Nigerian minister Nkem Dike sings the praises of living in Ireland
2017-03-01 17:44:39 -

By Michaela Miller and Chinedu Onyejelem

Nkem Dike has launched her first album with the hope that the message in her songs will leave people feeling happy and empowered.

“I have never done this before and it’s such an exciting experience,” says the Nigerian-born Afro-Gospel minister. “I had cold feet starting it at first, but this has always been my dream.”

Dike, also the author of The Empowered Me, started her album Wonder God, a mix of Afro-Gospel and contemporary songs, in September 2016. The record “is channeled towards giving hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak and help those thirsting for God build a strong connection and relationship with Him.”

She adds: “I’m hoping it uplifts the listeners as it spreads through the world. It’s my way of revealing the unfailing love of God and his abundant grace.

Dike wrote and sang all 10 songs on the album. “They are all Gospel songs, a mix of English and my native language Igbo,” she says. “Me being a Gospel singer is one way I can use my voice to reach out and impact lives, so it has always been my desire to use my voice positively to uplift and bless others.”

Though this marks her first professional music project, Dike says: “Music runs in my family. My mother was in the choir, and still loves singing and my sister sings as well.”

Tough but doable

Originally from Anambra State in Nigeria, Dike studied at the University of Calabar before moving to Dublin in 2002. “The decision to move to Ireland was to give my children better opportunities in life,” says the now mother of three, who is also very aware of the distinctions between Nigeria and her new home.

“The culture and way of life here in Ireland is totally different from what I was brought up with in Nigeria,” she adds. “It’s challenging bringing children up here in this part of the world, but I try my best to train them up in the fear of God. I teach them to learn to respect others, especially their elders and not to forget their culture and their root.”

Living in Lusk in north Co Dublin with her family, the accounting professional serves as a praise worship leader at Hope and Glory Christian Ministries, and is also the CEO of a bakery company called 2Cute Cakes.

Combining all this activity with family is “a tough one but doable,” she says. “I aim to have harmony in my life because balance is a myth so not possible to balance all these responsibilities but with focus, determination and the love and support of my family, I will achieve my dreams.”

Ireland can help

After more than a decade living in Ireland, Dike says she could not have moved to a better country.

“The Irish people are accommodating and very friendly,” she adds. “I have lived in this country for over 14 years and have never encountered any negative situation or remarks. I say this because I’m the only black in my office and I feel so loved and accepted there.

“If you are someone that is cheerful, fun and loving, it’s very easy to integrate.”

Apart from being a “loyal citizen”, she says she has also been contributing “immensely to building a multicultural Ireland by using my voice positively and my talents to add value to the culture and economy of Ireland.”

Given the opportunity, one thing Dike hopes to change “is gender inequality and failure to fully embrace a multicultural society”.

She adds: “I believe as a nation, [Ireland] can help the ethnic communities by encouraging and embracing our culture and supporting non-indigenous businesses by patronising their businesses, and giving them referrals.”

Uplifting messages

Getting back to her music and her message, Dike tries to reach as wide an audience as possible via social media.

“I post uplifting messages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to hopefully give someone a blessing,” she says. “Every day I look for avenues to reach people.”

Even if she only reaches one person, Dike adds, she would be happy knowing that she had an impact on them that day.

“My dream for the future is to continue to do more songs that truly impact lives, fulfil my life purpose and be a channel of blessing to those who cross my path.”

Dike’s music is available from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play and from her website at

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