DOZ Issue 39 January 2019 - Page 19

Princess Adebanke Ademola. And then the second one would be the chance encounter with the Cultur- al Attache of the French Embassy who got me a scholarship with which I was able to actually pur- sue music professionally in France. So that’s a condensed version of a very long story (more laughter). I love that. That is an amazing story, and I like the fact that you didn’t shy away from it because of the challenges. You felt it was difficult and you went for it. That says something about you. It does (she laughs). That has always followed me. I was in uni- versity when I was doing this very seriously. I was studying Cell Biolo- gy and Genetics in the University of Lagos, and so I was going to the university in the mornings and when I finish my lectures at about three, four, thereabout, go straight to the music school. We had and still have this music school in Lagos called the Music Society of Nigeria, and I will be there up until nine, for the concert rehearsals, concerts and all sorts of things. So, I had this double life I was living so you can imagine that in the university I was like the laughing stock, people my colleagues were like, what is she doing? (More laughter). And so, everybody is going in one direc- tion, they were listening to groups called the Plantation Boys, Fela, and all those afro hip-hop types of music everybody was listening to. And I was doing something com- pletely different. So yeah, definite- ly, there were naysayers, but it is amazing because definitely for me it didn’t even matter. I was so passionate about it I wasn’t even hearing what they were saying. And I suppose that is the sort of positive stubbornness in me. I sort of found my very essence; for me, that was all I wanted to do so it didn’t matter what anybody thought, and of course, everybody thought I was crazy. But the deal I made with my father was I would keep up the good grades and then get to do music. So that was it, and I was doing fantastically well in the sciences. I could even have gone on and been a doctor, but at the point where I got the scholar- ship, I had this choice, and I chose music, I chose to sing. And I had my bachelor’s degree. I got the 19 degree to keep to my word to my father. I got the degree; I have it with me still, never used it (laugh- ter). And then I went to sing. Wonderful! Wonderful! So that’s how you dealt with the naysayers. You were so passionate about music that you weren’t bothered about what anyone had to say about you or what you were doing. Exactly. And usually, when some- body says I cannot do something, my attitude towards that type of statement is usually this; obvious- ly, somebody telling me I cannot do something means that thing is very difficult, so I acknowledge that and then I put in the work. If it is five hundred percent that is needed, if it’s ten times the amount of work, I mean it was sheer hard work, needless to say, right? I was coming from Lagos, Nigeria, where there is no opera house, no conservatoire of music that is a proper music institution, I had so much to catch up on. I had so much to learn, an entire culture to learn, and of course, it was difficult. But usually my response to, you cannot do this, is that I want to prove the DOZ Magazine | January 2019