+ Owning many cars is not a big deal
ALHAJI Abass Akande, otherwise known as Obesere needs no introduction as far as Nigerian entertainment is concerned. He has been a performing fuji star for decades and still waxing stronger and stronger by the day. Not only that, he is also adjudged one of the richest entertainers right now.
In this exclusive interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, the Paramount King of Music as Obesere is also known opened up elaborately on many issues, including his new title, Alhaji Agba, his wealth and much more…
What’s going on now concerning your life and career?
Something good and fantastic of course. Alhamdulillahi! I give God the glory that I am still among the recognized entertainers today.
What are you working on now?
I am working on my new album, entitled, Alhaji Agba.
What informed the title and when did you become Alhaji Agba?
Yes, it’s a title that came after I became Alhaji Agba, courtesy my fans home and abroad. My fans just told me the title of Alhaji Agba fits me and they wanted me to take it. Since, I had heeded their wish. And I am happy but I was scared initially when they’re referring to me as Alhaji Agba because I am still young. But they said no, it’s not about age but the way I always comport myself maturely in every situation. They also cited other reasons for bestowing on me that coveted honour, including the fact that I don’t underrate people and they also said I am very accommodating and humble. They also said I always seek progress for others irrespective of whoever they are, old or young, men and women alike. So, they said they have all agreed to give me the title.
If you’re the Alhaji Agba in the fuji circuit now, which position will General Kollington Ayinla be?
That’s exactly what I asked them but they told me Alhaji Kollington Ayinla was a friend of Alhaji Agba when Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister was alive. So, after the death of Ayinde Barrister who was the Alhaji Agba, if they install me Alhaji Agba, that means Kollington Ayinla has become the father of Alhaji Agba. He’s my father and he has always been.
But a lot of people will still argue that what would K1 de Ultimate be called if they pronounce you Alhaji Agba?
There is no controversy about that. Just like I have always said in my music, he has always been my intimate friend. So, he has also become the intimate friend of Alhaji Agba automatically. And I am sure he would be happy about it. Even when I want to officially unveil the title, he would have to be there as special guest and intimate friend of Alhaji Agba.
But the public impression is that both of you are like day and night. How are you going to convince the public that you’re best of friends now?
People will confirm that on this issue of Alhaji Agba because he would surely be with me that day. I will even make it mandatory for him to be in attendance. And I am sure he won’t say he’s not happy about it. So, people should just wait and see.
A lot of things have been said and written about your relationship with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), especially during the political campaign that preceded the 2015 general elections, which gave an impression that you’re an addicted follower of PDP. What is your reaction to this?
As an entertainer, I don’t belong to any political party. I am a friend of all political parties. But what happened that time was that it’s PDP that embraced me not as a card carrying member but an artiste. Not that I was not ready to perform for other political parties then but PDP stood as the only party that needed me the most, and I also worked very well for the party. That doesn’t mean I am an enemy of other political parties. I am not a politician.
How did you feel when former President Jonathan lost the election?
How? We’re all Nigerians and Nigerians have decided what they wanted and they have got it. I am an entertainer, I just spoke what I felt was happening then. All I know is that we’re all one Nigeria. What we all want is what will better off Nigeria’s situation. We all know what we want. What’s important is for Nigeria to be better for all of us. That’s my prayer as well. I am not against anybody or party.
What’s your advice for Buhari as the president of this country?
My prayer for him first is to succeed in his administration. I believe he can’t do it alone he should just be careful of those to work with so that he can deliver, Nigerians expectations from his government are very high. But by the special grace of God, he won’t fail. We all want to enjoy dividends of democracy. We want a government that will advance the cause of this country so that all of us can enjoy abundantly.
You’re adjudged one of the richest musicians right now, especially in the fuji circuit. What’s your financial worth?
Alhamdulillahi, I am comfortable and contented with what God has done for me. I don’t know the criteria people used that qualified me as one of the richest musicians in Nigeria at the moment.
But we learnt you have about six houses both in Lagos and Ibadan, Oyo State. It’s even rumoured you have just completed a marvelous hotel and music studio worth millions of naira. How true are all these?
If at all I have 100 houses, it’s even not enough because of the kind of labour we go through on account of our job. In just one minute, Mike Adenuga has made N1b, Dangote has made N2b effortlessly. So, if people like us have property all over Lagos, I don’t think there is anything bad about that. All I know is that I will continue to show my appreciation to God because He has been so kind to me. There was nothing I asked from Him that He didn’t do for me. Although, I may not be a millionaire or billionaire, I thank God for what He had done in my life.
A couple of months back, it was reputed that you took delivery of about three automobiles, including a service truck. How much did the whole thing cost you?
Acquiring cars or no cars is no big deal to me. That won’t be my first time of buying cars and surely, it won’t be the last time. I don’t even see buying car as a thing of pride again. I don’t even like talking about such things. I can’t celebrate any new car I buy again no matter how expensive it may be. If I have the money to acquire a beautiful car, it should be something private not for show off. It’s all about my personal convenience. So, it’s not a big deal. What’s important to me is my career. I want people to know that my kind of fuji is unique and no one can match it. My kind of music is different from any other fuji artiste. Even those in the hip-hop genre emulate me. When we talk about stage performance, Abass Akande is number one, everybody knows that. And when it comes to concert, I have no equal in the industry. Also, if you’re talking of wedding, naming, burial and all forms of engagements, Abass Akande can’t be pushed aside. My style of music cuts across board. I thank God for making me a professional musician. Very soon, I will release some hip-hop singles. Already, I have some on the internet. I have one called Ibi ni ma ku si. I still have some others including Emi naa ni, Ja fo ri e, What can fa. Some will be released on the internet in the next two weeks, including Paraga, Ileke Idi, What can fa and others. So, I am moving. My career is the most important thing to me. All these luxuries people like talking about are rubbish to me.
But can’t you tell us the exact number of cars you have in your garage?
I can’t count the number of cars I have because before the day closes today, one of my fans can dash me a car and before tomorrow people can still dash me more. So, how will I now account for all those? I am only enjoying the grace of God. So, I don’t need to be talking about things like that. That’s how it should be for every artiste that knows what he or she is doing. Some may even dash me land and any other thing. All I need is to thank God for His grace.
How much do you charge now to perform at a function?
It all depends but it’s in millions. However, if the person is very close to you, you can’t charge him or her the same rate you charge outsiders. But if it’s a concert, I don’t lesson my price, but it depends on distance.
Your new album which will soon be released has to do with your new title of Alhaji Agba, what else differentiates it from the previous ones?
Alhaji Agba is very unique. Everybody knows that I don’t repeat my music. So, they should expect something totally different from what they have been listening to. Alhaji Agba has a lot of messages especially for those in government. I also pray for the present administration in the album. No name was mentioned there and that makes it evergreen. It’s going to be relevant forever. I also called the attention of the public to the moral decadence in the society as a result of negligence by parents and even the government. That’s why there are lots of youths going into one crime or the other. Some girls have become potential prostitutes. All these and much more were addressed in the album. No one will listen to the music and not feel touched.
What makes you unique among your colleagues?
I am unique because I don’t see myself as anything. I don’t like believing I am a celebrity. That’s why I wonder at times when I see some people feeling pompous, claiming they are something. What then do they want people like late Michael Jackson to do if they claim they are famous. An artiste that is not even known beyond his country is claiming he is this and that. I don’t cherish that. That’s why people say I am a humble person. I don’t underrate people and I don’t antagonize any upcoming artiste. I always like to assist others because I believe in the process of doing that, I am also helping myself. Nobody knows tomorrow.
No doubt, you have been very much blessed, what more do you still want God to do for you?
What I want God to do is to give me more humility and continue making me a role model in the society so that a lot of people will continue to learn more from me. I want God to endow me with more wisdom and knowledge to sail across the ocean of this world.
What keeps you waxing stronger?
First, it’s God and I don’t operate beyond my limit. I am always contented with what I have. I thank God for my life.
There is this impression most musicians sleep with their dancers, especially fuji artistes. Are you an exception to this?
I am hearing that for the first time. Whoever that dances for me works with me. And I don’t mix pleasure with business.
That means you don’t romance any of your dancers as being bandied?
That’s rubbish. I don’t do that.
You have travelled far and wide performing. How acceptable is Papa over there?
There is no country I go that I won’t be accepted. My fans are all over the world. Alhamdulillahi. That’s how it has been since the beginning of my career and so shall it be forever. Glory be to Almighty Allah.