called Testimony Jaga and many others. Excerpts.
Can you tell us how you started your career?
I want to first thank God for the journey so far. And I want to specially thank the man of God, Dr. Chris Oyakhilome for his word of God that has nurtured me to this level because the words from the world couldn’t change me, but the words from God changed my life.
How did you start all this?
I started like a normal artiste, secular artiste. I started this from secondary school. I have been doing this from my school days. I started as a secular artiste and the first time I heard my song on the radio was 2007 and it wasn’t a gospel song. When I was told that they heard my song on the radio that day I was moved by that. I did a song with Obesere, that should tell you the kind of music I was doing then.
But so far, so good the journey was somehow rough. I gave up on music at one time, I had to go to boxing. I was doing that for years because I was a little bit frustrated; things weren’t working the way they were supposed to work and I got into trouble in 2011.
So, while I was in this trouble, I vowed to God that He should save me and I said if I should come out of this problem, I am going to serve God”, but I don’t know how to go about serving God, but when I came out in 2011, a lot of people turned their back on me; people that were supporting me. Things was not fine, so I went into boxing, but I had given my life to Christ then (at Christ Embassy).
During this period I didn’t know how to start gospel and I didn’t want to fail in life. But my Pastor Ade Adetimilehin advised me to join choir then (he was the Pastor of AIT then). He said guy, join choir and start doing something for yourself. So I started it. From there, the Pastor told another Pastor from Abule Egba about me. I went for audition and I was eventually called up that I was qualified to sing. And when I sang, the whole hall was on fire and people started calling me to come to church and that encouraged me a lot.
Later in 2015, we went to Ibadan to do a programme and that was when the man of God saw me, from home (on TV) and he (Pastor Chris Oyakhilome) asked who is that young man. It’s a Christ Embassy programme in Ibadan. It was then that the Pastor Chris told them that they should train me. So I started living with our director (the LMA Director at Christ Embassy).
I started living with him and he started training me. In 2015, they asked me to do the opening song and in 2016, they asked me again to do another opening. In 2017, I did a song, “Gara”, and that got the whole hall electrified. In 2015, I did David Dance and 2016, I did Take It. But the song I did in 2017, Gara, brought fame to me. Everybody at Christ Embassy was looking forward to knowing more about me.
During all this period, has Pastor Chris Oyakhilome called you one-on-one?
If Pastor Christ Oyakhilome should stand up for your song and dance, so I just wanted that standing ovation. I was like, this man should just recognize what I am doing. Because in my church, if Pastor didn’t recognize you are not there yet. So I was telling God that, this man should just recognize me, my work.
And I even prayed that, if truly this man is truly a man of God, show him that you are the one who told me to do this gospel. lo and behold, the man of God (Pastor Chris Oyakhilome) stood up and I held his leg and it was fantastic. This happened in 2016.
Was that a turning moment for you?
Yes, because that was what I wanted. I just wanted that thing that would make him move and I got it right.
What did he say when you held his leg?
He just thanked me that I love what you are doing. Thank you. That year, I won the best new artiste of the year at Christ Embassy 2016. 2017 was a big one for me. I did a song in 2017, Jehovah. And that was the first time a minister would minister 2 times on Loveworld Music & Art Award and I was asked to open the stage.
While doing all this, Pastor Chris was not on stage; I think Pastor watched me from inside. When he now finally came out, he asked them to call me back that he wants to listen to what I was saying. So, while I was singing, Pastor jumped up and that has never happened in the history of Chris Embassy that the Pastor Christ would jump up. And that year, I won The Best Artiste of The Year.
In the same year (2017) December, I sang the same song again. Pastor still stood up and he called me back on stage again and he (Pastor) started explaining the song to the people. He told the congregation that flesh alone can’t reveal the meaning of the song. And when Pastor was explaining the song, even me didn’t understand it that much. After all this, Pastor blessed me with the sum of 5 million naira.
In 2018, we were having a meeting in the church which includes all the Pastors and musicians and while we were having that meeting Pastor called my name and put me on a salary of 5 million per month for a year, and that changed my life. In 2018 again, I won The Best Hit Song of The Year. Every year, I won two awards.
In 2018, I ministered another song called God for life and Pastor still called me back on stage. This year (2019), I won The Best Artiste of The Year and The Best Song of The Year and that comes with the 25 thousand dollars.
How did you meet RevolutionPlus Property?
I didn’t know they are our members. I know the brand RevolutionPlus Property. They called me for their birthday party and when I got there, I saw a very wonderful family and I later got to know they are from Ijebu and I am from Ijebu too. I just cracked joked that I was the ambassador of the company and they said so shall it be. I just spoke. And later, they invited me to their office. And that was how the whole thing started. And since then it has been from glory to glory.
They gave me good money with a brand new Toyota Car.Where are you from?I am from Ijebu-Remo, Ogun State. My father is from Iperu, while my mother is from Isara.
How did you get your stage name Testimony Jaga?
My real name is Salau Aliu Olayiwola. I am from a Muslim background; my mum is Alhaja and my dad Alhaji.I was playing one night, and my mum called me up that I should pray about new name and I heard a name in my mind Testimony. So I started calling myself Testimony.
How about the Jaga?
On the street then, they know me as Jaga-Jaga. I fight, I caused troubles. So, I was now saying if I remove this name from my name people won’t know me, so I now shortened the name to Jaga and that means Jesus Associate God’s Ambassador.