For those who love old school music, the name King Waleman will continue to ring a bell as far back as the days, when the songs ‘If You Need A Woman’ and ’Zamuje Garin Kano’ were massive hits. The multi-instrumentalist who is also a member of a PMAN caretaker committe set up by the minister of labour and employment in this exclusive interview with ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM, called on his peers to wake up and experience progress in their lives.
What are some of your rough experiences before getting to the level you are today?
Yes…some of my experiences are so much, like leaning how to play the guitar drums as an apprentice under many big bands as at that time. Also singing copyright songs to survive with all those bands before composing my own songs. The bands are Callahan Funk Band, Angels Band in Kano city and Switch Band in Lagos town. I also worked as a DJ in Kano and Lagos. Later, I use to go and perform on radio and television at Ikoyi and Victoria Island for some time before I recorded my first album. It is not so easy to get a record label as at that time. But I still thank God for taking me to a level I am today in the industry.
How was music like during your time?
During my time music was so difficult to learn because you just have to be under a master who have a band, he is to tell you when and how to go about it.
A lot has happened to your career since you came to Abuja, how favourable has it been so far?
Well, what I see here is at Abuja is saturated with lazy musicians who go club with only keyboard and play one man show while the club owners continue to exploit there weakness by paying them stipends. No gate fee also shows that what is being organised by promoters are mere miming on CDs with comedians and DJs making everything so boring. The most important thing that I do is getting busy with our union matters; I am yet to play real show here in Abuja.
Your song is well known to many in the north and became a national anthem in Nigeria and beyond. What was the concept and did you expect the reaction that followed it?
Of course my songs hit them hard both in the country and all over the world. We played shows in stadiums, cinema halls, clubs, road shows and the crowd came in their numbers to sing my songs. There is nobody that doesn’t know ‘If You Need A Woman’ and ’Zamuje Garin Kano’ in show ground and at various homes except some new generational artistes.
You have also done other latest songs and features. Can you tell us about them?
Yes man… I have done some latest songs they are yet to be released, I don’t just play my new songs any how because there are thieves all over, everyone go to studios looking for songs and ideas to steal this days.
As an entertainer and a big shot in Nigeria, are you and your colleagues experiencing this recession? How is it affecting your music and productivity?
Oh… we are used to good times and bad times the recession is not new to me, it’s only new to the young ones today. For my music is only JAH that can run things, man have fail himself because of lack of knowledge of sharing with our brothers
Is it true that entertainers are seeking greener pastures outside the country because of the economic recession?
Awooh…the present situation in Nigeria is a repercussion of our wicked ways of living full of greed indiscipline, open corruption, bad management, tribal confusion, religious enslavement of the poor masses. Yes, it is true that entertainers are seeking greener pasture abroad, it has been so for many years even before this present time, entertainers has been going abroad to seek greener pasture.
What’s your take about the current situation in Nigeria as a Nigerian?
Well, the economy is just a group of people that feel they can hold the financial source of the nation to themselves and turn around to tell the masses whatever they like in order to keep them economically in bondage. The entertainment industry is filled with 419s and not until these are urgently addressed, so that the industry can be regulated there will be no hope for musicians.
What’s your take on the current PMAN crisis and what do you think could be done to reposition the industry?
PMAN as far as I am concern is going to be back on the right track since the Minister of Labour and Employment has intervened with the Director of Labour. Those causing the problem by going to incompetent court to take judgement which is not industrial court, forging people signatures to parade themselves as president and general secretary including giving letters to jobless partners in crime to be parading themselves at the state chapters chairmen including the FCT chapter are lawless, shameless, power hustlers. They will face the law and go to jail just wait and see very soon.
What’s your position on the on-going crisis bedevilling the association especially Pretty Okafor’s alleged re-election as the president of the association?
Pretty Okafor is not the President of PMAN and can never be President of PMAN. The so-called judgement paper that they are parading up and down has been set aside by the same court. So what are they up to? They want to turn Nigeria to a lawless land where everybody do whatever they like undermining the judiciary of this great nation, just wait and see the end of this movie
What should your fans be expecting from you next?
My fans should know that I am still with them and my songs are on caller tune with MTN, AIRTEL, ETISALAT, you can use them and contribute your quota to my music ministry.