The singer chats with ThisDay’s Azuka Ogujiuba and Tosin Clegg about losing her mum, growing up without her father, moving back to Nigeria, her desires about marriage and so much more.
Read excerpts from her interview below.
On losing her mum: Sadly, I lost my mum just before I graduated. She always had a weak brain stem as she was born with it and high blood pressure which caused her to suffer a stroke. She went to the hospital to fix the brain stem but didn’t make it. She was 62 and I’m the last born from my mum. It’s been a weird situation because I have always been a loner and I even had an imaginary friend called Rosy when I was younger. That’s how you know this child was sort of a loner. My mother used to work a lot and I will be with one nanny after the other. It was very traumatic. My dad had separated with my mum when I was younger and he is someone I choose not to talk about because I don’t know so much about him. I never had a relationship with him.
On her relationship with her father: We speak but not regularly. He stays in Lagos and had seen me perform on TV. Mainly, he prays for me. When we started talking properly he apologised a lot for the whole thing between him and my mum. I told him I wanted to do music and he wasn’t interested because he thought I was just joking until when he started seeing me on TV and his friends telling him about me. He has been instrumental in some certain ways like his friends putting on to certain things because he is my dad. I have forgiven him in my heart and not in my head because I put the reason my mum died so early is stress as she had to deal with things on her own and another thing is the way I see guys now I don’t trust them as it’s a psychological thing. We will pray about that.
On moving back to Nigeria: I came to Nigeria because my mum the day before she died said, ‘I think your music will work but it will be in Nigeria because I have that feeling.’ And I said, ‘No way!’ But here I am in Nigeria based on my mum’s prophecy with the help of Sound Sultan and Cecil Hammond! They joined forces, brought me to Nigeria and believed in the vision. Sound Sultan came to London one year and he was recording in the same studio that I was recording in. The producer there played my song to him and he was like is this girl a Nigerian girl. When I told him I had just left my group he said, ‘Come to Nigeria jare, there is nothing happening in London.’ So I took his advice.
On marriage: I really want to get married and I know this is going to shock your readers; but I’m not bothered if I don’t get married because I would rather have a man that will be with me forever. The value of marriage has been washed up dead. And the way everybody is getting married and divorcing makes it not a big deal to be together anymore. I’m with someone I’m happy with and I don’t know if we would be life partners, but for now I’m happy with him.