I LOVE MAKING STARS BUT I DON`T WAN TO BE ONE
I f you run a check on the credits of some of the country's biggest drama series and musicals, one name that you are certain to notice is Tajudeen Adepetu.
Adepetu is the self-effacing Chief Executive Officer of Soundcity music.
From the series, Family Circle, Everyday People to Domino, all his productions have turned out to be hits. When he started Soundcity some years back, some people dubbed it the Nigerian version of Channel O because of its popularity.
What with its unusual presenters and the razzmatazz that accompanies the musical videos featured on the channel.
But the man behind them all shies away from publicity. He doesn't want to be caught by Television cameras, and even when the print media want a chat with him, he tries hard to get lost in the crowd. Yet, Soundcity has become a reference point as far as Nigerian music is concerned.
Adepetu, in a rare chat with Spectacles, revealed that watching his productions gave him joy. He said he felt fulfilled when people who come in contact with him or his productions became stars. He told Spectacles that staying behind the cameras to create winning productions had always been his dream.
But as a human being, doesn't he feel tempted to act or be seen in front of the camera, once in a while?
He said, “Working behind the camera is what I enjoy most. I have never craved for acting roles or anything that will put me on the spot. Despite all that I do to avoid publicity, you can imagine that many people know who I am when I introduce myself as Tajudeen Adepetu.
Even those, who you think won't bother to read footnotes of productions after watching, do.
He told Spectacles that he only agreed to a media chat because of the forthcoming Soundcity Musical Video award in April, saying the award would be in a class of itself.
“The presentation of the award; the quality of those invited; the quality of the performance; and the quality of broadcast of the award itself will be major highlights.
It is an award that will benefit those behind the camera more, people that are not seen or known. “What people don't realise is that those we have around are made by those behind the scene. Like I said, I love to remain there unnoticed.” Adepetu said he took to television through his sister, an editor with NTA Jos in the 70s.
He said, “Anytime they dropped me off at her place after school, I would be with her until she finished her job. So, while I waited for her to finish, I would wander around the television house. I think my contact with television studios and personnel early in life shaped my future. I don't do any other thing apart from television.
“In life you have to understand and appreciate what God has given you. I am not going to be an actor, I have never intended to be. My ministry is p r o v i d i n g f o u n d a t i on for people to develop their own talents. I prefer to remain behind the scene”.
Adepetu belongs to the school of thought that says television should not be free.
According to him, television without serious money does not have a future.
“If you look at the television industry in Nigeria, you won't find more than two hours of sponsored programmes on television. Television without serious money does not have a future. That is why I don't want anybody to watch what I do for free; it doesn't pay. That was why we opted for the cable business. You should be able to pay something.” He doesn't believe that Nigerians love free programmes. According to him, nearly every home is paying a subscription for cable networks. So, he predicted that if the NBC did not change its present modus operandi, people may soon not be able to watch all TV channels for free as they do today. Everyone would have to have digital decoders to be able to watch television in the next seven years, he said.
Adepetu, who is a father of two, admitted that he was quite a busy person who hardly had time to spend with his family.
“It is not the length of the time you spend with your family that matters but the quality. If out of 24 hours, you are able to be with them for two hours, the quality of those two hours is what is important. Every woman would want to have her husband all the time, but my wife does not have to worry because she too is busy as an instructor in an aviation school.” He described his industry as one c o m p r i s i n g h i g h l y i n t e l l e c tual characters contrary to the common belief that it is a haven for questionable characters.