UNILAG saga: My story – Wizkid

Becoming a celebrity comes with a lot of challenges and this is a fact, hip-hop star, Ayo Balogun, a.k.a Wizkid, has found out the hard way. Recently, an impostor, impersonating him defrauded his UNILAG fans, prompting the police to invite him(Wizkid) for questioning. The Pepsi ambassador has since shrugged off the experience, but he’s on a mission to ensure it does not repeat itself. In this interview with SHOWTIME CELEBRITY, the artiste talks about his UNILAG saga, fame, new record label and more. Enjoy!

What really happened between you and the UNILAG students. You were accused of duping them?
By now, I think all is clear that there are some people parading themselves as either Wizkid or his managers. The unfortunate incident regarding the UNILAG students is a case of mistaken identity where people fell victim to some unscrupulous elements who impersonated me or my representatives. The same people, as we have come to know, went as far as creating fake accounts in my name to dupe people.

I just don’t really want to talk much  about it. There are processes involved in booking Wizkid for shows.  If you want to book Wizkid for a show or anything of the sort, you go to Empire Mates Entertainment, EME, which is my label or you talk to my manager, Godwin Tom. Those  are the main channels to reach me if you want to book me for a show. So,if you’ve been chatting with the Wizkid on the social media and he has  promised to do something or charges you money, I want you to know that Wizkid never charges anybody or does his business directly. I don’t discuss price, I don’t talk about anything like that. I allow my management and my label to handle my business. So, nobody talks directly to me concerning payments.

How did you come about the UNILAG palaver?
Basically, the police just called us to inform us of the development. We can’t really give full details because we were invited to come to the police station and we went as law abiding citizens. When we got there, we gave our own statement as well as the students. But we really can’t say anything now until the police have done their proper investigations. But with the details on ground, what  we want you to know is that the so-called Wizkid the students have been contacting is fake and an impostor. It’s really not from me or from anybody around me.

Do you have a procedure for booking you for shows?
Yes, we do. My manager is going to give the proper details, proper emails, the  right phone numbers and other things needed. We are going to definitely make that known. We are going to give full details, so, you will have it. It’s a  simple process. Either you contact me or you contact EME directly. But even when you contact me, the whole procedure is that I will direct you to the booking office as well.
It is simple. You send your request via email or you can call us and send us your email address. The booking office would contact you from the email address you have provided with a booking questionnaire. The booking questionnaire seeks information about your event, venue details as well as publicity activities, what you intend to do and other special requests. We don’t really want to give more details so that the impostors would not continue with their fraudulent activities.

The email you are talking about that all bookings comes through, is it the same email every communication comes to?
No. If you have contacted anybody regarding a Wizkid show, paid and we do not show up for the event or you do not contact the right people; provide the bank account details, provide the email correspondence. If there was a contract, provide the contract – that is as simple as it gets. We are not fighting with anybody. We sympathise with the students who have been duped, but for you to do it properly, for you to get the best information that you need, it is important  to provide the necessary information.

In this case, what do you think really happened regarding the procedure?
We are letting the police do their job. We have nothing to say because we know very well that we were not the ones they contacted. So, we are not worried. What we are concerned  about is to stop others from being duped by these impostors.

What was your first reaction when you heard the news?
I felt so bad. I just went to my Twitter account and tweeted the normal people to contact if you want to book a show with Wizkid. Let’s be realistic. Everybody saw my hustle and watched me grow. When I dropped   “Holla Your Boy”, I was much younger and wasn’t charging up to N5 million  for shows. This is just playing out and it is simple.

So, how much do you charge now?

N5 million is okay for my show. But let’s just put things right. It is so bad to my company’s name and my name as well. That is why I  decided to open up on this issue. 
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