Wednesday, 13 April 2016

What my child-kidnapping saga taught me about Life – Bisi Dan Musa (Bisket)


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The GDA meets the legendary Bisket in one of her posh homes in Lagos
Trying to get Lady Evangelist Bisi Dan Musa (Bisket) talk to a blogger could be the diciest assignment one could get involve in. In the 80s and 90s, this charming beauty of Ijebu Ode, Ogun state (South West Nigeria) descent made headlines with her business and beauty. Bisket who hails from a lineage where enterprise and wealth creation is a DNA enjoyed the bliss of social life for three straight decades before she tasted the bitter pill that is accustomed to the vicissitudes of life especially with those who ply new routes and dare genius stuff.

For Bisket who is the first Nigerian female celebrity to run a twenty-four hour multi-purpose super market in Lagos under her Bisket Stores trademark on Allen AvenueIkeja in the 8os and 90s up to year 2000, it was initially a roller coaster journey until she ran into a major crisis that nearly consumed her in 2001 when wild allegations flied into town in the early part of the year that the very industrious woman was involved in child trafficking runs.
The story was odd to those who knew Bisket for who she was—a conscientious business woman with high appetite for philanthropy and concern for the welfare of destitute and special children in the society. But to those who choose to hate her gut, it was an opportunity to lay claim, albeit falsely, to the source of Bisket’s unlimited wealth and culture of good life.   To them, Bisket must have been renewing her inherited wealth with the blood of those young souls found in her care. The whole drama of the absurd started one afternoon when it was alleged that a police man in Ikeja area of Lagos arrested a bus purportedly coming from Kwara State (Her former abode) with a number of children buried under some untenable condition in the vehicle. The vehicle was subsequently arrested and the driver dropped Bisket’s name as the owner of the children cargo. But before getting to the police to explain her side of the matter, and defend herself as a genuine minder of society destitute, the case has been twisted with an intention for mob action. Hence, the biggest drama of the year began, although a lot of eminent Nigerians including lawyers and journalists stood to Bisket’s defense but like the Biblical Jesus, she was destined for the cross, and for over four years, her vision was hanged on the cross of wrong accusation with her emotion crushed. Not until three and a half years later that she was discharged and acquitted by a Lagos magistrate court. The following year, under the regime of Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a government fiat released her “Children” to her. It was then, she started gathering a bit of the shattered piece of her life back.
In this no hold barred encounter with your Africa’s number 1 celebrity encounter blog, Asabeafrika, Bisket opened a memoir-like storyline of her unforgettable narrative of love, passion, wealth, deceit and betrayal. It is almost like a fairy-tale story; only on Asabeafrika. Enjoy

Bisket @ a recent outing in Lagos

Ma, you suddenly went out of the social circle after your 2001 persecution and allegation of child dealing which was later found to be untrue. What are the lessons you learnt from that episode of your life?
I believe in the journey of life God will always take you through different phases. There was a time in (Biblical) Joseph’s life that God gave him a vision and the vision back fired upon him and he went solo like I did. But that did not deny God’s covenant upon his life and the vision was made manifest. When God wanted him to go solo, he went solo. When God wanted him as a slave he became one. When God wanted him in prison, he was in prison but the promise of God upon him initially, was never missed. And those channels of sufferings became the channels through which God elevated him. A vision is like a divine promise; before something can materialize in your life, you and God must share a vision together; he will first give you a vision, not necessarily in a dream. It may be an idea in your heart, it may be something that you visualize that is coming to you and you are excited about it. I learnt a lot from my own predicament and today, I am strong for it.

“There were stages in my life when I questioned God that “Are you really existing?”  Because what I went through, I cannot be saying it in the papers. I have gone through a lot; I am somebody who has been able to pass through hell and back to planet earth”.

'This is Bisket'

Before your 2001 crisis, did you ever had the premonition that such a thing will happen to you and how did that affected your humanitarian gesture?  
If I knew that was going to be my lot, I will not enter into it definitely. But you see, Jesus had a premonition of his cross experience and even when God was about to take him to the predicament that will unleash the glory upon him, He cried to God and said “can this cup pass over me?” Nobody would be happy to pass through what I passed through. Because it was a very terrible episode of my life and it is still affecting my children up till now. I must tell you the truth, some people will see them and begin to abuse them; they will say “Omo Gbomo-gbomo”, don’t you know their mother? Their mother is selling children to make money etc”. And it makes them sad, and they still see these children (destitute) around me and it makes them sad the more; they will say “Mummy, why are you like this?” and I will say “Man cannot scare me off God’s mission in my life”. That the more I move into my vision, the more I identify with God’s plan for me and the more Man’s vituperations means nothing to me. Satan knew God’s plan for Joseph even though Joseph saw the vision but he could not envisage the enormity of that vision. He thought it was just about eleven stars and one moon; he thought it was only his siblings that were going to bow for him but that were not the case for him. An entire nation bowed before him and even his own father bowed for him, his generation bowed for him and the nation of Egypt acknowledged him as a leader. So the devil saw the vision and was ready to frustrate Joseph out of his mission in life but Joseph’s wisdom saved him if not, he would have slept with his master’s wife and misplace the vision because the Bible said “My eyes cannot behold evil”. He would have committed evil by fornicating and God would have taken His eyes off Joseph’s cause.  And immediately God take His eyes off your cause, you are finished, your vision is dead. Some visions start good and die along the line because Satan’s own plan for you is to lose the vision and what he would do is to destabilize you and you will say “God, are you still there?”. There were stages in my life when I questioned God that “Are you really existing?”  Because what I went through, I cannot be saying it in the papers. I have gone through a lot; I am somebody who has been able to pass through hell and back to planet earth.

Bisket in her olden days beauty

The Prayer Point that turned things in my favor…
“I have gone through a lot and when I look at things I just asked God, “what is really the problem? Is it bad to be good?” then it got to a stage something just ministered to me that “talk to God” and immediately I talked to Him, things started changing. I said “God, don’t let the unbeliever ask me where is my God?” My friends that did not serve You the way I am serving You, don’t let them be better than me”. I was not praying that way before, I was just accepting my faith like Job, that God will change things. But when I saw that the whole thing was getting to my children too, I could not play the role I needed to play for them as a mother, I now told God. And there was nobody, nobody; nobody, nobody, nobody. You only see people when they want to take from you, you don’t see them when things are bad. Nobody came for me in my trying moments; I now turned to my God. Something ministered to me, because I love reading books especially inspirational books. So, I read a pastor’s book who said, “Sometimes you need to claim your right before God”.

“But when I saw that the whole thing was getting to my children too, I could not play the role I needed to play for them as a mother, I now told God. And there was nobody, nobody; nobody, nobody, nobody. You only see people when they want to take from you, you don’t see them when things are bad”.
Madam Bisket  in a rare pose wit the GDA

How Ashimolowo’s book changed my Prayer Life…
Can you mention the Pastor’s name?
 I read quite a lot of books but one man of God I respect a lot, he may not even know I read his books a lot; he is Pastor Mathew Ashimolowo. I have never seen him physically one-to-one but I have seen him from afar. We are neighbors on Allen Avenue. His structure is opposite mine (Natty Media/Just Bible, 71, Allen Avenue while hers is 70, Allen Avenue). Sometimes he will come and pack his car in front of my building when he is paying salaries and he will just stay in his car writing cheques,  in front of my place, and I will be looking at him and tapping into his anointing. I see him as a young man that has vision because he came from nowhere and he believed in himself that he will achieve and he achieved. So, there was a time I was really down and there was this book he wrote “One Thousand Prayer Points”, I took it home and I started reading it; even some of my children don’t joke with the book. Even when we are in England, we always tune to any station Ashimolowo is preaching. He has an evangelical station in England and we are always glued to that station for inspiration. There are many of them like that; I only pick him as a Nigerian. He is the only one from Nigeria that I watch. I have many of such faith preachers in America and the UK, I can mention over 20 Pastors I don’t play with, I study them, I listen to their sermon. And it was from one of them that I heard that sometimes you just don’t accept what life throws at you, you have to tell God that you are in pain. So, I now looked in and said “father, the time has come, you got to change my situation. That the unbelievers should not be better than me, let them see your favor and grace upon me so that they will appreciate the God I am serving”. And immediately, things just changed automatically. That today, when I look at God, I will say ‘I don’t know why Jesus loves me; I don’t know why He cares’. Because I see His love all over me, I see his favor, grace upon me. I see now, that I am a mother that even my kids are very proud of. They are proud of me as their mother and I am proud of them as my children, they are proud of the God I serve, that I could be able to tell my adversaries to ‘shot up’  and could even do things beyond my thinking like I told you earlier that I just gave out my property worth  N8 Million to someone, my children raised their voice  at me and said “Mummy, but we can use that money to do something” and I said “Shot up, don’t question my God. We can’t have everything. Some must still go out for charity. That is our own ten percent tithe for us to have more”. That if I give you everything, it will not be as God planned it, we must give out and we must touch lives. Don’t question my discretion. Up till now, they can’t believe why I did that, they are still upset, I don’t care. I said, ‘with time, you will see the results”. One of them said “So, this one too will not thank you?” I said “Do I need their thanks?” I don’t need it; even through all the trial period I went through did I ever send you to anybody to seek help?” God did not allow it, there was always food on our table, there was clothe on our body, we have never been sick, no terminal illness, no hospital bill. He has been faithful, not everything is money. And even moneywise, we have never been poor, we may not be swimming in wealth but we have never been poor either, and they believe me because they are seeing the results now. They are seeing the favors now; they are seeing the grace being operated around them. Even when they came back from England about four years ago, one of them was telling me, she said “Even those days, I will just sit here and something will just happen suddenly, I don’t know how it Happens” and I will look at her and smile, I said “You don’t know how it happened? That is favor and grace”, it will always be around my generation according to His promise. He will never fail me. 

“God did not allow it, there was always food on our table, there was clothe on our body, we have never been sick, no terminal illness, no hospital bill. He has been faithful, not everything is money”

The GDA & Madam Bisket

Lessons my predicament taught me about life…
Let’s go back to your 2001 child trafficking allegation saga, I believe the experience was one that really changed your perception about people in terms of loyalty. Apart from few prominent Nigerians like the late eminent lawyer, Sola Rhodes and very few others, none of your prominent associates were ready to vouch for you. Why? 
Remi Aboderin (Heavyweight Promoter) and Mayor Akinpelu (Publisher, Global Excellence Magazine) also came out to speak for me. One thing is I thank everyone that came out to defend me and I really appreciated the role every one of the played. Even those who didn’t play any role, I still thank them because I believe it is my cause, it is not their cause. I don’t expect everybody to be hundred percent there because it is not their vision and it is not their cause. Even Jesus Christ, at the last minutes, all his disciples ran away as the cross became too much for them to bear. Even a diehard loyalist like Peter was forced to deny Christ in the face of strong persecution, and he started weeping again after the cock crow, that “ah, can I ever deny this Oga like this?” So, none of them offended me; the one that came out and identified with my cross, I thank them. The one that didn’t come out at all, so that they won’t say they are close to “Gbomo-gbomo”, I still thank them. And those who fought for me in the buses…somebody told me, ‘mummy, I slapped somebody in the bus o, they were talking about you and I asked them, ‘do you know her?’ Why should you people be committing offense to God by crucifying an innocent soul?’ That one woman was cursing you and I said “this curse will go back to your head o, because if you know this woman, she can give her eyes out to help people, so you better shot up”. All those people, I thank them. I thank those that up till today I will meet, I don’t know them, they will just stop and cuddle me saying “Ah, Madam Bisket, God bless you, you are a strong woman. I thank God for your life”. Up till tomorrow, people will see me in any part of the world and they will thank God for my life because some people will go through that scenario and they will not survive it; some people will go through it and they are history, they will be out totally. But I went through it and I am still thanking God because this is the woman sitting down and speaking with you. And some people will see me and say “are you the Madam Bisket? Waoh, I am lucky to meet you”. Yes, they are lucky, at least they didn’t meet me on a wheel chair, and they didn’t meet me in a mental home where Satan would have loved to see me and they didn’t meet me in a club house that I am denying God. Or me saying ‘let me start going out maybe I will meet those who will help me’. I am still not going out and favor is still looking for me where I am; I glorify God for it. I still believe in myself but one thing I want to say is that, I have learnt one thing from that episode of my life that you can never rely on human being.  Always put your trust in God and always allow God to be your friend. When He is your friend, no storm can carry you away; it can only shake you but if He is not your friend, because God sees the heart of every man. Some people look at me today and they castigated me, saying she is “gbomo-gbomo” but some of the Pastors they idolize may not be recognized by God. I am not saying God recognized me o, your heart will tell you the truth; Corinthians says “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”.
God’s grace and the Rhodes’ factor…
“The Book of Romans 8:30 says “Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified and whom He justified, these He also glorified”. I will tell people that it is what God calls you that you are, not what people call you. Some women pastors people idolize more than me are nowhere to be found today. I am living by His grace, He can call me anytime but at least, He gave me the opportunity to still be alive. It is the highest gift He can give to any human being. And if He calls me today, I will still say ‘thank You sir, I am ready to go home’. Some people die in travails they don’t know anything about. That is how God wanted it, and they are very holy. I am not even as holy as they are.  So, by His grace, I am not a perfect person, nobody can claim perfection before God. But if He can show mercy upon me and I am still living and I am not a beggar on the street and I can see my children, they are all around me, they are happy and they see me as a good mother, what else do I want from God?. I thank Him for the things He has done, even the things He is yet to do, I am thanking Him for them because I am carrying His vision in my heart and nobody can rob me of that vision. He called me and I answered His call.

The GDA with a portrait of The Great Woman, Bisket

How the late Rhodes brothers stood for me….
“The two Rhodes (Yinka and Shola Rhodes) are God sent. I could not believe it because they died less than a year after my tribulation and they are people I don’t know. I met late Uncle Yinka Rhodes maybe thirty years before that time; when he came to meet me at the station I could not recognize him again. God sent him to me, the brother (Sola) I have never met in my life even though his children are my children’s friends in England but I have never met him yet he came and they put their leg, their neck in my case. It is not a matter of money; God sees them, the two Rhodes. Nobody can beat the records of the role they played in my life, nobody. The role they played in my life, I can’t even thank them; have I seen their families since then? No. God sent them and God will reward them.  Because God used them and He said any vessel He uses, can never be wasted. So, even at my own cause, they are in heaven because if God did not like them, he will not use them. And me, I know the truth about this case; I know in my heart that it is a lie. The whole allegation was fabricated by Satan. I knew it in my heart and if I am the owner of the truth in my heart, definitely God used Rhodes not Satan and God said his tools will not be wasted. Even though they are dead, they are not wasted because of the role they played during my trial period; ordinary human being can not play it. And nobody played that role, everybody tried their own part, a bit, a bit, they withdrew. A bit, a bit, they withdrew. God used everybody little, little, little, but God used the Rhodes; they put their neck, their leg and their body and I know they are instruments of God, not my own instrument. And they passed away immediately after the case, the two elderly Rhodes, may their soul rest in peace.”

(Watch out for another edition of The Bisket Story titled “How Friends & Family reacted to my crisis” on this blog after this time out)

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog

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