BY BENJAMIN NJOKU Few months after a picture which claimed to be the facial identity of Bisade Ologunde popularly known as Lagbaja circulated online, the man behind the mask has decided to break his silence over the said picture.
Lagbaja cleared the air, while unveiling his latest studio effort and ninth album titled ” 200 Million Mumu; The Bitter Truth”, at his event outfit, Motherlan, in Opebi, Lagos, last week.
Reacting for the first time since the picture hit the internet, Lagbaja said, “people are very funny, this same picture has been put on internet before now with a similar story. They should know that Lagbaja is much older than the person there and I don’t have bald-head, may be by the time I have bald-head, he will look much like me.”
Although, the masked saxophonist did not dismiss the possibility of his facial identity being revealed someday, he however noted that it would be after he has kicked the bucket. ‘People will have the opportunity to see my face when I’m gone,” he said Lagbaja also seized the opportunity offered by the informal gathering to address some pertinent issues bothering on his career and personality.
According to him, what he gains by not talking about his personal life on the pages of newspapers is his priceless freedom. “Lagbaja is a very simple person, he said, adding “I don’t want to live a life of a celebrity. There are certain things I can do today, which most you cannot do. I can walk from my house in Omale Estate down to my Wonderlan in Opebi, I’m talking about three kilometers here but most of you cannot do it. Not because you don’t have the energy but you simply cannot do it. What I gain by not talking about my personal life is freedom.”
“Lagbaja is a very simple person, he said, adding “I don’t want to live a life of a celebrity. There are certain things I can do today, which most you cannot do. I can walk from my house in Omale Estate down to my Wonderlan in Opebi, I’m talking about three kilometers here but most of you cannot do it. Not because you don’t have the energy but you simply cannot do it. What I gain by not talking about my personal life is freedom.”
On Ego Ogbaro’s exit, Lagbaja said, “ Naturally, every person will aspire to grow; you cannot hold unto an employer all your life. If you have a drive in the artistic world, you want to also be an employer, you want to explore your own art. So, it was a natural progression. Ego had to leave. Don’t forget that she was with us for more than 10 years. So, what else do you expect? There was no fight. In fact, I had been encouraging her to do her own songs long before her exit. If she had stayed, I would have been happy but when she was going I was happy too.”
“I said, ‘okay, but you have to wait till the end of the year so we can have a party for you’. And so, we celebrated her at our last show before she left. It’s a natural growth; you can’t remain in one place forever. And mind you, when you leave, you are actually creating a space for somebody else to come in because my concept is my concept.” “Ego left at the right time that is how it should be. If the opportunity comes, we would meet somewhere else. Few weeks ago, I saw Ego at an event and I invited her on stage to perform alongside my band. Today, she has started her own career. The girls with me today will someday start their own career too,” Lagbaja said. Lagbaja said his latest album is intended to speak to the conscience of Nigerians. The album has nine tracks and one video. Among the nine tracks are , ‘Knock Knock Knock’, ‘200 Million Mumu (parts one and three)‘, ‘Redemption Song’, ‘Guide Me O’, ‘Thou Great Jehova’ and ‘Omo Jayejaye’, the track with the video.
In shooting the video, the artiste employs the services of Nollywood acts including Racheal Oniga and a host of others. “If you follow my music videos well, you will notice that I always love working with actors and actresses. I have worked with Basketmouth and some others in the past. As a matter of fact, I enjoy working with them because of the flavour they bring into what I am doing,”Lagbaja said According to the artiste, it is not in his tradition to do singles, but with the release of Knock Knock Knock, the game changed. The album which he says seeks to awaken the consciousness of Nigerians to happenings in their surroundings has nine tracks and one video.
“ The album is a satire, the inspiration comes from my belief that I have to pass a message that contributes to the national discuss. This is not a joke and when it comes to what happens in Nigeria, I think I have a solution. The solution is that we are all mugus and we are contributing to the mess that’s happening here. It is easy to point fingers at leaders but actually, a leader cannot be different from the followers because he was one of us; he came from among us. The same madness happening at the federal level is happening in the local government. Your neighbour who you knew before is now councilor or chairman, and suddenly, you’re not seeing changes in the environment but you’re seeing changes in him. He gets fatter and we mugus are grumbling and shouting along as if we are not seeing that the solution lies in the fact that we have to address these ourselves,” he said.