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The new generation men

By MYLES IGWE   |   31 January 2015   |   11:00 pm

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WHAT do IK Osakioduwa, Praiz Adejo and Ebuja Obiuchendu have in common, if one may ask? However, a close look would tell you that aside from adding meaning to life and living their dreams, these three guys are not only young and handsome, they are the new generation men, who are relevant in their various fields. MYLES IGWE talks to each man, as they take him through their different journeys of life, challenges and successes. 

Ik Osakioduwa

Tell us about yourself, growing up, family background, education and all…

  I’m what some call an Army brat; my dad was in the army. So, while growing up, I did a lot f travelling around the country, as my dad was transferred to different states. As kids, we got used to making new friends, moving from one town to the other and losing touch with old friends. We, also, got used to travelling unaccompanied. So, before long, I learned not to get too attached to people or things. I also learnt to accept people of different tribes and races very quickly. We eventually settled in Lagos, where I completed my secondary school at King’s College and studied Economics at the University of Lagos.

What do you really do for a living?

   Well, usually when people ask me this question, I respond by saying ‘I speak for a living.’ Yes, it may be a little bit more complex than that, but in truth, all the jobs I do are related to speaking, whether they are on radio, TV or stage. I’m a presenter on the radio, as well as on TV (Highlites With Ik and others) and a host of live events.

How did you rise to fame?

  Well, my very first TV job was a show called Campus Circuit, produced by a gentleman called Silas Hassan. He had me hosting it in my first year at the university.My next TV job wasn’t till 2003, a couple of years after university. It was my first paying TV job too.M-Net was in search of field presenters for Studio 53 and in truth, my head of programmes at the radio station was the one that suggested that I went for the audition. And after that, it was just one TV job after the other. Through all the TV jobs though, I have kept my radio job. 

Which of your many jobs excite you the most?

   That’s a tricky one, as each of my jobs explores a different part of my personality and gifting, so, I love them all. Also, you could say I have different moods for each job. So, sometimes I’m in the mood for radio, sometimes it could be in the mood for TV and sometimes it could be in the mood for a live event. In all of it, I consider myself very fortunate because I love everything I do. 

What other areas of your career are you looking to explore?

  Well, in 2014, I finally got involved in some acting. I have always wanted to act and 2014 presented the opportunities for it and so, I jumped into that too. So far, I’ve shot a whole season of a TV show and also featured in two movies. I have always wanted to go into production and 2014 saw me doing that too. I produce my new show Highlites with Ik. I’m young at both acting and producing, but I’m enjoying everyday.

What has been the high point of your career?

    Starting to present and produce Highlites with Ik has been a dream come true for me. I have had many cool things happening in my life, but I live in the ‘now’ and that is the current victory I’m celebrating and still exploring.

What has been the lowest so far?

I’ve been very blessed by God in my career. So, I have always moved to greater heights. God has always moved my career from grace to grace and level to level. And for that, I’m truly grateful to Him. So, in essence, I can’t say I have had a low moment in my career. 

   The lowest moment in my life, on the other hand, would have to be when my mum passed away. I felt as if my whole life was going to come crashing down. But in truth, the world just kept on spinning. She was without a doubt my biggest fan and intercessor. She was also a very good critic of my work. So, losing her was certainly the lowest point of my life.

What are the plans for the future, anything new?

   Well, I just got into production and acting as I mentioned and there is still a lot to learn and achieve there. I’m going deeper into that for a while. But in the long term, I see myself providing more content for TV that will involve other presenters. I’ve always seen myself as a king maker of sorts. I’d love to be able to find talented people out there and provide them with platforms to express their gifting and eventually watch them enjoy a celebrated career the way I have been blessed.

What are your New Year resolutions?  

  I usually don’t just wait till the New Year to set out goals and objectives for myself. So, I don’t know if I’d call them New Year resolutions. But I’ve certainly decided to try to be there more for my family and also be a better friend to few people I’m close to. This career has a way of making you unavailable on days that really matter (e.g. birthdays, public holidays, anniversaries, weddings and others). So, I’ve decided that I’ve got to work harder at being there for the people I call family and my close friends. 

   Obviously, like every other Nigerian, I also plan to make the kind of money I have never made in any year before now. So, there is definitely going to be quite a lot of work going down.

Praiz Adejo

Tell us about yourself, growing up, family background, education and all …

  My name is Praise Ugbede Adejo. I’m a singer, songwriter and music producer. I come from Dekinna local government council in Kogi State. I’m the second child out of five children (four boys and a girl). My parents are clergies. I studied computer science at the Kaduna Polytechnic. Growing up for me was a memorable one, especially as I was an active child. I loved to play soccer as a kid and would sneak out of the house to play soccer even when it was time to read or have siesta.

What do you really do for a living?

   I’m an entertainer. Aside from doing my own music, I produce songs for different artistes.

How did you rise to fame?

  Music started for me in Kaduna; I played the drums in church. After my secondary school, I regularly visited my friend, who is a music producer at his studio, and from time to time, I played drums for live recording sessions. From being a session drummer, I learnt how to make beats and produce songs for artistes.

    One day, I decided to make a beat and try to record myself. After I was done, I played it to all my friends and they all loved it. They encouraged me to go for singing reality shows. In 2008, I reluctantly signed in for MTN project fame after many unsuccessful trials at auditions. Fortunately, I made it to the academy and eventually came third.

Which of your many jobs excite you the most?

    It would be difficult to decide that. I love what I do and I’m always excited about going on stage to entertain, though headlining a concert alongside Brandy and Joe from the United States is one that really got me excited.

What other areas of your career are you looking to explore?

   I’m thinking of exploring music production of international movie soundtracks.

What has been the high point of your career?

   So many high points in my career, but personally, I’m glad I finally put out my debut album, The Rich & Famous. It took me some time, but it’s worth the waiting.

What has been the lowest so far?

   Lowest point in my career was when I was trying to break into the industry after MTN Project Fame. It wasn’t so easy as I thought. I kept working and was patient and it paid off.

What are the plans for the future, anything new?

   I just dropped my debut album like I said earlier. I’m planning the Rich & Famous album concert. Also, I’m going on a global tour; I’m taking the music to a new level this year.

What are your New Year resolutions?

  My new year resolution is to do better than I did last year in my career, and also to keep in contact with my friends more because last year, the album took most of my time and I couldn’t always talk to friends.

How long did it take you to produce Rich & Famous

  It took me over five years. When people think of Praiz, they expect a certain standard of songs. I couldn’t afford to put out a mediocre body of work.

What informed the choice of the title?

   Rich & Famous album is a double album that showcases awesome music. One album is called Rich, which has strictly the R‘n‘B vibes, while the other is Famous, which has Afro pop vibes. I worked with Cobhams Asuquo, Gospelondebeatz, Wole Oni, Wilson Joel, Dekumzy, Oscar and I also produced a couple of songs in the album.

Do you have any favourite song?

  I practically love every song on the album, but I have a soft spot for If I Fall, Superhero, Lost In You (Rich album) Sisi, Harder, Pere and I No Use U Play (Famous album).

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu

Tell us about yourself, growing up, family background, education and all…

   Well, I grew up in lots of cities across Nigeria, from Yola to Benin, Lagos, Abuja and others in the east. All the experiences garnered have helped to make me what I am today. It’s impossible for anyone to say that they are completely free of prejudice, but the truth is that I hardly see tribe or religion anymore as a result of my background. I like to call myself wholly Nigerian.

   School was mostly in Abuja with my secondary school in C.K.C., then the University of Abuja, where I studied public and international law, before heading to the Nigerian Law School in Abuja. I, then, went on to the American University in Washington DC to get my Masters in intellectual property and communications law.

   Growing up was fun as part of a small nuclear family, where my parents were able to balance the line between letting us be ourselves and properly guiding us too. I definitely have very fond memories of my childhood.

What do you really do for a living?

  Funny question; I obviously work on television. My law practice is my second hustle, but more my long-term plan.

How did you rise to fame?

  I went on the first and only Big Brother Nigeria show in 2006 and that pretty much launched my time on screen. Later that year, I went on to host my first show that year, a game show called Friend or Foe. It just hit me that this is my ninth year of actively being on television.

Which of your many jobs excite you the most?

  The best part of my life is how I continue to challenge myself in terms of how versatile I can be. Last year, I was on four almost completely different television shows, covering sectors like sports, entertainment, current affairs and politics. I honestly can’t say that I enjoyed one over the other. I love everything I do, which is why I do them. I’m at a point in my life, where I’m lucky enough to do the things I actually enjoy. So, they all excite me equally.

What other areas of your career are you looking to explore?

   Politics is definitely in the horizon. I still don’t know in what capacity, but I know it’s something I’ll be exploring at some point in my life.

What has been the high point of your career?

   Definitely hosting the Presidential Debate in 2011. No one younger than I or near my age at the time had ever had the opportunity to do that. It was live on television and I was nervous as hell. But it went well, and I still watch the videos till this day. It’s an opportunity I hope will keep presenting itself because I thoroughly enjoyed and learnt from it.

What has been the lowest so far?

   Learning on the job, especially with the live shows I do on TV. It’s tough to make mistakes on air and not be able to take them back because it’s already been put out. I have said and done a few things that many might not have seen as a big deal. But I can be tough on myself, so, they haunt me on the occasion.

What are the plans for the future, anything new?

   I have general goals, but speaking specifically on the short term, I’m hoping I can interview Mr. President this year. I’ve always wanted the opportunity to do that and I’m hoping it happens in 2015.

What are your New Year resolutions?

   I don’t make resolutions anymore, but I’m definitely hoping I continue to grow in 2015. 2014 was a good year for me; topping that would definitely make me happy.




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