Seun Egbegbe is one showbiz personality who has always been in the news. He promotes music as well as movie. His fame soared when a few years ago he was linked in romance with a popular actress, Toyin Aimakhu. The relationship hits the rocks when Toyin married a fellow actor, Niyi Johnson. Interestingly, Toyin returned to Seun when her marriage with Niyi packed up. However, Toyin is presently outside the life of both Seun and Niyi. Meanwhile, Seun, who would not be dragged into the relationship controversy, spoke to the assistant editor, AKIN SOKOYA, two weeks ago. In the interview, the fine boss of Ebony Films shares his passion for entertainment and his other skill many probably didn’t know. Read on…
How did you delve into movie production and music promotions?
Alhaji Sule Alao Malaika is a brother to me. I was at his house several years ago when a Yoruba actor, Akin Olaiya came to visit Mailaka. Mailaika introduced us to each other and we became friends. He called me to movie locations on several occasions, which I obliged him. One day, Akin Olaiya called my attention that I can invest into the industry because it’s profit making. I approached my mother and she offered to borrow me N500,000 and said I have to refund the money in six months. I shot my first movie titled ‘Ebony Alhaji’ with the fund I borrowed from my mother and it was successful in terrain of profit. The movie was marketed by Romoke Adunbarin. I subsequently shot ‘Igbayilola’, that was also successful in term of profit and since then, it has been a success story until now when things are not like before.
When was the first release of your movie?
It was 1998/99.
When did you register your movie outfit?
I registered Ebony Nigeria Ltd. in year 2000.
What motivated music promotions?
Top Fuji star, Alhaji Alao Malaika introduced me to musical show, which I agreed to delve into. I did my first show for Alhaji Sule Alao Malaika. I was the first that organized a show for him in Ikeja. The promotion was successful.
How many movies have you produced from 1999 till date?
I’ve produced more than 20 movies. They are titled Ebony Alhaji, Igbayilola, Tani Kabe? Kura, Ile Olalewu, Ipo Agba, Odaran moran, to mention but a few.
Which is your latest film?
My latest movie is ‘Omo Igboro’ (street boys), it will be released soon.
Do you write your movies script yourself?
I write most of my scripts but I work with some professionals to screen plays.
Apart from your involvement in movie and music promotion, which other business are you doing?
I do every business that is profitable as far as it’s legal. I do buy cars and resell them and other good businesses.
Some people see you as a controversial person, they even alleged that you have dated some actresses and beat them while the relationship lasted, how true is this?
I’m surprised at this allegation because I have never beaten any actress. But if they have evidences to prove this allegation, they should tender it. Anybody could have issues with his girlfriend but all these actresses they are talking about are not my girlfriends; we are colleagues.
But recently, it was revealed that you dated divorced actress, Toyin Aimhaku and your relationship turned sour thereafter; what’s your reaction?
I don’t have anything to say about Toyin’s issues but what I want people to know is that we are now good friends.
You were at the orphanage home to donate some items during your 40th Birthday recently, and you also celebrated it elaborately, what inspired this?
What I did for the orphanage home was to appreciate God for what He has done for me. If I have had more than that, I would have done more.
Fingers are not equal, people in the orphanage are human beings like us. If one is in the capacity of helping others and he doesn’t do it, God won’t be happy with such person.
For the elaborate celebration, this is not the first time I have been celebrating my birthday elaborately. I have been celebrating my birthday elaborately for over 10 years, with my friends, fans, stakeholders and family.
What was the happiest thing you could recollect that God had done for you in the last 40 years?
The happiest thing God has done for me is that I’m alive to celebrate 40 years. God has given me grace to achieve what others have also achieved and beyond.
Now that you are 40 years, what are those things you have been doing before that you don’t want to do again?
Before, I got annoyed over little things but now I have decided to take things easy and calm myself down.
Just after your birthday celebration, you left for Dubai, what was your mission there?
I want to see some of my fans who wanted to entertain me in Dubai for my birthday. That’s not all, I also went there to buy more equipment like camera, generator, microphone etc. for movie production and music promotions. By July ending, we will unveil the equipment with our new office.
How much did you spend to bring in the equipment from Dubai?
It cost me N20m.
Could you tell us about your background?
I hail from Abeokuta in Ogun State. I had my primary school at Akowonjo, Lagos and Jubril Martins High School, Agege. I couldn’t further my education because my parents were financially constrained, I went to learn electrical job from Mr. Monsuru in Surulere Street, Dopemu, Lagos. After completing my training terms, I started working.
I later moved to Ikeja where I met a Fuji artiste, Alhaji Wale Ayinde Tekoma and I worked for him as an artiste manager. This really spurred me into music promotion.
So far, what are your challenges on the job?
I’ve experienced tough challenges. I’m a focused and determined person, and that has been my drive towards success in life.
Apart from Sule Alao Malaika, Wale Tekoma, which other artistes have you promoted?
They are Wasiu Alabi Pasuma, Taye Currency, Tope Nautical, Remi Aluko, Adio Atawewe. I’ve also promoted them abroad where I’ve organized shows for them. I’ve also taken some movie artistes abroad to shoot movies.
Have you received any award to your credit?
Yes, Best Music Promoter of The Year from YOMAFA, Best Upcoming Producer of The Year from City People magazine and another award, Most Consistent Marketer of Year 2014 from Alaroye magazine.
You have done a lot by promoting popular musicians, what are you doing to bring the upcoming artistes to the limelight?
The popular artistes that we have promoted started as upcoming but we are planning to audition new artistes this year.
In what way has the hard economic situation affected your business and what’s your advice to the government on it?
The major problem facing the industry is piracy and government should not relent on it, and I believe this new government will see to it.
Tell us about your immediate family
How do you relax?
I relax by watching films at home
Do you plan to float an NGO?
I have been working on it.
Your real name is Seun Abdulkareem, how did you come about Seun Egbegbe?
The name Egbegbe is removed from my family appraisal (oriki) my mother used to say “Eni Arigbere bi eni egbegbe ndun, egbe o dun, ako lo nse”.