In the recent past, the social media had been agog with the supposed co-habitation of one Dolapo Awosika, ex-wife of Nigerian-born former international footballer, John Fashanu, and her alleged lover, Muhideen Kasali, who is also said to be a prophet.
The report had it that the estranged wife of the former footballer, who is also a British citizen and has two children with Fashanu, abandoned her matrimonial home, and ran after a supposed prophet, whom she allegedly met while on a prayer mission in Oyo State.
The report further alleged that the said Prophet Kasali kept her against her will under an influence, which has also made her sell her house in Banana Island, and chose to live with the Prophet in a remote corner of Oyo devoid of modernity.
Dolapo Awosika was thoroughly painted black in the report, with some part alleging that she goes to pray with the intention of trapping men, among whom is the richest man in Africa, who she was alleged to have had a daughter with – a child she reportedly foisted on John Fashanu.
However, in a swift response, Fashanu, through his media team, dissociated himself from the reports, saying that he is a man of honour, and would not descend to the level of throwing stones.
Fashanu described the report as ‘unscrupulous and malicious content emanating from those drowning and seeking cheap and undeserving fame’. He added that no matter the paternity of the girl in question, he still loves her.
The statement read in part: “This heinous rumour is coming as a calculated distraction at the time the BIG FASH is busy with tours and projects around the world to put smiles on the faces of millions in need, but he will remain unruffled and undeterred from his course. WHETHER THE GIRL IN QUESTION IS BIOLOGICALLY MY DAUGHTER OR NOT, I LOVE HER.
“To the fans and general public, kindly disregard all such news only built on falsehood, social greed, intellectual imbecility and pathological irresponsibility on the part of their promulgators and publishers. “They are misleading and only a reflection of emotional drought and sensual starvation.”
The statement added that the United Nations Ambassador is very busy at the moment, but at the appropriate time, if need be, he will grant personal interviews and voice cast!
Davido’s Chioma Among 5 New COVID-19 Cases
The number of positive coronavirus infections in the country reached climbed towards 70 on Friday with Chioma, the fiancé of the musician David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido being confirmed as one of the positive cases.
The National Centre for Disease Control in a tweet said there were five new cases confirmed on Friday.
Three of the new cases were in Abuja which now has 14 cases and two were in Oyo State. Lagos State which has 44 cases did not receive any positive confirmation on Friday.
Pastor Adeboye’s Heir-Apparent On Dad’s 78th B-day, “My Father Went Through Hell To Get Here”
Assistant Pastor, Leke Adeboye, is the last son and Senior Personal Assistant of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (Worldwide), Pastor Enoch Adeboye who marked his 78th birthday on 2 March. He speaks about life as the son of the celebrated preacher and minister of God, among other issues:
What was growing up like as Pastor Adeboye’s son?
I think by the time I came into the family, he was already a pastor, maybe not a full pastor, because you go from being a deacon to an assistant pastor, then a full pastor, but he was always working in line with the church and with the work of God. He is an amazing father who is a fantastic role model. He always had time for his family despite the workload. One of the things most people do not know is that he had his own idea: he wanted to be Africa’s youngest vice chancellor; that was what he was pushing for. He also ensured that the wellbeing and welfare of his family was a 100 per cent priority, keeping in mind that he came from a super-poor background. His own game plan was that once God accepted him, he needed to pull everybody else out of poverty. So, I didn’t see him as a pastor, I saw him as a man first.
Was he strict while you were growing up?
The Bible actually gives guidelines to parents on what to do; it says you should train your child in a certain way and he won’t default from it. He trained us to be good; to treat every human being with respect; not to cheat anyone, even if your life depended on it; do what you are told by your parents; honour your father and mother; always be honest and caring. Anything outside the rules and regulations that they’ve given you attracts disciplinary measures.
In your school days, were there certain things you couldn’t do because you were Pastor Adeboye’s son?
Not even just that, they would say you shouldn’t do certain things because you are from a particular tribe. They would say that you shouldn’t be talking in a certain way because you are a man. But there are different families, different experiences and different exposures.
It has been a great task for me. People tend to judge, because your father is famous. However, I feel it is normal, because that is what is applicable to the children of any influential person in the society. Expectations are very high being the son of a pastor. During my NYSC days, whenever we observed our monthly meetings, you hear people say ‘Leke Adeboye pray for us.’ As a pastor’s child you are expected to know the Bible, know how to pray and preach. One must also know how to be helpful and supportive in every aspect of life. The fact remains that one will be judged by what your parents do and this is what is obtainable across the globe. For me, I have been on the Redemption Camp since I was three months old. It was like an isolated and different life then; no electricity and telephone. We were cut off from the world until when the camp and villages around started developing. Unknown to many, the Adeboye family, seen as wealthy and famous today, started from nothing.
It is undeniable that Pastor Adeboye is loved by many, but you can’t take away the fact that there will be enemies. How does the family handle this?
In life, if you don’t have haters, you aren’t doing anything positive. It also means you are not gifted or talented, because some people would be upset, that it is always you. I see this as what should be expected among human beings. In fact, you would still find some people who are very close to you that will not be genuinely happy when God places you in a position in life. I would say that the family and, even my father, have been able to manage all these without offending anybody. He is always humble. I think God is really behind the fact that he is loved by many, because he did not call people to love him. He is just focused on his primary assignment to get people to heaven. I feel it is normal for some people to like him and otherwise.
It is no more news that there are some people that will always have something negative about notable ministers of God. We know them and we understand that they are carrying out their assignments. At present, there is a particular lady complaining about an issue relating to money coupled with so many stories, but we don’t know how true they are. We have also realised that some people just use him to draw more attention through social media. They have their own game plan. So, we have chosen not to respond to such issues.
How did you feel when you heard that your father would retire as the General Overseer of the church?
Officially, I am not expected to talk about that, but don’t forget that information is very powerful. A lot of people get things wrong, because they are not well informed or how the information is being disseminated. I was in the gathering where he made the announcement. Immediately, I said ‘thank God.’ We are moving and doing something else. That means we would have more time for other parts of the world than we used to have, because there are some countries that we have not been able to touch, such as China. Normally, one is to work till age 70, but if God pushes you to work beyond 70, it is according to His will. The church has already been well-structured and it is moving well. We now have overseers in all the RCCG churches across the globe, but the fact that the headquarters is based in Nigeria, most people assumed that there would not be the need for one. Our pastor, the National Overseer, who is also a Big Daddy to me, had already been carrying out all those assignments that should have been accorded to a National Overseer in Nigeria. He attends the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), among other meetings. He even controls the payments of RCCG’s staff salaries in Nigeria. I think people just wanted to twist things when the announcement was made.
Aside being Pastor Adeboye’s son, you are also his Senior Personal Assistant, would you say that you were deliberately made to occupy this office, because Daddy G.O. does not trust anybody else?
I see this task as just a glorified title for a messenger; I am just a messenger. I was the first person to be interviewed as a Personal Assistant in RCCG eight years ago. Most people don’t know that I actually finished my Master’s in Engineering Project Management at the Bournemouth University and my first degree in Aerospace Technology and Engineering at the University of Hertfordshire, England. I earlier had my secondary school education at the Command Secondary School, Apata, Ibadan, and did all the other part of the secondary school in Kent Canterbury in England. I have not taken it lightly the privilege I have been given to study outside the country. Above all, coming around to say I would love to work for the mission with sleepless nights has been God. I came back to explore the resources and experience I have gathered so far as a professional to help the mission to be better. I went for an interview to occupy a role that paid the lowest salary grade in the mission. I actually had an eight-hour interview. I went in full suit, but came out with singlet and boxers.
Ordinarily, people are usually given three to six months’ probation when employed, but I was given one and half years probation, because they did not joke with their General Overseer, regardless of who they wanted to employ. I was scrutinised more than anybody else that was interviewed, but I didn’t mind. I don’t see him as my father when it comes to work; I see him as my principal, my boss. I see this as my obligation and I have been trying hard on how to improve my duty as a personal assistant and how to improve the office of the General Overseer. We usually invite international experts in the field to train all senior pastors during our meetings. Personally, I have been able to display professionalism in this work. He just happened to be my father; he could have been anybody else. My main job, as the Senior Personal Assistant, is to ensure that the Chief Executive Officer gets his own primary assignment done without missing out anyone. In fact, I have many responsibilities, aside being the PA. To be candid, it has been a great experience and quite interesting!
How is your relationship with your mum?
She’s my mum. What do you expect the relationship to be like? She brought me into this world and I love her so much. She is an amazing woman that does many things that are not on record. In fact, I am still waiting for a day that CNN would come to do a documentary on her. She has an empowerment project geared towards women, especially sexually and domestically abused women and prostitues, which she funds personally and with support from others. That is why it is sometimes annoying when people say all sorts on social media without getting the real facts. She has another empowerment initiative for transforming the lives of kids, mostly the destitute and orphans on the streets. There is another African mission initiative supporting some African countries that are not as blessed as Nigeria. This initiative provides houses, schools and basic amenities for these countries. It may interest you that she always supports RCCG missionaries that are sent to different countries across the world. She just pushes to support them. Aside all these, she still caters for the family. I am proud to let you know that daddy is not the only one that has a doctorate degree in the house; mum is also a PhD holder. She was a teacher and she gave up a lot of things to ensure her children were raised right. Her level of sacrifice goes beyond what I feel she could do.
Given your role as your Dad’s PA, would you say you’re his favourite child?
I am not the favourite; don’t get me into trouble. I guess it is because I have a list of responsibilities. This is a family that is so dedicated in doing God’s work and our parents have instilled many things in us that have made us active in the vineyeard. For instance, our first born, Pastor Adeolu Adeboye, owns the Wise Men Apparel, a fashion outfit that has offices all over Nigeria, which started from London. He is into construction as well and an active member of the Team Nehemiah, an arm of RCCG that ensures the safety of people within and around the camp, especially during activities in the camp. I have another brother, Pastor Oluwadamilare Adeboye, who is in charge of the National Youth Affairs and also works with the Redeemed Campus Fellowship for all universities in Nigeria. In fact, he represents and even preaches more than the G.O. He is always on the move. We sometimes track him on social media. Even Daddy would always want to know his movements. I feel the insinuation of being the favourite is just because of the fact that I am the only one around him. Maybe, because I am the troublesome son too, so they keep me closer. I also have a sister, who is also a pastor based in America. She is helping mum to run an arm of RCCG called Feast of Esther, an organisation for wives of General Overseers across the globe. It is really a big family devoted to doing God’s work. In fact, there are extended members of the family that are also doing one thing or the other in this mission.
If you were not a pastor, what would you have become?
I am not a pastor yet; I am an assistant pastor. I am also a drummer. I have seen my dad serving people all his life and his philosophy has ignited the will to also serve people and impact lives. I am just trying to do my own bit in my little way. I am in charge of Pastors’ Seeds Family, which comprises the children of ministers, missionaries and workers in RCCG and anybody that has something to do in RCCG and we are more than 7,000. I realised that the major problem in Nigeria is the mindset of the people, especially youths and the social media is not helping matters. Our objective is to build good human capacity. You have to build your integrity and character, irrespective of any religion. As a human being, one has to be honest and accountable. Personally, I can’t just afford to live my life anyhow. I look around to look for what I can do to impact lives positively; this is how we can develop a society full of business ideas. I’m delighted to have a platform that is empowering the youths, because I see this as my own assignment and people are already tapping into it.
You were recently sighted on a beach bike. Would you say that you have flair for bikes?
Yes, I do. I have a flair for bikes and extreme sports to a fault. But, I have soft-pedaled now that I am married and have three kids. Though life insurance is all about God, I have to take care of them. I have flair for anything that moves fast, especially what will take me anywhere on time. This was why I studied Aerospace. I guess this is also preparing me to get to heaven fast when the trumpet sounds.
Do you also have fashion cravings?
We are not allowed to be carnal. Although I like fashion, I love anything that is simple and comfortable. At present, I wear made-in-Nigeria clothes, except for my watches. I patronise a brother in our church, who has a shop at Ebutte-Meta and he has been doing a fantastic job for me. That is how we can support the economy and encourage people.
People believe everything about Pastor Adeboye is spiritual. What is Daddy GO like when he is not on the pulpit? He likes to fish, and every single place we live in this camp has a fish pond behind it. It is very easy to set up and also a very good way to relax. He likes to walk and go on train rides. Thank God things are developing in Nigeria. When we are outside Nigeria, we go to places by train. We get to see the countryside and have a different view of life than being in the car all the time. He likes watching movies a lot, not immoral movies and necessarily 100 per cent Christian movies at all time, because you may be caging yourself by not engaging in what other people are facing. One of the movies we watch is Take Heed. He is also a huge fan of James Bond; we have about 50 collections of the movie. In fact, there is always a replacement of anyone that gets lost or spoilt. I also have copies in my house, as well, just in case he comes to visit, because that is what he would like to see.
Music, Curves, and Ideas for Ayo Animashaun At 50 – By Ayeni Adekunle
I can’t remember how I got introduced to Soji Dehinde. But it was he who in turn introduced me to a couple of gentlemen who would go on to become friends, brothers, and supporters as I tried to find my feet in the late 90s and early 2000s. I’ve shared before, of how he introduced me to the comedian and master of ceremonies, Tee A, when I was to debut Youths Awards for Excellence in Music (YAFEM) in 1998.
It was that same year that I had the pleasure of being acquainted with Ayo Animashaun courtesy of Soji Dehinde.
Soji passed on a few years later, but Animashaun and I have remained in touch, becoming friends, brothers, collaborators, and everything else.
When I met him in 1998, he was 28 years old, three years into his business HipHop World Magazine, and a celebrity in his own right. Everyone called him Nigeria’s youngest publisher and he had such larger than life image that it was a big surprise and disappointment when I got closer and realized he was just a struggling young man trying to make sense of the chaos called Lagos.
I should know. I was a regular guest in his Olusosun-Oregun one-bedroom BQ before he was evicted. I spent many nights with him sleeping in his Sahadatu plaza office off Allen Avenue, buying meals on credit, running from creditors, seeing assets confiscated, dragging his reluctant Volks Wagon beetle around Lagos and Kwara, and struggling to pay designers and printers to work on the magazine.
I was studying Microbiology at the University of Ibadan, but I had a passion for media and entertainment. Meeting Soji Dehinde, Ayo Animashaun, Tee A, Dayo Asaju, Ayo Oshun, Nseobong Okon-Ekong, Efe Omorogbe, Wale Oluwaleimu, and many more in those early days played a huge role in how I eventually turned out.
Take Animashaun: he gave me free unrestricted access to his home and office and resources. It was during one of the many weekends in his house I first saw and learned how to use a computer – teaching myself PageMaker, MSWord, Corel draw, etc. It was through him I met most of the early big names of the time – including the Plantashun Boiz, Dele Momodu, Kunle Bakare (who would later become my employer), and so many others.
I would come from school every weekend and stay anywhere he was staying. Of course he would be unable to fund my return trip to Ibadan. But a visit to Dele Momodu always did the job: Bob Dee would give us enough cash to take me back to school and carry Animashaun for a week or more.
I was not alone. Before he was 30, Animashaun was already a magnet for the entire pop and HipHop culture in Nigeria. His songbook, and later magazine, captured the imagination of young people around the country; and he became one of the most influential figures of a terribly misunderstood youth culture. So, it was not surprising that many of us were drawn to him: Efe Omorogbe, Anthony Anifite, Bayo Omisore, Solomon Dare, Loknan Dombin, Innocent Idibia, Augustin Ahmedu, Olusegun Babatunde, Ayo Oshun, Goke Oludare, Tosin Ogunderu, Matthias Aragbada, Olamide Adedeji, and so many more.
He was born Tajudeen Ayodele Animashaun on March 17, 1970 to a Christian mother Fatima Ajibike Animashaun, and a Muslim father Kehinde Sanni Animashaun (1938 to 1988) of Popo Aguda, Isale Eko, in Lagos. The family lived in Ilorin where he first fell in love with music and entertainment, alongside other shenanigans he got into with friends like Femi Opawoye, Dotun Adeboyejo and others. But it was while he was studying for a national diploma at Kaduna State polytechnic that he went big with his passion, running campus clubs, creating and distributing songbooks, and spreading the gospel of hip hop.
He became so successful I’m not sure he went back for his HND or his diploma certificate. He became so successful he left home to come to Lagos and pursue a bigger dream.
In Lagos, he found a home in FAME Weekly magazine, under the guidance of Sikiru Olakunle Bakare and Femi Akintunde-Johnson. But he was squatting in such remote places around Lagos island and Abule Osun, that he ended up spending most nights sleeping at the Fame office in Ikeja.
Colleagues would mock him for sleeping in the office; for being so audacious as to think he could attempt to become a magazine publisher; or for not being Lagosian enough.
He was young, ambitious, and promising. He was also getting fairly known through his weekly music column aptly titled Hip Hop World, inside FAME magazine. But he was also broke, homeless, frustrated, and tired.
It was time to give up.
Should he go back home to Ilorin where his late dad owned an estate and other businesses? Should he go back to school? Maybe forget about media and publishing and get another job?
He decided he’d keep going. It wasn’t a difficult decision to take because his bosses at the time believed in him and used their relationships to get newsprint suppliers, and printers to transact with him on credit. The rest, to apply the overused cliché, is history.
He published the debut edition of the magazine with Michael Jackson on the cover, in 1995. And he hasn’t looked back. HHW magazine was the leading music magazine in Nigeria for over 20 years, and since ceasing publication, no other journal has stepped in to take up the space it left. And then he launched Hip TV, first as a weekly 30-minute magazine show, before becoming a full channel on DSTV and GoTV. And then he set up HipHop World Awards (since rebranded as The Headies), which interestingly is also the only surviving Nigeria only music honours event.
He’s spent the past 25 years building a media and entertainment business that puts young people and pop culture at its heart. He’s himself remained young at heart, in physique, and character; and he’s not for once failed to remember that it was innovation that got him through the door in the first place. So, he’s moved from giving Nigerian entertainers their first proper red-carpet experience on home soil, to pioneering real-time simulcasts of weddings, events and festivals; and even attaching prizes to awards beyond the prestigious plaques.
There are few entertainment companies started 25 years ago that are still around and relevant today; few heavy players from the past 25 years still relevant and influential today. And I do not know a lot of Nigerians more instrumental to the development of contemporary Nigerian music than Ayo Animashaun. Along with Femi Aderibigbe, Alex Okosi, Tajuddeen Adepetu, Keke Ogungbe, Dayo Adeneye, Nelson brown, Jimmy JATT, Emmanuel Ugolee, Joke Jaiyesimi, and few others, the hitherto sceptical Nigerian audience, gatekeepers, brands, regulators, and government were forced to pay attention and align. And we owe them more than a debt of gratitude.
But I wish the business Ayo Animashaun built had become bigger than it currently is. I wish he would be able to raise some good investment, improve governance, take the company public, and if possible, go into other markets in Africa, Europe and America. I wish we would give the world our own Disneys and Viacoms and CNNs. And Animashaun is one of the few Nigerians who can make it happen.
I wish also that he would suspend being a teetotaler even if only for today, so he can experience what he’s been missing. Just like Tee A, Animashaun is famous for not having ever tasted a drop of alcohol. Imagine that. Not having ever tasted the joys of Heineken, Star and 33. Not having had the privilege of cognac and cigars, or Whiskey and pistachios. He’s never even tasted champagne. Just imagine!
What he lacks, in alcohol taste though, he more than makes up for in his impeccable taste and passion for gadgets, curves, squash, travelling, and cars.
I had a family friend once, Sunday Ologbese. May God rest his soul. Anytime he walked up to us for some chit chat in front of our gate in Okokomaiko, everyone knew what he was communicating, even without saying much.
”Omo I just saw one babe off. Omo yen fineeee gaan mehn…’
Everyone proceeds to interpret ‘Fine’ in their brains as ‘dark, full-bodied, and tall.
When I met Animashaun years later, it wasn’t long before I realized that when he tells you of a lady he’s just been smitten by, you wouldn’t be wrong to picture her as TDC – tall, dark, curvy. With an emphasis on the curves. But we shall not talk about that today, for I do not intend to embarrass a responsible father-of-four who may have his family reading this.
So how about we replace the above paragraph with his love for his kids, other people’s kids, and how he’s raising some of the most brilliant and well-behaved kids I’ve come across in a while? You only need to meet his first child, Ayotomiwa, to have an idea of the good parenting I’m talking about.
It’s easy to look at Ayo Animashaun and see a casual, playful, exuberant media and entertainment executive who’s been unable to take his business global even after 25 years.
It’s easy to look at him as that guy who starts his awards shows late, who – insert whatever controversy you have heard. But I want to suggest an alternative view: This is a man who never attended business school, never raised any investments, built his company pre-social media and media tech, and who has stayed ahead of every technological evolution. How about looking at him as a pioneer, a visionary who walked so that many of us that came after could run and fly? If you like, you can even credit him as the guy who brought hip hop to Nigeria. I doubt anyone would argue.
Whatever you decide, I truly hope you take a minute today and pay tribute to the man as he clocks 50. He’ll be drinking water or Maltina, but I can assure you that some of us will finish a bottle of Delamain on his behalf. It is possible.
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