On Saturday, D’banj the BET Awards winner of 2011 for Best International Act; Africa, was live on Sahara TV to speak about his position as face of African pop music and his view on the fuel subsidy removal protest.
Anchored by Chika Odua, below are extracts from the interview:
Chika: Did you ever dream of being this big in music?
D’banj: I dreamt about this…(Jokes: I’ve a dream!) God is using us to take our message across from Africa to here.
Chika: You are the face of African Pop music don’t you feel a lot of pressure?
D’banj: Yes a lot of pressure but I have nothing to be scared of. I have much responsibility.
Chika: There are rumors that you are dating Genevieve Nnaji how true is that?
D’banj: No! We are not dating.
Chika: What is your status?
D’banj: I’m very single. I like Rihanna, I’m interested in her.
Chika: Will you Americanize your music now that you are working mostly in America…..(D’banj cuts in)
D’banj: What do you mean by Americanize?
Chika: I mean you use a lot of pidgin and yoruba in your music will you still do that?
D’banj: Yes I’ll, did you hear scapegoat? fall in love or oliver twist? I do music depending on the message and who I want it to suite.
Chika: So will you maintain the identity?
D’banj: I think American music is universal so I’ve a lot of work to do.
Chika: Ok, now on your interview with the President of Nigeria, there are talks that you collected money from him to sing and interview him.
D’banj: I didn’t collect money from the President. It wasn’t an interview it was a request, watch the interview I asked the President and I can remember the statements “What are your plans for the Nigerian youth?” because I dedicated a track to him so I wanted the people to know why I said I was going to vote for him, I wanted them to know his plans.
Chika: We understand you run a foundation and you were appointed as the United Nations youth ambassador for peace, with your position what are your responsibilities and what have you done with you position?
D’banj: I have much responsibility. I represent Africa, I represent Nigeria…do your research.
Chika: What was your take on the Occupy Nigeria and the fuel subsidy removal?
D’banj: 1st of all, lets take a minute silence for those who lost their lives during this period
Chika: Ok D’banj we really appreciate that, so carry on.
D’banj: I did not know anything that was happening [in Nigeria during protests] because I was working on my album in the UK.
Chika: But there was a protest in London why didn’t you participate?
D’banj: I didn’t know anything that was happening in London about the feul protest because I was working… I am not a politician! And everyone that knows me well knows I don’t like cold, so I couldn’t go outside.
Chika: So what do you have to say?
D’banj: I don’t have anything to say, I wasn’t in the country when it was happening.
Chika: But I wasn’t in the country also.
D’banj: I’ve told you I don’t want to say anything about that topic, I don’t say what I don’t know anything about, If you know me very well I speak about what I know. I will not speak on something that I don’t know about. You will not get me to speak about what I don’t know. I wish my publicist told me that this was a political interview… (Chika cuts in)
Chika: So who operates your twitter handle?
D’banj: I operate it but I’m not always online, I’m on twitter when I want to pass an information not when you want me to.
Chika: There has been increase in poverty in Nigeria what do you have to say about this?
D’banj: Yes I know, but poverty has always been in Nigeria. Let us focus on what we have,why are you hammering on negativity? I’ll speak from the angle that I know well which is the entertainment, that is what I know we can export, we should invest our talents to escape from poverty. I’ve a concert tomorrow, I need to practice and prepare well so I can represent Africa well.
Chika: Thank you very much D’banj. We appreciate the time you spent with us, we wish you all the best in your concert tomorrow.
Well that was gist of the discussion with the KokoMaster.