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I AM BEST MAGAZINE: Interview with Paul Bamikole



"My works had been viral on different websites that published my works and even on Google..." This was said by Paul Bamikole during an exclusive, interactive, educative and an intensive interview with him at his residence in Suleja of Niger State, Nigeria. This interview was done by a team of I am Best Networks led by the Company's manager Mr Samuel Shekwogaza Bwari on Saturday, 28th January 2017. Paul Bamikole is a devoted Christian (Lover of God), he is an author, he authored Trees by The River. He is a professional dancer, an orator, teacher, motivational speaker in-fact, he is a bunch of gift to humanity. His quotes have been used by different organizations and institutions within and outside Africa. His works have gone viral and he has affected lives around the globe. This interview is aimed at affecting lives positively including you reading this right now with the life's experience, works and philosophies of Mr Paul Bamikole. 
Read the full interview below after this cut:




Paul Bamikole Joseph hails from Ondo State(Akoko South). He attended JEFAP and Comprehensive Schools in Suleja, Niger State, Nigeria and he has a certificate in Computer Science. During the interview in his words he told I am Best Networks that: “Giving up was dysfunctional.” He added that he grew up with his grandmother in the village and it was adventurous and was fun. In his words- “Growing up in the village shaped me but Christ modelled me.” Bamikole was a drug addict and when he was asked how he met Jesus Christ, he explained... “It was one morning; I woke up and went to take marijuana with my friends and all of a sudden I turned back and didn’t go again.” He told I am Best Networks that a VOICE clearly spoke to him and he heard the VOICE clearly talking to him about changing his ways and following Christ. He pointed out that nobody came to preach Jesus to him physically before accepting Him but He was convicted by the divine voice of God. On his journey of life, he met with Jide Santana who owned a Computer School and according to Bamikole, Mr Jide contributed to who he is today. Jide Santana who is not a pastor but a true and dedicated Christian who has made impact, affected souls became a role model to Paul Bamikole Joseph. Bamikole according to hm, he said he has been called to teach people, educate and enlighten. He is a writer and a dancer too. He started Crystal Company in Suleja. Crystal Company was the first non-denominational dance group in Suleja and Bamikole was the founder. He further added that he does Freelance teaching, Pattern dance teaching, he organises events for people all for a living....
The interview was interactive and educative between I am Best Networks and Paul Bamikole Joseph. He continued by telling what inspired Ground Zero – a quarterly program he does to teach and inspire people and also how it all began. Read the rest of it below...
I AM BEST NETWORKS: What inspired Ground Zero?
BAMIKOLE -Hmmm what inspired Ground Zero? Ahh will say what inspired Ground Zero is the need to enlighten people… to actually empower people. Like if you look at our own world, lots of people with potentials and talent, how much are they doing with it? And even those who claim to have been enlightened to a point, I found out that they are not really enlightened as they should be. Especially as a believer most of the things we do, are not the way they ought to be done, for me is like we fall short naturally and we fall short spiritually, so the reason why we started Ground Zero is to serve as a platform to enlighten and empower people, especially young people. By the grace of God we have been able to do so… this would have started four-five years ago but because of the general fear…. (Laughs) it got to me too and how we are going to go about it… the fear of inadequacies especially. Like I do not have what it takes to pull this off, eventually God has His way around things… no matter how we try to avoid things; He does not care if you are forty. If he wants you to do it you will do it. You are the one that will suffer the consequences for not starting earlier. I found out that this is what God is calling me to do, to be someone who will bring his light to the area of insight. Because I believe a man cannot operate beyond what he knows. And I think it is a universal law for everybody, no matter who or what you are. So what inspired ground zero was the need… (laughs) (I don’t want to start talking about spiritual things) just to enlightened and inspire people to discover their God given abilities and potentials.
I AM BEST NETWORKS- what criteria do you use in selecting the people you invite?
BAMIKOLE  - The way we do it is this…, I believe this town is blessed with so much, I use to tell people Suleja is a ticking time bomb and is set to go off anytime and their are people who are hiding, they have been blessed with so much and personally I think we ought to bring them out and showcase them. And I think one of the reasons why they are not coming out is that they don’t believe they have something to offer and the world is dying to hear from them. One of the ways is that… (Chuckles) sorry to bring scriptures. When Saul the King wherever he goes and he sees a young man who is well endowed, strong and agile, he recruit him into his army. So that what I do basically like I see someone who has something to offer, has something to say, even though we are not friends I walk up to the person and say ok we have this thing and we will like you to come and be a blessing to us and those that will be at the event and, they will be like ‘I don’t think I really can do it…’  just come, just come… there is always a first time for everything , that’s what we have been doing. In most of the SPEAK most of the people you see are people you have never seen before, like we gave Pastor Paul, Paul Karl the first platform to minister in this town and other young people… that if you see them you will be wow have they been Pastors for several years? And they have so much to offer and so much to say but they’ve not been saying anything. The way we have been selecting them is that personally I go to an event i see this person ministering... Personally you have to touch me first, when you have blessed me and I think the way this person have blessed me he can also bless someone else and again I meet people, when walk up to you I ask a lot of questions. The first thing I ask is why do you do what you do? Some people can talk but their lifestyle does not match, so we want someone that when people have heard from him and they now see him in another place, offstage they can really say ‘wow this person is for real’, his lifestyle matches what he preaches. These are some of the criteria we use in choosing people, we do a lot of investigation.
I AM BEST NETWORKS- What gave birth to the name Ground Zero?
 BAMIKOLEHmmm the name Ground Zero stems from the Beginning… Ground Zero is the start off point. The Bible in the Book of Genesis 11 says that the whole earth was of one language and they were moving as one and they came to a place, a plain land there was nothing, they call it the Plain of Dura and they said let’s build something. I tell people that there are a lot of lessons to be drawn from the Book of Genesis 11, the only thing that made God stop the work was the motive behind it. It was an act of rebellion against God, they didn’t say let us build to the glory of God… let’s build something that can challenge God,let’s show God who we are, for their own selfish interest and it was against the will of God, because God said spread  and they wanted to gather in one place and do their own thing, an act of rebellion against God. So Ground Zero is the starting point, Christianity began from a Ground Zero, Jesus Christ said ‘you shall be witnesses unto from Jerusalem, then Judea, Samaria and to the outermost part of the earth’. So Ground Zero is wherever you have been called to begin what God has called you to do, wherever your vision begin from, wherever you start implementing your idea is your Ground Zero. Another Ground Zero is the valley of the dry bones, spoken of in Ezekiel 37 where there was no life and God began to raise an army from that same spot, that’s a Ground Zero. Ground Zero is your garage; your store room where you throw all your unwanted stuff and God is saying this place where there are unwanted things is the place where He wanted to build something, that’s what Ground Zero is about.
I AM BEST NETWORKS- Is it your vision that anybody that comes to  Ground Zero event it should be a starting point for something new in his/her life?
BAMIKOLE- Actually that wasn’t it. Like when Mr Kenneth Sunday was talking to me and he was like ‘that was also my Ground Zero’ I was like wow I didn’t know. One thing I always relate with him is his sincerity; he is very open hearted and sincere. Personally I love sincere people, eventhough I may not be too sincere sometimes… (Laughs) I envy that in him, I never knew it was his Ground Zero… not until we met the last time and we were talking… I didn’t know. Often times we give people the platform at the end of the day when they start telling us their stories we find out it’s their first time. Like Mercy Royalty she spoke at the second one we had for last year at Voice Of Faith and she spoke so well, there was this grace with the way she delivered, people were like who is this girl? Who is that sister? And I was just smiling and when I spoke to her she was like ‘thank you for the platform; this is my first time…’ (and I said) this is your first time? (Laughter) is not like we just go ask ‘is this your first time? Oya come!’…  Is not as if we go and audition people, it’s just that by divine arrangement most of them it’s their first time… it’s just God.
I AM BEST NETWORKS- The first one I attended was titled SPEAK, is it that every Ground Zero event has a theme?
BAMIKOLE- SPEAK is an event on its own, the one you attended at Voice Of Faith was ‘freemen’ that was the theme. SPEAK is an acronym for ‘Solving Problems Existing Anywhere through Knowledge’, and one wonderful thing again is that it’s not like I sat down and thought of the name just like the name Ground Zero, I didn’t seat down to crack my brain to look for a sweet name like most people will do and I didn’t go to God in prayer and said give us a name. I was just listening to someone’s testimony on TV and I can’t even remember… talking about his encounter and the name just came and immediately I wrote it down and base on the work God has given us to do this is our starting point, so Ground Zero it is… We said it, it wasn’t official, that was how the name stuck. It was immediately after we came up with the name that revelations started coming to confirm the name. So it was with SPEAK, the way SPEAK just came I was thinking and the name just came up… solving problems existing anywhere through knowledge. So I believe it was the Holy Spirit that inspired it. So that was how we came up with the name. So SPEAK is an event on its own, I think we have had about seven SPEAK since the inception of Ground Zero.
I AM BEST NETWORKS- Is it that SPEAK is subsidiary under Ground Zero?
BAMIKOLE- It is an event organised by Ground Zero. Just like Living Faith - Shiloh, organised by Living Faith every year, so also is SPEAK.
I AM BEST NETWORKS- Are there other events?
BAMIKOLE- We started one this year, it’s a vigil program and it’s called Rainbow. The theme of the one we did … it was done yesterday, 27th of January 2017. The theme was I DARE, I dare u! it’s called Rainbow because of the covenant God has with humanity, when the first world was destroyed, God said I am putting a sign in the sky whenever you see it, it will remind you and remind you of the covenant with me and what I did to the old world. So it’s a sign of covenant and when we see rainbow it’s a sign of relief, sign of hope that okay God will not do this kind of wicked thing again, to us as to destroy the earth with flood and also there is also a saying that at the end of every rainbow there is a pot of gold. And everyone is seeking the pot of gold but the way most people go about seeking and trailing their rainbow for the pot of gold is in the wrong way.Rainbow is sign of hope and relief. We want to tell people that you can be successful, you can be great, you can be all that God has called you to be, in fact exceeding your own expectation but God wants your greatness to be on His own terms. I believe greatness is a command; we have no choice than to be great. It’s not like we are just desiring it. It is commanded in the scriptures; ‘…arise and shine’ it’s not an appeal, it’s a command. It’s commanded by God.
I AM BEST NETWORKS- Despite your challenges, what is the word from God that keeps you moving?
BAMIKOLE- I caught a word from my discipler one day when I walked up to him feeling discouraged to confront my challenges then. When I spoke with him about it he told me ‘’ If you can forget yourself to an idea to the extent of dying for it then nothing will be called impossible for you” I did not write it down but the statement has  not left me for a second, anytime I feel challenged, I reflect on that statement, the only time I back off anything is when I sense that God is saying NO on what I want to do. Apart from this, I don’t pull out, odds and money has never stopped me from doing anything. My anchor and encouragement mainly is the scriptures such that, at every point God will send a scripture to serve as an encouragement and comfort at every turn but the words my discipler said to me is stocked in my heart like a signpost that whenever I remember it, I feel more encouraged  and never give up and he really proved it to me with his life, I saw him put action to his word, before my very eyes he built his business from nothing to an empire and I also saw him give away this empire and I witnessed what came out of it at the end of the day. It worked for him and from the books I have read it works and it’s also working for me.
I AM BEST NETWORKS – Talking about books, what is your reading culture like?  
BAMIKOLEMost people have a time they allocate to reading but I don’t. When I first came into this town (Suleja) I could not speak or communicate with other language except Yoruba. My quest to learn and adjust to my new habitation improved my communication skills a lot and that inspired me to want to read so as to learn more and I was virtually reading every write up around including picking up papers on the ground to read. My mind was hungry for knowledge and coupled with the fact that I hated being laughed at, because of my inability to speak good English that of course inspired me to read books, newspapers and novels so as to improve. When I got born again I began to narrow my mind to specific books to help me grow I started with the Bible, then, self-help and motivational books. I also fell in love with books written as Biographies. I also read from the internet to be impacted and inspire others from what I read. Basically, I can’t say this is when I read but all I can say is that I’m always reading and it’s my lifestyle.
I AM BEST NETWORKS – Which writer(s) can you  say have influenced you the most?
BAMIKOLE – The first author that really influenced me was Napoleon Hill because I read the book over and over again. Another author that has inspired me is George S. Clason“Richest man in Babylon” and several others but Napoleon Hills stand out. James Allen the author of “As A Man Thinketh” also has inspired me.
I AM BEST NETWORKS –Which book in particular can you say was a turning point for you?
BAMIKOLEUmm “Ablaze for God” by Wesley Dowels served as a turning point for me. I read it simultaneously with “God’s Generals” and it served as my turning point to work with God and I started desiring more of God’s work. Wesley Dowels book was entirely what inspired my turning point to work for God.
I AM BEST NETWORKS – You mentioned earlier that you write on social media, what is your write-ups about?
BAMIKOLEMy writings cut across all works of life ranging from Philosophy, Medicine, Botany and other things in general. Sometime last year, in the field of Medicine, I wrote something on the internet and some medical facilitators in Europe and America have been using some of materials on their websites as their opening captions like this one quote I made “see a man as good luck and that is what he becomes and see him as bad luck and he becomes your headache”. As simple as this quote is, immediately I posted it on net, it went viral and it attracted most organizations to even include it in documents they send as PDF. I also write about dance, in 2014 the official page for World of Dance used one of my stuffs as their opening line. I also touch on Military and Justice, like the Indonesia Court of Law used one my materials two years ago, I can tell you that many things like love, friendship, marriage and several others.

I AM BEST NETWORKS - Do they acknowledge your writings?
BAMIKOLEYes, they do because my name is always there.
I AM BEST NETWORKS – How is the feedback?
BAMIKOLEThe feedback has been awesome because I receive calls around the globe to appreciate my work and most times to just associate with me. My audience are huge in Europe and Asia with a few in Africa as funny as it may sound because I’m an African. This concentration is evident on my social media accounts like most of my followers on Twitter and Instagram are whites of different and prestigious institutions, like I have a group Abraham Lincoln’s friends (from Cambridge University) following me on Twitter and also faculty of Engineering students from an European institution came up with a website to inspire Engineers in Europe and most what they compiled included my works. So most of the response I get from people is amazing and at times some wonder if I’m the character behind the acts (works). Someone like El-Samson who is a huge fan of mine on facebook met me in Abuja and knowing that he didn’t know me in person, I asked if he know Paul Bamikole and he was like yes, the guy is great and rained praises on me, so I told him this is me and I could see him astounded from his looks doubting if I truly was Paul Bamikole on Facebook and afterwards he embraced me. Talking about how my write ups have influenced people, I think it has positively worldwide and I count it a favour and privilege from God to have influence a wide range of people like Politicians, Entrepreneurs, Students and even the United Nation. So it’s indeed a great blessing from God to have influenced different classes of people through my writings.
I AM BEST NETWORKS – how do you get inspiration to write?
BAMIKOLEFirst of all I get my inspiration from the Holy Spirit, because he gave me the sound mind to always think which is a spirit (Sound Mind) as mentioned in the scriptures. The sound mind I received enables me to think, read and understand things differently. Most of the things I do I get my inspiration from the Holy Spirit like when I first wrote a poem I didn’t and couldn’t explain how it happened but I was told it was a poem when a friend went through it so, full credit for inspiration goes to the Holy Spirit. 
I AM BEST NETWORKS- Talking about your followership back here in Africa I mean home, what does it tell you about people interest in seeking knowledge?
BAMIKOLE- Africa is still growing and so is our reading culture, infact this generation is gradually waking up, I was talking to some people that when I started writing on facebook, it wasn’t because I wanted to be famous or show the world that am a genius NO, I had this culture of always scribbling on my books and I had journals that I was compiling  and I just thought of dishing my write-ups out on facebook as a platform, as I was doing that I got an invitation to be a co-author of a website that publish and subsequently more invites were coming. Unknown to me, my works had been viral on different websites that published my works and even on goggle I saw a lot of my works published on different sites I really was amazed about all these developments. How those write-ups got to these sites I can’t fathom up till date but all I deduce from it is that it is God’s own way of announcing me. Personally, I adapt a style of writing that is foreign, so I thought of using a name that is of foreign decent but the Holy Spirit countered that thought and I decided to use my own name Paul Bamikole
I AM BEST NETWORKS- what is wealth to you?
BAMIKOLE- For me, wealth is influence. I think this is the notion where young people get it wrong. Wealth is influence such that if you have influence, you don’t stop what you are doing and you keep looking for creative ways to improve and reach out to people, to equally be a blessing to the society, eventually wealth will come seeking you that is, the monetary asset that most see as wealth will come seeking you. Talking about influence, it is fame, the Bible says that ‘’Jesus Christ was so wise and that He spoke with so much wisdom and authority that it was only natural for His fame to be noised and brought abroad”. I love King Solomon in the Bible because of his wisdom and when his people saw how wise their king was, they carried the news abroad and it served as the internet of those days. Another intriguing thing about King Solomon was his writings. I was at a point very ambitious to out-write King Solomon because of the wisdom he devoted to writing. Solomon wrote about a lot of things that is, he covered a lot of subjects like Medicine, Botany, Zoology and so many things you can think of. He was the first Philosopher in the scripture. One notable thing about his life is that as far as his influence went people came from both far and near to seek him. His influence equally attracted so many and important personalities like Queen of Sheba and king of Tyre. So to me, influence is wealth you might make money in your business but to me that does not mean you are rich. So when you talk about rich people, it doesn’t mean they have money but the people they have is what makes them rich and those they have been able to bless. In short, if a man lacks influence then he is poor and again it depends on the influence you have too. There is positive and negative influence you and I think having positive influence on people is true wealth.
I AM BEST NETWORKS – what is the vision you have for your ministry?
BAMIKOLEI really envisage being a blessing to people all over the world especially in Africa. I look forward to as my vision to see Christians wake up to do what they have been called to do because what we have is lots of religion with NO POWER and we are stereotyped to power where one can lay hands on the dead and they wake up that’s power for some. Africa is so stripped with mysticism and superstitious believes and all that thus, seeing power from the supernatural realm like if you can perform magic or miracle (like part the red sea) that is power but in the 21st century that is not what power is about, power today is about, influence and it’s about making decision to affect lives. I look forward to a time in Africa when Christians will rise to a position that every decision they make will impact the world generally starting from their nations then Africa continent and the world at large. There is no way this can be achieved except the system is interrupted, because right now the system we have is the system of religion, which does not take empowerment serious and also the quest for knowledge is not taken to be a serious thing, Christians also don’t take skill acquisition serious except few that are trying, on this the majority outnumber the minority. So I look forward to a time when we will be able to reach people on a large scale because I believe that we will win souls more easily if we have the influence. We will definitely get there when we understand the process and completely submit to Christ. It is only when we understand what we have (the Holy Spirit, Christ and the Bible) that we will be able to create influence on others. My vision is to see this generation make a difference among other generations that have been here. If we are relaxed this generation won’t be better than others that have existed because we have been handed the old baton and doctrine of doing things. Therefore to become a better  generation, there must be an interruption in the system and that is my vision to be the interrupting line and also rise people to create a divide between the old and new. I’m not talking about discarding the landmark (ancient path of Christianity) but to fall back to that ancient path so as to get it right by doing that which Christ has called us to do one of which is to influence nations for him. So my vision is to come to a point where we can really affect people both individually and collectively to attract other nations in Africa. I want to redeem the prestige of Africa, you know she witnessed education first I mean education began in Africa but we have been made to look like fools for centuries because we abandon our quest for knowledge and I want to see this come back to Africa . There is no way any nation will not suffer if Christians keep neglecting what they are called to do.  God did not author slavery, God does not permit oppression of any kind but we saw that the church profited from slavery for so long a time and no one questioned it until some people came up like William Wilberforce and they challenged the norm to the point of laying down their lives for the practice to stop and even when they were gone others rose up to continue their fight which in the end they won. The price they paid is what we are enjoying today as free beings. The likes of Martin Luther of Germany, John Knox and the rest stood up to challenge what the world saw as a normal thing, God used them to break us free from the tyranny of Catholism. It’s in line with this that my vision springs to see this generation rise up to challenge so many things that are done wrongly, I believe that this is the age of controversy and this will be the most controversial generation because we are going to rise up and challenge everything we have been told is true but is against our conscience which has no scriptural foundation. So, this is the vision.
I AM BEST NETWORKS – what would you want to be remembered for?
BAMIKOLE I want to be remembered as a lover, someone who loved people enough to rise up and give them a voice and made impact in their lives. I want to leave a mark where people will say if not for Paul Bamikole, I wouldn’t have been able to do this. Mainly a lover. 

You may connect with Paul Bamikole via Facebook: Paul Bamikole
Twitter: @ordinarypaul
Cover design by OG9 - Olagraphics9ja.

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