Azuka Ogujiuba has written a scathing article about Dbanj's 10th Anniversary show in which she calls him out for his supposed fawning over Americans, especially for inviting Amber Rose to host the concert. She did this in an article titled, "The Dbanj Brand : Dead or Alive" which was published on her column for Thisday.
The article was to be a review of the show but then goes into detail about D’banj‘s humble beginnings through her and a few other journalists, and how he blacklisted her after she wrote an unfavorable review of him. She also talks about Dbanj's split with Don Jazzy, his alleged debts, and how she thinks he should have handled his 10th anniversary celebration. Read an excerpt below..
Celebrating 10 years of fame and infamy
If you ask me, I’d say that D’banj’s 10th anniversary could have been more glorious if he’d invited people who supported his career through the years when nobody knew him, especially Don Jazzy. Well, let’s set off the chronicle. The show was supposed to start by 7pm, but l got there by 8pm. l had a flat tire and l was hungry too. When l got there, l called Dayo Showemimo of the Netng. l wanted to quickly eat the ‘mama put’ rice l bought in his car knowing well that l might not get anything to eat since my ticket was a regular one. But l got tickets for drinks. I had my ‘Baba dudu’ candies too in case l feel like chewing anything inside the hall. Even by 10 pm, nobody was allowed into the hall as people hunged around, no popular face or a big celebrity had arrived either. At the red carpet, TV presenters were passing time by merely chatting away the night as they waited patiently for the colorful guests they could interview. When l was approached, l politely refused because l don’t do red carpet interviews. I’d only had to maybe once or twice in the past, but l will pose for pictures if l have to because l am so obsessed with that. l don’t waste time uploading them on instagram and Facebook.
By 11.50 pm, the hall was finally opened. Kemi Adetiba was the first face l recognized. l loved her sequins skirt as it shimmered noticeably in the hall. Adetiba is a fun loving woman. She danced while she also waited patiently like everyone else. By this time the hall was still empty, l mean practically empty, l saw Toolz Oniru in a light brown knee length dress as usual displaying her volumncious curves, l like her because she carries herself well and l also like her body. I stood directly opposite the stage where l thought Amber Rose would twerk and give us an experience to last a lifetime. l made sure l took a vantage position where nothing would obstruct my access to every bit of the soiree.
Later l recognised Mubarak, the photographer, and we exchanged pleasantries. l saw Aremo Segun Oniru and Tee Billz, they sat next to each other. Tiwa Savage was also in the building, l guess she probably wanted to seat in a corner where people will not harass her for photo-up, l didn’t see her though but l was told. Aremu Oniru and Teeblizz sat under a VVIP cabana directly opposite the stage l suspect that was where Amber Rose would sit before she would go on stage. At this point, my feet were aching l could have gone to meet Jojo and Akin at their VVIP corner, but l knew l might miss out some enchanting scenes, so l endured.
By 12pm, nothing was still happening; just a few guests that you could count on your finger tips. At this point, my mind started racing with many rhetorical questions. One of them was ‘where are the stars from Nollywood, the comedians and the music industry?’ l only saw Seyi Law. Didn’t they know it was Bangalee’s special day? Kemi Adetiba was still dancing and enjoying herself. That’s the spirit: make yourself happy and have fun at every point in time with or without an Amber Rose.
Jimmie of Beat FM: A Saving Grace
Jimmie Akinsola, He anchors sports extra on Beat FM. It probably won’t suffice for D’banj to just hand the MC his fee, he should appreciate him specially. The first time l saw Jimmie on stage was at the 2014 Headies Award. l had asked about him. He was so good, and when he introduced the hosts of the event, it was seamless and natural. He is a good host and a good hype man. He saved Dbanj’s party, to be frank. l still don’t know how to classify the event. He kept making the very boring and dull atmosphere come alive, supported by music supplied by Dj Exclusive and Dj Spinall. Jimmie kept screaming Dbanj’s new nickname ‘Eja Nla’ so much to the anger of a guest by my table where l stood, who malliciously asked: “Which yeye Eja Nla (big fish)? Dbanj is now a Titus or abi na shawa fish” We couldn’t help but laugh at that.
By 12.25am, Uzoma Dozie, the managing director of Diamond Bank and his wife, Adesuwa, after waiting almost endlessly for Dbanj and his special guest, Amber Rose, left. Shortly after, l saw Ayona, and her husband, Philip Trimmell, strolling out at 1.02am. l guess they were home bound too. The hall was still empty. I sighted Praiz in his all round black bespoke outfit designed by Jasonporshe. He was so dapper. He was my best dressed male that night. Timaya strolled in too, Shaydee, Teckno and Banky W who carried himself in a noble demeanor. Lynxx was so casually dressed like who is taking a walk in the park with his bae.
I saw Chris Obosi and his wife walking around and I could easily sense that they were also tired of waiting and were probably thinking of leaving when Jimmie started announcing that Eja Nla and madam Amber Rose were about to step in.
Excited and Happy ‘Eja Nla’
When Dbanj walked in with Amber Rose hand in hand like a couple walking down the aisle, Eja Nla was so happy and you could tell that he had a butterfly in him while feeling he’d achieved a great feat by standing side by side with Amber Rose. Lo and behold, they both walked into a practically empty hall. I am sure Amber Rose would be wondering why the hall was that empty. Didn’t Dbanj tell Nigerians she was storming their entertainment hub? Dbanj, Koko Master, Bangerlee or is it Eja Nla was just shaking like a jelly all over Amber and you would think he stood by one decent super star, well l think she is one in her own world and they walked straight to where Aremu Oniru sat. I stood directly opposite them and watched as Dbanj faked a chatty friendship with Amber Rose who pretended to be flowing with him because of the cool cash breathing in her account back in the United States. At this point, l asked myself: what did Amber Rose come to do in Nigeria? What would her presence do to Dbanj’s sinking image and career? Who advised Dbanj to go on such a project?
How the Anniversary Party Should Have Been Held
Dbanj, no doubt is one of the big names in the entertainment industry, not only in Nigeria but in Africa. He is loved and adored by many. Fame took a rush on his career and Dbanj probably saw himself on the same pedestal with big American acts like Kanye West. Of course, he did everything to be with Kanye West which ended up in sham with all the noise about being signed on to G.O.O.D Music after wasting so many months in America. At the end of the day, he was relegated to playing a ‘waka pass’ role in one of Kanye’s videos. l remember when l ran into him and Bankulli on a British Airways flight to the Cannes in south of France, he wouldn’t even talk to me. He was so cold that Bankuli was so embarrassed and immediately became his mouth piece; answering every question on his behalf. I just thought this dude needs to grow up, l just laughed at his behavior, l was not upset because l already know how he operates. When it comes to fighting and keeping malice, he is worst than a woman. l was going to attend the Cannes Film Festival and he was catching a flight to attend the premiere of Kanye West’s movie.
Anyway, l think Dbanj should have celebrated his 10th anniversary on stage by giving back to the music community and to the country whose fans made him. He should have had a black tie event. Where family, close friends and not ass lickers (that is if he still has close friends),the big wigs in their Nigeria entertainment industry, his contemporaries, young and old will come on stage and tell the world how he has inspired their career, sing any of his hit songs or sing a tribute song specially composed for him. D’banj loves everything America, so by now he should have seen how BET organizes such events for their big stars or legends and not spend hard earned money bringing Amber Rose, who is no nowhere near a role model but a glorified stripper who felt too big to twerk but ordered her ‘assistant’ like Dominic to twerk for sponsors like Diamond Bank and made his guests look stupid because everybody who came wanted to see Amber Rose twerk. Two lies D’banj told was that Amber will host his show, she never did, for the host of the show was Jimmie of Beats FM, and she also did not twerk like the impression D’banj gave.
Dbanj should have played the role of a god-father by inviting budding artistes like Runtown, Kiss Daniel, Korede Bello, Reekado Banks, Dija (l call them the Mavin babies that is if Don Jazzy will release them though) Brain, Skales, B-Red, Lil Kesh and Teckno. The list goes on. These chaps would come and rivet all on how D’banj has inspired their careers. And if he wants a big star to host his event, we have Genevieve Nnaji, Rita Dominic, Funke Akindele, Kate Henshaw or Omotola Jolade-Ekeinde who are people’s delight any day. They will be supported by my new favorite anchor man, Jimmie, he will soon be my “man crush” after phyno, we would have had a beautiful and memorable night; biko.
He would have promised an unknown artist a record label deal in his newly formed Bangalee family; though we are yet to hear any singles from the ones on board.
Does D’banj have an inferiority complex problem even as big as he is in Africa? Why does he think being in American will put him a better and a bigger platform? Why doesn’t he think of ruling Africa and let the likes of Kanye West, that he was one time chasing around, Jay Z, John Legend and Common search for him? Why does he think these American stars are better than him? Now he has brought in Amber Rose, only God knows how much she got paid just for seven minutes on stage, to do what now?
This is exactly what Darey Art Alade did too with Kim Kadashian. What is wrong with all these dudes? Meanwhile, ex- presidents like Bill Clinton will visit and give lectures. They will stay till the end of the events and the shallow and empty ones just spend three to seven minutes on stage doing nothing yet they are heavily paid. D’banj and co please give back to your society who made you and stop wasting money on these American stars who don’t give a hoot about you. Now when Kim Kadarshian was getting married to Kanye in Paris, did she remember that Darey Art-Alade paid her so much money to be at his show? Did she send him an invite? And what about Kanye West did he remember to send D’banj an invite for his wedding? Nigerian artistes should please stop worshipping these guys and build their brands.
Nigerian artistes are so big and talented, maybe the best after American artistes in the world. And that’s why l like P-Square. Can’t D’banj take a simple cue from his contemporaries like P-Square and 2baba, Flavor and Jay Martins who are making cool millions all over Africa? I heard with all the money he has made all through his career he is still living in a rented property like me, while P-Square, 2face even the Dr Sid (whom he kept accusing broke Mo’hits up) is happily settled in his career, marriage and has moved to his personal house. I am still not married so l have no moral ground to question why he is still single.
When Dbanj is sober he should ask himself what was the significance of bringing Amber Rose to Nigeria? l think among all the celebrated women he dated, he lost a good woman in Jennifer Obayuwana, a kind hearted hardworking and supportive woman. I am sure he secretly regrets losing the newly engaged Jennifer, a smart guy called Peter has taken over that jewel. Who knows? Jennifer may be secretly thanking God the affair ended.