Read all he told entertainment reporter Ademola Olonilua about his style, career and love life
Recently, a picture of you dressed in normal clothes went viral online. What made you dress properly?
It was something that was very experimental and it was on the television show, Moments with Mo. The owner of Ebony Life TV, Mo Abudu, called me and told me that they would like to do a special feature on me to be aired on January 1, 2015. I felt it was a fantastic idea but I did not know that I would be dressed in normal clothes.
They went to where I grew up and interviewed people in my area. When I got to the studio, the stylist was trying to make me wear some ‘unusual’ clothes and I was very surprised. Initially, I thought she was styling for a client who probably was of my size but only using me as a guinea pig. But when we started the show, the stylist came with a rack of normal clothes and flat shoes. I had a lot of extensions in my hair but they ripped that off on the set and it was a live recording. My natural hair was packed to the back and I was styled in two different looks. I wore shorts, something I had not done for about a decade because of my skinny legs but it was an exciting experience. I also did another one for Complete Fashion magazine which I did with Beverly Naya. We were just experimenting with the brand.
That was a long while ago. The last time I tried it was at a show in Abuja called Runway. I had hosted the first and second edition, so I wanted to do something different for the third edition. When it was time for my first entrance, I borrowed a suit from a friend who was of similar body structure, packed my hair, wore flat shoes and dark sunglasses. When I was announced, people were clapping but when I got on stage, they stopped because they did not recognise me. I felt so uncomfortable. I kept stumbling in the flat shoes and I was sweating profusely because of the tie. Underneath the suit, I wore my ‘normal’ clothes and so when I got tired, I removed the shirt and suit on stage and somebody brought my shoes for me. I just wanted to make a crazy grand entrance. This was about two years ago.
How come you stumble when you wore flat shoes?
I know it is weird but I think it is because I am used to very high shoes. Most of my shoes are uncomfortable but over time, I have sacrificed comfort for fashion. Now I am used to uncomfortable shoes especially those that are not evenly balanced. Even wearing slippers is weird to me.
Don’t you experience leg pains when you wear such shoes?
Fashion is pain but I am used to it now. There was a particular time I went to a club and I stumbled down the stairs because some people accidentally pushed me. They wanted to take pictures with me and they were trying to get my attention, in the process I fell. My leg got stuck in the banister and was sprained. I could feel my leg swelling in my big shoes but I refused to remove it. I limbed from the club to my car. People pressured me to remove the shoe but I refused and when I got home, my ankle had swollen. I am used to that.
How do you dress when you are indoors?
Most times I wear my sister’s T-shirts with regular denim jeans. If the weather is hot and there is no one to turn on the generator for me, I would walk naked round the house. I do that a lot. I also have a long kaftan that has a hood and looks scary, I wear that at home. But I am hardly at home because I always have various engagements to attend. Whenever I get home tired, I just sleep in the clothes I wore out.
People still argue that you are homosexual?
Over time, they have labelled me as a homosexual, heterosexual, bi-sexual, I have been called all sorts of names. When people see that you are successful in the entertainment industry, they try to peddle some negative stories about you. Maybe they call me names because of the way I dress. When I started out and people began calling me such names, I found it very disturbing, annoying, and demeaning but I laugh about it now. When I am asked about my sexuality, I just tell them that I am a sexual outlaw. I don’t think my sexuality should be an issue because I am doing my work very well.
But are you gay?
All I can say to that is that I am a sexual outlaw.
There was a time you used to wear female shoes..
I still wear them. There was a night we were going to the beach and everyone knows that if you do not wear flat shoes to the beach, it could be quite uncomfortable. But because I wanted to be crazy that night as I don’t drink or smoke, I wore a female timberland boot with high heels to the beach.
I got the shoe as a gift. It was hell walking with the shoes in the sand but I wore them to dance and I rocked them well. I remember D’banj and Ikechukwu were there and they were making funny comments, asking whether I wanted to break my teeth.
Whenever I am on stage and I wear these shoes, some people think I do it to get attention. Some say I do it to find men who are sexually attracted to me but that is not true. It is just about doing the unusual. A lot of men wear shoes with high heels outside the country. I am not saying it is a trend people should follow because they can break their legs. I think wearing female shoes just to my personality. The female shoes give the kind of clothes I wear an extra edge.
Do you think you can keep up with your brand identity when you are older?
Yes, I think I can but maybe not in stiletto heels. My brand identity is not fake; I did not create this identity because I want to be in the news or remain controversial. This has been me right from the outset.
People see me and say I dress like Lady Gaga and I laugh. Lady Gaga started singing in 2006 and I have been dressing like this way before then. I have no influences whatsoever and I just wanted to be different from every other guy. This level of high edged, spontaneous, gothic, creative look is embedded in my system and it runs through my veins.
Even when I am 70 years old, I would still be like this and I know I would be a funky grandfather. That is why I respect Charly Boy till date for his relevance and consistency. He is still a rockstar and a biker for life. I don’t think I will lose this identity for anything in the world.
Are you in a relationship?
I am single. I am not going to deny the fact that I am human and I have feelings. I would not say that I have been celibate or lonely because that would be a lie. I am not celibate; however, I am quite principled when it comes to relationships.
God has blessed me and still blessing me, so I would not misuse the privilege of my job to use and dump all the ladies that constantly come my way. Some ladies think that being with me would place them at a certain level and because of that, they throw themselves at me but I do not misuse the privilege I have.
That does not mean that I am a saint. I am not a saint. There is somebody in the picture but we are not so sure of our status right now. We have been tossing it back and forth for a while. We are still deliberating. The person is fully committed but I am not really ready. I feel like I have frustrated her to a large extent and she has tolerated me for a very long time. We have been friends for a while. I am a very inconsistent person; she could call or send a message and I will not reply until after five days. I will not use my job as an excuse because it would be a wrong thing to do.
What can be done to catch your attention?
Nothing really; I just love people that are natural and down to earth. I love people who can make dialogue with me in a matter of seconds. I don’t want a yes-man around me. I have met people like that in the course of time. I have also met very interesting people.
A girl once asked me at a point in time if I could change my brand identity for her and I willingly agreed. I told her I would change for her because she was somebody I really liked. But unfortunately, things did not work out. This was about four years ago. I still like her and my close friends know that I still like her a lot. She was seeing someone at the time and I was willing to share her. That was how much I liked her. I would not say she was extremely gorgeous but there was something very special about her that I could not lay my fingers on. Her name is Yvonne. But that is in the past.
So it is possible for you to change for love?
At that point, I was willing to. But now, I will think twice about it. I sincerely doubt I can change for any woman. I have had my fingers burnt so many times, I don’t think I am willing to make that sacrifice for anyone. I have made a lot of sacrifices for people, now it is their turn to start making sacrifices for me.
I am not leaving my career or changing for anybody. I would rather stay single because at the end of the day, it is about inner happiness. Inner happiness is something that took me a while to find because I was trying to make too many people happy at my own detriment but I realised at the end of the day only my happiness matters. Now that I have peace of mind that, I don’t owe anybody any favours.
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