Gospel music loses a quiet but remarkable force in Adebayo of 7GospelTracks

The UK recently laid to rest Adebayo Ibukun Samuel Abimbola – a man of profound impact within the community of believers, a dedicated Christian blogger, and a passionate advocate for gospel music artists. Adebayo sadly left us, after bravely facing a brief but challenging battle with cancer. I first came across him from his work with the African Gospel Music & Media Awards (AGMMA), the African Gospel Charts and subsequently as the founder of 7GospelTracks.com. Long may his legacy live on as we continue to pray for his family and loved ones. Here’s a short reflection of our work together:

Adebayo was one of the humblest souls, quiet, yet firm in his convictions. Although always preferring the backstage, Adebayo was a strong force and trailblazer. Back in 2019 we were restless about the state of the UK Gospel scene and were eager to see better infrastructure in place. After one of our many conversations and rather than reinvent the wheel we reached out to numerous members of the Gospel community, including Muyiwa who was gracious enough to allow us to use the Premier Gospel offices for what was only meant to be one meeting. The main concern was whether the Gospel Music Industry Alliance (GMIA) was ‘fit for purpose and the vehicle to carry the developing industry. GMIA co-founder Juliet Fletcher and the board were invited and contributed significantly, allowing us all to better understand the original remit, objectives and future plans. Some of the biggest names in the UK Gospel were in attendance and we were extremely pleased with how serious and passionate everyone was throughout. It got heated at times but we worked through it, as such is the nature of allowing a safe space for big issues. The love for the scene and desire to see the community succeed were enough common ground.

After 3 months of discussions and meetings, several conclusions were reached, of which I wrote at the time, “To say the overall achievement is historic still seems somewhat of an understatement. Such was the power and potential of the decisions reached and the consensus realized.” You can read the article in full HERE. Pictures from one of the meetings can be viewed HERE.

Since that intervention from Adebayo and myself, GMIA seems to be steadily progressing, with new co-chairs, successful workshops and training initiatives and upcoming accreditations. We could easily have gone down a different road but thankfully we chose to build on what was indeed a strong foundation. If we continue to work together there is no limit for the UK’s development as an industry.

Adebayo will always be remembered for his rich contributions to the gospel community and with GMIA expected to deliver great things in the future, he’ll be forever credited with its rebirth. A brother who was as conscientious as he was selfless, a visionary and strategist who also cared deeply about the detail. You gave it your all, every time. RIP Adebayo.  

Adebayo Abimbola was laid to rest on Thursday 7th March 2024. He is survived by his wife and three children.

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