African China has stepped up to set the records straight: he is not broke.
The singer-hairdresser refuted the unkind rumours about his finances in new chat with Punch, in which he revealed his latest project, while also speaking to the culture that expects an artist to lead a lavish lifestyle.
See the excerpts.
About his finances: There is no atom of truth in the story making rounds that I went broke or I have quit music to become a hairdresser. I am a realist and there is no point lying. While I was growing up, I used to be a barber; I shaved hair in Orile, Ajegunle, Amukoko, Okokomaiko and other places. When I became successful, I felt that I needed to have a fallback plan and I also needed to give back to the people who are in the business in order to empower them, so I got a unisex salon, set it up and gave it out to someone to manage. I am not broke; I have so many investments and businesses.
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About his contemporaries who are battling poverty: There are some of my colleagues that cannot walk with their heads high like I do today simply because they spent their money lavishly. They spent their money in clubs, on women, alcohol and drugs. I did not do that and now, I have something to fall back on. Most of these colleagues go around saying that they need sponsors, they use the excuse that most of the younger artistes are being sponsored by ‘yahoo boys’. The reason they are saying that is that they cannot support themselves but I can because I have something to fall back on. I made good use of my time and I am so happy about that. I can always walk around with my head high anywhere I go.
On claims that he was a victim of blackmail: I read all the lies about me but I intentionally kept mum because there was no need taking issues with anyone. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, they have said what is on their mind and that is their business. Most people just want to get at you for no good reason. There are some people that asked me for money but I did not give them. Maybe they are the ones who thought they could use false stories to tarnish my image. It is when you give them the right to ‘run you down’ that they would, but if you don’t give them the chance, they would move on.
And reflecting on the growth of the music industry: When I started music, the ‘Twitter’ we had was to knock on people’s door to inform them about our projects or interviews on the television. Even when there was erratic power supply and no one saw our interviews on the television, we succeeded. So nobody can pull me down. Today, people pick their phones, say silly things and they become superstars. Back then, it had to do with your creativity. If I could make it then, I would always make it.