Read his interview with Nigeriafilms
Why has African China been silent for some time now?
I have been silent because I could not compete with the whole thing happening in the industry. The whole cock and bull sh*t, people not being able to sing song that will have relevance in the next two to five years. The kinds of songs they play these days are kind of songs that last for two, three to six months.
Are you now saying that our present crop of artistes don’t have good songs?
I will tell you wholeheartedly that those artistes, I give them five years, you and I will forget about them. They will not exist in our memories.
Your latest song on Boko Haram, what was the motive behind it?
The evil in mankind. If Nigerians wanted President Goodluck Jonathan to resign, trust me, it is not a thing of killing innocent souls. If you do not want Jonathan, it is as simple as rebelling like campaign just ok ooo, you promised us good road, good health, electricity, fuel but scarcity and you have not delivered. But the issue of taking lives, I don’t buy the idea. That was why I stood up to write that song. When I wanted to do the song, I called few of my colleagues that I wanted to do a song of such, they were all happy and they were like ‘it’s good’. But when it was time to do it, everyone started running. The next thing they said was; ‘na you now, you are the best man in position to talk about that thing, you know me I can’t,’ and that was it.
Are you generalizing them because it is not all the artiste that you called?
They are all the same thing. They only do what is trending. They are copycats. Because this evil thing is trending, they all want to take part. Just like when African China had issue in London, people were saying ah, no, ah no, you see artiste coming, in order for camera to show their face that they sympathize with you, they do not,. They do not have one feeling; they do not know what it is. How many of them Google. I Google every time I hear that this man Mohammed Shekarau has released a video, the leader of Boko Haram, I go there to listen to what he is saying, it’s just that I don’t understand most of what he is saying because he speaks in Hausa language.
How is the song fairing now?
The response has been very positive. On twitter, everybody is saying ‘you are the best. This is the only artiste that talks for the people.’ That is not my motive. I spoke before they kidnap those girls; I spoke before the Nyanya bombing. It’s not funny.
Some school of thoughts have it that African China is stylishly delving into gospel music, leaving the secular music, how true is that?
Actually, I will say maybe the calling of God has started manifesting. The thing is, I will not say I am diverting to gospel music, but it’s just that African China is a conscious artistes and I have a lot of gospel fans, so, my pastor advised me to do a compilation of all my gospel songs, both the old and the new ones into one CD. If you listen to the songs, you will hear those old gospel songs. So I did everything together and called it ‘The Gospel’. So, I am not diverting. But if the call comes, I will gladly go just like this popular gospel song, ‘here am I, send me, here am I, send me, if the Lord wants somebody, here am I, send me’. So, the gospel songs are for the Christians, while the secular songs are for those that know African China.
The unrest in the country especially the Boko Haram issue, who should be blamed?
I will tell you wholeheartedly that the government has to be blamed, the leaders, most especially, because if I want to use the word political parties, I will be making a big mistake because right now, as we speak, some states are been ruled by some, I will say we have two strong parties, so when I say the leaders, I am talking to these two parties. As long as you are a leader, I am talking to you. We have a vital role to play in this issue. Now, they installed CCTV cameras everywhere in Lagos, Abuja and other states, and still you cannot tell me you saw these people, haba, why are we lying to ourselves? Yes, we want to copy the ‘White people’, but we don’t copy the good things, we copy the bad things. What do we copy? Our ladies want to start smoking in a hot weather, not knowing that over there that people smoke because of the cold. Our ladies in Nigeria, under the hot sun, start smoking, what for? Not knowing that it affects them during pregnancy. Nobody wants to know that. The ladies do not want to know. It is fun to them. But it is not fun to us. Our ladies want to divorce their husbands, why? Because over there, it’s a woman’s world but here, it’s a man’s world, why? Here, we pay bride price, over there, you don’t pay bride price. The bride price you pay is when you divorce, you split. How can you pay bride price here in this country? That is one thing they need to sort out in this country. How can you pay bride price and at the end of the day, your wife wants to divorce you? I want a 50/50 of your property, how? The House just needs to stop the fact that ok oo, no more bride price.
So, what you are trying to say is that there is no transparency in the government of the day?
At all, the government is not being fair to people it is ruling. They are not telling the people the truth. Before they tell us it is cabal, but now, we don’t hear about the cabal. What we hear now is Boko Haram.
To the Issue of the abducted girls, do you think that the efforts put into finding these girls are strong enough?
Not at all. They don’t even care. The governments don’t care. Like in that song ‘Anugboko’, I said ‘the government thinks say me I don craze, they think say I be born thruway?’ Nigerians are like born thruway, wetin concern them. Do you know why Jonathan is concern now, it’s because celebrities from outside countries are now the people campaigning that’s why. If you play the song, they will tell you don’t play the song on air. They are jeopardizing the image of this country, which country? If the country is not good, it’s not good. Let’s call a spade a spade. What is not good, it is not good. If you no do good, we should say it. What happened in Egypt, Syria, Libya? You are ruling these people and they pay taxes. Where is Michelin company today? They are now in Ghana. How big is Ghana to compare to Lagos not to talk of Nigeria. This country is fu*ked, I think it’s high time we split.
So, after much complain, what is now the role of the entertainment industry in this issue?
Well, everybody still like what is trending. The entertainment industry is what is trending, everybody wants to make money, even me, I still want to make money ooo, I want to collect those millions other artistes are collecting, I don’t want to leave myself out of the whole picture because I no come life come count bridge and that’s me. I grew up all my life listening to people like Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, who stood for this country, a philosopher, but at the end of the day, he played nice songs like ‘if you call am woman, African woman no go gree, she go say aaaa she go say I be lady o,‘. He played normal songs. But it is not only about political issues that he was hitting on. He had to tackle other problems. The next person is Bob Marley, he sang ‘One love‘ it had to do with love. So we just need to love one another.’ So we all need to talk about love. Like the current song am working on, it talks about love and it is titled, ‘Ima’, which means love. It’s a borrowed word from a tribe in Calabar.
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