The story of Caroline Sam, the gospel singer popularly known as Maheeda, is pathetic but inspiring. She was raised as an orphan who hit the street at a tender age of 13 to fend for herself during which time she became a prostitute. In fact, Maheeda could not ascertain her real names because she was raised by foster parents whose name she adopted.
Now, things have changed as Maheeda has turned her life around and eventually became someone to reckon with in the music industry
Did you encounter a particular incident that made you become a born again?
Honestly, it was the same words in the Bible, the same ministration. It was just time because the words that I heard that transformed me were the same words some other people heard. Although, at that time, I was sick and all sorts of tests were conducted on me including HIV, pregnancy and others, and the doctor said I was alright but I was still sick and it was like my head was about to blow up. Later, I went to the church on a weekday and I lied down at the altar and was talking to God that ‘you have taken all my family already and now I am feeling like this’. I left and went to look for my boyfriend but I was still not feeling fine. I was feeling that my life was not normal, that I might die if I did not surrender my life to Christ. And I kept getting the message that ‘you are neither hot nor cold’, I got the message through phone and later in the church, so that was all and I became a new creature.
How easy was it to leave your usual ways?
I must tell you I did not have to pray about it. I just developed the habit of reading my Bible regularly and all those things just stopped without struggling: masturbation, boys getting attracted to me etc. And I have not stopped reading my Bible. In fact, it has become a habit.
You were so daring, posting almost nude pictures of yourself when you came into the industry and people were talking about you. Some felt you must be a prostitute. What would you say to this?
Yeah, I was a prostitute and I’m not ashamed to say it. It’s past tense and we all have our past. The beauty of it is that if Christ has done something in your life and you can’t say it, what is the need? I think I went through all that so I can really speak out. I have been through all that so I can speak, talk to the girls who are still into it and make myself an example. Although, it’s not nice for people to hear and it’s not something to be proud of but for the sake of those prostitutes outsides, I have to say it.
Did you become an orphan by loosing your parents or you never knew them?
I had my mum but she decided to leave me with a neighbour before leaving the house, after seven years she came back and she died, and that is all they know about me
Some say you changed your way because you got married?
That is not true. My husband is white and you know white people support their wives. My husband said he didn’t want to be involved in my career and I should also keep his daughter out of it. I was actually praying for it before he said it. My husband has been very supportive for years; he took me to South Africa to shoot my first video. He has spent millions on my career.
How long have you been married and how many kids do you have together?
We have been married for about two years but there’s no child yet. I had my daughter before I met him but he adopted my daughter.
How did you both meet and what is keeping you from having children for him?
I met him in Port Harcourt eleven years ago; we have been together before my music. We are waiting on the Lord for children.
How true is it that White men stick to Nigerian women because they are good in bed irrespective of their ways of life?
It sounds true because devil likes to bring his truth from the real truth. After becoming a born again, in my vision, I realized that the white are not as strong as we are spiritually. And God made me understand He’s taking us to them to change them. Over there, you are free to do whatever you like but there is a reason why God is joining these two together. But of course, devil has turned everything to sex. If a woman is beautiful, well curved, yes, we are sexy and of course, there is something that makes the man to succumb to the woman even when he’s angry, so that is not far from the truth.
What was your first experience as a prostitute like?
It was strange, even though I can’t really remember (laughs). What I can remember is that it was strange. I was very young but I had to do it. It was scary I think.
At what point did you decide to stop prostitution and what made you stop?
That’s actually a very good question because even after getting married I still have this urge of going out to meet a man. But I felt it should not be so. I’m trying to let people know there is a spirit behind prostitution, if not, why after getting married, I have everything, I live in Lekki, I’m driving a very big car and my husband gives me whatever I want, so why would I still feel like going into prostitution? There is a spirit behind it. I continued prostitution even after getting married. The only thing that changed me was being born again and being delivered.
That means you kept long list of men while you were doing secular music?
Yeah. I was so bad that if I had this boy friend and he messed up I just moved to the next one. That was basically why I did the track, Oko Yapa (husbands are numerous). They were not given me money so if you messed up I moved to the next because there were many of them.
It means you have a very high libido that if this guy is not getting it right you try the next one?
(Laughter) Oh my God. Is that the truth? No o! I think I was just bad that I used to judge them at every slight mistake. I was bad that if I was with my boyfriend and I saw a fine boy, I would still make passes at him. The devil makes us think it’s in our nature but its not so.