Omalicha, I’m Single But Not Available

Safarie formerly known as Ego Omalicha is a sexy model and singer. Her singles, Omalicha and Thinking about you under Question Mark label gave her an inroad into the entertainment industry and since then she has tried to grow herself into a brand amidst challenges and negative publicity.  In this interview with SAMUEL ABULUDE, the 26-year-old graduate of Creative Arts spoke on why she parted ways with Question Mark, why she chooses to retain her single status and also about her wild side. Excerpts

Can we know a bit about your background and how long you have been in the music scene?
My name is Jennifer Nwakaego Oduwa. I am from a family of six comprising of three girls and a boy. I am from Delta State and I come from a religious home where we are strict Catholics. My growing up days were fun too. We did have our mischievous ways when we were much younger and all that but here we are today striving for success.

I started singing professionally four years ago. When Question mark label signed me, I must confess, I was really very excited about my entry into the entertainment industry. I was more like a green horn ready to make a difference.  I recorded a couple of songs and videos under the same label. But recently, I decided to part ways with them to be on my own.  I want to run my own show.

Why the sudden decision to leave Question Mark, the same record label that gave you a stand in the industry?
Well, we separated on a mutual understanding. Question Mark was not representing me well out there. I know who I am and what I want to be but they were running it in a totally different way with differences on my style, my brand and my kind of music. No matter how hard I tried to compromise, it wasn’t forthcoming. It was really a contrast of interest.

So after a long time, I had to stand up and make a bold decision. I spoke about it and came to a conclusion that we part ways. So here I am today with the vibe to create my own brand.

Why did you choose music knowing that people often believe that women in showbiz are loose?
Just like every other person who has dreams to be in a certain place in life or choose a career; I too have been dreaming and praying to be what I am today. Even you journalists, you didn’t just wake up one morning and became what you are. So I don’t see it as any big deal. Right from my childhood, its either I was a choir mistress or a very active member of the choir.

Fortunately, a grand opportunity came when I was writing my final exams at UNILAG, Question Mark came into my life and made a great change. We signed a contract which led us to where we are today. On challenges as a female artiste, the industry is quite large and occupied with a lot of great artistes. It is quite competitive I must say. For one to conquer and break even, one needs to get a good material, a very quality and original song supported with good sounds and beats.

There are obstacles though, but if one is focused, you can make it. I don’t see the challenges I experience as a problem but as a means to make me a better and refined artiste. I have never regretted my decision to venture into the music world. I am so fulfilled in it.

Did you gain your parents support?
(She laughs) To be honest, my parents are my big fans. They are very happy with me and supportive too.  Now that I’m out of Question mark, I am so proud to tell you that my daddy is now financially responsible for my music. He is my main sponsor taking up the whole bills that have to do with my music career. That is to show you how supportive they are.

Four years down the road, yet no album?
Yeah, I have a couple of singles and video currently gaining massive airing on radios and TV. I am also about to produce more. It is so unfortunate that I couldn’t come out with any album under the tutelage of Question mark due to circumstances. But by God’s grace, early in 2013 my full album should be ready and out.  My single, ‘Alcohol’ has been enjoying air play for months now; it’s a party song while the new single, ‘If you want me’ is out too.

Judging from your songs and postures in pictures, it is generally believed that Safarie is a wild girl, how wild are you?
First of all, everybody has his or her own view or opinion about things. I don’t really care about what people think about me. I don’t want to attempt to change that belief. I am who I am. Just like every other human being aspiring to make it big, I am no different. I do what I have to do to get where I want to be, just as I am today.  But there are limits to everything and that extends to what I can do.

Who are you featuring in your songs and videos?
I dream to feature Mary J Blige (She laughs).  Yeah that’s my dream. But on a serious note, professionally I have a couple of artistes I am working with. I refuse to divulge their names for now. Just believe me when I tell you that I am cooking lots of nice things for my fans.

Aside Safarie, who is the person Nwakaego?
I am homely, humbly and Godly.  Aside other things, one of my hubbies is cooking. I love to cook and reading too. People don’t really know that I could do certain things until they see me doing them. Safarie, my new name means colourful, bright and exceptional. I am, I believe I am all of that. My upcoming single is going to be off the hook.

You seem to like crazy postures for pictures?
There are lot of things I want to explore in myself; I have this cool me, then the funny me, creative, wild me, lots of me in me. I just try to express myself with my pictures and people seem to love them a lot.

Your song ‘Alcohol’ , sells you off as an alcoholic kind of person, are you?
Hmmm, my song ‘Alcohol’ is an acronym I wanted to use for party time or enjoyment time. More like girls, come let’s go party, we don’t need guys to take us out. We can do it ourselves. It is not the literally meaning of an alcohol but in another sense. I won’t deny I don’t drink. I am a social drinker. In an event, I take a glass or half of champagne for the fun. And that’s where it ends, no carry-overs.

Who is the lucky guy in your life?
(Bursts out in laughter). I don’t have a man in my life now. Seriously I don’t.  But that I’m single doesn’t mean that I’m searching or available. I just want to be alone for now.

What do you think makes you stand out in the apparently over loaded music industry?
I strongly believe in myself and what I can do. I am unique, energetic and determined loaded with good songs to dish out. I spent four years in University of Lagos studying creative arts because I want make a difference with my brand and kind of music.

It was rumored that you are into lesbianism, with what transpired between you and Nollywood’s Uche Iwuji, how true is that?
I laugh each time I hear or remember such baseless talk. Uche was a course mate and a close friend. So on her birthday, we were just chilling and snapping pictures as close pals. You know how we girls do just for fun. The photographer was also a friend of ours, so we were just having fun. In the spirit of the party, we snapped a picture while I was pecking her on her cheek.

It was same way I peck my mummy and dad.  It was such an innocent peck but people mistook it for something else and thus the rumor of the lesbianism was peddled.  Right now I know lesbianism is so much on rampage, but there are still a lot of God fearing people out there who wouldn’t take part in it. I say it here and again, I and Uche only had a very innocent peck. Although, I am not against lesbians, they have their lives to live but I am not one and never would be.

What inspires you?
Anything and everything around me inspires me a lot. I am a very happy person, so I take every opportunity as an inspiration. Like if I receive good news or have a crush on someone, just like my day to day life.

On my fashion style, I just like wearing what I am comfortable in; something a can feel relaxed in that is not too bugos . Not to bogus or discomforting.
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