FAMOUS actress, Ronke Ojo-Gbolahan, otherwise known as Ronke Oshodi Oke, who just veered into music has told ENCOMIUM Weekly why her debut album which features prominent fuji artiste, Alhaji Wasiu Alabi Odetola (Pasuma) has not been released since it was launched on Sunday, October 26, 2014. The gap-toothed thespian opened up on this and much more when we visited her at her Ijaiye, Lagos residence on Friday, April 3, 2015…
Since Sunday, October 26, 2014, that your debut album was launched, not much is heard of it again. What is actually delaying it from being released?
To God be the glory, I don’t think there is any problem. It’s going to come out very soon. People should understand this is my first time of doing something of such. So, I think I need to take my time so that it could be done the right way. I don’t need to rush at all. For now, I am trying to release it online. Very soon, I will shoot the video. I am new in the business of music. So, I need to study the ropes very well so that I don’t fall into a wrong hand.
But some are saying you’re yet to get a marketer that can take up the financial responsibility of the album, and that’s exactly what caused the delay in its release. What’s your reaction to that?
Yes, of course. But one thing people should understand is music is different from movie. If it’s in the movie sector, which of course is the terrain I am very much familiar with, you can just shoot a movie and take it to a marketer but it’s not like that here. You have to do a lot of post production activities before you can get it released. No marketer will come, you have to do certain things yourself before the marketer comes in. That’s how I feel and of course, I think that’s how it is.
In searching for a marketer, what else have you been doing to ensure the album is not delayed further from being released?
Left to me, I believe it’s better late than never. If I do everything the right way, I think the better for my audience. I need to go through the right channel. I don’t want to involve any marketer just because I am in a hurry to do so. I just want to make sure everything concerning the release of the album is done the right way.
Does it really mean you’re not interested in inviting a marketer now or no marketer is even interested in the album?
I am not interested in involving any marketer now, marketers would surely bid for it later. Of course, a marketer will have to sell it, but right now, I need to do some things on my own.
Are you not scared of piracy which, of course, has been the main problem of the industry over the years?
I thank God Buhari won the presidential election. So, I know it’s not going to be business as usual for pirates anymore. I pray piracy eradication is going to be one of the agenda Buhari is going to roll out to the public when he assumes office on May 29, 2015. And by the time my album will come out, it won’t be pirated as much as it used to be in the cases of others. Honestly, I am not really thinking of piracy now because if you begin to think of it, you won’t do anything at all.
What else do you expect from the incoming administration concerning the entertainment industry?
I pray the new government looks at our interest as well because when we were campaigning, I mean, those of us that campaigned for Buhari, we appealed to him to look into piracy as it remains the only issue giving us headache. Piracy is getting higher and higher, cutting across almost every part of the country, including Abuja.
What of the sponsorship aspect?
Yes, I think the government has promised to be assisting us concerning that.
But that was President Jonathan administration, will Buhari also do the same?
I think he will because that’s one of our requests when we campaigned for him.
Let’s go to movie, when last did you release a movie?
Releasing movies is not encouraging anymore. It’s really sad. It’s not what you do again with all happiness. Our marketers too are not encouraged anymore. They keep losing every time. And when they are not happy, we also cannot be happy because they are the ones financing everything. And when you put your money into a business and you’re not getting anything in return, you won’t be encouraged to forge ahead. Anyway, I released my last movie early last year but it’s grossly pirated.
Does that mean you won’t produce any movie again?
That can’t happen. No matter how, we will keep doing what we know how to do best. Pirates can’t send us out of business.
You belong to the new association, Theatre and Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPPAN). What’s the latest development concerning the association now, especially concerning its activities?
Yes, our leaders are trying. They are trying to sanitise the industry so that it can be better for all. They always organize seminars and workshops, all for the good of the industry.
Are they also not putting in place any effort to fight piracy?
Of course, they are. But we’re all aware we can’t fight the battle alone without the support of the government. So, just like I said, that’s one of our requests to the new government. And I pray it will be granted.
How would you assess the industry generally now?
It’s bad but I know it will be better some day. We thank God, no matter the situation.
How do you now survive going by the current situation of the industry?
We survive no matter how hard the situation is right now. Most of us are into other businesses within and outside entertainment. So, we thank God for everything.
What else are you now into apart from movie and music that keeps you going?
I am a complete entertainer. I do Master of Ceremonies, anchor events, endorsement deals and more. So, I thank God for my life. There is no limit to which you can go if you’re hugely talented.
Let’s talk again on your music career, have you been getting shows since you launched the album?
Yes, I have got about three shows. And it has been a wonderful outing all through.
How affordable is Ronke Oshodi-Oke when it comes to engagements and shows?
I am very affordable. But it all depends.
How would you describe the experience?
It has been very beautiful. I thank God for everything.