Can we get to know a little about your background?
I’m Dr. Andrew Osakwe, the senior pastor of Summit Bible church. A trained medical doctor from the University of Nigeria Nsukka ’89 set and I’m married to Ndidi the most beautiful woman on earth. She is a psychologist from the University of Ibadan and we are blessed with four beautiful children; Isabella, Ikechukwu, Christin and Matthew
How was life at medical school?
Medical school was interesting back then; I don’t know how things are these days. We enjoyed the campus life and by the time it hit us that we are here for serious business we had failed the second MB professional exams (laughter) It was a formidable year for me from my housemanship in University of Nigeria Nsuka, which I did partially and moved to Yaba Military Hospital and did my NYSC at the Airforce Hospital Onikan-Yaba. It was an exciting moment for me.
Which were your best courses?
In the clinical years I enjoyed medicine and surgery a lot and also anatomy and physiology in the pre-clinical class. Anatomy was very real as you could easily appreciate all the body structures and compartments while physiology was logical and applicable. Pharmacology and biochemistry were a little bit abstract for me.
What prompted the switch to pastoring?
After my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) I practiced for about 4yrs. The truth is that pastoring is a calling; it’s not something you wake up and choose. In my case I was stocked between both and I realized one of it was suffering due to the nature of ministry work I was doing so I chose that which was stronger in my heart
You went abroad for a while?
When I decided to go into full time ministry, I felt the need to go for schooling and so I went to Rhema Bible Training Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA which I spent 2yrs and also part of going abroad was also influenced by my experience in the medical school. After spending 6yrs to get a degree in MBBS and 1yr housemanship you still need to specialize, so I felt the need to go for a basic foundation.
Who is your mentor?
I have two mentors of which one is late now by name Kenneth Hagins and the second is Keith Moore, his protégé. These men have helped me growing to be the person I am today
How do you manage the contrast between Orthodox medical science and Faith healing?
I really don’t see any contrast between them because for me the two go hand in hand. Sometimes I prescribe medical advice such as lifestyle change during counseling in order to settle a problem instead of having the person coming over and over for counseling where the case needs medical advice.
What are the challenges associated with managing a big church as yours?
The main challenge I see is the people’s factor. If your followers are not moving and seeing things the way you want it to go with the vision, The people always come up with their own ideas and so being able to balance things is basically what I see as a challenge
What’s your fashion preference?
I don’t believe in too much of everything like people want to wear everything that trends. Different occasion warrants what I wear so I dress to occasions looking very good and simple not too loud. For instance if am going for a crusade I could dress casual.
What is your preferred designer’s perfume?
On a very hungry day what will you be found eating?
(Chuckles) Do you mean there are days were I’m not hungry (laughs)?
Well on a very hungry day I will eat pounded yam and okro soup (Onitsha okro) a special okro soup I like.
What do you do in your leisure time?
I like to sleep and rest my head when I’m less busy. I also play with my last child a lot and so we play lawn tennis, it has a way of refreshing me. I also play table tennis as part of my hobbies.
So how do you spend time with your family?
I love to spend time with my family a lot; we get to go out as a family every now and then. Infact, last summer we spent about 7days in Dubai. I love my wife so much with all my heart so I TAKE HER OUT AT LEAST ONCE EVERY WEEK. Once I was asked if I love my wife with all my heart the how much do I love the Lord? And I said “If i love the Lord with all my heart then I love my wife with my liver, kidney, body and in fact I love her with all my other organs.
What’s your vision for the young generation?
My vision is for the younger generation, to be able to groom them so they wouldn’t be influenced by the present societal ills, which has plagued and piloted the older generation.
What else would you have been if not a pastor?
As an artistic person if I were to practice medicine I would have loved to be a Burns and Plastic Surgeon. I would be interested in reconstructing people whose skin have been disfigured by burns and trauma to give them a look and better life
Any media outreach?
Yes we run a weekly program titled “Kingdom talk with Dr. Andy Osakwe” which airs on Kingdom Africa on Saturdays by 8.30am, Hosanna Broadcasting Network on Tuesdays by 9pm and NTA Makurdi on Fridays by 5pm. The program has motivated many to step into a vibrant and fruitful Christian lifestyle
What are your views on the Nigerian health care delivery system?
I think we are still backwards with a really long way to go. Apart from the fact that, after long years of training as a doctor, you graduate without the necessary equipments and infrastructure to work with. Even the remuneration is very discouraging. These factors have resulted in medical tourism with loads of patients leaving our shores in search of better services and also brain drain with lots of health practitioners seeking greener pastures abroad. The bedrock of all these is corruption which has retarded our healthcare sector development.
What is the way forward for the health sector in your opinion?
I think corruption must be stopped so we can have meaningful development translating into more equipments and better health infrastructure to cater for our people. There should be better remuneration for health practitioners to check the current brain drain. Also partnership is the key to improving the health sector. Like the case of Eko hospital in Lagos where I think 3 specialists came together to set up a practice. This kind of synergy will open the way for more resources for improving the quality of healthcare delivery service.
We met at the NYSC camp in kubwa Abuja as there was an overflow in Lagos camp in December ‘94 and we were transferred to Abuja camp. So we will be 20years in December this year.
How was he able to convince you into marriage and his ministry?
I always wanted to marry a medical doctor, I admire them a lot and when he told me about going into ministry work I thought he was joking for a moment but I knew he was focused and serious about preaching the gospel and everything has worked out so I have come to realize that being in God’s will is the most important thing. He is still a doctor which I know there was a reason he had to study medicine (laughing) the ministry has been fine and fulfillment comes from doing what God wants you to do.
As a pastor and a mother how have you been able to balance both?
Trusting God with a lot of planning and balancing things has been my formula
What do you cherish most about your hubby?
Sincerity and Honesty is the most transparent aspect of him and as a Christian that should be the hallmark of being Christ like
Does that make him your role model?
Yes he is my role model
What’s special about his special delicacy?
Everybody in church probably knows a lot about his special meal “Okro Onitsha and Pounded yam” because he talks about it a lot, it’s like asking who the president of Nigeria is. The Okro soup we make here I think is the best with some anointed spices to fill you for a long day
Do you enjoy shopping?
Yes and No. I mean my hubby does most of my shopping.
What in your opinion is the secret to a long lasting Marriage?
FRIENDSHIP! To be very real, we are very close, we are friends in short so much so that the first day we met at the camp, we gisted till 2am. On the third day after meeting I told my friend I have found my husband but I told her not to tell anyone in order not to send a wrong signal. We connected so much as friends, which I feel is a major successful ingredient in marriage. We found out that we attended the same church and primary school. I come from a family of six girls and his mom recognized me as that little girl in church.
I want to advise people to be friends before going into marriage, which I think a lot, is happening now. I mean HE SHOPS FOR ME LIKE ITS MY FRIEND SHOPPING FOR ME AND THIS MY FRIEND IS MY HUBBY AND HE MOSTLY GETS THE RIGHT THINGS.
Are you involved in any charity organization?
When we were in America I was involved in one but back here I’m still putting things in place, I love to work with children its something I always have in my heart to do but for now we do things in the church for children part of which brought about the acronym ABUJA which means Advancing Boldly Under Jesus-Authority. We are involved in various community social responsibilities donating over 10,000 morning devotions, giving out free CDs where we encourage people to pass on after listening.
What wouldn’t you go a day without?
To be honest with you I wash everyday. I enjoy keeping a place clean most people who come around can attest to that and of because we pray and do other religious things but I don’t want to sound too religious