Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Five months ago, she wrote on her Facebook wall, “Life is beautiful, how many see it thus? Full of energy and opportunities,”… Maybe that was what defined Efemena Orevaoghene Benedicta in some ways. She was beautiful in every sense of the word, charming and so full of life. Her energy and enthusiasm was so contagious and she unlocked opportunities, with her gift and effervescent personality. Oreva was simply an amazing woman.

I can’t exactly remember my first meeting with Oreva. But I can certainly recollect the impression. She was one with a special gift and exuding so much passion for life. I remember the joy of her laughter, the way she relishes her every infectious and heavenly smile. I remember the way she bobs her hair and turns her head… “It’s a like a dream. And we are moving through the motions. Oreva has acted her script and has exited the stage of life,” wrote Fome, her elder sister on her Facebook wall. She’s not alone. Someone please wake us all up.

I remember one of my many performances in WLCF. This one was special for many reasons. One, it was one of my very outstanding acts, two, it was so full of energy, inspiration and impact. Three, it had Oreva, along with Ivie Onakpoya,. They were the major reason for the other two. I needed backup vocals for a gospel rap I was to perform that Sunday and couldn’t find one then. So I called up Oreva. Despite the short notice, she made out time from her studies, minstrels schedules etc to rehearse the chorus with me. The rehearsal was brief, because I was dealing with a pro. She walked, talked and lived music. When we did the song, the finesse, skill and richness of Oreva’s (and Ivie’s) voice doing the chorus came through like Alicia Keys on Jay Z’s Empire State of Mind. Only that this was a God State of Mind. Oreva was the cream. Ivie was the sugar. Both combined to make that gospel rap performance a hit that many asked me later who did the original. Funny, that was the original. Oreva and co were simply divine and original on those chorus lines. Oreva was special. Like she always was in every other performance. In every ministration. In every song. In life.

It’s all coming back to me now. I don’t have the tape anymore, but it plays vividly in my memory now. All I can hear now is Oreva’s silky hooks, dynamics, lines and vocals. I called her our own Lauryn Hill and she would laugh (Alicia Keys wasn’t really famous then). After that performance, I listened to the recording many times on end, beyond my rap verses, to hear the richness of her silky, beautiful chorus lines. … “I know I can. Be what I wanna be. Do what I gotta do. Go where I wanna go….” Dear Lord. She’s gone now. Oh, the wonderful memories…

Oreva was gifted. She was amazing. She was truly special. The way she sings. The way she shed tears of reverence in the throes of leading undiluted, unbridled worship to God the King at ATSCAN Hall and many others across the nation. The way she danced, bobbed her hair, turned her head, totally enveloped in Heavenly praises. The way she literally lifted people with her energy, finesse, skill, passion and power while leading praises, singing with the WLCF Minstrels or doing a solo…

Ah Oreva! You could have given a cue.

On Peak Talent Show audition, where she sang Asa’s Jailer, that was Oreva at the least of her vocal prowess. She was one of the most gifted and passionate female vocalists I ever knew. Maybe her unexpected exit is a wakeup call to those others whom God has so blessed with such amazing gifts to rise up to the calling and music of the Kingdom. It was all that mattered for Oreva. She was consistent, focused, independent, so much passion for God, her calling and ministry, passionate about life and people. Passionate about making things happen. Despite not being an official member, I remember when she joined Publication Team on one or two Sundays, just to help ‘market’ WLCF bulletin… she just wanted to be involved, to contribute her quota to Kingdom cause. As programmes director, I remember how she just literally wanted to make things happen. She loved taking chances, seizing opportunities with both hands, trying new dynamics; she desired much for herself, as well as for others….

It’s a call for us to live better lives; lives that God and Heaven would be proud of, every inch of the way, every moment of our stay here on earth.

Oreva. You embodied excellence for God’s Kingdom. I wished I had kept in touch and let you know that I felt so excited and proud of you when I read your interview piece in the Punch newspapers. I wished I had called to let you know that your performance on Peak Talent Show was awesome and that you could certainly do much better. I only told you on Facebook. I hope you read my post and saw that I was proud of you, and how consistent you were with using your God-given talent to reach out and bless people.

I screamed in delight when I saw your interview in the Punch http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art200904250342957 and watched you on Peak Talent Show audition. Now it all feels so numb. So many questions. But who are we, mere mortals, to question the I Am That I Am. Who are we to question His Omniscience? God knows best why He had to let you go now when we thought you had finally come to lay your rightful claim to the music stage for Him.

Ah Oreva! Gone too soon. But, yes you are Oreva4ever, for the melody of your beautiful but painfully short life would forever play in many hearts. From Delta, Ekiti to Lagos and beyond; in the lives of those you touched and influenced with the sound of your music, your gift and personality. God, who loves you more, knows why He let you go at this time of your life, just when you were poised for more impact. If there is any solace in this, it is that another glorious angelic voice has departed to join Heaven’s chorus.

“Sweetheart, you ran with all God placed in you. You exuded so much life! May the Lord comfort your family and friends. It's so hard to believe. May your soul rest in peace even as the Lord says to you well done, thou good and faithful servant. Longevity has its place but when you impact lives the way you did, we can berest assured knowing you are happy in heaven. Keep being an awesome minstrel. Much luv Oreva,” wrote Alero on your Facebook wall. I would like you to know that your name is beautifully engraved on the walls in the chapel of the cathedral of many hearts.

Oreva. For the impact you made. We will always remember.Yours was a celebration of life!
Oreva4ever. It doesn’t matter how you died. All that matters was how you lived. Rich. Full. Special. For God. For humanity.

Rest in peace. And may the Lord comfort your family and friends.

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