Adebayo Taiwo Oluseyi popularly known as “Bembe Aladisa” once ruled the music scene with his debut album “E wa fun mi ni visa” which rented and hijacked the social scene. The agile, creative, energetic musician is now back to the music scene after a long vacation with a bang.
He tells the story of how government forces, operating under different names intimidated him and his new album which would rock the entertainment scene very soon. Excerpts
Your journey into the music world?
Unlike other Artistes that started music from their mother’s womb. I started my music career in the church as a juvenile choir and while I was growing I use to listen to Fela Anikulapo and Bob Marley, I see these people as freedom fighter, then I never knew what they were singing, because I grew up in the Barracks, as a Barrack boy, the only language I understood then was pidgin english, but musically, they penetrates my soul, I responded to their lyrics, their musical instrumentation.
Through all these, I knew these people were saying no to something’s and they were saying the fact, since then, I have chosen to be an activist who doesn’t like oppression and that’s me naturally.
How did you get your inspiration for “E wa fun mini visa”?
Let me tell you one thing, the inspiration for “Ewa fun mi ni visa” is still there and if we are not careful, it would continue to be there, it is what we are seeing and experiencing every day.
We need not to deceive ourselves, in Nigeria today, how many families can afford three square meal in a day, how many families eat balanced diet, how many families can afford good qualitative education, the fact is that, what we are seeing is what inspired me, what is around us is what I sing, I can’t say we are okay while we are hungry.
The Bible says in Proverb29:2, “when the wicked are on throne the people will start mourning, when the righteous are in authority, the people will be happy”, the question is that, Are we happy or we are sad in Nigeria? If I am seeing happiness, I would sing in that line, but if I am experiencing sadness, I am going to sing what I am seeing, I cannot pretend.
Based on the speculations then, is it true that you were denied visa at the US and UK embassies?
Our people failed to understand that “Ewa fun mi ni visa” is a slogan (chorus), the main message was not in any way related to visa issue at all. Although, I later heard that I was denied visa, in fact, I had never applied for visa, some invitations I got was through the music.
Your role model?
I love Fela Anikulapo because, he is a blunt person, though some people criticize him because he smokes, but that should be regarded as a personal habit, love him with the message of his music, which is very powerful, he preaches freedom.
After the release of the aforementioned track, you seem to be reticent, more so disappear from the music scene, what has being wrong with you since all these while?
I believe, there is time for everything, I never ran away from the music scene. I am married and I have to put everything together to take good care of my family.
Though, there was a time the former president, General Olusegun Obasanjo was abusing Idris Abdulkareem and I based on the release of my track “Ewa fun mi ni visa” where he called me bastard. He was furious about the development, that how on earth would an Egba Indigene be singing against his government, I was very aggressive then, I responded, believing that one should be free to express his/her feelings, Baba Obasanjo was very mad at me.
I was harassed, intimidated and arrested on several occasions by the police and other law enforcement agents asking me about my main motive of accusing the government, so when it became unbearable, I have to find my way, but now I am really back to the music scene.
Were you fulfilled with the release of “E wa fun mi ni visa” in terms of fame and smiling to your bank account?
I was fulfilled in terms of fame but smiling to my bank account is nothing to write home about. After it was banned on airwaves, it was also pirated in Asia, United Kingdom, even everywhere, but I got the fame, I hope in not too distance future, money would soon follow.
How soon are we expecting another album from Bembe Aladisa?
Very soon. I just finished the audio of my new album preparing for the video.
How would you describe the present situation in Nigeria?
The compound is gradually taking new shapes, but we see rugged and worried faces living in the compound, it is a message. If Abuja continue to look beautiful, what about the people, are they well fed; do you see smiles on their faces?
What would that be to the people we are leading? The common man needs some basic amenities, Nigerians are suffering, poverty, hunger and unemployment are prominent in our Country, our leaders must be alive to their responsibilities.
Any message for Nigerians?
In my new album “Naija Youth Prayer”, I am appealing to our youths that we should keep on praying, after the prayer, if it entails work which could be peaceful, violent or revolution, I think we should encourage that. Nigeria is blessed with ample of natures’ gift, why are we suffering?, I strongly believe Nigeria would be great again, but the question now is, is it in my own time?
My message is that Nigerians should keep praying and watching!
Lagos govt. grants pardon to Funke Akindele, husband over breach of COVID-19 regulations
The Lagos state government on Friday granted pardon to actress, Funke Akindele, and her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, who had earlier been convicted for an offence related to the disobedience of COVID-19 lockdown regulations.
The Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi, in a statement noted that the couple was granted pardon because they were non-custodial convicts.
The statement also revealed that 56 inmates from various correctional Centres were granted state pardon.
“A statement signed by the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, said Mr. Sanwo-Olu acted based on the recommendations of the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, under the powers conferred on the Governor by Section 212 (1) & (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended,” the statement read in part.
“The 56 released inmates were recommended by the Advisory Council after due examination of their case files and consideration of the length of time served, the gravity of offence, old age and ill-health among other parameters.
“The Attorney General has also enjoined the beneficiaries to be good citizens and stay away from crime”.
It will be recalled that eight-member Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, headed by Dr. Abayomi Finnih was inaugurated by Governor Sanwo-Olu in December 2019.
Nigerian film Eyimofe set for London premiere, debuts trailer
As part of activities to celebrate Nigeria’s 60th Independence Day anniversary, a film, Eyimofe (This is my desire) is set to premiere in the United Kingdom, at the BFI London Film Festival on October 11.
The film, which had its world premiere at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in February, is also billed to celebrate its U.S premiere at the AFI Fest on October 20.
Ahead of the London screening, which will create an opportunity for the Nigerian community in the United Kingdom to join in the country’s 60th anniversary celebration, Eyimofe has debuted its official trailer for the festival, which is already generating interest from the global film community.
A GDN Studios production, the 114 minutes film directed by twin brothers Arie and Chuko Esiri, features Jude Akuwudike, Temi Ami-Williams, Cynthia Ebijie, Sadiq Daba, Tomiwa Edun, Jacobs Alexander, Tomiwa Edun, Chioma ‘Chigul’ Omeruah and others.
Funded entirely in Nigeria and shot in 16mm and filmed across 48 locations in Lagos, the two chapter drama follows the stories of Mofe (Jude Akuwudike), a factory technician, and Rosa (Temi Ami-Williams), a hairdresser, on their quest for what they believe will be a better life on foreign shores.
A passport, photos and a visa form recurring elements. The characters’ misfortunes are part of their everyday life and they are sketching out the need to leave Nigeria at the same time.
At the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, status, money, gender, skin colour and family structures are inextricably connected. The longing for another life is but one thread in this complex mesh, a promise that floats above things at once near and far away.
It would be recalled that Eyimofe is the 2020 official selection for Vancouver International Film Festival, an annual film festival held in Vancouver, British Columbia.
PHOTOS: Odebunmi facilitates film making training for constituents
The lawmaker representing Ogo Oluwa/ Surulere Federal Constituency, Hon. Segun Dokun Odebunmi has facilitated an empowerment training program for members of his Constituency on Film Making and Cinematography for self reliance.
Odebunmi, who also chairs the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values on Thursday informed that the training was part of his quest for human development.
Remarking, the lawmaker justified the training as one of the ways of encouraging the youths to think out of the box and make use of the technology advancement to create another source of income.
” I grew up in this community and I know what majority of our people are passing through especially now that the economy of the world is being challenged, people need multiple streams of income and I am making use of every opportunity to assist my people by training them on how to make use of their talents and make more money through entertainment”, he said.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly for the opportunity, urging the participants to take the advantage to better their lots .
The lead speaker, Mr Maruff Ajibolu charged participants to take full compliment of the training as Nigeria’s creative industries are slowly breaking new grounds and currently recognised as among the biggest globally. This he noted led to its marking as a priority sector in the FGN’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan with a very high projected income over the coming years and also led the Federal government to grant most segments within the creative industries including Nollywood conditional access to pioneer status incentives which include holidays from the payment of companies’ income taxes as well as withholding tax on dividends from pioneer profits for an initial period of three years.
Also remarking, a key player in the creative industry, Mr. Muyiwa Ademola also harped on the huge potential subsumed in cinematography and film making. The Nollywood star further noted that the event was a rare opportunity, because it has always been either FG , CBN and World bank projects.
“It was designed to help people discover their talents and passion with the intent of turning it into a source of income”, Ademola added.
The training which took place concurrently at Resource Centre, Igbo-Ile Surulere LG and Ajaawa Town Hall, Ajaawa, Ogo-Oluwa LG, had other notable speakers which included, Mr Yemi Ogunyemi, Mr Ojo Oluwatona.
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