Hello, I am Diana Hopeson (Formerly Diana Akiwumi). Indeed, God is Faithful!! The first decade of my life marked my introduction to this world. I had the joy of living with my parents and six siblings in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. My parents were middle income earners and so we had enough to eat and wear. My Mum was very religious and attended the Musama Disco Christo Church (MDCC) and would take us all with her. I liked the traditional music so I enjoyed listening and dancing to the church music. My Dad would not go to church with us but his answers to my questions about God and contributions he will make anytime Jehovah witnesses come to our house or when we discuss religion was wise to me. Our house was opposite an Assemblies of God church so we would attend their crusades and when missionaries come around, we are the children who will gather and listen to their Bible stories. I admired their dedication and saw some joy in them that I wanted to have.
From this time to the second decade saw me through my basic education. My parents separated when I was 12yrs. I was shocked and devastated! The political situation in my country went sore with military coups, curfews and famine. I entered the secondary school and when I was just about to have a boyfriend and do what teenagers should not do, I met Christ! I loved to sing and was in the school choir but when the Scripture Union singers sang, I saw some joy that I knew was missing in my heart. At every opportunity when people are called to receive Christ, I will do so but there was no change or growth until one day, I was preparing for my exams and could not study so I decided to ask God to help me. The Holy Spirit took over and I felt God’s presence with me. I saw all the things I have done that were not good and I broke down in tears and asked the Lord to forgive me. I felt some inner peace and dedicated my life to the Lord. I asked him to help me learn and He did! I passed my exams.
BORN AGAIN, MARRIAGE…
My new life with Christ started at age 14 and in no time, everyone knew I was a child of God. Since my parents were no more at home, God became my father and mother! I talked with Him about everything and read his word-the Bible. I never missed Church services and prayer meetings. The North Kaneshie Assemblies of God church was my Sanctuary. Anytime I sang, people were blessed. At age 17, I met a young Bible school student (Late Rev. Samuel Akiwumi) who had zeal for the Lord and we got married when I was 20. (My parents and some counsellors felt it was a bit too early but I would not listen) We had a son the following year and my music ministry took a deeper root when I started recording. In 1993 when I was 23, I made a very big hit album with “Winner” “Onyame ye odomfo” and other tracks.
Apparently, my first husband had a bipolar disorder. He would go into mood swings and beat and abuse me. I could not link it to a mental crises until later on. This affected us terribly in terms of ministry and family. By 1997, we were separated! It was a great tragedy. I was 27 at that time. The newspapers made stories about it. For weeks we were in the headlines. I thought my life was over! I had seen wealth and success in my career and had ministered and affected a lot of people. I have travelled the length and breath of my country Ghana, Nigeria and Europe. My fans and converts were divided. I thought my work was done. Several nights, I prayed to the Lord to take my life because it was so broken. The guilt and shame was great! I could only think about what Christ had to suffer on earth for my sake to give me hope. If a tree cut down can sprout again when it smells water and Christ could resurrect after death, there will be hope for me!
One day, as a guest in Manna Mission church, the Lord ministered to me that I should start a new life. I was able to forgive my husband and though we were not together, I had peace. I had several Christian minister friends who supported me in various ways and the Lord opened ministry opportunities for me internationally. I left the North Kaneshie Assemblies of God Church, Accra to Miracle life worship center in Tema because the memories were too much for me. I went back to school. I went to the University of Ghana to study Theatre Arts. In January 2003, I went to the Youth with a Mission (YWAM) base in Ghana, Tema to train as a missionary. After the Discipleship training and school of Communication, I stayed and served at the base as a worship leader and a Performing Arts Discipleship Training school leader. I still continued my recordings and ministering with my band. I also got involved with our Musicians Union (the Musicians Union of Ghana, MUSIGA) and served as a National Executive for eight (8) years, advocating for the Music industry, intellectual Property issues and unionism.
Finally, it became apparent that the marriage would not work so we were divorced. (He passed away few years afterwards) Throughout this period, the Lord kept me and my son and provided for our needs. I’ve had many struggles, pain and loneliness but the joy of the Lord has always been my strength! I kept my faith in God and trusted that he would see me through.
A SECOND CHANCE
In 2006, The Lord gave me a second chance by bringing Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Hopeson, who I had met ten years ago into my life. We got married in 2007. That same year, I was given a National Honors Award by the President of the Republic of Ghana, President John Agyekum kuffour, for my support for the Arts industry. Few months afterward, I became the President of the MUSIGA and the chairman of the Interim management board of the Copyright society of Ghana (COSGA) I was involved in Policy making and several projects that advanced the course of the Music industry in Ghana. I handed over my Presidency in 2011, having served a full term of four (4) years.
Diana Hopeson is the CEO for GHMusic Publishing and Management www.ghmusicpublishing.com Deputy Director of Reconciliation Alliance Consult (RAC Consult) www.reconciliationalliance.com Co-Founder and Deputy Director Center for Peace and Reconciliation (CPR) www.cpr.org.gh Lausanne Arts Catalyst at Large and a Missionary of the Creative Arts industry. Currently Ministering, mentoring and training people in the arts, Events, Children Ministry, Music Production, Publishing, Counselling, and Mediation.