As I walk into the exquisite bar of the famed Radisson Blu Hotel in Victoria Island, I fail to spot the man who made all these possible. The rise of Nigerian music. I remember, the Friday night jamz. The very popular musical programme that used to be on AIT and hosted by him and his brother, Dayo D1.
Kenny and his crew, redefined our music, added zest and soul to it and for the first time marketed it very well and made millionaires out of our talented kids. Musicians stopped begging Government for support and became very independent. Keke and D1 brought Hollywood to Nigeria. Great men.
As I sat opposite him, I stare at his brown lace native, with his brown leather Gucci Bag and brown patterned Gucci shoes. I beg baba to buy me lunch na, he stares brings out his wallet counts the money in it and says go ahead., I ordered beef burger and coke, did not want to overextend baba before the ijebu in him comes out,.
We talked about his life, his new turn at AIT and the renaissance in Nigerian music. He told me of how they used to take the risk in up fronting monies for artistes only to be exposed to pirates and market forces. He talked about his relationship with Tuface and the last minutes in the life of Goldie and I saw a little sadness cross over his tired face. He so dearly loved her. He tried to convince me that his latest star, Joel was the next best thing. That is baba Kenny, always plugging his Artistes. I no agree sha, me I am a Tuface man till death. He educated me on how Artiste are making crazy money now with caller tunes and his plans to relaunch a new group of artistes. He compared himself to arsene Wenger as he tries to rebuild Kennis Music.
I begged him for a TV show, since he had been marvelling at my exquisite and exotic looks, plus my incredible talent, he cleverly dodged and bit harder into his meaty lunch. He was very charming taking his time to explain things to me. The passion and strong love for his field was still there and very infectious. I still could not miss the urgency in his quest to regain market leadership. He badly wants to make one last statement.
You see why I do not agree with the Centenary List, a man who almost single handedly recreated a whole industry, creating employment for thousands, making people millionaires and bringing Nigeria to the attention of the world. He is on my list o.
I quicklyfinished my lunch and the bill came, baba looked at the bill twice, closed it whispered under his breath, ‘oluwa’ and started sweating. At that point, I took my excuse and went to the toilet and did not come out until I was sure he had made the payment.
As we walked towards his white Range Rover, hisnstar quality shone through. All the security men and waiters called out at him and he graciously answered them as he drove out.
That was an enigma that just bought me lunch.
In my books, that is one of the greatest Nigerians. Big up to Baba Kenny Ogungbe. By the way is now goes by the moniker, Dr. Kenny Ogungbe.