Entertaining Angels | Featured Artiste: Tarrah Ejugbo

For whatever reason, this particular verse has been on replay in my mind:

Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers,
for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!
(Hebrews 13:2 NLT)*

At the same time, I am reminded of that song, "Entertaining Angels" by the Newsboys, which I suspect was culled from the same verse. Thinking of that verse (and song) made me think of the Nigerian culture and hospitality.  I think generally (and I use this loosely), Nigerians are hospitable people.  However, because of a combination of experiences, cultural beliefs and strange stories (some true, some "FABU" a.k.a tales invented to keep naughty children (and agbayas) in check) we are not very welcoming of strangers (Unless they have money; then we call it Trade).

[Guardian Angels
Of course, I am assuming that you know that angels (good and bad) exist.  With the prevalence of gbomo-gbomo (kidnappers) and ritual killings, the last thing on people's minds is entertaining strangers.  I also think it depends on where you live, i.e. city versus village.  Due to factors like higher crime rates and over-population in cities, people tend to be more suspicious, less trusting of people, and consequently, less hospitable (if at all).  

Regardless of where you live, would you take a complete stranger and allow him or her into your home? Very dangerous, isn't it? Or if you were driving along the highway, would you stop to pick up a hitch-hiker? Would your answer be different if you were a woman and the hitch-hiker was a man?  I certainly would NOT stop.  I value my life, and I don't trust strangers, period.  However, the word of God is true, and some people have actually entertained angels, so to speak without knowing it.  So my question is this: How would you be hospitable to strangers without compromising personal security? Or should you even "talk" to strangers, talk less of entertaining them?    

Featured Artiste: Tarrah

Chimatara Ejugbo, also known as "Tarrah" is today's featured artiste.  I came across her song, Amaragi on a day when I was exploring other music sharing websites.  It was on EXFM that I first heard Amaragi, and later learned more about Tarrah on SoundCloud.

Chimatara "Tarrah" Ejugbo / Twitter
The first time I heard this song, I was smitten and I had it on repeat for several days straight.  Discovering the music video on Tarrah's Facebook Page (see below) was icing on the cake for me, especially since it was as I had envisioned it: a mini-Nollywood movie.  As I listened to it over and over again, I finally put my finger on what exactly drew me to this particular song.  Well, as you kuku know, I'll spell out more details in the review section below.  For now though, listen to Amaragi:


Likes:  For the sake of this song, maybe I should have changed this mini-section to "LOVES" but "LIKES" will have to do for now.  I LOVE the chorus! The harmony was perfect and repeating it over and over again ensured that we did not forget the thrust of the message (even though I don't know what Amaragi means).  Tarrah's voice provided the strong lead vocals needed to carry the song forward in stages.  The beauty of her voice was more pronounced within her "comfort zone," i.e. lower notes, notably at the beginning of the verses.  The adlibs also helped to move the song along.

[Music Video Credit: Tarrah's FaceBook Page]

Another aspect I truly loved was the instrumentation, particularly the drums and bass guitar.  They provided that african rhythm, which when coupled with the mostly Igbo lyrics reminded me that what Nigerian (and I daresay, African) gospel musicians can export to the rest of the world is their culture, through music, of course.  The background vocals did not compete with the lead vocalist but their relationship was almost a "call and response" type which is typical of our traditional songs.   Possibly the most important albeit intangible aspect of this song is Tarrah's passion.  I got a good dose of it just listening to the song, but by the time I watched the video, her body language matched the passion in her voice.

Another truly sweet part of the song was the key change after the bridge (I will run and not be weary ... around 2:54).  I was pleasantly surprised when instead of the typical modulation, she switched back to the original key and stayed on course.  LOVED it!  I found myself anticipating that part on repeat listens.  Auto-tune was used sparingly (Thank you Jesus), more like a garnish really. The reverb/echo effect on Tarrah's voice was a plus.  The outro with the stringed instruments, possibly violins, was a creative way of bowing out, and a cheerful way to end the song.   The combination of Igbo and English lyrics was really good and left me wishing I could speak Igbo.  I would appreciate a translation though :-)

Dislikes:  As much as I liked Tarrah's strong vocals, she sounded slightly off key and strained when she sang higher notes.  Those were more pronounced when she adlibbed around the mid-section of the song.  The recording itself sounded muddied and that diminished the enjoyment of the song a bit.  A clearer recording would truly enhance the listerning experience and quality of this song.

Recommendations:  (1) A clearer recording (2) Better vocal control for the higher notes by the lead vocalist, Tarrah.

Here is what I found out about Tarrah:

Artiste's Stage Name: Tarrah

Artiste's Real Name: Chimatara Ejugbo

Connect with Tarrah: Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud

Featured Album / Song: LOVE IS / Amaragi

That's it from me.  Have a lovely rest of the week!

*Bible Verse Credit: Biblegateway

No, I would not entertain strangers of pick strange people in my car. People have lost lives that way in Lagos. The best I can do is describe the way to someone who is lost and trust God to keep me safe in such situations

Into my home ke? No way o. I would not pick a stranger up too. Awon eniyan buburu ti ba eniyan rere je. Offering help would even depend on the place and time and number/type of people around. It only makes sense that you don't offer help when you're alone. I actually find it hard to share my phone number sef (i blame Adam & some freaky pple lol)

Yeah only offer help when you are with someone not alone o, i can't shout!

I know I am a bit too kind hearted for my own good, but letting a total stranger into my home is something I would never do or stopping to pick up a hitchhiker. Life is too sweet to give someone the opportunity to cut it short biko. The world has changed and it is truly a sad thing.

I love the way you reviewed Tarah. This was really professional! Hope you don't mind me asking what you do or are you a full time blogger?

Check out my blog for relationship tips that work.


Tell a friend to tell a friend and have a pleasant week!

These are modern days o... one must be cautious not to mention those who live in Naija... hia

Entertaining angels does not necessary have to be people we do not know. We could start from the very people we know; our neighbours, brethren in church, colleagues at work and so on. With security issues these days, its hard to help strangers; hwoever if we learn to listen to the voice of God on our inside, I am sure we'd hardly get it wrong on the "stranger" that is an "angel" in disguise.


Atilola: I agree.  Safety is important and picking up strangers is unwise and unsafe.  Even giving directions sef, I am reluctant to do, unless there are lots of people around.

Toin: LOL at "Awon eniyan buburu ti ba eniyan rere je."  More like "Eniyan buruku ti n pa eniyan rere je!" (Evil people who destroy good people).  The general rule, like you rightly pointed out, is that there is safety in numbers.  Phone number sharing with strangers? I prefer to err on the side of caution.  LOL at Adam and freaky people.  Na experience dey teach person some hard lessons o.

Jemima: LOL! Me sef, I can't shout ... literally.  Your advice makes a lot of sense because kidnappers and criminals (serial killers, etc) use the "Can you tell me how to get to ABC" as their strategy.  May God keep us, but we need to be vigilant too.

Eddie: I don't blame you for choosing to not allow strangers into your home or picking up hitch-hikers.  That's the wise thing to do, and you're right, life is too precious for such costly decisions.  You would be amazed at how many people make that mistake though.  Being kind-hearted is one thing, but wisdom is necessary to navigate this world every single day.

Thanks for the compliments on the review of Tarrah's song.  It's nice to see someone appreciate my work, even though there's still PLENTY room for improvement with my writing.  No, I don't blog full-time.  I blog in my spare time.  I assume most folks do too.

I'll definitely visit your blog.  Thanks for visiting mine :-)

Nollywood REinvented: You're right.  One needs to be cautious these days as it seems that evil is on the increase.  It definitely pays to be more security conscious regardless of where you live.

LDP:  But if they are people you know, then they can't be angels, can they? LOL! I get your point though.  Personal security trumps the need to offer help to strangers in most cases.  Listening to the voice of God is absolutely necessary, and I trust that He won't lead us into circumstances where our lives are unnecessarily put in danger.  

Considering the current climate in Naija, I'd say keep strangers at bay. There are a lot of informants and floating around as 'stranger'.  Don't withhold kindness but be savvy.

Oluchi Ugwu

I believe we have to keep a balance in being kind and being smart. If God wants to send our angel our way, He'll do it in a manner where we can receive them (as hinted by LDP). For example, angels appeared to Abraham while he was sitting outside his house under a tree, they did not appear to Sarah (a wife inviting male strangers to the house ke??) or inside Abraham's house (guess they wouldn't be strangers then, just angels). 

God knows what our cultures are like and He knows how to talk to us and what will intrigue us (God used burning bush for Moses, I don't know I'll turn twice today if I saw a bush burning). I believe the strangers are meant in a capacity where we can help but we refuse to do so. 

By the way, I know that video is from youtube, but when I search youtube for the song.. nothing. :-/ ?


Oluchi: For real.  I would say the same too.  I LOVE your last sentence.  I think that captures the essence of what we should be working towards. After all, there are people who genuinely need help, but we need to be careful.  

Dayo:  First off, I know that by now you've gotten hold of the video on YouTube.  The version that was here was actually uploaded directly to my blog, and was not on YouTube at the time.  But thankfully, "we" have rectified that.  Thanks for mentioning it jare.

That balance is what I think we need to find.  I like the analogy you drew to Sarah, as per she did not receive male strangers.  You're right.  Your illustration helped me understand your point better. LOL at not turning twice today if you saw a burning bush.  Who knows what else will burn? LOL! I like how you distinguished and pointed out (like Oluchi and LDP did too) that there are people who we will have the power to help, and we just need to remain kind-hearted, but very wise.  Wisdom is the key thing here, in my opinion.  Point noted!


I would love to hear your thoughts. Please Share.

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