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‘Why 26 of us left Saidi Osupa’s band’ – Kokoro Taofeek exposes poor pay

Taofeek Kokoro

The backup singer of fuji star, Alhaji Saidi Akorede, famously known as Osupa, Kokoro Taofeek, who also doubles as the captain of the band has stated reasons he parted ways with his boss of over 25 years. He said there was no betrayal as being bandied in certain sections of the industry.

The famous Kokoro who is also known as Olohun Lugo was well known with Osupa throughout the years the going was good between the two of them. He’s even adjudged the back bone of the popular fuji musician.

However, when the news broke sometime last year that all of Osupa’s band members had deserted him, little did anyone in the industry and beyond believe Kokoro would be among those Osupa had now allegedly labeled traitors, until it became obvious towards the end of the last quarter of 2015, when the talented back-up artiste was no longer in sight at any of Osupa’s shows or concerts. And ENCOMIUM Weekly learnt all efforts to recall Kokoro by Osupa and some of his addicted fans couldn’t yield the desired result as he has finally carved out a band for himself. Not only that, Kokoro, we were told, is now set to release his debut album.

The development, ENCOMIUM Weekly was informed by an industry source, didn’t go down well with Olufimo as Osupa is also known, and he has allegedly accused Kokoro of sabotage. He was accused of striping Osupa by leaving the band alongside other 25 members to form his personal band.

“Saidi Osupa’s band has been in disarray since last year Kokoro left him with 25 others. They accused him of undue exploitation. Now, I learnt Kokoro has formed a new group comprising some of the former band members of his boss. The decision didn’t go down well with Osupa and it’s generating serious crisis between them.

However, on Saturday, January 23, 2016, ENCOMIUM Weekly had a chat with Olohun Lugo as Kokoro is also known on the raging controversy trailing his leaving his boss of over 25 years. The Lagos born entertainer expressed dismay over the misconception trailing his decision to call it quits with the famous fuji star.

“It’s true my brother, I am no longer with Saidi Osupa. And it’s not only me, it’s all of us that decided to leave and move on. If you’re serving a deity, and the deity failed to improve your life, the best thing is to have a rethink whether to continue serving the deity or not. That’s exactly what happened between us.

“I have been with Osupa for about 25 years and nothing to show for it. Imagine him paying 26 of us N100,000 per show and it’s not as if it’s regular. In your calculation sir, how much are we going to get per head? And to worsen it all, he doesn’t even pay us regularly.

“We have been on this issue for long, agitating for increase of our allowance because we’re not even on salary, and we all have responsibilities which he never cared to understand. So, we all decided to leave and hussle on our own which I think is better now because a lot of people think we’re enjoying because they see us with him.

“All I am saying is nothing but the truth, but if you ask him, he would want to be economical with the truth being a smart person. We can’t fight just as he can’t also ask me not to leave because I have my life to live. I have moved on with my career by forming a band of my own. Even, I will soon release my debut album entitled, Fuji Modernizer. It’s a sort of hip-hop with fuji flavour. It will surely make a difference in the industry.”

Asked if he’s ready to go back to Osupa if he makes a move for reconciliation, he said, “There is nothing impossible, but the Osupa I know is very stubborn. I know him very well. I have been with him for over 25 years. I know what he can do. Had it been he listened to us all this while, we wouldn’t have left. Now, he has recruited new guys but the difference will continue to be clear.

“I learnt his fans are complaining. He too knows something is missing in the band. I have been the captain of the band for long. But imagine in a show, we make over N1 million, apart from the booking fee which is between him and the manager, and he can’t part with about N250,000 for the 26 of us to share. And not as if we’re on salary. It’s painful. We just decided we can’t continue like that and we all left. But anytime he’s ready to do the right thing, we’re ready to go back to him.”

Probed further on the allegation from certain quarters that he hijacked Osupa’s band members to form his, he reacted, “There’s nothing like that. The kind of music I am into now doesn’t require large number of band members. So, my music has nothing to do with his band. Even before I left, he’s aware I had a band. So, how come people are saying I betrayed him?

ENCOMIUM Weekly’s efforts to get Osupa’s reaction proved futile as his mobile phone was switched off. We sent him a text, all to no avail.

ENCOMIUM Weekly later got across to Osupa’s manager, Sulaimon Balogun (Balo), and he reacted, “He’s free to say anything so far he’s no longer with us. He’s the one tired of working with us and he left alongside others. Their disengagement has not in any way affected our new band. We still remain stronger in the eyes of our fans.”


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