Sultry songstress, Yemi Alade, has travelled round the world, performing and sharing the stage with top international superstars, such as Mary J. Blige, Shina Peters, M.I, Wizkid, Waje and lots of others. She also headlined the Super Diva’s Nite at the 2013 Calabar Festival, and opened the 2013 Headies Awards, popularly referred to as ‘Nigeria’s Grammy Awards’. In 2014, Alade teamed up with award-winning cinematographer, Clarence Peters, to create a music video for her popular single, ‘Johnny’, which now has over 30 million views on YouTube. ABIOLA ALABA PETERS engages the Yoruba- Igbo born star in a chat on how she started, career and lots more
Kindly share with us your humble beginnings?
Well, my challenges can’t define another man’s own.
You know music is a very intensive financial project. Omo, the hustle tough then oh! Money no dey to even use record the song wey you wan use blow.
Then I’d meet with producers, beg them to help out. I’d volunteer to buy fuel for the generator so that at least they can help me do a song; you know that kind thing?
However, I thank God for Effizy Music Group for believing in me and investing what they had in my career. Since then, it has been higher and higher.
When and how would you say music started for you professionally?
I have been doing this music thing for like seven to eight years now; I was in a girl group called Naughty Spices and my stage name then was Ginger, but I kicked off my career three or four years ago, just after winning the Peak Talent Show.
When writing your songs, what factors do you consider as source of inspiration?
Everything I do comes from the heart. I always try to make sure that a piece of me reflects in all my songs.
Secondly, the producer has to lace a perfect beat that gives the song the direction I want; if it’s a club joint song, I give it the club banger approach and if it’s a ‘silky sheet’ beat, I would give the beat the pillow case and all that’s needed to go with it.
Inspiration is from my environment and experiences.
What exactly is the idea behind your breakthrough song, ‘Johnny’?
The inspiration came from an OAP in Abuja who suggested carelessly that I sing a love song for once with someone’s name and I said ok I would give thought to it and it worked out.
What are you currently working on? I’m seriously busy working; there is so much more for my fans to look forward to.
Kindly share with us your view of the present state of the Nigerian music Industry.
The industry is growing fast and we are close to where we wanted to be.
Generally, among ourselves, we need to eliminate the greed factor and start thinking for all of us as brothers, but if we keep thinking about ourselves alone, we are not going to have a system or structure that would work for us.
Greed, for example, when I release a song and I put it on iTunes and someone downloads and makes duplicate copies through other means; that’s greed.
My album was compiled under four years, that’s four years of work and someone just sleeps and wakes up and sees my link online and starts to share it; that’s wickedness and greed.
Nigerian music industry is majorly dominated by the male artistes, and only few females are at the top, does that put pressure on you?
The pressure is there because I have to keep up with what my male counterparts are doing.
It’s also tough and challenging because in Africa, women are always looked down upon.
So, there are lots of physical and psychological issues that we tackle as African female artistes, whether you are A List or Z list. Well, I have chosen to be on God’s list.
What’s Yemi Alade’s staying power?
It’s definitely God all the way; day in, day out. And also, I’ve a team that doesn’t sleep. Shout out to Effizy Music Group.
Then, also there’s passion because money can’t buy passion.
Give us a list of female singers that inspire you and why?
Well, I have listed them on several occasions; there are just three of them in Nigeria-Waje, Tiwa and Omawumi.
Waje is a classic example of a perfect RnB diva, Omawumi is Afro, Tiwa is a perfect Afro Pop singer.
But outside the shores of Nigeria, I listen to Maria Carey; her voice is like a projection for me, I always try to match her.
I love Beyoncé’s stage craft but I still take it back to Whitney Houston.
I also listen to Etta James. I love listening to old songs; so yes, my playlist is long.
Yemi Alade is among the top ten successful music stars in Nigeria and has been endorsed by different brands, but when is she getting married?
Well, God’s time, the best time.
Whenever God is ready, I am ready.
You have remained with African hairstyles; would you ever try another style, like Brazilian hair and the likes?
The truth of the matter is fixing of hair is not normal.
The normal ones are African hairstyles.
You have maintained a clean slate in an entertainment industry filled with controversies; how have you been making it happen?
I’m just being myself and not going about looking for someone’s trouble.
It has become a trend for some female celebrities to date their male managers and you have been listed to be a part of this, what’s your take on that? Male managers no be human beings?
The managers are there to take care of the careers.
But seriously, if I had a female manager, would you be asking me all these?
Did you ever know you’d come this far?
Well, I never knew but all the same, I’m still a pencil in God’s hands. I’m a moving train.
Did the challenges of the past get so bad that you almost thought of quitting?
I have a BSc in Geography.
So I told myself, if worse comes to worst; I dust up my certificate and pick up a white collar job.
I thought about that alternative several times.
So what actually kept you going then?
God! Then the passion! They kept me going higher and brought me to where I am today.
You are always staying strong, beautiful and elegant, what is the secret?
Na papa God o! I work hard and I drink a lot of water plus I eat right. I also do more of proteins than carbohydrates and I smile always too. 2016 was a fulfilling one for you, as you got endorsed by many brands.
Does it often get to you, making you feel it’s becoming too much work?
No oh! It doesn’t! It’s better to have so much to do than to be idle. And you know one can’t get endorsed by two similar brands at the same time. If after one or two years, your contract expires, then perhaps a competitive brand would want to take over.
What message do you have for your fans?
Thanks for your support and prayers. Continue to believe in Yemi Alade and I promise never to let you all down. The best is yet to come.
Meet newly fortified Nollywood actresses
It’s said life begins at 40 and this is aptly so for some of our top actresses who reached that age recently. These beautiful ladies have made remarkable achievements in their journey as Nollywood thespians as most of them started acting when they were so young. ABIOLA ALABA PETERS brings to you top actresses who recently turned 40 with various movies, awards and endorsements to show for it
On February 15, 2018, busty screen diva, Foluke Daramola turned 40. She is still looking very sexy and exudes glamour anywhere she appears. She has used her poise to win several awards and endorsement deals with major brands in the country. The proud and beautiful mother recently shared lovely birthday photos and also celebrated with people with Down syndrome and the Blind People’s Home with a photo-documentary series. According to her, she will be using the series as a reposition on all forms of abuses and menace in the society through her non-governmental organisation, Passion Against Rape and Abuse Africa. “I feel so moved to tears, with my birthday celebration everywhere. I thank everyone that has been celebrating me and all my family and friends; thanks so very much for the celebration, may celebration never depart from your lives, God bless you all abundantly for the love, I feel really loved and special for all the show of love”. Foluke graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife with a degree in International Relations.
Funke Akindele Bello
Award winning actress, Funke Akindele Bello turned 40 on August 24, 2017. The ‘Jenifa’s Diary’ star was treated to a surprise birthday celebration by her husband, hip-hop singer and producer, Rasheed-Bello aka JJC skillz. It was a star-studded celebration, as family, friends, and colleagues stormed their Amen Estate home. Funke, who is one of the most sought after Nigerian actresses on Google, could not hide her joy as she took to her Instagram to thank everyone that made her day memorable. Akindele Olufunke Ayotunde Bello was born in Ikorodu, Lagos State, Nigeria. In 2009, she won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a leading role. She was first noticed on screen after featuring in popular United Nations series on Aids/HIV, ‘I Need to Know’, which ran from 1998 to 2002. She played Bisi, a curious but highly intelligent secondary school student. She rose to stardom, through her produced movies, ‘Return of Jenifa’. Funke Akindele has over a hundred movies to her credit as an actress, writer and producer.
Omotola Jalade Ekehinde
Popularly known as Omo Sexy. Omotola is not just another actress but a proud mother of four. Omotola got married to her husband who is a pilot at the age of 18 and ever since she has been a super actress and mum to her four children. The Ondo State-born multiple-award winning actress, who also doubles as singer got ‘fortified’ on February 7, 2018. She celebrated her special day with a five-day long list of events. The United Nations Ambassador was also rumoured to have spent a whopping sum of N15 million for her birthday celebration. Omotola is one of the very few entertainers who is quite an icon when it’s comes to fashion. Beyond her show business accomplishments, she is also applauded for her remarkable humanitarian efforts. Omotola is one of the pioneers of the video film era of Nigerian cinema, becoming the most watched actress in Africa. In 2013, she was honoured on Time Magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People in the world alongside Michelle Obama, Beyoncé and Kate Middleton.
The Edo State-born actress surely knows how to make 40 look so sexy! Although there have been so many controversies around her; from a messy divorce with her husband of many years to the controversial red dress she wore to celebrate her 40th birthday, the newly ‘fortified’ damsel took to her social media page on her 40th birthday to reveal how happy and fulfilled she is, “Today I witness the unfolding of a new chapter in my life and I’m very grateful for this. For many years I have looked forward to the day I will turn 40 and now I am happy it has finally come”. Mercy Aigbe is a household name in Nollywood, especially in the Yoruba genre of the film industry. The Benin, actress has one of the sexiest bodies in the industry despite having two children. She graduated from the University of Lagos.
Iyabo Ojo is one sexy Nollywood actress who has successfully carved a niche for herself in the make-believe world. The proud mother of two is one of the few actresses who have tried to stay off controversies. Iyabo is a powerful lady who has been able to mesmerise men even at the ripe age of 40. Attractive and industrious, the single mother is as hot as ever. Iyabo Ojo is an actress who started her career as far back as 1998. She made her debut in a Nollywood movie but later crossed into the Yoruba genre. She is an A-list actress and producer and has featured in over 150 movies. Born in Lagos, Nigeria but hails from Itoko, a suburb of Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, South-western Nigeria. She obtained her West Africa School Certificate at National College, Gbagada in Lagos before she proceeded to Lagos State Polytechnic where she received a Diploma certificate in Estate Management.
Deji Doherty lays father to rest in style
Engineer Deji Doherty is known to different people for various things. While the dude is cherished by some for his business acumen which has helped him succeed in whatever he puts his hands, the chubby and tiny voiced power dresser to others is a man who deserves to be held in high esteem in his constituency as a politician who stands for his people.
While it is an established fact that this handsome politician is highly concerned about the wellbeing of the people, the PDP Chieftain, it has been discovered is also passionate about his father. The father, at the ripe age of 84, after a brief illness passed on.
The former Lagos State governorship aspirant said he was so close to his father that he didn’t believe he had passed on until when he and his brother took the corpse to the morgue. After several weeks of planning and burial arrangement, the deceased was committed to mother earth penultimate weekend.
With the status of the deceased as well as that of his children who are all doing very well in their various fields of endeavour, Pa Doherty could not have asked for more if it was possible as the burial process which took place both in Ibadan and Lagos was nothing short of a befitting burial. Pa Julius Adetunji Doherty,
from popular Lagos family was a medical doctor and successful businessman.
Hot bespoke Asoebi styles
Have you noticed that the traditional ‘Asoebi’ styles of skirt and blouse has eventually fizzled out? Everyone wants something ‘bespoke”.
At weddings bride and guests have become even more tasteful in their choices. Everyone wants to stand out; they want their outfits to have that egoistic personality!
The bespoke ‘Asoebi’s’ have enchanting features that make them unique.
So come with detailed sleeves and freaky designs that set you apart even if the fabric is an ‘Asoebi’ for a party where every other person invited to the occasion is likely to come with the same fabric.
Bespoke outfits are clean with sophisticated appeal. Floral details, ruffles, feathers and embroidered outfits are some of the major highlights of Nigerian traditional weddings and we love as ladies slay in these hot ensembles.
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