Before I delve into the main content of this piece, I think it’s appropriate for me to give a preamble.

You see, I have grown up to know my dad as quite a traditional man. One who holds on dearly to cultural Yoruba values that encourages love, respect, education, peace, and family bond. And him being a Man of God has, to a large degree, enhanced his desire to vehemently hold on to those values.

Of those values, family bond is one that’s been quite prominent in recent times(years). The man carries family on his head like there’s no tomorrow. It is why part of his favorite passages in the Bible is Acts 2:42–47. He’s an avid fan of communal living, both in the immediate family, and the church. Communal living that’s full of Love, and devoid of strife.

So, a few weeks ago, during family devotion/fellowship, one of us(the Children) talked on God’s reckless love. Of course, while recapping, family bond came up again. In that period when we were recapping what had been taught, I thought of the Mike-Bamiloye Family. And all I could see was how that family is currently embodying a lot of the things my dad had taught us about Family. It was also at that moment I got the leading to write this.

The first Mount Zion Movie I remember watching was: Wounded Heart. I can’t remember how old I was, but I watched that movie in VHS format. At the time, my childish, immature, mind couldn’t exactly comprehend the lessons the movie tried to teach. All I know is that, it was the gateway to the series of other Mount Zion Movies I will go on to see in my tender years.

Overtime, I saw Captives of the mighty, Just a little sin, Busy but Guilty, Apoti Eri, Covenant Child, Esin Ajoji, etc. But there was one movie that eventually(and clearly) resonated with my teenage self. The title of the movie is: The Youthful Lusts. That movie was timely. It came at a time my teenage self was becoming more aware of his environment.

Damilola Mike-Bamiloye in The Youthful Lusts

Apart from the exquisite timing of the movie, there’s another significant feature from the movie, The Youthful Lusts. I saw Damilola Mike-Bamiloye take his first lead role in a movie. I remember going through the casts, and seeing that the boy who acted as Tope is the son of Mike Bamiloye. It was more interesting to me that this boy actually wrote the movie. I believe that movie did set the tone for what was to come for the ministry: A full incorporation of family into the ministry.

With time, I started to see a little bit more of Damilola Mike-Bamiloye in movie credits. Becoming more observant, I was also seeing Joshua Mike-Bamiloye. Honestly, it was cool to see. Everyone already knew Daddy and Mummy, but now seeing Children actively engaging (in the background) was quite admirable.

Until I joined Instagram(in 2017), I didn’t know there was a Mike-Bamiloye Daughter. I remember seeing her images and thinking, “She’s Gorgeous”. I was impressed by her spoken word poetry; The consistency of her art is clutch. Darasimi Mike-Bamiloye is Elite, guys. She is Elite.

Joining Instagram also exposed me to more elite works by Joshua, and Damilola. Somehow, some way, Mike and Gloria Bamiloye were able to get ALL their children to be actively involved in the ministry. But guess what? It didn’t end there. This chain bond is extending. It is not just extending, it looks to be extending well.

Damilola and Joshua are now married to two beautiful women, Emmanuella, and Tolu. — Funny how those are my names too. Hahaha!

I thoroughly admire how both ladies have transitioned into the family (and ministry). I admire their courage to be visible. Maybe it is just me, but I think coming into such popular family, and being visible to the world, in such a short period, takes a lot of courage.

Both have already played lead/support roles in two powerful movies(Gbemi and The Train) . Also, the work that’s being done with the Show(they anchor), True Talk, is magnificent. The vulnerability, timeliness, and relativity, of the conversations that have happened on that Show are helping many people all over the world. I hope that Show lives long, and evolves according to God’s will.

I am hitting the crescendo of this piece, and I will like for you to take lessons from this family.

The model the Mike-Bamiloye family seem to currently exude is a microcosm of what was very much rampant in Yoruba Culture. I remember reading(and not finishing) a book by Toyin Falola, and he mentioned a term, Agbole.

The idea of Agbole epitomized unity and bond between extended family members. Family members, no matter how large, knew each other thoroughly. They lived together, ate together, shared proceeds together, etc. In the book, I saw suggestions of how a man who just got married didn’t necessarily have to leave his father’s house. The man and his wife would be allocated a room or quarters within the Agbole, if they wanted.

For Christians, we see this model play out in the book of Acts. Believers regularly gathered together as a family, they ate together, talked together, shared proceeds together, they practically did everything together. Members of this union never lacked good welfare.

As I am currently learning, and as members of the Mike-Bamiloye Family(and any other family genuinely replicating a similar model) can testify, achieving AND sustaining a strong bond(filled with love and respect) between family members requires a lot of hard work and intentionality from parties involved.

There will be anger, there will be fights, even more so as the family begins to expand(in numbers, knowledge, and wealth), but it requires the Love of God not to allow those fights, and anger, besmirch the family bond with strife, bitterness and unforgiveness.

If you have gotten here, thank you.

I do hope you find treasures in between these coalition of words. I do hope you see how important Family is. I do hope that your heart is moved to actively walk in Love with your Family members (whether it’s your parents, your siblings, your in-laws, or whoever you consider as Family).

And if you feel some form of deep hurt towards any member of your family, please, realize that as a Believer, the Love of God has been spread abroad in your heart. Begin to exercise that Love, walk in forgiveness, and find peace within you.

God bless you. I pray that you experience Joy all the days of your Life, in Jesus name. Amen.

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