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Why D’Banj may not return as a Globacom Ambassador

Source: Agency reporter /punch - Nigeriafilms.com

When the axe eventually falls on the multi million naira Globacom ambassadorship deal of Dapo Oyebanjo, the artiste popularly known as D'banj, it is going to cut so deep that it will take a long time to heal. D'banj's two-year contract with the telecommunications company expired since April and to his consternation, it has not been renewed.

Curiously, less popular artistes on the ambassadors' list have had their contracts renewed within the period under review. Even, pop twins, P-Square was signed on in August, an indication that the company was still flying with its ambassador's scheme. So, what is stalling D'banj's contract renewal? So much.

In 2008, D'banj was signed on as a Globacom ambassador in a deal worth N70m and got a branded SUV estimated at N15m. As the headlining act during the company's Rock and Rule tour of Nigerian cities then, he got N2m per show and was signed on for 18 cities. Reports said he got his money upfront.

However, maybe due to exuberance or improper advice from his management team, D'banj reportedly caused a letter to be written by his lawyers asking for an upward review of his performance fee midway into the tour. He wanted N4m. This was after all the terms of engagement had been met. The Globacom honcho was riled. He could not fathom why the younger man had to be so impudently ungrateful. And he asked D'banj's ambassadorship to be revoked. In February 2009, the 30-year-old music star temporarily ceased to be a Glo ambassador and was barred from performing at the Rock and Rule Tour, notwithstanding that he had been paid. The company went ahead to substitute him with P-Square and 9ice.

Seeing a veritable meal ticket going down the lagoon, the bubbly artiste started running from pillar to post, consulting widely and wildly.

Then, he played the ethnic card. Being an Ogun State indigene like the Glo boss, D'banj beseeched a revered Oba in the State to intercede on his behalf. This worked, and he was reinstated. Briefly, he returned to being a good 'boy'.

Sooner than later, things started going awry again. According to a privileged source, ”Shortly after he was reinstated, D'banj started defaulting on his 'deliverables'. He would shun events while other ambassadors would be there. Even the few he attended, the company had to go ferry him from his Maryland (Lagos) home.

”This was somebody who was given a car for the singular purpose of bringing him to events. The painful part was that whenever his presence was required, reaching him was a huge problem because he never used the Glo line he was given, preferring to stick to randomly changing lines.” This, especially, it was learnt, did not go down well with the company which always found him unreachable.

Fortunately, the source continued, the Globacom Chairman liked him so much and was always pardoning his misdemeanors. When the unsavoury reports became too much and he was obviously not ready to change his wily and childlike ways, it was agreed that he should see out his contract and be replaced by another popular artiste.

Since April, E-Punch gathered that D'banj has been reaching out to prominent Nigerians who have the ears of the Globacom boss to reconsider his stance, but nothing positive is coming from that direction.

The unveiling of P-Square last August as Globacom's newest ambassador seems to have sounded the death knell for D'banj's ambassadorship dreams. While every other ambassador was at the glamorous unveiling ceremony of P-Square, he was conspicuously absent, making many to speculate that he must have stayed away to save face.

The five months interlude, the source said, is a confirmation that D'banj is no longer the beautiful bride of 2008. But, Globacom's Regional Director, Marketing Communications (West Africa), Charles Jenarius told E-Punch, “We are in discussion with D'banj. The outcome will be shared in due course.”

Mo'Hits (D'banj's label) manager, Sunday Are, brusquely said he had no business with whether D'banj's contract with Glo had expired or not.