-BY: DESMOND IKE-CHIMA
I have read and listened with dismay and dejection several abusive speeches hulled on musician and Punch Newspaper Columnist, Etcetera by perceived ‘respected’ On Air Personalities, Freeze of Cool/Wazbia Fm and Olisa Adibua of Beat FM; over an article the former wrote in Punch newspaper with headline, ‘On Air Personalities you Have Finally Killed Radio’.
I must say, I am disappointed in both Olisa and Freeze. Olisa especially, due to his age and personality, for his unguarded speech on a national TV programme, NigezieTV-Extra, when he repeatedly said, “Etcetera is a nobody, Etcetera is a nobody”.
First, let me make it very clear that the biggest problem of this generation of Nigerians is the feeling that they are above criticisms. But if I may ask, who really is above Criticisms? Doesn’t criticism make all of us better persons?
Secondly, Etecetera pinned nobody’s name to the article under discuss and in my opinion does not deserve this manner of abuses they (Olisa, Freez including those who will join the cue) are hulling on him.
Talking about OAPS assuming celebrity statuses and the monopoly of Nigerian Radio, Olisa Adibua in particular from an investigation I carried out privately on him as a journalist, is allegedly guilty of the ‘crime’.
Do you know that average Nigerian artiste worships Olisa like a god? just because they want to get rotations of their songs On Air?
Do you also know that Olisa Adibua is alleged to collecting as much as a million naira and more to play artistes’ songs on his programme, ‘Morning Rush’ on Beat FM? I was at an Island restaurant one day when some artistes, (names withheld) were lamenting their experience with Olisa just to have their songs played on air… “It’s even difficult for him to notice you. If for whatever reason he wants to listen to you, you must come with at least a bottle of expensive Rozay, his brand of drink then the discussion can continue from there. Of course, money must change hands o and not small money”, one of them said as they all laughed over it.
Note: these artistes in the company of some other guys are all known Nigerian artistes. The discussion was taking place the same time I dashed into the restaurant to have my launch.
Now, talking of OAPs assuming celebrity status themselves, while I’ll state it here that it may not be wrong to do that, but you would agree with me that even though Olisa falls victim of it, Freeze has a distinction in the act. Countless of times, an OAP under paid employment would talk about his material possessions on social media; his fleet of cars (Tokunbo cars), without thinking of the influence on young ones who see him as a ‘role model’
…And the reporter asked, “When you say a collection, how many are you talking about?” Not like how many, like how much. I have maybe $200,000 in wristwatches. What I am wearing now is a Rolex Daytona, I got it from Polo for Christmas. It cost about $30,000. Polo is Nigeria’s only authorised dealer, so I bought it from the company and I love it”.
Those were the words of Freeze who also on several occasions displays his so-called ‘wealth’ on Social Media…I make bold to say that both Freeze and Olisa are bad role models to this generation and the next generation of young ones.
Without mincing words, gone are the days when young ones listen to radio in Nigeria and aspire to be presenters and On Air Personalities in future… Who wouldn’t love radio, when the likes of Femi Sowoolu, Dan Foster, Andre Blaise-Henshaw, et al…are dissecting topical issues on radio? Check out their choice of songs, they tend to corroborate with topic under discuss, unlike what is obtainable today.
If you are a good radio listener in Nigeria, let me ask you, how many times have you heard an unpopular song by a young artiste and probably ask, “Who sang that song”? Rather in many Nigerian radio stations all you find is a monopoly. All you keep hearing are the same type of songs during different programs and thereby killing the urge of radio listenership. I have heard most adults claiming that radio listenership is for children and jobless people while a chunk of others resort to the available and see it as the desirable.
How many times do you hear real human angle issues being discussed in some top Nigeria radio stations?
In a survey, I discovered that there are at least eight artistes whom most Nigeria OAPs must play their songs daily. While I won’t mention names you can guess and get their names right.
Thanks to the management of Wazobia/Cool fm for breaking the jinx of radio monopoly and giving young artistes a chance and an opportunity to be heard on radio.
These days if you notice, Wazobia FM is the station where you hear jams from young artistes more often, while some other stations (names withheld) are where you hear ‘strictly’ songs of ‘deep pocket’, ‘money miss road’ top artistes who pay OAPs per second billing.
It is quite nauseating that some Nigerian OAPs who are busy displaying their ‘wealth’ on social media still live in rented Lekki apartments; some can’t even comfortably renew their rents without lobbying.
For the sake of emphasis, Olisa may I ask you, ‘What is your definition of success’? Is success measured by just the amount of money in your bank account? Or by the number hit records an artiste has to his credit? If any of those are your definition of success then you need to go back to KG 1.
For your information success has several definitions, but I will spare you three different definitions from various sources. 1) The accomplishment of an aim or purpose. 2) The good or bad outcome of an undertaking. 3) The achievement of something desired or planned.
Now let me tell you Olisa, as individuals we all have different ways of measuring our successes. For instance, Many On Air Personalities are successfully married with children and you are not and I don’t think you will soon. At almost fifty, most of your colleagues are becoming grand-daddies; you are still parading your over-sized trousers with your cigar all over the streets of Lagos in chase for God knows what.
And as for you Freeze, at your age, some of your colleagues, (I won’t mention names) live in their own houses and are good mentors; however all you do is snitch all over the place in your place of work seeking for favours from your employer. Little wonder a colleague of yours whom you almost ruined his appointment at Cool FM threatened to deal ruthlessly with you if dare gossip with his name again, yet you have the effrontery to call someone a non-entity?
Guys, you both (Olisa and Freeze) need to grow up and learn to guide your ‘sharp tongues’.
I have no business with Etcetera, however, I had to do this piece because I feel its high time we put an end to this spirit of ‘I’m above criticisms’ which is gradually consuming Nigerians. This article ends here, you are free to abuse the hell out of me, but a word they say is enough for the wise… ‘akam adiro kwia’ in my mother-tongue.
-Desmond Ike-Chima is a journalist; publisher of: myemag.net.