Listen the Spirit Is Calling
Songs of praise UK Artist She was a nurse for 30 years, took part in aid mission in Africa, and is a reverend. Now Paulina odongo has release her first CD, and she's told reporter JANE HARRISON all about it When gospel singer Paulina odongo was inspired to follow the voice of the lord, she realised she had found the perfect way to reach people. Inspired by God's words, she could put her own to song fulfilling both her ambitions to join the ministry and word of music. The mother of two who has been singing since the age of six, becoming a reverend since 1990 and has just brought out her first gospel CD: listen, the spirit is calling. Dedicated to her 'precious' late mother princess Duncan, five of the 11 songs are her own and now she is looking for her distributor and recording contract. However, the CD's are available through her church, church of God of prophecy based at west London academy Northolt. A member of the international guild of composers and writers, Paulina sees the CD's as the culmination of her singing during the years. She says "it has a jazz style. I have always admired people like Ella Fitzgerald and the Bill Gaither gospel trio. I have chosen one of the trio's songs because it has such a fantastic harmony. I play the CD in our church and people say it has helped them spiritually and emotionally. One work colleague said it was like honey. This was something I told my mother I always wanted to do and I'm sure she would have been really pleased Her career combination is no surprise as she had already mapped out her path when asked to write an essay for the future at school She recalls "I said I would become a Christian and a youth leader, go to Africa as a missionary - and defiantly sing.", after arriving here from Trinidad and Tobago with her two sisters in 1966 to join their parents Paulina had Brian ferry as an art teacher at the Mary boom school in Hammersmith - she remembers he always wore black - and then she became a nurse for 30years and now a health and social care lecturer. Paulina first started going to church as a youth teenager, ostensibly looking for something to do. "I wanted to see what was going on because I met a woman in the street and she talked about children's activities," she explained "I found my own age group. It was great. We went to the seaside a lot but they also encourage you to use your talents and mine was singing." Paulina had already sung at school concerts and outside events. Her first song was Hey big spender at a school concert at the age of 15. She says: "it was very scary singing in front of the whole school but i enjoyed it. I remember singing in the West Indies at carnival time and at family wakes. At the age of six, i was too young to be shy and have inhabitations." She started singing at church events her biggest solo debut with the London choir at the Brighton conference centre in the 80s. She is due to give another solo performance there in august. Paulina started learning toward the church after being asked to join two aid missions, one to Kenya and the other to sierra León in the 80s. "When you see humbleness you realise how much you take for granted, "she explains. I was making a salad and asked for dressing or salad cream and i was told 'we don't have that here'. "I asked for the loo and couldn't find it. Then I realised it was on the road where we were standing! My eyes were open for the first time. "As a nurse, I saw amputations - but it was not the same seeing people begging on the streets with no arms or legs. "I remember once giving a woman a nightdress and she turned up for service in it because that was what she had to wear. Yet, although they had nothing, they seemed to be at peace and happy." Paulina has become a church youth leader, worship and lay leader and finally reverend of her own church, which she has attended for 16 years. The church has now move to west London academy, in Northolt, and has a charitable branch, the Ray of good hope. She has successfully co-ordinated a government funded music project for children and young people and a faith community leadership project.. Paulina says women are still in the minority as religious leaders. "There is a place for women in the ministry," she says. "We are not limited anymore. I am glad to have the opportunity to reach out to people. It's something within you; like a fire." Paulina's CD- listen, the spirit is calling - is available for $14.99 Arranger and producer Patrick Bernard.