I'm Spiritual —Muma Gee
Gift Iyumame Uwame, a talented singer and dancer popularly known as Muma Gee, spoke with ENTERTAINMENT CAFE on why she left Port Harcourt for Lagos, her music career and other issues
Q: Muma Gee, could you give us an insight into KADE?
A: KADE simply means Keep Moving On.
Q: Is that why you named your album so?
A: Not really, I decided to name my album KADE because it is the album that will keep Nigerian moving. It is an album that is aimed at building the nation.
Q: Could you give us more details?
A: The meaning of KADE, as I said earlier, is Keep Moving On to survive. It is a courageous word that gives hope. I believe so much in empowerment. So KADE represents advocacy and empowerment towards nation building. It also gives new orientation for the youths, adult and children. KADE is an Ekpeyen word, though it means different thing. For example, in my language, we say Kade, meaning go, but its typical meaning is Keep Moving On and you will arrive there some day.
Q: How would you describe your childhood?
A: It was quite interesting because I am a born Adventist and my family took everything seriously. My family believed my going into music was like going astray, living a wayward lifestyle, but I have been able to prove them wrong. That's why when I say to people that I neither smoke nor drink, they are usually surprised. Yet, I have to do my work as a professional. As a result, I am a very aggressive artiste, except when I want to do what people have not seen me do before.
Q: Where do you derive the strength you use on stage?
A: Probably because of the interest I have in music, I am not a very crazy person except when I am on stage. Africa is strength, it is powerful and not Ajeboish. I am not a je butter, I am a je pako and I worked very hard to be what I am today with the support of people like you. Because of the suffering that we go through as Africans, we keep moving to reach a greater height. So, that's where my aggressiveness comes from.
Q: But your skin looks like that of an a je butter?
A: No, don't deceive me, I am a je pako original.
Q: How do you manage to maintain the skin?
A: I just try to rub whatever I have on it. Well, let me disappoint you, I rub palm kernel oil on my body.
Q: How come?
A: Sorry, I have lied. You made me lie and I don't like telling lies. That's just a comic relief for you. I usually make sure that I don't bleach or tone my skin. I just use normal body oil and that's all.
Q: Why did you decide to relocate to Lagos from Port Harcourt?
A: I decided to relocate to Lagos because of the fact that Lagos, as I consider it, is the bedrock of entertainment in the country. It's just like wanting to be a movie star in America, you have to move from wherever you are to Hollywood because that's where it's happening. If you are somewhere else, fine, you could do one or two things, but you can't be the star you want to be. Now, I have never dreamt of being a star because I have always believed that I am evergreen and I will remain so. For the fact that Port Harcourt is the capital of my state, the essence of being there was not just merely because I wanted to be around home or a local champion, but because I was schooling at the University of Port Harcourt and after my graduation, I saw the need to relocate. Well, all the while, I had always seen the need to move to Lagos, but my education was most paramount to me. While my colleagues were busy working hard to make waves, I was busy schooling just to make myself an authority in the area I have chosen as career and that is entertainment.
Q: Can you tell us about your parents and siblings?
A: Okay, I am from a family of six. I am the fourth child. I have two elder brothers, two younger brothers and the most senior of the children is my elder sister. I lost my dad a very long time ago and I don't like talking about it because it was a really sad experience for me. But my mother is alive and healthy. She's based in Port Harcourt and in her 50s. Initially, she didn't support what I am doing because she believed entertainers are stinking people but she contributed so much in developing me as a person and that's why I think I am like this. I see myself as a success and not a failure.
: How come you are 30 and your mum is in her 50s?
A: Yes, actually she got married at the age of 16.
Q: Why are you not getting married so early like your mum?
A: My mum got married quite early and was made a housewife. But I don't want to be just a housewife. I want to be a helper to my man and so I wouldn't get married to a man who is 'already made.' I want to get married to a man who is struggling to survive, but has got somewhere. I also want to get somewhere as well before I get married. And I sincerely believe that I have a message. I have a duty that I owe humanity, which I want to fulfil. I have done my research to the extent of knowing if I get into marriage now, it is going to jeopardise everything and I don't want to have myself blamed at the end. It is not that I don't have suitors, I have a lot of them.
Q: As a result of your principle, what is happening to your relationship?
A: I am in a relationship but I don't want to talk about it.
Q: Why do most female artistes have problems with their career after marriage?
A: From the research I have carried out, I have discovered that the men are not always comfortable seeing their wives go out all the time. Meanwhile, I go out a lot. I also think that men would not always tolerate the women to go out the way they would like, especially for someone, who is into entertainment. As a celebrity, you have to live a celebrated life and most men don't like that. Sometimes, it is power tussle, when the woman becomes a celebrity, she wouldn't want to be submissive to the husband. And that's not what God has destined the women to be. We are meant to be helpers to men.
Q: How do you think you can win the heart of a man with your status?
A: I am very God-fearing, forget all the razzmatazz around me. I read the Bible very well and I have my own interpretation to it in spite of what my pastor tells me in the church. I put what my pastor preaches in the church together with what I have read and understood about it. I also blend it with what nature has to offer, considering the environment and then I put myself together and realise the need for God to have said that “women were created to be helpers to their husbands.” God did not say, “I created men to be women's helpers.”
Q: How spiritual are you, religious or otherwise?
A: When I say spiritual, it does not mean I am fetish. I have never in my life shown interest in it. I don't believe in native doctors, I only believe in our tradition because it adds radiance to our cultural values and heritage. If a native doctor is that good, why is he not riding in posh cars? So, when I mean spiritual, I am talking about my God and me.
Q: Don't you feel lonely living alone in a big house as this?
A: I don't feel lonely and have never felt lonely because I have all the gadgets you can think about in a living room. I have books in my mini library, the bigger one is in Port Harcourt. I have a cable television with lots of channels, films and other interesting things.
Q: Why do you like attending night clubs?
A: I go there for research because as an entertainer, I programme my life in such a way that I learn every day. As an entertainer, I need to know the sort of music that goes with the trend of time. This, I can't get to know about if I stay in my bedroom. I need to go to where final products of what I believe in are being utilised.