– emerges highest paid female artiste and queen of endorsement
Omawumi Megbele is now adjudged the highest paid female artiste in Nigeria. Evidences are all over the place at the moment, ranging from her proceeds from shows to mouth-watering endorsements, which qualified the Warri, Delta State born singer to be in the league of musicians that cruise in exotic cars and live in multi-million naira houses. The If You Ask Me crooner now smiles to the bank regularly. All on account of her doggedness, hard work and consistency in her career, music.
ENCOMIUM Weekly’s findings revealed that Omawumi’s performance fee has risen from N3 million (as at September 2013) to N5 million, depending on the show. By popular demand, she features frequently at private parties without forgetting the fact that she is one of the regular faces at big concerts, within and outside Nigeria.
Omawumi, who is missing in action at this year’s Nigerian Breweries sponsored Star Trek, the biggest music concert in Africa because of her relationship with another brand, Guinness, is not relenting despite her rising profile. Sources close to her disclosed to ENCOMIUM Weekly that Omawumi performs, at least six times in a month.
There were instances, we learnt, where guests personally wanted the prolific song-writer to perform, and the organisers ensured that she graced the show. A close source cited the just concluded Vanguard Newspaper Personality of The Year Award, where the winner, Governor Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan personally requested Omawumi to perform, which they did despite the fact they had earlier contacted her.
Not only that, Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was elated to see the talented singer thrill at the 2014 World Economic Forum held in Switzerland, where she, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Tony Elumelu, Mrs. Fidelia Njeze (Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein), and other delegates rocked! Omawumi was also the only female music star, aside Ara, the drummer, that performed at the Nigeria Centenary Celebration grand finale held on February, 2014 at The Abuja National Stadium, Abuja.
Aside her album’s The Lasso of Truth concert held last year, the award-winning singer, who had also made few appearances in movies, had fantastic shows/concerts in 2013, which include Guinness World Of More, Nigerian Idol grand finale, Glo Slide and Bounce concert, where she gave breathtaking performances. And she has continued in that pace in 2014 based on ENCOMIUM Weekly’s assessment. We reliably gathered that she’s billed to perform for the South Africa President, Jacob Zuma, on Thursday, April 24, 2014.
Currently, she’s the only female music star with the highest number of endorsements, followed closely by another fantastic female singer, the vivacious Tiwa Savage. Omawumi is an ambassador of Glo, one of Nigeria telecommunications giants, and the endorsement is worth N25 million. She also also signed a multi-million deal with Guinness, as a face of Malta Guinness Africa. She was unveiled recently as Konga.com ambassador. The hard working singer is also the face of Mortein, where she participated in the malaria campaign across Africa. She’s part of the Rise With The Energy of Africa and Project Alert Society.
Last week, the crooner was among the 19 African artistes invited for one.org agriculture campaign called Do Agric, It Pays, with one of the continent’s biggest musical collaborations ever, entitled, Cocoa Na Chocolate!
Unlike other artistes who go round boasting with their achievements, the gifted singer is humble. She has been described as silent achiever, who believes in the concept, Less Talk, More Action. Unknown to many, Omawumi moved into her own house at Lekki Phase 1, around Tantalizers area, Victoria Island, Lagos in January, 2014 and the edifice, ENCOMIUM Weekly gathered, gulped N100 million. During the period, the leading music star in Nigeria acquired a 2012 ML 350 Mercedes worth about N12.5 million.
She has been able to achieve all these within seven years. Omawumi, a Law graduate from Ambrose Alli University, came to limelight following a spectacular performance at the 2007 edition of the West African Idols, a reality TV show, where she emerged runner-up. The following year, she won the Hip-Hop World Next Rated, the award which came with 2009 model of Kia Optima car.
She went off the music scene for couple of months, due to her much celebrated pregnancy. Despite her condition, she was able to drop two hit singles, and while in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on maternity leave, her songs continued to receive rave reviews, from pundits home and abroad. She later returned fully in 2011 after welcoming her first child, Kamillah Emmanuella, and since then, she has become a big name in the Nigerian entertainment industry.
All these have been made possible for her, because she has a good management team headed by the List Entertainment boss, Sunday Are. Surprisingly, Omawumi survived the already saturated and very competitive industry without a record label! Mr. Sunday Are, a guru and veteran in artiste management made it possible for the Omawumi brand to be celebrated across the world. This was also confirmed by the singer herself.
According to her, “I am really happy about the people around me. Big thanks to my father, like I call him, Mr. Sunday Are for setting up a fantastic management team, including my energetic band members. I thank God for making it possible because music is a form of enjoyment for me and I thank God that I can eat from what I enjoy doing.
“The industry has been good to me. If I must tell you the truth, apart from some bad belle people or head people, who are bent on bringing you down, they are there to make you strong. I have had opportunities of making good friends in the industry. They look up to me as their baby sister. So, the industry has been good to me and I feel very good.”
Omawumi is one of the most controversial female singers. Her pregnancy was surrounded by controversy, and at a point, it was rumoured that she was impregnated by a south-south governor. She later silenced her critics when she revealed the father of her baby as Tosin Yusuf. Till date, the identity of her baby father is unknown. She has kept it secret and has separated her music from private life. The 31-year-old single mother has been allegedly involved in public show of shame, especially on journalists who were only doing their job. Recently, she was said to have pounced on a photo journalist, identified as Adekola Bamigbala, grabbed his camera and attacked him with it, leading to the guy losing his balance, and so many other instances, which the singer has denied.
Album: Lasso of Truth
If you ask me
When the boss is coming
The African way
The best you can be
I Go Go
What a bang bang feat. 2Face Idibia
Personal Race feat. Timaya
You must love me
Warn yourself feat. Wizkid
Stay Alive (Jeje Laiye)
Belle feat. Flavour
Life goes on feat. Afay
ENCOMIUM Weekly later had a chat with Omawumi…
How does it feel to be part of One.org’s Cocoa na chocolate project?
I feel really honoured to be part of this, and if you look at the calibre of artistes invited for this project, they are people of relevance and repute. In Nigeria, for the organization to have called me alongside D’Banj and Femi Kuti, I feel really honoured.
What does the title, Cocoa na chocolate mean to you?
My understanding of the title is to make people understand that cocoa, which is chocolate is a product of farming, just like other farm produce. So, people need to understand that farming is an important part of our economy and our life in this country and the continent at large.
How did you get involved in this and what inspired you to accept it?
I was approached by the organizers, One.org when they started the agriculture campaign. They said they wanted me to be part of the project, to sensitize people on the need to be more involved in agriculture. I got inspired because it’s a good project, and as a musician, I try to reach-out to my fans through my music. Anything that has to do with making the society better, Omawumi is always part of it.
What is the message of your verse in the song?
My verse said, let us Africa make we join hand build Africa, time is now, the land is green…what I am trying to say is that, Africa in general, the people who are involved in making decisions regarding agriculture, budget decision, financial decision, they need to come on board, to develop agriculture, not just to feed ourselves, but feed the world. We have the facilities to achieve this, all we need is to be more involved in projects like this.
Do you think music alone can influence our perception about this?
Music alone cannot do it, but it is going to do a very big part of it. Music is one of the greatest tools to send messages, and I think it’s a great idea to use music as one of the tools for this campaign.
We are aware that Omawumi is associated with different campaigns, tell us more about them?
I am the anti-malaria spokesperson for Africa, a project that is empowered by Reckitt Benckiser, makers of Mortein. We travel to different countries across Africa to sensitize and make people understand the scourge, malaria and how they can prevent it, because we believe that it is preventable. I am also part of breast cancer foundation. I also have my own NGO. It is like a skill acquisition organization where people can learn different skills. Basically, we empower people. I am also part of an organization that sensitizes people to be more involved in political activism, especially the youth, among others.
Apart from your Glo endorsement, tell us your other endorsements?
I don’t really call them endorsements, but I thank God because as an artiste, I am someone who can sell products. My fan base demography covers grassroots to the elite class. That’s the reasons I am being approached by the brands I am currently associated with, because they are mostly involved in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). For instance, Mortein is involved in anti-malaria project, and their focus is to ensure a malaria free society. I am also part of Malta Guinness, Konga.com, and Glo.
How frequent do you travel for shows in a month?
Like six times in a month, within and outside the country.
With all these schedules, how do you cope with home front, especially taking care of your daughter?
I am fortunately very blessed with a big family, from my side and Baba Kamilla’s family. I don’t lack anything. Her father deals in real estate, and the business is well grounded in Lagos, and where we are. So, we juggle it, and the few time I have, I always make sure that I do everything I need to do, such as bathing her, taking her to school, and at the same time, I try as much as possible seeing her every evening.
What is delaying your album, because it’s close to two years you dropped your debut album?
No, it is not two years. I released Lasso of Truth in April 7, 2013. It is just less than a year.
But I am aware you’re working on your next album?
Yes, I am working on a 10 tracks live album.
Why live album?
Because I perform live, I am telling people that I only perform with a live band, which is why I am doing something unique this time. In the album, if you hear guitar, you should know say na person they play am; if you hear drum, you should know say na person they nack am. I am travelling across four different cities across the world, Jo’burg, Paris, New York and Lagos, to record this album, which is going to be produced by Cobhams.
How we rated them
2) Tiwa Savage
5. Seyi Shey
– RASHEED ABUBAKAR