– Confirms he’s veered into real estate
+ Exclusive pix of the eye-popping edifice
United Nations Millennium Development Goals Ambassador and abundantly talented entertainer, Francis Agoda (I Go Dye) will soon complete his multimillion naira castle in Benin City, Edo State.
Structured after the globally acknowledged architectural wonder, Chateaux De Reves (the French luxury castle) it is a blend of the exquisite and royalty. The original French style palace: the Grand Manor Chateau which inspired I Go Dye’s eye-popping edifice, according to experts, was designed for privacy, security and incomparable aesthetics.
And with slight modification from the original, the Benin castle which boasts of a lawn tennis court, two swimming pools, one indoor and outdoor, three kitchens, lounges/bars, a spectacular double stair case in the living room, among other unique facilities is estimated to gulp over $4 million when completed.
Before his latest building, I Go Dye had completed another posh property also in Benin City, the Edo State capital. This mansion is a seven-bedroom affair. And furnished to his rare taste with 18 carat gold Versace settee in its luxury living room. It also boasts of a state of the art game house, a private club, professional editing studio and a trimmed lawn for relaxation, etc.
In this exclusive interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Saturday, March 8, 2014, I Go Dye explained how he makes his money, revealing for the first time that he is now into property development aside entertainment (he runs Revamp Construction Company).
The inspirational comedian, however, shied away from talking about his family, pleading their privacy should be respected. A man of means who rose from grass to grace, I Go Dye, who was recently voted one of Africa’s funniest men has won several awards. A three-time winner of Nigeria Best Comedy Award, he has also been twice-awarded African Best Comedian.
Congrats on the progress you have made so far on your multi million mansion. So, what is the stage now?
Thanks. We are still working, until it’s done.
When are you likely to move in officially, or opening the house?
Can you give us the idea of how much you have splashed on it so far?
It’s so challenging and demanding for now, not until the project is completed, the present evaluation wouldn’t make any difference.
How long have you been building this palatial structure?
Quite a reasonable time considering the architectural design and standard.
But you have another palatial building, why embark on another one?
Property development remains a viable option to many other businesses, because it has been credited to be highly appreciative in its equity value. I know many people who have continued to acquire one property after another
Are you into real estate?
Yes, I run Revamp Construction Company. We are property developers.
Many are still asking what gives I Go Dye money?
There is always a reward for hard work and entertainment is not an exception. Most renowned artistes in the country are living based on the remunerations that they get from performances. It is a professional job that offers financial rewards. So, it will be wrong for someone to assume otherwise as if the entertainment industry cannot afford the success surrounding artistes in recent times.
Most high profile comedians like me handle corperate events that don’t enjoy the kind of publicity that the music artistes do. So, most often little is heard most times about how comedians earn their money. Sometimes in a single event some comedians are paid between N2.5 and N4 million. When you then evaluate how many of such performances within 365 days that they will be contracted, then you wouldn’t be too surprised what the average comedian is worth.
How is your family?
My family is doing fine.
What are the challenges of married life?
Since the day I chose to become an entertainer, I sold my privacy. There is one thing I have promised to do. It’s not to expose my family to the public. I can only protect their privacy; hence I would not want to talk about them.
It’ obvious that comedy has paid off for you?
So funny! Every profession and endeavour has its reward. It is what you sow that you reap. I would say it is the passion that I have for the comedy that has exposed me to its fortune. Everyone is entitled to compensation from nature, when we observe the law of labour and dignity in service.
Why do you think you have been lucky, while some of your colleagues are still praying for their lucky break?
Everyone has his or her own success story. Our potentials reflect so much about us. There is no colleague of mine in this industry that has not been rewarded by this profession. I must admit that there is no accurate analysis to distinguish if I am luckier than anyone. Every artiste has his or her fan base, so, we all enjoy unique gifts and rewards.
What is your greatest wish?
I have so many wishes but I dearly wish for a world where everyone’s right will be respected, and I will have a better platform to continue to speak for the betterment of society, become the voice to the voiceless and a world where we would all be our brothers keepers.
– UCHE OLEHI