2324Xclusive Update: Our Musicians Today Sing All About Ladies Body & Big Ikebe – African China

Popular Naija dancehall artiste, African China, talks to Punch about music and other related matters:

It appears music no longer pays your bills?
It still pays my bills and I still get shows. I just don’t want to be like others who are now struggling.

Is your genre of music still relevant?
Yes, it is. At some point, it almost faded out because everybody wanted to listen to songs glorifying women’s backsides, champagne and all sorts of rubbish.

Don’t you think you have been edged out by the new generation artistes?
No, because lyrically and musically, I am still African China. Nigerians love variety and the fan base is divided. I have my fans who are loyal to me and my music. They will go wherever I go and they like the fact that I always speak the truth.

You had a r*pe scandal in London some years ago…
If we were outside Nigeria, I would have sued you for saying that because I wasn’t found guilty of r*pe. What would you say about the likes of Timaya who allegedly fled? I stayed back to prove my case. I was charged to court and I was acquitted. There was evidence to prove that I did not have carnal knowledge of my accuser.

Have you visited London since that incident?
Yes, I have been there many times. I shot the video of London Fever there and I have travelled with my family to London more than once and we will be travelling there again this summer (shows screenshots of his wife and children’s United Kingdom visas).

Aside from music, is hairdressing one of your many interests?
By opening a hairdressing salon, what I have done is invest for a rainy day. If you check properly, you would realise that some of those who began their careers about the same time I started mine are now broke. Today, a lot of them cannot feed themselves and their dependants. Before fame beckoned, I used to work as a barber at a salon and I am not ashamed to say that. Now that I am African China, I know this business idea would generate income on a daily basis because people always want to look good. The salon business is not the only business I have. I also have a boutique in Surulere, Lagos. I have a sound equipment rental business and I have a record label that is as old as Kennis Music.

Any regrets in your career?
The r*pe scandal is the only thing I regret because it was uncalled for. But in life, one will have highs and lows. I wish it never happened. If it was a crime I committed, I would not feel bad about all that I went through. It was all over the Internet and I find it traumatic when people refer to it. If Nigeria was like the United Kingdom or America, I would have made millions suing people for always referring to that episode because the courts declared me innocent.
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