Popular entertainer cum media practitioner, Gbenga Adewusi, otherwise known as Bayowa, has opened up on why he has not been on air for some time. The Eruwa, Oyo State born movie and music marketer also spoke on the real reasons he is passionate about floating an indigenous and online television stations when ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with him on Saturday, July 21, 2012.
What is the latest from the stable of Bayowa Records and Films International?
To God be the glory, I really appreciate my fans, friends and well wishers for their concern and support so far. I have been out of the country for some time, at least for about three months. Since last year, I have been working day and night on some projects which necessitated my travelling abroad.
Even since I came down, I have been attending one meeting or the other. Above all, I give thanks to the Almighty God, the projects are at advance level now. One really needs to step up, move forward and ensure that everything is in tune with what obtains elsewhere in the world in terms of class.
You don’t need to be in the same spot forever because life itself is not static. The entertainment industry, to be honest with you, is no more as it was in the recent past. And with the way everything is going digital as regards marketing, it’s either you belong or you’re out of the business completely.
As the trend is moving along with the modern technology, we all really need to move on with it so that we won’t be left out.
Since the release of your album, Subsidy-Boko Haram, not much has been heard of you, why?
A lot of people believed I ran away because of Boko Haram. If at all I ran away, I don’t think I should be criticized for taking a step that will guarantee the security of my life. If you watch the video clip, you will know I did a good job. As for me, I like doing things quite differently.
I like working on controversial projects, I like working on what a lot of people believe is difficult. I like involving myself in what other people are running away from. That’s exactly is what makes me a phenomenon in the industry. It’s not the monetary aspect of it, it’s not about what I am going to gain.
A lot of people just hear of Boko Haram, they don’t even know anything about them. Whether they are spirits or whatever, they don’t know. What you see on television, or pages of newspapers are just a little out of the many devilish activities of the notorious group.
A lot were not included in Subsidy-Boko Haram video but by the time we start our online television, you wil watch the full video, uncensored. It’s then people will appreciate all what I did on Boko Haram. I didn’t run away because of Boko Haram.
But some people are also saying Bayowa is broke and that’s why he is no longer on air, that’s why he is off the social radar for quite some time…
(Cuts in) Whatever they like, let them say. I don’t care, that’s their own cup of tea. I am not after what anybody may be saying about me, I know my goal, I know what I am working on. Bayowa is not broke, he is even much more comfortable and better.
By the time I come out with what’s keeping me busy, people will understand the reason I have not been around for some time. But now, I am back and much better and with a new initiative.
Some are also saying you yanked off your programme on Radio Lagos because you couldn’t cope with the new tariff and that the entertainment industry is not flourishing as before and all that, can you shed light on the whole thing?
Let me say many things might be responsible for that. When I am not in Nigeria, there is no way you can hear me on radio. I can’t be here and there at the same time. There is no way I can be performing here when I am abroad because I am not a spirit, I am not a ghost.
I travelled for about three months, working on a project. There’s just no way I could be on radio during that period.
But they could have been playing your jingles and some of your music on the programme if at all you’re not around just to fill in the gap before you came back, why didn’t you make arrangement for something of such?
What happened was that I handle the programme myself. So, when I am not around, the programme stops automatically there is nothing anybody can play on it on my behalf until I come back.
Now, that you’re back, are you ready to switch on again?
Yes, I am fully ready but since I have not been around for some time, there is need for us to sit down again and reorganize some things in the programme.
With the authorities of radio Lagos?
Yes. We are meeting on the issue. May be in two weeks, the programme will be back on air. That’s after we must have agreed on certain modalities. It may be the same time we’ve been using before or another time favourable to both parties.
Since all this while, hasn’t there been any replacement for your programme by the station?
There is nothing like that. They can only playing good music, nothing more.
How true is it that you’re also terribly ill at a point that you’re flown abroad?
People can say anything they like, that’s their own business. What I know is that I am back and better. I wasn’t flown abroad on account of ill-health, I only travelled for my project.
This project of a thing you’re talking about, was it the one on the Yoruba television station you told us about early this year?
Yes, I am working seriously on how to establish a complete indigenous television and at the same time, I am working on online television. As we are all aware, the whole world has gone digital now. You can also testify to it, we are facing piracy in the industry which is a big problem to all of us stakeholders.
We are also facing problem of digital marketing. Before, we used to sell a lot of products outside the country but now if you release any of your jobs today and you’re not very careful, even with your master tape, you will discovered there are so many potentials you can tap online which is what we are working on now. We are working on Bayowa TV online.
The whole arrangement is in progress and very soon we shall be through with it and we will hit the screen immediately. We have a lot of things incorporated in Bayowa TV online. At the same time, we are also working on Bayowa Indigenous Television, making two projects at a time.
Each time we have a chat with you, you keep talking of piracy, won’t there be an end to that?
That’s a big question. For now, we’re all in a dilemma. If any marketer tells you he makes profit on anything he released recently, it’s just a mere talk. The industry is dying, there is nothing to write home about again unless we want to be deceiving ourselves. Piracy is hitting us hard and we’re not getting any support from the government because I believe there are other problems to attend to.
For instance, what profit can you make again when you release your movie or music in the morning and by 12 mid day you found a lot of pirated copies on the road and not that they will pirate just one, they will put like 10 in one DVD and make it cheaper. That’s why many of us are investing on other things. But I believe by the special grace of God, we shall get there one day. Very soon, most of my products will be out.
I only want to spend the first three week to face my project at Ajah and by the time I am through with it, people will know where my money is going. So, if they say I am broke, let them say.
Even, Nigeria is broke. If I have been giving you N20,000 before and by now I can’t afford more than N10,000, if that’s the reason they are saying I am broke, I don’t care in as much as I know what I am doing.
Why are you so much passionate about floating an indigenous television station?
Thank you. Presently, we are not enjoying the air waves. They will only tell you they are running indigenous programmes, what they mean is hip hop. Is it hip hop only we have in Nigeria?
We have a lot of artists from other genres of music that are being neglected. We have fuji, juju, apala, Islamic and Christian gospel and many others are no longer enjoying the airwaves. If all other music genres enjoy at least 50 percent of what hip hop is enjoying, the lives of the artists in those genres will be much more better.
Give all these radio or television stations fuji, juju or gospel album, they won’t play them but if it’s hip hop, they will play it from morning till night. If care is not taken, our culture will fade off. That’s why I am working tirelessly on floating an indigenous television station that will protect Yoruba culture, home and abroad. That’s why I am using this opportunity to call on the Yoruba state governors to give me their support for this project.
I am Yoruba to the core, I want to see our ways of life on top, I want people’s support for both the indigenous and the online TV stations. I want to get everything registered soon as that we can begin operation.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, July 24, 2012