KEKE OGUNGBE KILLED REMEDIES' DREAM —EDDY MONTANA
Eddy Ashiedu-Brown a.k.a. Eddy Montana, a former member of the defunct musical group, Remedies, has been living amidst controversies. In this interview, the musician speaks on the issues threatening his career and love life, and accuses his wife of sleeping around, among others
Q: Eddy Montana, what has been happening to you lately?
A: A lot has been happening to me for now. I have been working on my new album which I don't know the title yet. It's almost ready and will be out in a few weeks' time.
Q: What is the genesis of your problem with Kennis Music?
A: The thing is that me and my wife have been having problems for a while and I did not want to discuss anything about it initially. I have made a promise to the Almighty God that because of the children, I will not talk about this issue until recently, when my wife and her brother, Keke Ogungbe, reportedly attacked me in some media. It bothered me a lot because I don't know why Keke should be involved in my relationship except if we involve him. I said we, meaning it should be me and my wife that will involve him before he can intervene. I am talking now because I want certain things to be put straight. In a nutshell, I think it is just a matter of indiscipline and insurbordination on the part of my wife.
Q: Is it true that she starved you of sex and that you used to beat her?
A: Well, I heard all that too, but I can tell you categorically that I have never hit my wife, and it is unfair for anybody to go out to say that I am a wife beater. She had been with me for seven years. About the black-eye that she had, thank God that even her family, in fact, both sides are witnesses that she was attacked by armed robbers in the house. About 16 armed men came to the house and they were asking for Keke Ogungbe, but meanwhile, she was in Keke's house and that was a long time ago. So, you know the controversies about me had happened before then.
Now, this issue about sex, yes, I said that and it is quite true. But, that was in the relationship and if you don't mind, I would not like go into details about that. I was just counting and a couple of things that the woman had done to herself and my image through her brother, Keke. They really tried to batter my image and treated me like a fool, you know, they used me and felt they could dump me anyhow. My wife sat on me like a stool and I took all these from the family. But it's about time, I think that God has removed the wool from my eyes. So, in my moving-on in life, if my woman is not carrying herself along with me and says she wants to go, well, I would not stop her.
Q: Recently, you claimed that Kennis Music label was owing some royalties and which the CEO, Keke Ogungbe, swiftly debunked. What is the truth about the matter?
A: I think I was misquoted then because what I said was that my works were never distributed well. So, it affected the royalties that I was getting. The royalties were minimal and next to nothing. It couldn't sell.
Q: So, what royalties were you calculating when you could not sell?
A: Because that money they were giving me was not doing me any good. You know, I was taking care of myself, my family and also running my business and not relying on anything from Kennis Music. We had personal relationships but the business part of it was terrible and I think the personal relationship was what actually affected the business. Many times, Keke tried to play my role as the husband of his sister, while he is supposed to be my brother-in-law. Fine, he could be the head of their family business, but not the head of my home. I am the head of my home. He should respect that and stay clear. Is it because they are siblings? Then, he must ask for my permission and that's what the law says.
Q: What kind of relationship did you have with Keke Ogungbe before your marriage with KSB?
A: Officially, in the group called Remedies, we were wonderful and he saw good investment in us. When an issue came up among the Remedies, he started playing a crafty role by patronising each of us. He advised Tony Tetuila to go solo and leave the Remedies. He even told me and Eedris Abdulkareem to leave and go solo and that we can make a better group without him. The group went solo and he had individual agreement with us. Remedies had a dream, but that dream was not actualised because of his mismanagement.
Q: Before you got married to KSB, what was Keke's position in your relationship with his sister?
A: He has not been able to define his position with me. For me, it's been terrible, because if I begin to sum up all the things I have gone through, it has not been easy, because Keke would want my wife to be involved in all decisions that had to be made including business discussions.
Q: May be he regarded you as a gold-digger?
A: What gold does he have that I was digging? Why would I be put in a position of wanting to dig gold? Do you know who I am? People like me don't dig because I was born into making it in life. I may not be born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but I am destined to make it in life. If I was born with a talent of singing to make people happy, do you think I can ever be bothered? I am not financially broke because I have two children that I cater for and they are in school. I have a business that I run and a retinue of staff that I pay every month. So, what is the gold I want to dig from them? When I married my wife, she was nobody. It was when the Remedies was making waves that her name, KSB, evolved. I was in the limelight, had everything I needed, met her and we loved each other.
She was aware of everything that I had including my smoking habit the first time we met, she saw me smoking and even, the first time she visited the Adeniyi Jones apartment of the Remedies, she met me with a stick of cigarette. She was used to my smoking habit and she had followed me to the Afrika Shrine, when I was still playing with Femi Kuti. That's the same born-again Christian that was following me to the Shrine and everywhere I smoked from 1999 and now claims she can no longer sleep with me and tolerate my smoking habit. The same born-again is now accusing me of sleeping with our house maid. So, what is really meant to be a born-again? It bothers me sometimes to the extent that I stopped going to church because of my wife. I mean the same church I used to attend with her because I see it as hypocrisy.
I see my wife as a very good chameleon. She is a wonderful chameleon. It's a pity that I have to talk about my wife like this but I am doing it to set the records straight. And this is because I told her never to go to the press because the issue is too sensitive to be taken to the press. I told her that we ought to package ourselves and not to let the press know a bit about the issue that she's the only person that is hurt. I am bitterly hurt also and I have broken down, thank God for some friends that came around me like Sammy Needle, Kalvin Luciano of Question Mark, Dele Momodu, Mayor Akinpelu, Daniel Wilson and Guv'nor Ken Caleb Olumese of Niteshift Coliseum. If not for them, I would have been heart-broken because I loved my wife so much. I even loved her to a fault.
I loved her more than she loved me because if she loved me, she would not have been going out with the people she is dating (please don't ask me their names because I won't tell you), even in marriage. And she still had the guts to say in public that I slept with the house girl. The issue of the house girl is minimal if you don't give me sex, even if I did. But I did not. Even if I did, it was minimal to the fact that she was sleeping around, which I knew of, just that I don't have much proof.
Q: What do you think influenced her sudden change of attitude?
A: I think it is the issue of the third party. She allowed a third party into our marriage, which was her family. She was allowing her sister to dictate to her from one angle, Keke, from another and she worshipped them as if they are gods.