How I re-united Barrister, Kollington - Bayowa
Film and music producer/promoter, Gbenga Adewusi, speaks about the many controversies that have dogged his heels in recent times and on developments in the entertainment industry with David Ajiboye.
you have been around on the entertain ment scene for sometime now, how has it been since you began?
It was very rough when we started but we thank God for giving us the courage to stand the pressures. It has not been by our grace or power but by the special grace of God.
Can you recollect how it all began?
I started at a very tender age. I think I started immediately I finished primary school. I started as a poet and I was the leader of the cultural group in my primary school. Since then, I have been on my own, feeding myself with my sweat from the industry.
You took the entertainment scene by storm some years back and ever since, Bayowa Films& Records has registered in the consciousness of Nigerians. Would you say you're a lucky person?
Well, I can say luck and destiny. Like I said earlier, it is God. I can't say it's my power, brain, ability or strength because there are some that are better than me.
But it seems your company is now focused on music production alone, is that where the goldmine lies?
I do release films but more of musicals. For instance, last year, I released just three movies. If you watch my style, you'll see that I have not been releasing many films in the past and that is why I don't pick quarrels with my colleagues in the industry. Some of them release about four movies every forthnight and it is killing the industry.
I used to release between five and six movies a year but last year, I released just three movies (Agbere Oju, Osoro and another). This year, I've released two movies (Ikoko Meta and Le kan si). The system is bad; the movie industry in Nigeria, starting production to marketing has problems. As some of us are trying to maintain and improve the standard, some are bringing down the standard. My co-marketers are not helping the situation at all.
Between last year and early this year, you were involved in the crisis that engulfed the fuji family...
The problem is that people don't have the patience to understand me. In the beginning, people were confused and even called me names but at the end of the crisis, some were bold enough to appreciate my effort. I never meant to cause katakata (trouble) or disorganise the fuji music industry.
Mine is to uplift, to make everybody happy, make my own money and let others make their own money as well. Entertainment is controversial. First, you don't need to make people know where you are heading to, you should be able to create suspense before you can be distinguished in the industry.
I didn't cause chaos in the industry; I rather propelled the artistes because if not for the controversy, there wouldn't have been a resuscitation of the then dying fuji music. Artistes like Saheed Osupa, although he was popular wouldn't have his profile soar the way it soared during the crisis.
The crisis also created an avenue for wealth creation among them. Instead of them giving us percentage, they started chasing shadows. Those that pitched tent with either K1 or Osupa also know what they gained.
The album that actually caused the brouhaha was not my original idea. It was at the last minute that Legend and Sons, the organisers of the show that featured Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Saheed Osupa and Murhi Thunder, contacted me to finance the show. In fact, it was a week to the show and I did it in good faith. I was very close to K1, Pasuma, Osupa and other artistes.
However, I never knew they would blame me. It was at the show that Osupa, Murhi Thunder and Barrister performed. It was there both of them asked Barrister to give them titles. It is like a norm in fuji circles to call themselves kings and chiefs and they also seek for endorsement.
Interestingly, I don't think a coronation as king of fuji is something that is done the way Osupa's was done but you know we reason differently. I never thought about the implications of what they did at the show but immediately the show was released, rumours started flying that Bayowa had started again. Afterall, I did not crown Osupa, it was just for the fun only.
So, Bayowa didn't get full returns on his investment while the crisis lasted?
Not at all. They all benefitted immensely. It was my initiative that settled a 25-year dispute between the kingmakers of fuji, Barrister and Kollington. Nobody believed that the two of them could come together. I surprised Pasuma on his birthday, just to let him know that I don't keep malice. K1 also realised he was only being deceived and that Bayowa was only thinking how his business will flourish and nothing more.
I organise shows for artistes, I make them collaborate for them to realise that we are one big family, be it K1, Osupa, Pasuma, Malaika, Taiye Currency or Murhi Thunder.
Have you had regrets in your chosen field?
I don't have any regret because whatever happens in life has been destined by God. I believe in destiny and I thank God for the little I have been able to achieve in the industry. I have friends who are doctors, lawyers, engineers etc. who still look up to me.
Once you are in the entertainment industry you should know that you don't have any privacy. Celebrities should know that they are mirrors, so they should be cautious in all their dealings.
Let's get personal now, you're from ...
I'm from Eruwa and I'm related to Dr. Ismail Adewusi, a senatorial candidate in the last election. You may be confused because he's a Muslim and I'm a Christian but we are from a big family where religion is not an issue.
What are your future plans?
I plan to own a film village, a radio and TV stations. A world -class studio, I really want to help more people. I just can't leave the industry but I can deviate and try other sectors of the economy.
What makes Bayowa Films and Records International tick?
I think my fans, colleagues, customers and admirers will be in the best position to say what exactly they think is more unique in Bayowa Films and Records International. What I can say is that my principle is to always go for the best; you can't be 100% perfect but you can at least make sure you try your best, make sure you know what is right from the production stage.