Saturday, 22 November 2014

Why I Left The Mothers Of My Children —Oritsefemi





Ekele Majemite Oritsefemi is the musical artist that was shot into fame by the release of the hit track "Double Wahala", a remake of Fela Kuti’s “Double Wahala”. Before he came out with that hit song,  was relatively  unknown. He granted an interview to Vanguard recently. Read excerpts from that interview below:

The Ajegunle-bred singer, who started his career as a member of a two-man band, The Junglist, recounts the touching story of his rise from grass to grace, recalling how he had to hawk and engage in other menial jobs in order to make ends meet. He also narrates how his poor background made him not to fend for the mothers of his children.



Your song, ‘Double Wahala’ was a hit. What actually inspired it?

I got the inspiration from God. Everything you want to do, you definitely put God first. Before I came out with ‘Double Wahala’, I was receiving low responses from my fans. I tried my best, but my fans did not identify with my songs. I had to go back to the drawing board to review my style of music.


At a point, you took a break from music. In fact, it was rumored that you went into dubious business. Were you into ‘419’ business?

Frankly speaking, I have never ventured into ‘419’ business before. I don’t defraud people nor deceive them. I am contented with what I have achieved. Back in Ajegunle, I had some street boys as friends who were into dubious businesses. But I was bent on creating my own business.



You seemed to share the same ideology with Fela. How much did he influence your music?

Naturally, I used to listen to Fela’s songs as well as King Sunny Ade’s as a child. My father happened to be one of the fans of these legends. I tried to pick some of Fela’s lyrics and blend it with the lovely African melodies of King Sunny Ade to create my own brand of music. Interesting, I was the only young artiste in Nigeria that met Fela face to face.

Then, I was under the tutelage of Maverick John Nabella, the founder of Raga Dub Chapel, where likes of Daddy Showkey, Baba Fyro sprang up back in Ajegunle. They used to invite some top American stars such as Shabba Ranks, Tupa and many others to come and perform in Nigeria. We would visit the African Shrine with these foreign musicians, where we usually met with Fela. But importantly, I was conscious of Fela’s message and the lyrics of his music.

But you have children?

Yes, I have two beautiful daughters who are between ten and nine years. I have a family and I’m from a polygamous home. I have a responsibility as a father. My two daughters are from different mothers and I am not marrying any of them.

What happened?

It’s a long story. Back in time, as a street boy, growing up in the ghetto city of Ajegunle, I had some childhood girlfriends who got pregnant.

Then, I had no means of livelihood to sustain them. But I ensured that I took care of my kids right from when they were born. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take care of their mothers because of my financial status then. But now, that God has elevated me, I am planning to take my children abroad.

Before this success, what were you doing?

I was struggling. I was on the streets, hustling to make ends meet. I actually stayed away from my family. I couldn’t depend on my dad, because he had his own challenges as a polygamist.

That was why at 14 years, I went into the street to hustle. I hawked in the street. My dad was an engineer, and he taught me how to dismantle and repair boat engines. I learnt all that.

Then, I had my own boat that I was using to transport passengers from Ajegunle to Lagos Island. I also worked as a bus conductor. Growing in Ajegunle, you have to hustle, otherwise your contemporaries would snatch your girlfriend from you.

Ajegunle residents believe in hustling. That time, nobody knew me, so, why would I go into hiding. But honestly, I didn’t engage in any dirty or illegal business. I believe in my music and that’s what is seeing me through today.







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