Interviews

‘I didn’t shutdown Branama Kitchen because of poor management,’ KEFEE cries

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Female recording artiste, Kefee-Irikefe Don-Momoh – is undisputedly one of the creative and hardworking artistes in Nigeria. Since the release of her hit, Kokoroko, featuring Timaya, the Branama crooner’s fame has been on the rise.

On Friday, February 21, 2014, Kefee, who is currently studying Production and Directing at the Chicago Access Network TV, opened up on many controversies surrounding her rise to stardom in an exclusive interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly.

 

Congratulations, Branama Kitchen is 2. How does it feel?

Wonderful! It feels good. Branama Kitchen is two and I am grateful to God and our hard working staff. We are getting better daily. Serving the best Nigerian dishes fresh to our fabulous customers.

Why did you shutdown the Kitchen for months in the first instance?

For renovation.

It was alleged that you had poor management structure, which was why you shut it down?

I did not have poor management, I actually got in more people after the renovation while retaining the old ones. In fact, I can assure you we have the best chefs.

Now that you’re back, what are the innovations put into the business to make it better?

You would have to go there to see for yourself (smiles). After all, seeing, they say, is believing.

Let’s talk about your music career. We have not heard from you since you dropped the 2-1 album two years ago?

We’ve been working, recording, shooting videos that will be released soon. I have been touring too – Los Angeles, Chicago, Canada, etc – promoting the Chorus Leader album.

Tell us about your last album, Chorus Leader?

Chorus Leader album, to many, is my best album. That album, without major promo videos, is selling itself and getting awards even without the usual hype that goes with albums. It’s an album for grateful people who believe in God. It has songs in different Nigerian languages. I like languages. It’s captivating; songs you want to play non-stop.

How have you been able to manage your fame, the spotlights and still look ageless?

Thanks for the compliments, I am just living my life one day at a time, taking things easy.

Would you pay anything to get back your youthful looks?

I am still young, youthful (smiles). And I look a lot better and hotter now.

What are those things you did, and later regretted doing?

I regret absolutely nothing. I’m very grateful to God for the life I’m living.

What was life like while growing up?

Fun, exciting, with the most amazing family anyone could wish for.

You started out as a traditional gospel singer, along the line your deviated. Would we say you re-branded?

If you have my album or albums, you would know that I am doing same kind of music, but different genres. For instance, the kind of songs in Branama 1 is the same with other songs, but with improved production and vocals.

Some people were not happy because you featured Timaya in Kokoroko and he’s a secular singer. How would you react to that?

Before I react to that question, let me tell you this short true story.

In 2008, I was invited to perform at a church (name withheld) in Abuja for the second time. The publicity for the show was massive, they had distributed invitation card to guests, people were even calling to confirm if I was going to perform. In fact, I got copies of the flyers weeks before the show.

I was getting ready to go to the airport when I got a call from the pastor’s P.A, asking if I had seen a certain newspaper’s story about me. I said yes, it was a scandal. And he said they don’t want to have anything to do with me because of that scandal. Besides, he added that they have top government officials who worship in their church, and all sort. I said ok, but the so-called senior pastor, who called me initially to plead with me to accept a certain amount because it was a new church couldn’t call me anymore, he had to send his P.A to tell me that. He didn’t care what happened to me, if it was true what said about me by an angry, bitter man. I felt really low not because I didn’t do the show but because they cared less what happened to me, because that would have been the end of my career.

Now, I called Timaya. We met at a studio somewhere in Festac town, and Timaya asked me about the same scandal. And he told me what I expected a man of God would’ve told me. I remember, he said to me, “Don’t worry, if your hands are clean, you will see God turn things around for you. God will help you, my sister.” I say this in all sobriety, after which we recorded Kokoroko. When Kokoroko came out and Timi (Dakolo) listened to it, he said “Kefee, you dey make me like God in a different way.” Now, you tell me, who acted like a good human? Who would have ever thought that the so-called man of God, who now has his share of scandal and is still planning a robust reply would act that weird? So, when I heard people talking about me featuring Timaya, it sounded funny. God can use anything, anybody. Music is an art that transcends all. Timaya was good for that song and he delivered, that’s what matters to me. I don’t judge people. If he was a doctor, you won’t say he shouldn’t treat you because he isn’t a Christian. It won’t matter then. All you would want is have him do his job and that was what he did. He did a good job on that song you can’t deny that. And to me, that’s what counts.

Many people have criticized you because of your way of dressing, saying that it is not Christ-like. How would you react to that?

Really? I dress the way I like, I like my African print and again, everyone can’t like every style or design. So, that’s acceptable.

How do you intend to handle your career when kids begin to arrive?

When we get to that bridge we will cross it.

Who would you say was the brain behind your success story?

God, my family and the good people of Delta state and Nigeria.

Some online reports last year quoted you as saying that you had a tough upbringing, saying that your mom suggested you become a prostitute to make ends meet. How did you fell when the story hit you?

I laughed because I never helped my parents make ends meet while I was with them and I never went to bed hungry. So, when I said in my song Na who know me before? Don’t get it twisted. And I thank Linda Ikeji who brought it to my knowledge. Not many journalists know their job; some just write without confirmation. I’m on twitter and anyone could reach anyone on twitter if they wanted to, but the lazy ones don’t even try to confirm stories because they want to achieve devilish aims. I knew it was a lie so it didn’t bother me though It was on the cover of a certain magazine.

If you have the chance to change anything about your past, what would that be?

Nothing. Everything brought me here and made me the sweet Kefee you have today.

What should we expect from you this year?

You will see as they unfold.

Are you currently working on any pet project?

I am and will make it public soon.

 

RASHEED ABUBAKAR

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