GBENGA AGBOOLA in this interview, takes up Alhaja Ashabi Modinat on issues bothering Islamic music industry, given her role in ISMAN before the crisis that broke the body into two factions. Barrrytide also shares more. Excerpt…
Are you working on any album now?
I am currently working on an album titled “Iyawo Atijo” (Ex-wife). It is a duet with some artistes. I also worked with Shefiu Alao and Iweni Oni Waka in my upcoming album.
You are quoted as saying you prefer duets to solo, why?
Yoruba says move with the trend, and duet is the in-thing now. A day’s duet is what everybody is doing, so I decided to join since it is acceptable to people.
Are you going to do solo again?
I am still going to work solo. In fact, I will be releasing a solo album next year-2016.
Has your husband relocated to Nigeria?
He has not relocated but he comes and goes. You know, he is based in the United States.
Are you missing him so much?
I miss him and I don’t miss him because we chat every day. There is no day we don’t chat, so it’s always like he’s here, so I don’t miss him much.
Which medium do you use to chat with him?
I am on facebook, he’s on facebook. We chat on facebook and whatsapp.
Have you considered relocating to the United States in order to be with him?
I don’t like travelling. I can’t stay there, I can go and come back.
Why can’t you stay there?
My children are still young and in school. So, I can’t just abandon them to go and live in the United States. Nobody can take care of my children like me.
You were accused of walking out of the election of ISMAN (Islamic Musicians Association of Nigeria) because you were losing the election?
Well, it is a long story. I did not walk out. There is a saying that a leader will always be a leader no matter the circumstance. Alhaja Kayode Sedeeq is indeed a leader but he is a biased leader. He is a crack in the association wall. He is not a good leader. If there are issues between members, it is the elders and leaders that should find lasting peace to the situation, but in his case, he was encouraging and instigating one side against the other. For him to be telling people that I am irrelevant, it’s not supposed to be so; I have been in this industry for quite a while. He has often said that QUREEB came out of NAFSAT. I never thought he was simply alluding to the breakup of ISMAN. That was his plan but Allah is the best planner. It is Allah’s will that ISMAN will break up. The breakaway association name, Professional Islamic Musicians and Artiste International Association, (PISMA) is also Allah’s will. Since our break away from the main body, we have been growing. Unlike our former association, where nothing goes for free and no tangible benefits for members, I thank Allah that ours is one for all and all for one. When I was there, I was aspiring for the post of Lagos State Amira, but Allah said you are bigger than that post. Now, I am blessed, I am the National Amira for PISMA. I pay homage to those ahead of me- people like Alhaja Afusat Sodiq and Sayidat Fatima, who happened to be my step mother. But, in ISMAN, the situation has been “Who are you?”, “What can you do”. We left ISMAN but we never leave God. What they are saying about us are pure fabrications, I don’t think that they can say that in my presence. Our association is about peace and progress. We only shift base, there is no need to fight. Everybody goes his/her own separate ways. If QUREEB came out from NAFSAT, then PISMA would come out of ISMAN- all is for the glory of Islam. Gossiping, insulting and condemning should not be the order of the day. It is not Islamic and not good to be practised by the elders of Islamic musicians. We thank God.
What is the plan of PISMA for her members?
We have a lot of plans for our members. We have good plan for our leaders and elders. Also, we have got plan for our upcoming artistes. We do duet and feature them in shows to expose them and add value to them. We help one another. If you want me to attend your show, just fuel my car and I am on my way to your show. Those are the little ways we help ourselves. It’s not that you call me for a show and I know you don’t have N200,000 .00 and I am charging you N500,000 .00. Where will an upcoming artiste get that?. I also started from somewhere on a small scale. We thank God that our own association is a good association. Peace forever and peace for life.