Saturday, 25 January 2014

From wealthy homes to show business


Florence Otedola, aka Cuppy, is the daughter of wealthy businessman and owner of Zenon Oil, Femi Otedola. She is 21 and studies Business and French at the King’s College in London.

Besides her studies, Cuppy works as a disc-jockey at a night club known as the Funky Buddha on Finchley Road. Last July, she took a step forward to actualise her dream of becoming a celebrity singer by launching her debut single, ‘I love my country’, and proceeded on a playing tour of Nigeria.

But she found herself at the receiving end of flak from critics online, who openly resented the fact that the title of her album reflected a contentment they could never share. From their remarks, it was obvious that some of the critics were also envious of her background as a silverspoon.

Unknown to her fans and critics alike, Cuppy actually nurses her own ambition. For instance, she intends to take a Masters degree in Music business from a university in New York soon and her fledgling music career will definitely not stand in the way.

Also, she wants to establish her own record company in Nigeria independent of her father’s oil trade.

The sultry singer is rumoured to be intimately involved with Afro hip hop star and Davido’s former manager, Asa Asika.


Chukie Edozien, aka Lynxx, was born and raised in Lagos. But, unlike some of his contemporaries who also grew up in the city, he did not drop out of school to embrace music. He attended Corona Primary School, Kings College Lagos,  Reading University and Hull University in the United Kingdom where he obtained a degree in Business, Economics and Marketing.

With such a background, it is a surprise that this six-footer decided to take up a career in music. Born of Nigerian and Ghanaian parents, Lynxx’s father is Chief John Edozien, the first deputy governor of Delta State. In an interview he granted SUNDAY PUNCH two years ago, he admitted that the rise to stardom was difficult and riddled with rejections. His earliest works were actually turned down by some records labels in the country. But, rather than be discouraged, the rejections spurred him on to success.

While his hit song, ‘Fine Fine Lady’ continues to rock the dance floors, there is talk about a plan to establish a big recording studio in Nigeria anytime soon. But the singer seemed to stir the proverbial hornet’s nest when he reportedly told some newsmen that he had dated popular American female singer, Rihanna.

 Naeto C

It is no news that Naetochukwu Chikwe is the son of a former Minister for Aviation who was a few years ago, former Nigerian Ambassador to Ireland, Dr. Kema Chikwe.

Also, like Lynxx, he was educated abroad, in George Washington University, bagging a first degree in Biology, to be precise, and at the Oxford University in London where he took a Masters degree in Energy Economics.

Rather than hang onto his parents’ wealth, Naeto C had gone ahead to carve a niche for himself in music, which had formed part of his background. He actually grew up in a household very influenced by music.

Eku Edewor

Eku is the half-caste granddaughter of the late wealthy businessman, Chief James Edewor. Although her father was British, she obviously prefers to bear her mum’s surname. However, Eku is an accomplished model, actress and television presenter. She was on the Season 2 of Britain’s Next Top Model reality show. She is the Face of Martini in Africa, the Face of BlackBerry in Nigeria and former co-presenter of MNET’s 53 Extra.

During a recent interview she granted an online entertainment magazine in Lagos, Eku tried to correct the impression that her family’s wealth and influence had helped her to rise to the top. Instead, she claimed that her success was due to her work ethic and personal determination.


David Adeleke, otherwise known as Davido, is arguably one of the most celebrated young artistes in Nigeria at the moment. He is not just a gifted singer; but a producer who has produced for the likes of Naeto C, Skales, Tiwa Savage and a few others.

Son of a wealthy businessman and former chairman of a major commercial bank in Nigeria, Davido is also a multiple award-winning artiste whose singles, ‘Omo Baba Olowo’ took the music scene by storm in 2011.


If it were the custom for children of celebrities to live in the shadows of their parents, then Yemisi Odegbami, aka May7ven, would have opted for a career in football like her father, the celebrated former Green Eagles striker, Segun Odegbami, did. She would have become a member of Nigeria’s female national football team, the Falcons.

But Yemisi chose music and she has since distinguished herself as a singer living in the United Kingdom. She is also a dancer, producer, actress, model and brand Ambassador of Nigerian telecommunications giant, Globacom.

May7ven hit the limelight with her first album titled ‘Hands on’, which was produced in the UK. Famous for her skill as a dancer, she has successfully created a unique style by infusing tap and street dance with African dance forms.

She is easily one of the most endorsed music artistes in the country, having been signed up for brand relaunches from some blue chip companies, such as Guinness, Exxon-Mobile and Airtel, to mention but few.

 Amal Fashanu

At 23, Amal Fashanu, daughter of Nigerian-born British celebrity footballer, is already a star in her own right. She is a TV presenter, a model and producer.

In 2012, she made the headlines of major British tabloids after she discovered a ‘dark’ secret that overshadowed her family for over two decades.

Rummaging through film archives for a BBC documentary she was making about gay footballers, Amal learnt that her uncle, Justin Fashanu – Britain’s first £1 million black player and the only professional footballer to publicly confess his sexuality – was devastated by the rejection of his own family.

Before then, she had always believed football failed her uncle and that homophobia contributed to the fragile mental state that led him to commit suicide.

But after stumbling on some evidence, she was convinced that Justin was pushed over the edge by rejection by the people he loved the most. She discovered the full extent of her uncle’s vilification after he revealed his sexuality in 1990 at 29. His once flourishing career was ruined by sex scandals and he hanged himself eight years later, after being accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy in America.

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