Adenrele Olufemi Edun is one celebrity with a wild personality and a VJ who has earned a reputation for being really good at what he does.
In a recent interview with Tribune, he talks about his style, his last moments with artiste, Goldie, the gay allegations and controversies, among other things.
See excerpts below:
»What exactly was your relationship with Goldie?
Susan Olubimpe Harvey aka Goldie and I were best of friends and whilst in death, we still remain best of friends. I met her in 2006 around the time I featured in Dbanj’s ‘Why me’ video which many artistes loved and also wanted me to be in their video. So I received a call from her and when we met at her house, then she told me she wanted me to be in her video. She gave me the song to go and listen to, but funny enough, I didn’t even listen to the song, but I told her I liked it. I remember she offered to pay me N50, 000, which was a really good deal back then, but I featured in the video without collecting any money from her and that was how we struck our friendship and became very good friends.
»What are your memories of her?
We shared a lot of memories together that was so much fun. Since Goldie had been in the industry, there was none of her videos that I wasn’t a part of. We were so close that we practically knew everything about each other. We had the same body proportion, despite her womanly curves. We could both fit perfectly into each other’s outfit especially when I wanted to get something for or her or vice versa. We used the same shoe size, we loved the same taste of perfume and music and we were just so really close.
I remember once when I had typhoid and malaria and Goldie’s last performance was at the Ember Creek. She was to perform with a life band, something she had never done before and that worried her. Artistes like MI, Sasha, Nneka and others had performed and she was the last person to perform. I introduced her to the stage and despite how sick I was, we danced so hard at the show that night and it was really fun.
»Can you share your last moments with her?
I was with her when she came back from the Grammies and I wouldn’t say I watched her die, but rather, I saw her die. I was at the hospital and I saw as she was taken to the morgue and I can say whilst in death, we still had the connection.
»News had it that you said Goldie died in your arms…
I guess I was misquoted because I didn’t say anything of such. What happened was that I was there when she got back and she just started complaining of headache that came from nowhere. She started crying and gasping for breath. So we rushed her to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
I couldn’t easily comprehend what happened because she had never been sick and the only thing that ever worried her was flu and cough. But I guess people wanted answers at the time and because I couldn’t talk then, they started making generalisations. It was a crazy period for me and I also went through a lot after her death.
Some also say you introduced her to drugs. What’s your take on that?
Goldie and I never did drugs. The only thing we ever took was white wine, which wouldn’t even exceed one glass. She loved white wine and I started drinking it because of her. There was never a time that drug was involved between us and I guess people just misunderstood what they saw, because they found it hard to see two friends in the same industry who do not see themselves as competitors or rivals, but rather looking out for the best interest in the next person. And such was the world of Goldie and I.
»You had issues with her family over her death…
Well, I believe when you are friends with someone and something like this happens, the family would want to know what actually happened and the only person to give the answers would be the closest friend.
Fortunately for me, the day Goldie came back, her younger brother was at my house, he had been around two days before then. Goldie never told me she was coming back that day, as she wanted to surprise me. So I’m grateful her brother was around. But as Yoruba, such scenario is not farfetched and more so, the family needed answers and felt there were mysteries involved. So I was in the middle of it all and there was nothing I could do, than to live through it.
»You were supposed to start a reality show together…
Yes and it had even started airing. Actually I was approached to a do a reality show, where I would be followed for a couple of weeks and it would be documented. So I decided to do it with her because it was at the point when she came back from Big Brother Africa (BBA) and things weren’t going on too well for her. Many Nigerians judged her from what they saw on BBA, so I felt it was a way to break the jinx and it was exciting.
»What was the craziest thing you’ve ever done on the red carpet?
I remember way back that there was a particular lady that I asked if she had underwear on and she said no. I asked her if I could see and she said yes. So I open her blouse and peeped through, it was really funny. Another presenter also tried the prank and he got slapped, so then I realised I could probably get away with anything.
Also there was a moment on red carpet when I threatened Senator Remi Tinubu that if she didn’t grant an interview, I would put my leg out and she would fall flat on her face. I could have gotten slapped or worse because it was risky to have said that, but she saw the humor in it.
»Talking about your personality, who is Denrele in and out of the house?
I don’t think there is a clear distinction between the two. I’m the same person both indoors and out there and the way I relate with my audience is the same way I relate with my family. The only side of me I might say people don’t know is that, I’m very sentimental when it comes to my family and I’m very strict with my siblings.
So I’m just the same person; fun loving, unpredictable, wild, and as some would say, humble. I don’t have a personal assistant, a manager or a PR person. I do most of the things myself.
»When exactly did you grow into this personality?
I used to be very shy when I was much younger and for the transformation, I would guess that it was the environment where I grew up, because as a young person, I never had the opportunity to express my individuality. It was not until I got out on Kiddie Vision 101 that I decided to evolve into somebody else.
Although I was still a bit shy and I couldn’t put my hair out, so I would tie a scarf and afterwards use a hairnet, so that my hair would be suppressed. Also I would wear baggy jeans and shirts because I was little worried about how skinny I was. I felt I look unhealthy and I had a little insecurity about how I looked. But when I gained admission into UNILAG, I wasn’t sure and by then I used to wear face caps, but then I got into modeling. The first person I ever modeled for was Kesse Jabari and that encouraged me that my skinniness was worth something.
So I would cut the two shirts and jeans I had then into different designs and make my hair into different styles. Everyone in UNLAG thought I had gone mad, my lecturers were outraged and even my close friends refused to work with me. At that point, I had a lot of negative criticisms. But my parents were very supportive, they know I don’t drink, smoke or womanize, so they just let me be. But I also had the negative attitudes from some of my family members. All I wanted to do was express my individuality.
»So is Denrele gay?
I think people believe what they want to believe.
»But a lot of people believe you are. And to prove them right, a picture of you Charley Boy went viral on the internet recently…
I don’t read the news, I make the news. The thing is people tend to look for loopholes when they see you doing well. And since people feel I’m feminine in nature, then they think I’m gay. But the truth is I don’t really care about what people say because I’m not fashioned according to what the society expects. And also I think for my personality, if I were gay, the news would have grown from speculations and would have been in people’s face.
On the part of Charley Boy and me, I was not expecting the paparazzi that came with the picture.
»So what was the picture about then?
I really don’t want to go into details, but it could have been a controversial agenda, it could have a been a publicity stunt, it could have been the real deal and it could have been photoshopped, but whatever it was, people should just go ahead and make their conclusions.
»So why is Denrele still single?
I’m a hustler and I’m still trying to get myself together. When the time comes, I’ll get married definitely, but there’s no one in the picture now. I’m searching and ready to mingle.
»Who is your ideal woman?
I like someone who would not try to change me and who would understand the complexity that I am. I want someone simple and absolutely free and not intimidated by what I represent.
My dad is from Abeokuta in Ogun State, while my mum is partly Indian and part Mauritian. My Indian name is Rajeev Raja. I was born in Hamburg, Germany and I have two younger sisters that are really so dear to me.
»How was your childhood?
I was not born with a silver spoon, but I’ve worked very hard to create one. Although I grew up under a privileged family and at a point life was rosy, then my father lost his job and everything became a reversal of fortune. I had to leave private school I was attending and we had to move out of her duplex. I remember at a time, we were living in an uncompleted building. Everything was just crazy, at a time I had to live with an uncle, where I was more like a house boy, but eventually I was kicked out of the house in the middle of the night and it was during this time that I felt the need to strive for self independence and this process of self actualization started when I was about 11, when I started presenting on Kiddie Vision 101 on NTA.
»Words for your fans
I want to appreciate everyone that has appreciated, celebrated and acknowledged me over the years.
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