THE RETURN OF TOSIN JEGEDE
Since she left the shores of the country for England over 20 years ago, music has remained a focal point in her journey through life. Tosin Jegede then kid singer, has not forgotten her roots. Fondly remembered in the late 1980s for her persuasive songs, urging parents to listen to their children and pay their school fees among other hits. She was a household name in the music scene till she left the country in pursuit of her academic career after releasing two albums. After completing her university education at Bristol University, Jegede subsequently worked briefly before returning home to pursue her childhood passion.The young lady, now in her late 20s, told Daily Sun about her project, The Tosin Jegede Foundation, her passion for Painting as well as the biography of Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie. As far as music is concerned, I went to a few places and had performances of my past records but I haven’t done anything musically since then. I just want to take a break. I have been playing music since when I was two years old. After three albums, I decided to stop for a while and grow up.What has filled that gap was education and life experiences. I have also been able to push my passion to other areas like the arts. For example in 2005, I staged an exhibition in visual art covering painting, speedwork, water colour, among others. I love painting. I exhibited in Nigeria and abroad. I always have an idea of what I want to do with colours.After studying Business Decision Analysis in the University of Bristol, I worked for a shortwhile in England as a pension’s Adviser. I also set up a Charity Organisation, called the Tosin Jegede Foundation.Music, Painting and Literature Music is something one expresses in one’s own space. It is just like painting. In music, I go through the song, think of the arrangement, record it, then I need to go out, meet people to publicise and perform. Painting is what I enjoy doing. I paint in my own space after which it would go out. But painting is more of a quiet art than music. I have also been writing books, the biography of Cardinal Okogie since 1999. The title of the book is Cardinal Okogie in the Eyes of Children. I started collecting information from Cardinal Okogie before I turned 15. The book would be launched by next month. Interestingly, I am not a Catholic. When I was much younger, the Cardinal took a personal interest in me by encouraging me, He is very open. I was friendly with him, regardless of his status in the society as both an elite and a priest. He is very approachable and we’re always remained friends.InspirationThe inspiration came during my singing days. The first time I actually started singing was when I went to a children’s place at Isolo. I saw children that do not have parents and I was wandering why. I then decided to sing to make them happy, since then, I have been able to go to far villages round Nigeria. I understood that not every child has opportunity to go to school, nor had what I had when I was a child. As I grew older, I learnt more things. I realized that music alone would not make much impact, hence, my organization, which focuses on Children and Education. We are trying to create awareness for the quality of Education we desire and help. I have come here to concentrate on music after running away for so many years.Have you missed your fans?I have missed them. On facebook, I got a lot of encouragement. I’ve got quite a few fans mostly my age mates who keep asking what I was doing? I miss them. Challenges I have always had so many challenges and that was why I decided to go for higher education. There is no proper central point that I can go to get statistics on what exactly the problem areas are. For example, here in Lagos, how many children cannot afford to go to school? How many people are not going to school? You can get such information in some other countries. I found that difficult to deal with. But I have decided to overcome these difficulties. I am now looking for sponsors, but I am currently working with other organizations and things are getting into shape. Why childrenI believe some people are made to fill certain gaps. I think that is my calling, no matter how am running away from it, whether from singing or charity work, that is my calling and I have accepted it. Nigeria economy and music sceneWhen I left the country, the structure we had were just like the structures we had in the sixties. Now we have good technology, and I think our problem in the third world is technological deficiency and I hope we would get out of it soon. But now I think we are doing better compared to the way things are few years back. There are more jobs, now and the economy is getting better. I guess the industry is quite promising, its not discouraging at all, I know we will get there. I am now back for good, and I will move wherever my passion takes me.Music in Nigeria now is very good and it is coming up. I am really proud of the Nigerian artists.With people like D Banj and Tuface every one knows about Nigerian artistes now, when I was younger, I was trying to embrace American artistes, but we are not up to the American standard. Americans too didn’t get to where they are now in a day. Role model I have got quite a few. I think the major one everyone is talking about now is Barrack Obama. That man is really something, his achievement last year, his autobiography is something every black person should read. It is not that he just did it overnight. He has really worked for it. I like Nelson Mandela too. He fought against apartheid system. In Nigeria, Cardinal Okogie. I like the way he thinks of ideas on how he can improve peoples lives and he goes all the way to do just that. Whenever I see him, he is always telling me of different projects and the next time I see him, he would tell me he has just launched a book a few weeks earlier, and people are benefiting from it. He is one out of many good people, using their money and resources to help a lot of people in Nigeria. Five years from nowI would be launching the Tosin Jegede Foundation, which I know would be known worldwide. On my music, I will be starting new things soon. MarriageI think the major thing I’ve realized is that no matter what, every a man must be God fearing. No matter how you look at it, a fine lady may want a tall handsome rich guy but if he is not God fearing, I tell you, you would have a tough time in life. You could have all these physical qualities and the person not just be the right person. So it is very important that every man and woman should have.