2face, Ruggedman, 9ice, P Square and other artistes who were on top of their games almost two decades ago will never forget the names Howie T and Laface in the the music entertainment industry. Both worked assiduously to make sure Nigeria music industry is at the forefront through integrated marketing, using concerts , shows to showcase our talents. Laface brought Wyclef , a top American music Star to Nigeria for the first time. With the help of Howie T, the rest are stories.
Tunde Oshinibosi(Laface), spoke about the demise of his friend and colleague, Howie T who died recently of stroke.
How did you feel when you heard the shocking death of your friend and colleague, Howie T?
I was driving on the motorway when the news of Howie’s sudden death broke,had to stop and park to avoid causing a major accident . I then started calling our common friends and Industry colleagues to of course reconfirm the authenticity of the story as death rumor has become a common factor in Nigeria’s Entertainment Industry,after verification the magnitude of the loss suddenly hit me big time,its a great loss for the Entertainment Industry, the Almighty God will give his wife children and entire family the fortitude to bear this loss,may his gentle and loving soul rest in perfect peace Amen .
It was in the news that he had stroke, some also said he had marital challenges which led to stroke , did you ever heard from him before he died?
We all have our own challenges be it marital, health or otherwise. Howie lived a fulfilled life and contributed immensely to the growth of today’s Nigerian Entertainment Industry as an acclaimed DJ,Club GM,Astute promoter Label impresario, Talent manager among other enterprising dictates, this great loss cannot be undervalued.
Have you called his family to show sympathy?
Yes , I have been in touch with his family through his wife,my utmost condolences goes to Tunrayo and the children.
At this level in the Nigeria entertainment industry, promoters should have an association , so that if government wants to support you in case of any needs like health in the case of Howie T, Do you have?
Presently we don’t have an association of promoters but it’s been in the pipeline for a while, I muted the idea and shared it with some of my colleague’s, we were to commence the activation process when the pandemic struck, It has become imperative with this occurrence.
What are your aims and objectives?
Like most progressive associations the major objective is the welfare of our members. Using our societal influence and numbers to create a major power block in the country,the welfare of our family members when we pass on also comes into play amongst others.
Howie T was your rival, when you brought Wyclef to Nigeria, he also brought Wayne Wonder to challenge you, was there any long relationship between you and Howie T?
Howie was not my rival, he was my creative colleague, brother and friend. In business there must be that healthy competitive edge for major growth and continued development. Today’s Entertainment Industry has befitted immensely from our foresight, creativity and very healthy relationship believe me for us the growth of Nigeria’s Entertainment Industry always comes first.Yea, I did wyclef among others and Howie did Wayne above all today’s Entertainment Industry benefited immensely from our creative inputs as well as those of many others.
It has been a long time people have heard your name as far as concert is concerned in Nigeria, why ?
Great concerts are all about brand sponsorships a lot of top line sponsors have not had the kind of massive budget required for a while now due to the economic down turn.A greater percentage of there budget has since been earmarked for media adverts and direct marketing moreover you don’t stage concerts just for the sake of it, it must have an innovative edge. 8 What is Laface doing currently? I am currently exploring creative event options across Africa.
There was a time we learnt you were personal assistant to Senator Adeleke, are you in politics now?
Senator Ademola Nurudeen Adeleke (IMOLE OSUN) is an older brother and friend.I have had the privilege of representing him at various prestigious occasions at home and abroad. Honestly speaking politics is a part of our daily life’s from our household,to the office,schools, churches,markets etc, we are all political animals one way or other, so in direct answer to your question politics has also become a significant part of my life.
Is this why you dumped entertainment completely that gave you fame in Nigeria?
Entertainment is and will always remain my fortay and true love,dumping Entertainment as far as am concerned is a no brainer, how would I dump only true love that has given me global fame, notoriety and accolades? It is not possible.
After every concert you organize, what use to come to your mind?
In the showbiz Industry you are always judged based on your landmark achievements thus making it constantly challenging but basically the reflection is on how best we can improve the Industry making things better and easier for the present and coming generation of people in the Entertainment Industry.
You were Felabration pioneer, after little controversy with Fela’s family on the issues of sponsorship, why did you leave them completely?
The history and true story of Nigeria’s Entertainment Industry cannot be written without the name LAFACE popping up again and again because of my strategic landmark achievements. Is like writing the history of the Nigerian nation without the name OBJ the Ebora Owu.The true and authentic story of Felabration cannot be written without the name of the originator, pioneer and creator of the Felabration brand LAFACE much respect to the late ABAMI EDA himself.My dear brother you must remember am not Felas son but the major achievement of reuniting the family and changing there attitude to the general public and Industry practioners through the birth of Felabration can be attested to.Kindly note that the disagreement was not over sponsorship because It is on record that I put my brand and everything on the line to secure and protect the sponsorship from Guinness against all odds.The brohaha was over an unjust payment to a family lawyer.Fela himself believed in the truth and spoke truth to power till death.
Any avenue to reconcile?
It’s a very small world, the truth is out there,We cannot bear grudges for ever.The Almighty God knows best.
Reigning artistes( Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy, Olamide, Kizz Daniel etc ) in Nigeria are enjoying the euphoria of the industry, are they paying their dues to pioneers like you, Kenny Ogungbe, Dayo Adeneye, Edi Lawani, and other promoters who made the industry strong ?
There are pioneers in every Industry as a major stakeholder and pioneer like my above mentioned colleague’s we have played our roles and created an amiable platform that today’s practitioners enjoy. I can vividly recollect that Wyclef that I contracted for Guinness Nigeria was the international artiste that made the biggest impact on Nigerian Artistes all due to a strategic clause that I included in his performance contract.This signalled the beginning of today’s Industry revolution and mainstay.Am very happy for today’s artistes as pioneers we just did what we had to do.
Nigeria government said artistes should not do shows, concert but their political parties are busy campaigning in Edo for the upcoming election , what is the solution and how would Nigeria artistes get same treatment like politicians?
This is the hipocracy of the Nigerian State were there are different rules for different sectors. We are definitely playing lip service to the Covid 19 pandemic, the emphasis should be based on the fact that NIGERIA LIFES MATTER . What is the way forward for Nigeria artistes and promoters?
Seriously , the way forward is for the Government to create an enabling environment and necessary support and backup through infrastructural development and financial support. The existence of abundant talent is without an iota of doubt but the necessary support base is presently in the cloud.