When I was leaving Nigeria in 2016, a lot of people thought I had lost it. Here, I was, with a solid career right ahead of me and relocation was my way out.
I didn’t even know why I had to leave neither did I have an answer but I knew God was going to be with me.
The Multi-award-winning actor, singer, voice-over artist Joseph Benjamin believes just like the biblical story where Moses was taken from his family in Egypt, just so God could talk to him to spread his love and miracles, the same could be said of his journey.
The actor and motivational speaker, in an exclusive interview with ‘CheersToGod’ a Christian show, shares why he felt he had to leave his ‘comfort zone’ to an uncharted course.
Benjamin says many have had to deal with challenges and obstacles they didn’t see coming but the hand of God has always remained paramount.
He says as Christians we need to understand in the end there will be restoration and compelling testimonies. Testimonies will come in all shapes and sizes.
Best known for co-hosting the talent reality show MTN’s Project Fame, the dapper Kogi-born entertainer says life has taught him that knowing God exists and having a relationship with God are two different things.
“In life, we are all tested differently and it is through those experiences that we remain confident of the existence of God in our life. I got to understand God when I began my career in 1997/1998 thereabout.
“This was shortly after my career took off. It was only at that point that I rededicated my life to God. You need to understand that knowing God is relative, you can only have a relationship with him when you open your heart, there is no in-between.
“Having a relationship with God does not mean you will not have troubles. It is not as if God can’t sweep all those challenges, he allows you to go through those challenges to make you stronger,” he explains to Naana Morrison on CheersToGod.
Benjamin related the struggles to the different phases a toddler goes through before he eventually learns how to walk. He said all these steps are a purpose by design. According to him, there’s a blueprint, a script that has already been written by God.
“We are all players in this script and we need to understand that he always has everything under control. It might not be smooth but I promise you the end is glorious,” he said with much conviction.
With all the years of experience and exposure, Benjamin believes we shouldn’t let our mistakes define us. He points that a lot of times the devil keeps reminding us of our past, making us doubt God’s kindness.
Benjamin wants us to know that “God never calls the qualified but rather qualifies the called. He calls you by your name and not the mistake you have done”.
A word of advice, he says, one should not be defined by their mistakes.
Asked how difficult it was to set boundaries as an actor, he says it is important to be intentional about where you stand in the movie industry and this habit prevented him from taking up certain roles that were not in tune with his spirit.
He tells CheersToGod it was not easy making such a tough decision but by virtue of grace, he was able to maintain such boundaries.
“I have had my flips. I inspire people not from a textbook but from experience so people can relate to it. But the difference between messing up and staying a mess is one thing – purpose. I live by the purpose that though I have gone this way, I can still come back that way,” he explains.
Some Christians are of the notion that once you serve God, nothing bad should happen to you but the actor/ motivational speaker notes that as long as you have chosen to serve God you will be constantly be tested – faced with tribulations that make you doubt God’s existence.
Benjamin believes once you have a personal relationship with God you will never lose your faith.
Sharing his own hardship in the era of the global pandemic, the actor said his entire household got infected with the deadly coronavirus and he witnessed firsthand the pain they had to endure.
“My entire household got hit by COVID. A lot of people went through worse than what I went through and they didn’t make it but I did. I am grateful to God that I am still here. Every day above the ground is a good day,” he added.
All you need to know about Joseph Benjamin
Joseph was born on November 9, 1976, to a Kogi State indigene and an Anambra State mother. The Nigerian actor, model, singer, voice-over artist, and television presenter is mainly known for co-hosting MTN’s Project Fame attended primary school in Benue State and completed his secondary education in Lagos State.
He holds a diploma in Computer Literacy and a degree in Mass Communication. Joseph has long sourced for fame through entertainment right from an early age.
He, however, kicked off his career officially as an actor by taking on a role in the movie titled “Crossroads” in 1995.
Shortly after, he began to pursue a full-time career in modeling and acting for television commercials in the print ads industry of Nigeria.
While working on television shows, his desire to express himself only intensified as his love for music began to develop.
His love for music and passion for God has seen him stand for truth and also express it through his morally driven lifestyle and music. He debuted his music in 2016, with two singles – So in Love and I pour my love on you.
Awards he has won include but is not limited to the African Actor of the Year award at the 2012 African Film Awards for his role in Married but Living Single and best lead actor at the 2012 Best of Nollywood Awards.
He has starred in a lot of movies from Cross Roads, Deadly Mission, Jungle Ride, Spellbound, Married but Living Single, Darkside, Blind Promise, Affairs of the Heart, Few Good Men, and Murder at Prime Suites.
Watch the full interview belowhttps://www.youtube.com/embed/c3fHH4Xq2jI?wmode=transparent&rel=0&feature=oembed