The celebrated ‘Queen of Junk’ and anchor of AIT’s Showbiz Café, enjoys the facts that there’s so much money to be made in Lagos. But she can’t stand NEPA and the bottle-neck hold-ups!
Where do you live in Lagos and why?
I live in Abule Egba, in an area called Beckley Estate. The place is quiet, that’s why I chose that area and I chose Abule Egba because it’s close to Alagbado where I work.
What’s your earliest Lagos experience?
I remember the first time I came to Lagos, either 1980 or ’81, I came to see a friend and I remember living in one of the finest areas then (Maryland, Surulere and later Airforce base). We were always meeting nice people, nice guys and there was a lot of money around. And of course, when I had to start looking for a job and when I started journalism, I had to walk, trek, sweat to be able to make it. The ugliest aspect was when some smart boys sold me a video machine and later brought the police. The police knew I didn’t steal it but they were about charging me for stealing. That was very ugly, I had to leave the video and the money.
When did you start living permanently in Lagos?
1985 when I came to school ay Nigerian Institute of Journalism (Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos). It was a very prestigious school for journalists at that time.
What do you like most about Lagos?
The fast life and the money that’s in Lagos. You hardly go hungry in Lagos because, in Lagos, you can sell sand on the beach.
What do you hate about Lagos?
I hate the hold-ups. I hate the electricity outages. The heat and some people who see me as Omo Igbo (an Igbo lady).
What do you miss most when you’re outside Lagos?
The real fast life, the hustle and bustle. Though when I get back, I’m already complaining within the first 30 minutes.
What’s your favourite Lagos hang-out, club or pub?
Of course now! We all know it’s Niteshift Coliseum. Since it closed down, I don’t think I’ve been to more than one or two places. Then, of course, I like the smaller hangouts for pepper soup, suya and all that. The Mama puts too!
Where do you shop in Lagos?
I hardly shop for my things myself. But I shop for my children. There was a time I was going to highbrow boutiques but these days I’ve discovered that I can still get same things somewhere reasonable. Tejuosho was my favourite but that’s too far now. Now, I have Allen Avenue or Opebi for the children.
Apart from Lagos, what other city are you attached to?
Los Angeles, perhaps because of my Grammy experience.
How do you move around Lagos?
I have a car for now.
How about the early days?
Tough. But I never took molue because of the jumping. I took danfos a lot. And when I had money, I’d take drops until the okadas came.
What are your hobbies?
Going to Badagry with my children. The town, not mainly the beach, we buy seafoods, go to the Marina, take pepper soup and sometimes stay in the town. When I’m not doing that we play indoor games-scrabble or chess. I also love to read and cook.
What new projects are you working on?
An early morning daily entertainment show. Showbiz Café and Entertainment News will also be back very soon.
(First published in 2005)