OMAWUMI: ‘Why I Don’t Discuss The Paternity of My Daughter’
Nigerian music Diva, Omawumi Megbele is as interesting as her music. Judging from when she made her debut till date, she has not stopped thrilling her fans with her mind-blowing and soul-stirring songs. In this interview with Seun Apara, Omawumi talks about her music, her endorsements, her personal life, amongst other issues.
Basically, what will you say you enjoy most about your recent endorsements?
With regards to each of the brand, when Mortein approached me, I was very happy because the work has a message as a spokesperson for the anti-malaria campaign. It gave me so much joy to be able to go round to educate and empower women. When it came to GLO, I just felt that it was the right thing to do as at that time because it all goes to show that they appreciate my work. They’ve seen what I’m doing and they want to associate with me which is a fantastic thing. For Konga.com, it just came up and it’s like I can market almost every product because I have an online presence and is just overwhelming. Sometimes when I sit down and think about all of this, I would be like ‘se na me be dis’? I’m hopeful there are more to come. I don’t know how or when but I’m sure more is coming.
What will you attribute as the secret of your success?
God is the overall factor and the rest are accessibility and relativity. I understand that it’s very easy to get carried away because of the razzmatazz that comes with the job but I’m a human being and I’m open to issues, mistakes, hurts and happiness like everybody else. Though some people behave like demigods because they are popular and they make themselves not reachable but I can’t sell myself like that because that’s not who I am. Also, the level of my education also comes into play. I understand that my work is business and I treat it as such, that’s why it’s called show business. So I tried as much as possible to handle it in a business manner and there is progress.
What is your take on controversy?
Everybody has one controversy or the other but because I’m an artiste, everybody gets to hear my own. I feel it’s inevitable but we have to be more careful about people’s feelings because most time, what they write about you is not true. When somebody forms an opinion about you and you try to write a retraction, there is no way you won’t write the story again. I try not to bother myself with all the stories because it’s part of the job.
Why is that you don’t like discussing the paternity of your daughter?
I never hid it but I felt that since I’m not married, I don’t need to come out and say this is the father of my child. It is always ideal for someone who wants to marry you to be the one to identify himself. Another thing is that he might not want to identify himself because he is not an artiste. He might not want that part of my life. He might just love me and my child. So I like to respect people’s privacy. I also strongly feel that it is my job as a musician to entertain you and if you feel like my personal life is your business, it doesn’t mean I feel the same way.
Initially when I got pregnant, I didn’t feel the need to come out and start telling people that this is the father of my child. I didn’t feel I owed it to anyone.
My family and my close friends know who the father of my child is because we’re in a relationship. We have a very healthy relationship and our families are intertwined. I don’t think I need to start telling people all this.
I felt so bad about the stories people are writing about my child’s paternity because normally, controversies don’t get to me and my daughter don’t have to be part of this. So when people start putting that kind of stuffs in print and my daughter stumbles upon it when she is old enough to read, it will hurt her.
Considering the kind of upbringing I had, I’m not that morally bankrupt that I will now fraternize with a married man that is like a father figure to me.
You want to reveal his identity?
I don’t feel that will be necessary. I just want to use this opportunity to tell people that I will try as much as possible to be a normal artiste and I want to encourage people to try and enjoy my music. It’s not easy but they should just try not to be concerned about my private life. They should know that I’m a human being and they should try to understand that I tried to be a person that people can look up to.
What do you consider as your greatest challenge ever in your career?
I face challenges almost everyday of my life, it’s part of the things you need to succeed. I’m not one of those people that will say these challenges are too difficult; this industry is male dominated and all that. I believe if you work hard, your music will sell. Whether you are a man or woman, if you do what you need to do to be recognized, you will be recognized.
What is your impression about the state of your industry?
I like to be optimistic about things and I believe that we are progressing. I’m really proud to be part of this music industry. When they call people’s name in the history of the Nigerian Music Industry, they will call my name too and that is an achievement. Though there are some challenges the industry is still facing like marketing, piracy e.t.c. For me, I think we are getting more organized and we now have societies that are accountable, so things are going on well. We are moving towards perfection. We are also partnering with international artistes and our music is now recognized internationally.
What are the things you would love to do differently?
I will try to be more acceptable. These days, I don’t have patience, though I know patience is a virtue but I have to be more patient and that is the major thing I’m praying for now. Aside from that, I wouldn’t change anything. I’m just grateful to my fans, friends and even those who try to stop me.
How has been the reception of latest album?
So far, the reception is overwhelming. The marketers told me that the first 300,000 copies they printed have already been sold out. The album is selling madly across Africa. There are people who told me they saw my album in kenya and it’s really fantastic.
How soon will you have a label mate on your independent label, OMA Records?
We’ve been looking around scouting for talent and I’m very happy to say that we have found someone. We are trying to do a proper grooming and preparation before signing her. We have other businesses as well outside music. We write theme songs and commercials for interested clients. We bring up a concept and we write songs surrounding such concept.
What do you we expect next?
I want to partner with one or two people to start mentoring young girls, like having a conversation with them because there are lot of young girls who are disoriented, who are in the bandwagon of getting rich quickly and not bothering about the danger that come with such a thing. That is the next project I’m working on. I also have two videos to shoot. I just finished shooting one half of it in New York City and ready to shoot the other half in Nigeria.