Singer, fashion designer and television personality, Gift Iyumame Eke aka Muma Gee, rose to prominence in the 2000s and won much acclaim with her hit album, Kade released in 2006. Her other albums like The Woman in Question (2010), Port Harcourt is Back, African Woman Skilashi, and Jikele have also attested to her natural gift as a musician.
Aside being a singer, however, Muma Gee is also an actress who has starred in Nollywood films like Last Dance, Solid Affection, Secret Code, and The Code. A couple of years back, she took a break to start a family and today she is a happy mother of three lovely kids. In this chat, she unveils her comeback plans, her new sound and how she has been dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
After such a long break, why do you want to get back to pushing your music career?
Practically, if you permit me to speak from another person’s point of view, I would describe the new Muma Gee as a sensational stylistic music icon, who is more contemporary and urbane, though Afrocentric as she promotes the African culture. Through her new genre, Soundafric, she is set to storm the world after the Covid19 lockdown. She is back hotter and better with her throwback Afro hair and trendy but classy fashionista outfits. I bet you can’t wait to feel the new me. Getting back to pushing my career is to me beyond a dream. It can be compared to fulfilling that divine responsibility of impacting lives positively through the messages in my songs, which is the primary reason God singled me out with this talent. I only took a break to build a family, which is another duty for me as a woman.
There are many fresh female talents heating up the industry, what is going to set the Muma Gee brand apart?
I hope I don’t sound like a feminist, but I am so pleased at that, because it has always been my prayer for over two decades that more female talents should step up in this male-dominated music industry. And like you know, the Muma Gee brand has no competition for its uniqueness and dynamism. As a pacesetter, who created a genre of African music back then that some of these fresh females leveraged on, and by the grace of God, I don’t lack in the area of creativity. ‘My Skilashi still dey tight wella’ and I am setting a fresh pace with my new sound, Soundafric. Finally, let me use this medium to wish all the female artistes good luck. The girl power flag must be raised higher till it gets to the summit.
How have you been coping under this coronavirus lockdown?
You remember the saying, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough gets going’. I am a survivor, so I am coping very well by ensuring that I and all those around me adhere to the instructions of social distancing and washing of hands among others. I make it a point of duty that we live with the highest level of hygiene while praying that this ‘insurgency’ passes over us soonest.
How are you leveraging your brand to create awareness about coronavirus and what is your advice to those who believe it does not exist?
At the initial stage, the Muma Gee Foundation (MGF) and Teammumagee had mapped out plans for a street-to-street, rural areas sensitization and awareness campaign. But we were limited by the shutdown hence we have resorted to posting the preventive measures of Covid-19 and dishing out words of encouragement on social media.
These are indeed trying times, how is it affecting your comeback plan to the music industry?
Trying times, no doubt. Whether positive or negative, I do not know yet but it has affected our first and second quarters’ projects, and my management is not finding it funny as we had invested hugely, time, energy and funds. It has been a great loss for us as we have to repeat the process and procedures, especially the Muma Gee Live – Culture Rocks Lagos Concert, where my new sound should have been unveiled on May 23, 2020. A new date will be communicated soon after the shutdown. I sincerely apologize to my fans on behalf of my management and Teammumagee.
How do you think it’s going to impact the Nigerian music industry and what happens to your show holding at Terra Kulture in May?
If I, as one artiste in a music industry that has millions of others, counting their losses, then you can imagine the effect of this coronavirus shutdown on the Nigerian entertainment industry and the economy in general. Honestly speaking, this will not only bring financial problems but also psychological, emotional and even mental problems that may result in low creativity and productivity. And talking about my show, we have to postpone while we reschedule.
You recently celebrated your twins’ birthday. Tell us what motherhood means to you?
Saturday the 18th of April was not only special but also of significance for me and my family, as my twin boy and girl clocked six. Sadly, we couldn’t invite their classmates, friends and neighbours. But I ensured they got their grooves along with their baby sister. As a family-oriented person, my children, not just the twins and family, mean the world to me.
How has motherhood impacted you?
Surely positive and great. And there is this soothing feeling that comes from the fulfillment of living and performing my divine responsibility for being a part of womanhood. And I’m grateful to God everyday for making me a woman in totality, and giving me the grace and ability to keep up the virtue. Trust me, there is no joy to be compared to the joy of motherhood, especially when gifted lovely children.
Coronavirus is uniting families. What is happening between you and your estranged husband, Prince Eke? Any hope of a reunion?
Coronavirus uniting families or not, I have no comment on this one.