Popular Cinematographer and Filmmaker, Asiwaju Ben Ope Johnson often called Daddy BeeJay, took to social media to preach humility to his followers by recounting how pride got him on bench from shooting movies for Mount Zion Faith Ministries for ten years.
Ben Ope Johnson is one of the top notch cinematographers who has recorded and still recording successes in training professional cinematographers and also being involved in great projects in Nigeria which include Guilder Ultimate Search, Project Fame, Nigerian Idol and The Johnsons to mention few.
Ben Ope Johnson in his post, said Evangelist Mike Bamiloye of Mount Zion Faith Ministries, suspended him because he (Ben Ope Johnson) allowed pride find expression in him by badmouthing one of MZFM productions he was not involved in and was solely handled by professional secular cinematographers.
TE JEJE( Thread softly)
Do you remember this song? Esu to ba gbe mi bi o gbe mi,bi o gbemi, esu to ba gbe mi, o le la mi mo le oooo….
Just a little sin, one of Mount Zion film classics, I shot the film. As I dey write, e dey sugar my belle.
After that, I shot other films until the ministry decided to upgrade to a higher level of filmmaking. In 2000, they searched for “secular” professionals: Director of Photography(Sunday Ogunyemi), sound recordist(Bode Odeyemi), set designer(Sammy K Adekoya) and make-up artist(Grace Adinkwu Hassan) camera (Betacam sp). Go watch the film, god’s are dead, you will see the touches of professionals.
But then I didn’t like the film because they used “secular” professionals.
After the film was made, we were in a meeting and I said, “I didn’t see a touch of creativity in cinematography, I was expecting what TK, Alagba Tunde Kelani did in Saworoide but…” Bro Mike (that was what we used to call him) was so furious. He said, “oh because you are not the one that shot it, is that why you are condemning it? That is pride, it’s a bad spirit. You must humble yourself so that God can use you. Are you trying to stop the move of God?”
That day e be like make ground open, make I enter am. I felt terribly ashamed. Since that day, I learnt how to walk humbly. I learnt how not to condemn other people’s work. I do away with the spirit of if it’s not me, if it’s not us what they are doing in rubbish.
Consequently I was not allowed to shoot for them until ten years later. My stupid comment caused me a lot.
“The Lord resist the proud and gives grace to the humble”- The Bible
At the end of tenth year, I was invited by Baba, Evangelist Mike Bamiloye to shoot Sunset at Midday. Go watch the film, the movie is super beautiful. After that I shot many films for them.
Recently, I noticed the spirit that took over me amongst my people (Christian dramatists), the spirit of what they are doing is rubbish. The spirit that wants to stop the moves of God. The spirit of if it’s not the way I want it, it can not be from God.
Hmmmmmm… I will encourage everyone to learn from my mistake and also learn from Moses’s. If God can stop Moses from entering the promise land, he can stop anyone irrespective of the what the person feels he has done for God.
I still love you.
Keep loving excellence.
Asiwaju Ben Ope Johnson.
Cinematographer and Filmmaker.
Published By: Ifeoluwa ORISAKAHUNSI
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