I love to marry but...–Stella Monye
Fight with female journalist
Actually, the altercation with the female journalist in question arose as a result of the way the journalist misrepresented my person in one of her stories. I felt slandered and tried to bring this to her attention.
She came to Gauranga Studios, Apapa, and asked me to grant her an interview, which I obliged her. When the story came out, I saw that I was misrepresented in some areas, something that I never said and never existed.
So, instead of instituting a libel case against her and her medium, I chose against all pressure to draw her attention to such misrepresentation. I told her that what she wrote about me has undertone and I asked her to write a rejoinder.
For a long time the rejoinder was not forthcoming. After a long while, she eventually wrote something, which I did not consider a rejoinder, but something that looked like a re-emphasis of what she earlier wrote.
So, an opportunity came where I met her in somebody else's office. Then I said to her that what she did was not fair. I even asked her if there was any way I had wronged her and if there was, she should please let us settle such, rather than her writing stories that misrepresent my person using her medium.
Instead of seeing to my point of view, she was adamant and went about saying that I was quarreling with her over something that I never said and never existed.
Fortunately, the matter has been resolved. The lady in questing has asked for forgiveness and that kind of touched me. It's always good when an individual has done something wrong and he/she accepts being at fault. She admitted having done me wrong and asked for forgiveness.. So, on that basis I forgave her and let her go.
Relationship with Bolaji Rosiji
Well, Bolaji Rosiji is a man, good looking and probably comfortable. And it is expected that a lot of woman will see him as a potential man in their lives. There's nothing wrong with that, but people should not use that to insinuate anything untoward in my association with him.
Bolaji Rosiji is somebody I have partnered with over very many jobs. Currently, we are working on a project. Our organization, Gauranga Foundation, is trying to assist Lagos state on a project.
So, I work with him and we've been doing such kind of jobs together over very many years. Even on weekends, when very many people are relaxing in their homes, I'm at the Gauranga Studios, working with him on a number of projects.
So, this is the way it has been. I work with Bolaji Rosiji on a number of projects and we did not start working together just recently. We've been doing this for very many years.
For me, therefore, whatever people may think about my relationship with Bolaji is not important. Bolaji is not my enemy. He's someone I've been working with for so many years.
First, let me state that I don't discuss love relationship in the public. It's just not that important to me. That part of my life is not an issue. It's one of those things we've come to life to do.
Suffice it to say, however, that when people are adults, they are free to decide how to live their lives. It's a free world and every adult is free to get into any kind of relationship with other adults.
Long absence from music scene
I think that many things were responsible for my long absence from the music scene. At a point, the music industry was just no longer there. It's still not there yet. What we have now are Alaba market boys. You take your work to Alaba directly. That's not supposed to be a proper structure for music industry.
So, the absence of proper professional music outfits kind of weighed some of us down, particularly those of us who started practicing the profession as professionals from the beginning.
For instance, when people like me were starting out as musicians, there were the likes of Premier Music, EMI as well as other international recording companies in the country. These had in place good structures for artistes.
Unfortunately, when things started nose-diving and most of these recording companies left the country, there were no longer good structures for artistes to work with. So, it was difficult for me as well as others who had known what it was like working with well structured recording companies to now start giving our albums out to Alaba boys, as if it was selling something like tomatoes. The situation slowed us down and killed our spirits to some extent.
However, because musicians are like soldiers, we never gave up completely. This is the reason why some of us are bouncing back and in better forms now.
Yes, I have a new album in the market now titled Outburst. It's a good one, but I can't for now call it a success. This is because I'm about beginning actual promotion of the album. It is after this promotion that one can say if the album is a success or not.
It is the response of members of the public to the album that will tell if the album is a success story. For now, all I can say is that the album, Outbust, is not a success story yet.
My comeback to the music scene was like a storm. It took many people by surprise, and this is not my making. It is God. So, I can say that I have made a successful comeback to the music scene.
I say this because I fit well in the music scene of today. I'm still strong, I'm still flexible enough. I'm still creative and I'm still vocally okay. So, I must say that with my latest album, I've made a successful comeback to the music scene.
A lot of people, who saw me come back to the music scene with my latest album are still asking me how I made it. They are stunned at the way I re-entered the music scene after a long while.
Some have even described me as a comeback queen. And I thank God for this comeback into the thing I love doing, which is music. I'm indeed grateful to God for this. All I can say is that God is the source of my strength and He is the one who has made my comeback to the music scene successful.
Challenges as a female musician
As a female musician, I have faced many challenges, especially in this part of the world where women are supposed to be at the background. The challenges come in all ramifications and if you are not focused, determined and patient, you will give up.
For instance, as a female musician, you are sidelined when it comes to getting shows, poor remuneration, and even looked down upon by men.
Some think you are good for nothing. These things really inflict pains on female musicians. Such treatment is not in the interest of the industry as a whole.
Thank God, things have begun to change of recent. Men are beginning to see that women can stand their own anytime. Men are beginning to see that women are tough enough to take decisions and to get things done.
So, these days, men's attitude to female musicians is changing. The approach to female musicians by men is also changing. A lot of respect is beginning to be accorded female musicians of recent.
Generally, I can say that things are changing in favour of women of recent. It's not just for female musicians, but the womenfolk as a whole. In every profession these days, though challenges still exist, it's no longer as stiff as it was earlier before now.
Women, despite these challenges are making giant strides and as a result, more and more men are beginning to change their attitude towards women. This is good for the society.
If not a musician
If I was not a musician, I would have been a soldier or a pilot. This is because I've always liked uniformed work and always loved something that would take me around. I don't like sitting around files.
I can go crazy sitting around files. I like things that have to do with action. So, if I had not been a musician, I would probably by now be in the army, but in the piloting section.
Success as a musician
In terms of accolades, I can describe myself as a successful musician. At least, if you want to count female artistes in Nigeria, there is no way my name won't be mentioned. So, in terms of reckoning, I can say that I have succeeded as a female musician.
But, I can't say that I've succeeded in terms of remuneration because whatever remuneration I've gotten has been from other things I've gotten myself involved with. This, of course, is not to say that I've not gotten some money from music. I have done some major shows in the past, which yielded money for me.
Now, I'm re-launching back into the music scene and I'm hoping that this time around, it would be bigger and better. Again, in terms of knowledge, experience and what I've gained as a popular person, I can say that I've succeeded as a musician.
I've been able to get away with certain things just because I'm a musician. This in itself is success for me.
I don't see reason why some people describe me as crazy and wild. I'm not. I think I'm a person that comports herself a lot. In fact, where I live, people don't even know that I'm a musician. Sometimes they debate among themselves if really I'm a musician. This shows you how I comport myself. So, I can't say that I'm crazy or wild.
As a person, I can be stubborn sometimes. Sometimes, I can be a little bit mischievous. In fact, you can find most attributes a normal human being has in me. I can be very heady, if I believe in something. One of the biggest problems that I have is my guts. I'm very vocal. I don't pretend, I don't lie, and I don't cover up. I just say things the way they are, except if I think it's libelous and not necessary.
Romance with music
All I can say is that my romance with music began at the point of self-realization. Somebody saw me writing a song at a tender age and when I sang the song, he was thrilled and urged me to work further on it so as to make it a profession.
This was contrary to what I was thinking of doing then. My father wanted me to read Law, because he believed that I could talk and argue. But somehow, music and the arts overtook this desire of his and mine.
Eventually, at the age of 16, I traveled to London to record my first album 'Mercy'. Though this album did not see the light of day, I was not deterred. I've had several performances in European and Caribbean countries, not forgetting countless performances that I've had in Nigeria.
So far, I have six albums namely; Mr. Wright (1984); Samba (1985); Change of Heart (1990); One Nation (1995); I Believe; and Outburst (2008).
The greatest regret I have as a musician is that I'm not in the proper environment where things are professionally done. When you look at your counterparts in the international scene, you see how the setting is.
Their environment is so well structured to guarantee the musician's optimal performance and reward. There's no amount of mistake you make as a musician in such environment that will not give you some rewards, money. You must pick money first, and then you can make any mistake as a musician.
But over here in Nigeria, the structure is not there and the environment that would guarantee the musician's optimal performance and reward does not exist. Here, people will use you as a musician and abandon you.
If care is not taken, they will turn you to a psychological problem. Here, promoters will use musicians, the managers will use you and the ordinary people will use you.
Even here, fans will abuse the musician and do all kinds of things to him/her. If such musician is not strong, people will turn him/her to a psychological problem. This remains the greatest regret I have as a musician in this part of the world, but I have refused to allow myself to deteriorate due to such abuse meted out to musicians.
State of music industry
The music industry in Nigeria has a long way to go if it is to be at par with goings-on at the international scene. We have a huge market for works of musicians but the environment is not friendly.
There are no structures in the industry and there is dearth of professional recording companies.
Though new generation artistes are beginning to earn better nowadays, still this alone does not address the problems of the music industry in Nigeria. We need better environment and better structures, which will guarantee optimal performance and reward for musicians.
Professional recording companies, which have deserted the country should be encouraged to come back so that things can be done the way they should be done in the industry.
We can have proper structure in the music industry in Nigeria if we put our minds to it. For this to be possible, we must all work hard. All stakeholders must join forces to better the state of the music industry in Nigeria. Everybody has to come out for us to rectify the music industry in Nigeria, or else we're not going anywhere.
Philosophy of life
My philosophy of life is that everything we're doing and acquiring is for nothing. It's all vanity upon vanity. If you like be managing director of 20 conglomerates, chairman of 100 companies, etc, one day, you will end your journey here on earth and the dream will be over.
So, if you have this at the back of your mind when you are doing anything, it will make you to draw close to God. Secondly, such thinking will make you not to intentionally go out to offend anybody.
Yes, I'm a single parent but what I always tell people is that I don't see anything special about single parenting. We have widows all over the place. Some of them are left with 10 or more children.
So, when a person ends up as a widow, people will see such one as a single parent. So, for me, being a single parent is not something special or that has special challenges unlike other challenges facing others who for one reason or the other are single-handedly raising their children.
I don't see any challenge that a single parent has that others who are married don't have.
I would have loved to marry. I've always been that kind of very consistent person, who likes to look at life and think with the right partner. For me, marriage is supposed to be a resting place.
I don't want to marry somebody that will stress me or will make me start having emotional problems. I don't want that. I would like to marry and really enjoy my marital home. If I can't have that, then, I don't have business going into it.
God who instituted marriage knows that it is vital in anyone's life. God is not crazy when He said a person should leave his/her parents and go and partner with someone else in a marriage relationship. God in saying this, added that your spouse shall be your help.
God who instituted marriage, is authentic. Nobody can change the role that God has assigned marriage to play in our lives. We are all deceiving ourselves if we think that we can be complete if we are not married. If you don't take that bold step to be married, you are wasting your time.
However, that bold step has to be with the right person.
I would advise upcoming artistes to be focused, consistent and not allow anybody to distract them. They should be more creative. In our days, we used to be very creative. We don't just write two lines and start repeating it. That's the kind of music you hear nowadays.
Again, these days, upcoming artistes pick all kind of stupid subjects that don't inspire other people, subjects that children will hear and it will make them to start misbehaving. Upcoming artistes should also work harder. They are not working hard enough as we did in our days.
May be this is because now people make it easy for these upcoming artistes to take their works straight to radio and television stations. These days, there is no more scrutiny on the works of artistes, and as a result, many of them are laid back. This needs to change.
I like sleeping. When I have the time, I like to sleep. I play a little table tennis, and I like dancing. I can dance from morning till night.
Feud among musicians
It is unfortunate that musicians who are supposed to be role models are fighting each other nowadays. This is not the right thing to do and all concerned should sheath their swords.
Musicians are supposed to be role models; they are supposed to use music as weapon to create peace among other people. I don't know why musicians have now chosen to be the ones that are fighting and causing confusion everywhere.
I think that they are now doing politics with music; if not, we won't be having infighting among musicians as we have it today in Nigeria. So, to end the feud among musicians, there is need to separate music from politics.
Those using music to advance their selfish and clannish agenda should desist from doing so. Let musicians focus on their work, be role models and use their music to advance the cause of peace and unity among Nigerians.
Let musicians remain musicians, and let the politicians among them go back to the field of politics. We all should go back to music and leave politics alone.
Involvement in charity works
My decision to get involved into charity work using the platform of a non-governmental organization stems from the personal experience I had sometime ago. My son not too long ago, had a near tragedy accident.
This opened my eyes to a lot of difficulties that others in the society are going through. I said to myself that but for the person I was, may be, the condition of my son would have been out of hand. I cried out and other people came to my rescue.
So, this experience opened my eyes to the things other people who are not as popular as I am are facing on a daily basis. This encouraged me to go into charity works, and I'm enjoying every bit of it. This is because at the end of the day, God is going to ask you what you did when you were in the world.
It's not how many clothes you bought, how many aeroplanes you bought, how many houses you built, etc. You're going to be judged by how you contributed to humanity.