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The Dr Of Theatre | By Tunde Busari

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Efunsetan, Iya Alakara, Ayoni, Ijewuru, Aina, Jinadu, Ewejoko. These are stage names. And these stage names have one name in common. The name is Isola Ogunsola!

Isola Ogunsola, the Ogun State-born was a theatre art practitioner whose own stage name is Dr I-Show Pepper. He died on December 28, 1992. That is approximately 28 years ago.

Disappointingly, a little is talked about him, despise his verifiable contributions to the growth of make-believe industry in Nigeria. He was one of old generation of artistes who laboured hard and planted the seed, fruit of which is being harvested today.

One tragedy of regular exchanges of punches by the living artistes over associations and factions, is distraction to which they are subjected in initiating enduring schemes which would outlive their generation.

One of the legacies they ought to struggle to build, instead of trading of words, is to institute a programme which will make remembrance of their late colleagues a permanent feature in their industry.

Yes, I-Show Pepper is gone and resting forever, who knows who goes next from this morning? While I’m wishing the living long life and prosperous career, I must, however, not deny them the truth that death is sacrosanct, a debt we all owe our creator. Therefore, it’s not a matter of prayers or curse, we are all returning to dust, only that no one knows the exact hour the cock would crow.

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I-Show Pepper’s family too is equally culpable for not blowing the trumpet left behind by their father who made indelible marks as a fine thespian gifted with skills which made theatre much fascinating to many. When he sang, he did with passion and finesse; when he danced, he danced effortlessly with alluring steps and flexibility.

No wonder majority of actors belong to the ‘elite’ class of polygamists. No sane person should blame them for this because they are helpless and can’t afford to run away from that reality. All a actor requires is just a casual wink to one whose heart is already in vibration, in fasting and vigil mode for such opportunity to have the admirable character doing those stunning displays on stage. The rest will be history.

I-Show Pepper had and left wives behind, sadly, two of them-Iya Alakara and lately Ijewuru-have joined him in terrestrial realm. May husband and wives rest peacefully. Olusola domo ayo, ere o, la n fomo ayo o seee.

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Why I did the track ‘Adura’ —Sean Dampte

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Afropop singer, Sean Dampte, who recently dropped a single entitled: ‘Adura’, which is increasingly gaining a lot of airplay in and outside the country, in this interview by MegaIcon, talks about his music career and why he recorded the track ‘Adura’. Excerpts:

  • What got you into music in the first place?

I have been in music so long that I cannot say particularly why I am into music other than it gives me joy and fulfilment to be part of the culture. I guess I can confidently say it must be the love for music itself.

  • The brand Sean Dampte is gathering great momentum in the music scenes, especially in the UK and Nigeria. How do you feel about that?

I am humbled to say the least but in all honesty there is still much work to be done. I am grateful to my team, friends, family, Awoodahites  and everyone that is part of this journey.

How did you start and push the brand to this applauding level?

Like I said earlier, I am humbled to see how far we have come. The most important thing for me and for everyone for that matter is the resilience that you possess. I started by believing in myself and ability and over time, loads of people started to see I would not be going anywhere and began to take the brand Sean Dampte serious. It’s been a long journey, but we are thankful.

  • How would you describe the music that you typically create?

I like to call what I do Afro-Calypso but ultimately it is part and parcel of the AfroPop vibe with loads of other cultures present.

How does your work comment on current happenings in the social and political circles?

Yea it’s been and still a trying time overall and I cannot shy away from the happenings. With that said, that is one of my reasons for the single ‘Adura’ just to point out that only prayer can uplift us. And we must always continue to pray.

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Your manager is white, while you are black. How do you feel given the recent uproar about racism against the black race?

Personally, I understand where and how the current uproar affects the psyches, however it is never about white versus black but rather about us, from a black background, being treated equally and respected.

I support the #BlackLivesMatter movement wholeheartedly and willingly believe in what we trying to achieve.

  • Where and when do you get inspired to write your lyrics, inside the plane or while talking a walk?

 

Inspiration for me comes standard and I am actually grateful for my team. It happens anywhere and when that happens, you can bet am on to my team. We working always to get the best our to everyone. My key producers Joey Benks, JayOcean and Jomane have been fantastic. Sometimes 1 AM, 2 AM we are still up working across continents. Hahahaha

Do you sing in the shower? What songs?

I do sing in the shower but it’s never the same song. Although I have been singing Adura for the last couple of days and I am sure you know why. Very uplifting I find it.

  • Most people believe nowadays artistes don’t undergo much stress to blow unlike the days when there was no internet or social media when musicians had to go from one town to another to perform. But now it seems easy as many music talents have blown via social media?

It is really difficult to comment on that but one cannot undervalue the effect of social media and technology as a whole. The truth is that the challenge is still there and more importantly it has opened up the opportunities for more talents to be able to showcase themselves and direct their musical career.

Where have you performed? Which artiste have you performed with?

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I have performed at a host of events to say the least – But in the last two years I have been on stage with Wizkid at the YCee concert, Falz the Bahd Guy, Davido all in the United Kingdom, Kizz Daniel in Amsterdam to mention a few.

  • Which is your favourite song to perform from your songs?

In truth, I enjoy performing to all of my songs at every opportunity I get. Considering I enjoy listening to good music. However, if it were to happen that I was put on the spot and had to perform one, I would most probably choose Marcelina – it’s a very different vibe that gives.

Which famous musicians do you admire?

There are loads of great artistes and musicians out there to say the least and that follows that I probably would admire a lot of them. But k

  • What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

Hahahahahaha! Seriously …… that alone is enough to get one into more trouble wouldn’t you agree! Awoodahites are always right! Let’s just say that is it.

°What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Wow! I personally find every advice useful at all times. But what my dad always told me growing up was that talent in anything is never enough to excel – so you must work harder, pray harder and dream bigger!

 

  • If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

That in itself would be a monumental task for one person to take upon him or herself. Hahahahaha, I would only want more to be done to protect the artistes and their investors really. No one likes their work to be infringed upon and no one likes to be cheated. So yea, protect all stakeholder rights as much as humanly possible.

  • If you could go open a show for any artiste, who would it be?

Hahahahaha, I have been on stage with most Nigerian Artistes and all so maybe for me now, having to open up for Drake in this moment would do it.

  • You once said in an interview that you almost killed yourself due to depression. How did you get over it?
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It was a dark place to be in. And it’s not somewhere I like to visit. But one generally needs to keep on focusing on the good things and love for family. It is important to keep in contact with close family and friends and speak out. That works for me and hopeful it helps others do who struggle with it.

What is one message you would give to your fans?

I mean all my Awoodahites know how we do now! We plenty like stars! Life Money Happiness crew. We keep on keeping on. I love my Awoodahites and they love me too!

What’s next for you?

Yea it’s been an interesting year to say the least and following all the great reviews we have had for my hit single ‘Adura’ – I think it’s time I let people into my world and so will be dropping my Sophomore EP on August 21 titled “Awoodah Rising: Man Like Sean Dampte”

Make sure you look out for it!

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‘COVID-19 is real’, says Peter Okoye after tested positive

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Nigerian pop-star, Peter Okoye has disclosed that he and his family tested positive for COVID-19.

Peter Okoye, in a live session on his verified Instagram page on Saturday said, “It took me a lot of courage to say this.

“For weeks, I was in prison in my own house. I was sick. I was COVID-19 positive. It took me a lot of courage to say this. I caught the virus.

“I used to think this whole virus thing was a joke and I took it for granted.”

Speaking further, Okoye also revealed that his daughter and wife were later tested positive, including his cook and one of his nannies.

The former P-square group member further informed that he and his family have now tested negative after treatment.

“If you think this whole virus is fake or you don’t have anyone that you know, I am telling you now that it is real,” Okoye said.

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Why I’m yet to remarry, 20 years after my husband’s demise – Asewo to re mecca

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Far famed Nollywood actress, Yeye Toyin Adegbola, popularly addressed as ‘Ajoke Ashewo to re Mecca’ by her numerous fans has attributed the need to prioritize children as her reason for refusing to get married again since her husband’s demise, over 20 years ago.

 

Ajoke Ashewo to re Mecca’ also stressed the need for mothers to establish closer relationships with their children, particularly the girl child, without shying away from adequate sex education.

 

 

She recommended castration as the appropriate punishment for rapists in Nigeria.

 

 

The veteran actress,  who featured on Parrot Xtra Hour aired on Space Fm, Ibadan on Tuesday admonished parents to always encourage and support their children in their desired career choices.

 

When asked about her stage name, the actress laughed, explaining that she got it from a role she acted in a movie.

 

“There was a time I went to buy some things at Dugbe Market in Ibadan and a particular woman started shouting ‘Ashewo’, you know, it was so embarrassing. I found it offensive initially but I just had to get used to it eventually. Besides, this is what I’m getting paid for”.

 

She attributed her seeming absence in movies in recent times to growth, explaining that she now carefully selects roles before accepting to feature in movies.

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While speaking on other means of livelihood, the actress disclosed her involvement in politics at a time, noting that the Osun state Governor at the time, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola had invited her to serve the people, because of her many social responsiblity roles even as an actress.

On upcoming projects, she assured her fans of exciting projects as soon as the pandemic is over, one of which would capture her most embarrassing moment, when she was detained at Iyagunku, Ibadan police station for about nine days, after the police alleged that her vehicle was used to assassinate somebody.

 

 

She advised upcoming actors to be willing to undergo intense training, adding that there is no shortcut to long lasting success.

 

Yeye Toyin Adegbola also took time to speak about her role so far in getting Nigerians to be aware of the deadly nature of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

 

“I have several short productions that I uploaded to sensitize Nigerians on COVID-19. Nobody paid me to do it. Nigerian governments at all levels, as far as I am concerned has not approached any actor or actress to officially have input in the battle to stop the spread of the pandemic”, the actress said.

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She later went ahead to pay glowing tributes to Pa Tubosun Odunsi and Adebayo Salami  (Oga Bello) for the roles they played in her life and for contributing to her success as a professional actress.

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