I like music, words. Not sure which I like the most, especially musical instruments playing, especially the guitar. Words begin to play in my head and I just get a pen and paper and put something down. It inspires me to write. I believe that songs, words and stories are alive. If you are attentive enough they will use to bring them into reality.
What’s your career been like?
I didn’t think I’d end up doing this; though I started as a school child with drama activities, etc. My initial fascination was with organic chemistry. But arts had a strong hold on me.
What have you done?
For the most part in entertainment I’ve not had the regular show entertainers have. Spoken words mostly, my kind of shows has been limited to World Bank kind of events. SFH, book launches, serious shows basically.
Storytelling as you do it is kind of different. Why did you decide to go into it?
It was accidental. I used to sing before doing poetry. Biggest event I was opening act at Onyeka Onwenu, nobody could advise me what to do. Till 2001 when I wrote a two-page poem and while being anchor man at an event, I rendered. So far with only four of us in it, it has been quite profitable.
How would you define yourself?
Eugenia Abu calls me Poet Entertainer. I think this about sums it all; that’s why I use the name story tell because it says it all. I could decide to use music today to tell my story, or a poem. Sometimes I like a music drama, movie documentary. My shows are multimedia.
Have you been in Nollywood?
TV series yes, not Nollywood. I was in ‘Wetin Dey’ as one of the doctors. It was very interesting acting BBC. It was different from other acting experiences. They were far more thorough and professional.
Have you learnt to play the guitar and do you still act?
Not yet both ways. (Laughing)
I started out music while working at the same in photography and video studio. I was also in public relations. I wanted to master it before going into. Moreover, the movie base is Lagos.
What do you think about Abuja for entertainment?
There’s potential, but I think the Abuja entertainer is an endangered specie because he doesn’t have the support. To pull a show here, he requires funding and it’s almost impossible to convince organisations to put money in. It nothing shot of miracle. There are not enough events outside government ones, not enough income to have achieve the required success to move your career forward. What I notice with the art world is that even the government which should do her bit doesn’t. A hall decorator may get better paid than the artiste performing there.
Is it then impossible for Lagos to come here?
A couple of them come but not to stay. Which eventually doesn’t help Abuja market. They come to source money and go back. Most shows in Lagos hardly have Abuja artistes. If they don’t know you, you don’t get to perform.
What was growing up like in Port Harcourt?
My dad was a Registrar in Uniport. I had a big compound to roam about it. It was quite and my imagination had room to run wild. Looking back it was colourful, I would say. Consistently I always and still find myself in position that left me alone. I went to a technical school, which exposed me to business early, industrial and chemical world. Initially, I wasn’t religious but thankfully, my step mum fixed it. Foundational teachings didn’t let me. Popular in Uni with MC, etc… People wondered why I didn’t have a string of girl friends…
What would you say to your child about life?
I wish I was told in detail that success is really not a destination, but a process and you need good and bad experiences that will make it happen. I’ll tell him he needs the good and bad experiences to be successful in life. Above all else, it is important thing is to focus his energy to becoming mature and everything will fall in place.
What’s the best lesson life has taught you?
Patience and forgiveness. The best things take time. Waiting with the right attitude is the only way you get most of them. Forgiveness is essential because we get hurt and hurt as well. Life is too brief to harbour a grudge…
Have you had any album release?
Yes two; of music and poetry. The latest is a limited edition of my work. The first is ‘Everybody says I love you’, and the second, ‘Déjà vu’ (poetry) and ‘E go be’ (music).
Why Déjà vu?
It felt like it was something I had seen and was just living it out. ‘E go be’ is a title track we decided to use to promote the album.
Which song has had the most impression on you?
It’s hard to say. ‘E go be’ hunted me for weeks, ‘Mary’ like most of my pieces came through encounters like many others. ‘Her eyes said’ has raised a lot of questions about how I coined it…
Where do you see yourself and your chosen career path in the near future?
Storytelling would have evolved with a lot more people into it. I hope to be involved in getting others to fulfil their dreams in this field.
Why did start and decide to do it seriously?
I believe one of the major thing that separate us from animals, is being able to pass on to generations and ability to grow and achieve greater heights. A lot of that is lacking. Generations spring out without the necessary guidance. The period of protection each one gets is relative. We all face challenges at some point in time. When we talk about culture and tradition, it is supposed to help people build their lives; not just ceremonies. This is almost not applicable today and nothing has replaced that so there is a void with teaching young ones.
Psychology is almost non existent. There are many troubled minds and sick people because there is no help. This is why religion thrives because it’s the only avenue where they get help. Even they are not skilled or educated enough to handle these issues; more than anything else, selfless enough.
Why you ‘no go love again’?
(Laughing) ‘I no go love again’ captures the frustration of an individual in his desire to find true love, the heartbreak and all. If you don’t have the proper perspective, let it break completely. Then you will find the power to start off and better.