I’M NOW SANE, NO MORE STREET FIGHTS –JOGODO MASTER
His story is a good illustration of how one can rise from grass to grace.His name is Friday Obianu. The name may not ring a bell, but once Jogodo Master is mentioned (a name he got from one of his tracks), that, of course, will elicit a huge ahaaa!
Jogodo has risen to a great height in the world music. Though from the ghetto, his songs, especially Jogodo, has become so popular that it is often played at parties and other social functions.
With his fame, it is not a surprise that he is one of the stars invited to play at shows. He was at the I Believe concert held in Kaduna penultimate Sunday where Spectacles ran into him and had a chat with him.
Born and bred in the heart of Ajegunle, a slum suburban of the city of Lagos, Jogodo has always loved music. He grew up to have a passion for music and it, therefore, didn't come as a surprise to many that he is one of the stars to emerge from Ajegunle.
Jogodo grew up in a family where it was very unusual to eat three square meals a day. He disclosed to Spectacles that he and his family experienced poverty in the true sense of the word.
He said, “Things were very hard in our family. Life was not easy generally, and it was worsened by the fact that we lived in Ajegunle. That place is a den of criminals. We have pickpockets, robbers and all kinds of people in that area and they do such things because life is very difficult.”
He could have joined the rest of his mates to eke out a living the fast way. The thought may even have entered his head; but once he remembered the kind of father he had, he had to change his mind.
“My father was very strict. We come from a highly disciplined home. If we see food, we eat; if we don't see food, we stay and wait till the next one comes.”
Little Friday could not steal like some of his mates and could not easily find a job, no matter how lowly.
To get to his current level of attainment was not rosy. He was scorned, ridiculed and laughed at, yet he held on to his passion of becoming somebody in life with his music.
Jogodo said, “People thought I would be frustrated. They kept laughing at me, saying I was going to be frustrated as long as I was bent on playing music. But I remained focused. I knew my time would come because my hands are clean.”
His time eventually came with his first outing, Jogodo. It became an instant hit and just immediately, his fortunes changed. He moved out from the slums of Ajegunle to a better environment. But he is still aiming at living in the highbrow part of Lagos.
“I am re-packaging myself. I really suffered. I think now is the time for me to eat the fruit of my labours. I intend building my house in VGC. God being my helper, I will achieve that.”
One can only imagine how this guy who was so much involved in street fighting transformed into a mega star.
“I loved fighting a lot. I was very stubborn. Life on the streets made me so. But now, things are no longer the same. I am sane and I have put all those things behind me.”
One who never imagined that he would leave the slums of Ajegunle, let alone Nigeria, now gallivants all over the globe just at the snap of his fingers.
“My music has taken me to London, Holland and Italy. These are places I never knew existed, let alone dream of going there. I thank God for everything. You can imagine that people have been releasing albums for years, yet they remain unknown; but immediately I came out, I was a success. It is just God's favour.”
But even as his fortunes have changed, there are some other things that did not change, especially his love for his wife. Many would have used the opportunity their status provided to engage in promiscuity, but not Jogodo. His wife, Ejiro, remains the only one, and there is a reason for that.
“If I leave her or start misbehaving, God will punish me. This was a woman who stood by me when I had nothing. She and I were struggling to see things turn out to be good. She is the mother of my life, there is no way I will leave her.”
And to his ghetto pals, his advice, “Whatever you are doing, put God first. There is nothing like juju or babalawo, such things don't work. With strong ability and determination, you too can make it.”