By CHRISTY ANYANWU
Denrele Edun is versatile. He’s an entrepreneur, actor, model, event compeer, TV presenter, singer and writer. In this interview he spoke about his firsts. Excerpts:
Your first day on stage?
Ah, that’s a million dollar question rolled into one. I started as a TV actor in 1997. I was in a Kiddies’ Station 101 between 1997 and 1998. TV guide was like the DSTV guide of today. I was on the cover of TV guide; we had a lunch party at NTA Victoria Island. We had to come on stage and act. I was 13 then.
As a model, it has to be for the House of Kese Jabari. That was in 1999 at Sheraton Hotel, in Ikeja. I was very scared, because I had never modeled before and you know models have a certain look but I was short and looking malnourished. When I stepped on stage, I now started to do some air tricks and that was how I won everybody’s applause. From there, there was no looking back. As a TV presenter, I think the very first show I hosted was at University of Ilorin. It was a major show. I thought it was to interview people, put together very good content for a Sound City programme. They just gave me a microphone that I’m the MC of the night. I just went on stage but I really did it well.
Your first car?
I didn’t have a car for a while, because I had a lot of responsibilities. From every salary I earned, I was either paying someone’s school fees or paying for one house or borehole. But my very first car was my black Toyota Corolla. That car went everywhere. Asewo ni moto yen. We took it to Ilorin, Kwara State and Osogbo, Osun State that didn’t have airports back then. I bought it in 2008. Hitherto, I was always taking bus, taxis and bike. One day, boys rushed me one night and I ran with my Apola shoes. I even had an accident with the car on Third Mainland Bridge. We called it the black ash. When I got the car I was paying for it in installments. Later, someone gave me an Avalon to use for a while. Now, I have a Camry and a Lexus. I bought the Camry from my sister and the Lexus is meant for scattering the town.
Your first pet?
I never take care of myself finish na pet I go take care of? Initially, I didn’t have a pet. The only pet I ever had was a dog someone gifted me. Very cute but the dog can eat a house. I told the owner to take his dog back.
First time with your looks?
My first time dressing this way caused commotion in the streets of Lagos. People stoned me, people did waka, shouted were, (lunatic). That was back in my UNILAG days. In 1999, I wore very big boots. Then I used to dance for Charly Boy’s wife, Lady D and Silverbird. I used to wear pins in my ears. I took those shoes from Lady D and I ran away with them, because I felt they complemented my look and Lady D would call me to request for them. I don’t like giving people my shoes.
First trip abroad?
I was born in Hamburg, Germany. I’m nationality-confused. My dad is Yoruba. My mum’s dad is Indian, her mum is Mauritian. I no sabi where I come from. But officially as an entertainer it was in 2008 and I went to Atlanta, Georgia in America. From Atlanta, I went to Barbados and then Trinidad and Tobago. I was alone on the trip. Later, I went back to Atlanta and I was there for a while. It was a brilliant experience.
She is married now and has lovely twins. I went to Queens College to act in a drama and she came to collect her certificate, we exchanged numbers and I started visiting her house at Papa Ajao in Mushin. I hanged out with her friends. Her husband met her at my birthday party. In 2006, I had a big birthday party in Victoria Island. The whole industry came out.
First music video?
The first music video I ever did was with the late Fatai Rolling Dollar. Moyo Lawal (actress) featured in the video with Lola Shoon and I, a fashion designer. We did the video free for Fatai Rolling Dollar.
First jeans you bought?
When I was in school, I didn’t have many clothes. I used to wear my school uniform to church. When I was in SS2, which was in 1986, because I finished at St Gregory’s College, we had a debate organized by Oba Adeyinka Oyekan of Lagos. The debate was very technical. The first debate topic was The Aworis and the indigenes of Lagos. When I heard the prize was N10, 000 I said I must get there. We beat all the schools in Lagos. The final was between St Gregory’s College and Methodist Boys High School. Then I was very tiny. We beat them and I collected my N10, 000. I bought a lot of jeans and shirts. That period, I was also in the choir in my church. I now started to look good and sharp.
First pay cheque?
When I graduated from secondary school, I wasn’t up to 16. I was a teacher between 1997 and 1998 in a primary school. I taught Primaries one, two and four. Aside my salary, I was also doing private coaching for some of the students.