Cameroon: Faith Um - a Life of Singing for Go

The leader of "Jubilee Praise Team" began as a youth chorister in church.

Nnah Faith Um, 43, is a teacher with Government Bilingual High School, Etoug-Ebe, Yaounde. The married mother of four, who originally hails from Mbengwi, Momo Division in the North West Region is "a servant of God (a Reverend Psalmist) with Living Word Fellowship, Yaounde." Faith's singing life began as early as the age of seven in different children's choirs till high school. "After university, I joined the Holy Trinity Choir of Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, Nsimeyong, Yaounde, in 2000. I have been a member of Royal Voice International, the choir of Living Word Fellowship, Yaounde, since 2003," she recalls.

Together with 24 other artistes from 14 denominations, Faith Um founded "Jubilee Praise Team," an inter-denominational, non-lucrative worship team that "seeks to build an altar of worship unto the Most High God and to pray for peace and unity in Cameroon." On why many of today's artistes begin from the church, but later veer off completely into secular music, Faith attributes it to three reasons. These are lack of understanding of the origin of Gospel music, the quest for quick glory or sudden fame, and the failure by many churches to budget for the activities of their singers.

Faith regrets the difficulty today in Cameroon to distinguish between Christians and non-Christians "because everybody sings Gospel." "Each time Gospel music is sung, it is supposed to heal, deliver, set free captives, etc. What is the impact of Gospel artistes in the lives of their audiences? Unfortunately, people usually go back to their past, with no testimony of healing or most of the cases," Nnah Faith Um notes.

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