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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

OVATION RED CAROL IS HERE AGAIN...DEC 17 -Bashorun Dele Momodu in 3 in one celebration...

Momodu with wife
Come Sunday, Lagos will be hosting the annual Christmas show popularly known as Ovation Red Carol. And Momodu will be in 3 in one celebration.

Firstly, it will be a big show for Ovation Red Carol, secondly, his wife 50th birthday celebration and thirdly, it will be their 25th wedding anniversary and thanksgiving, all in one night!

We caught up with ex Presidential candidate and Publisher of Ovation International Magazine Bashorun Dele Momodu in an exotic hotel in GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, where he had just come into town from Ghana. He is here in preparation for the show’s tenth year anniversary!
But that is just a tip of the iceberg. 

Momodu as he sat coolly to breakfast that particular morning at the GRA hotel restaurant was a filled bag of stories. We will share these stories with you throughout this season. First he tells us all about the coming Ovation Red Carol on Sunday. Enjoy…

The Ovation Red Carol is coming up in a couple of days’ time, how has it been over the years?           
Anything good must be tough. But I am used to challenges. I always tell people I thrive more under pressure. I write my best articles under pressure. I am used to doing things under pressure. Life has never been rosy. I was born in a difficult environment in Ile Ife, and my mom had to struggle all the way for us to survive. So I am used to it. And today I am happy that I am able to bring something back to the society because that is the whole idea of Ovation Red Carol. It is a charity event strictly by invitation and we try to give something back in support of education to those in need of support. Last year we were able to give N1m to a group of dancers who were in school and needed the money for education purpose. Some young people believe that once they are artistes, they don’t need to go to school So we were very impressed with this particular group when they told us they want to go to school. We wanted them to finish their education so we contributed.

Previously we contributed to having an e-library at my alma mater the University of Ife, we gave them money in the past, and we also contributed to a primary health scheme in Lagos led by a gentleman called Femi Olaleye. This year we are hoping to make contribution to widows because after my dad died, life became tough and we suffered. 

So, who are you supporting this year?
We have identified a body of widows led by Mrs Titi Belonwu, they have been active to make sure widows don’t suffer. We are also looking at empowering entrepreneurs who do not have money to execute their projects. There is an ongoing competition to cater for that. The first and the biggest platform Banky W had when he returned from his sojourn in America was Ovation Red Carol in 2007. I met him in Canada and he performed very well, I asked that he should come and when he came I asked him why I have never seen him in Nigeria. He told me that he lives in America. 


I told him that his mates are making money in Nigeria that he should return home. He came back and within one year, he exploded here. He became Etisalat Ambassador and he keeps rising. I am grateful to God. When we started Dbanj, Don Jazzy, Wande Coal, Dr Sidd they were young and on their way to the top. I am happy that we were able to contribute to their success. We have had on our platform Davido twice, we have had Whizkid, in fact we used him back to back two years ago in Nigeria and Ghana, Yemi Alade the first time she appeared in a major video was in the Ovation Red Carol theme song in 2011 and she was in it again I think in 2013: Same for Tiwa savage, Sammy Okposo and so many others. We discovered a lot of artistes, I must pay tribute to OJB Jezreel who was our producer, but died last year, he produced most of our theme song. 

The year he produced our best theme song was the year he thought he was going to die. He was on sick bed and told the producer how to complete the work if he happens to die. I have never seen that level of commitment. He went to India and his kidney problem seemed to have been resolved. He came back visited me in Ghana, attended the Ovation Red Carol in Ghana, with his wife, a fantastic wife who donated her own kidney. But eventually we lost him, a big tragedy for all of us. So this year we are having a very happy tenth year celebration on December 17.    

Did you have it in mind initially, that you will be using Ovation Red Carol to groom artistes?
Well at Ovation our watch word is quality. Anything we do, if it does not have class, quality and grace, we are not interested. We knew from day one we were going to be hosting one of the biggest Christmas event in Africa. We have brought people from all over Africa. We brought aritse from South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Sarkodie, and WUTA, artistes from Ghana so we have done well for African music and we are humble by it. We are not where we want to be, but we are still on it.

Ovation Red Carol started in Nigeria and moved to Accra Ghana, is it going to be moving around?
Our dream actually is to make it a global event because Ovation itself is global. We cover events from all the continents in the world. We hope to make it international so that a lot of people can benefit from it. It’s a live coverage event on television, and radio, we are already negotiating with a couple of media houses in West Africa and Europe. We are also going to stream it live so whether you are in Australia or America, you can watch it live on your phones or laptops. We have to take advantage of technology. When we moved it to Ghana, we just wanted to create variety so that it is not monotonous. We are hoping that one day we will be able to do it in London or New York or Texas or wherever we have a large concentration of Africans. That is our dream. We want to bring a large number of Africans together. There is no where I have been that people don’t stop me to ask questions. They may not remember my name but they remember Ovation. I am happy because that was my dream. That was the dream when it was started in 1996 in London that one day we will be the voice of Africa.

How have you been able to fund Ovation?
A lot of people will not believe how we have been able to fund Ovation. We are 21 this year and we are celebrating our anniversary. On top of that, my wife will be 50 and this same month we will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. So it is a very great year. That is why we are calling it a year of thanksgiving. We are going to be having thanksgiving that night with artistes’ performances; I am looking forward to see you there.


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