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My father gave me my first money I ever spent – Hammond

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First of all, I work with a verygood team and they do lotsof things. And I’m used to doing it so I already know what to do at every point. I’ve always been a laid-back person. And only my workers know the other side of me. I get to show it only when my workers don’t do what they ought to have done.

I started with Rhythm Unplugged. I had my secondary school at Corolla and went to ISL. From there, I travelled to the UK and later came back to Nigeria.

Cecil Hammond ...I’m a sort of intruder in the business.

 

I studied Business Technology at Boston University and had my Masters in Hotel Management. And I returned to Nigeria immediately after my Masters.

I wanted to go into network business but things didn’t turn out the way I planned. So I decided to start with Silverbird. Then I worked directly with…I learnt how to do TV, radio programmes, put many things together and got to meet people. Then I’d actually created my company at that time and wanted to do shows because I wondered why SilverBird wasn’t doing concerts. As time went on, they hated doing some of my stuff and we’d source for sponsorship for the show. That’s how it all started.

The challenge we had was in getting sponsorship for the show. But I believed in it, Nigerians and the world also believed in it. The first show was successful and then we had the second. Then, I used Tuface and other big shots in the entertainment industry. At first when we just started, the seats were empty within the first three hours into the show and I thought I’d lost the money my father gave me.

My father gave me the first money I ever spent. I can’t remember how much . But it wasn’t the millions that we spend today. It was around a hundred thousand Naira. Then, my neighbours were the owners of Lindsel so it was cheaper. After that, the show became a success. Then I decided to take it out of Lagos to other places.

I left SilverBirds to concentrate on building my brand. I did the next show with D’banj, then Basket Mouth and others.

Later, I became tired of the big shows because people just want a cool and nice place, not a rowdy place. So, I bought a banter with Eko Hotel. And at that time, people wanted to know about D’banj and his Koko style. I established Koko L’ounge.

On the day of the show, like three top comedians were making fun on face book that Tuface couldn’t attend the show. Then IK announced it on air . It was a joke and should be taken as such but some took it personal. Obviously it because some top comedians weren’t on the deal. And for the fact that their names weren’t on the list doesn’t mean that I don’t find them amusing. It was a matter of those I wanted. So IK made a joke out of it but they took it personal. At the end, IK called and apologized. It was a comedy show and see no reason why anyone would get angry.

Gbenga Adeyinka was a very good friend of mine but on that day, everyone backed out. The only comedians who committed themselves to doing my shows were AY, Basket Mouth and othets. But Gbenga Adeyinka, Ali Baba and some others are no longer committed.

Their presence is important because I’d never forget whatever they do for me.

Well, it was a disappointment that some people didn’t show up and they decided to disappoint on the day of the show. But they called and threatened other comedians billed for the show not to attend. Anyway, the show was a success.

Really, I think comedians ‘re doing a great job. Basket Mouth and AY show are both good shows and if you ask me, I’m a sort of intruder in the business. I don’t want to go to clubs. I’m a private person and you’ll hardly find me in clubs.

I have my right hand man managing Koko Lounge for me. (Laughs). I hardly go there.

I’ve never liked the limelight and I don’t see why I should be out there. I love my company a lot.

I’m not doing it to get myself out there. I do it to make people happy. Yes, money is there but I do it to make people happy.

I’m coming up with other shows . I have Top Boys coming in December. Tere’s also Koko Concert and Rhythm Unplugged. The aim of theses shows is not to make money but to promote the artistes. And if money comes, I’ll take it.

Aside doing those shows, I have other businesses too. I have a lot of things coming on board. It’s just that the show part is what I really enjoy.

I pay the artistes depending on the deal I have with them. N10m isn’t even enough for the venue alone. The venue itself costs about N14m.

I can’t really tell you how much I pay big artistes like P-Square. It’s a partnership and it depends on our agreement. And I don’t really go out of my way to get sponsorship, it has become a normal thing now. And did you say Kaffy was pregnant? How could she be pregnant? Are you serious. No! Kaffy can’t be pregnant, she danced on stage. Well I don’t know. I’m going to ask her.

I want to be able to take the show outside Nigeria and to make use of other big African artistes. It doesn’t have to be Nigerian artistes alone. I want that anywhere I travel to, I’ll be able to make use of other Nigeria artistes.

I used to until some years ago when I discovered it doesn’t make sense. Although I’m not an angel and I love to enjoy myself.

My wife understands. She’s not an all-party person which is very good. I couldn’t have married someone who’s all -out there We met at SilverBirb. She was working with Rhythm. And I didn’t just ask her out. I had to really get to know her first. Then from there, we moved on. She knows I’m a quiet person but I get to meet many people because of my job. I help take care of my son, drop him off at school and by the time I return, it’s just to go to bed.

 

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