Though he cuts the image of a controversial governor especially given his avowed style of “Unusual Government” , Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, South West Nigeria is perhaps the most entertaining governor. Even at the peak of criticisms from many fronts, Oranmiyan, as he is fondly called by his admirers turns government open events to dancing floors where unique songs and dancing steps emerge.
The event, as far Aregbesola is concerned, is incomplete, when his DJ is not on hand to deliver intermitent musical backups when he is making critical political statements.
Behind that culture in political communication is an Osogbo based popular entertainer, Saheed Oluwaseun Tanimola Ekundayo Salawu popularly called DJ Bassman.
Bassman, in an interview with our correspondent, WAHEED ADEKUNLE, expresses how his career as a DJ has been boosted and how he believes he is inspiring the governor to do more.
Who is DJ Bassman?
I am Saheed Oluwaseun Tanimola Ekundayo Salawu, a graduate of Mass Communication from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree.
What are you really into?
Well, I am a Disk Jockey (DJ), I am also a broadcaster. I have worked with Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) as a freelance staff. I have also worked with General Manager, Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Osogbo branch. In 2015, I left OSBC for Rave FM as an in-house DJ.
Who is Governor Rauf Aregbesola to you?
Governor Rauf Aregbesola is a father to me, he is a leader with an outstanding leadership attribute. He is a man that changed my story from nothing to something and from nobody to somebody. To me, Governor Rauf Aregbesola has changed entertainment sector in Osun to a great sector now loved by all.
How did you become Aregbesola’s official DJ?
This relationship began in 2010 shortly after he (Governor Rauf Aregbesola) reclaimed his mandate after the Court of Appeal judgment in November 26, 2010. But in November 29, 2010, I did a song for him to congratulate him and show our solidarity to his administration. Though this song was very popular and Mr. Governor himself loved the song and later, I launched the album where many personalities far and near attended. On this day, one of Aregbesola’s aides at the function promised to link me with Mr. Governor and this later came to fruition. But in 2014 when Mr. Governor was seeking for re-election, I was picked as his DJ and I was part of the campaign team. That was how I became the full time DJ for Mr Governor.
Does your appointment as Mr Governor’s official DJ have any influence on your personal life?
Yes, it has. I am a son of nobody that the Governor picked from nowhere to become somebody. The road to this stage was very rough, thorny but I thank God that today I am where I am. Knowing Governor Aregbesola has not only made me popular but helped tremendously in improving the entertainment industry. My contact with Mr Governor has helped me personally to make some impacts. If I was not appointed as his DJ, some of those would have been difficult for me. Mr. Governor has, through me, made great contributions to the growth and development of the entertainment industry. He has done well for us as upcoming, trending and successful artistes in the state. The DJ Bassman of local standard has through the help of God and timely support of Governor Aregbesola today become international DJ.
To what extent have you applied your popularity, influence and recognition to turn around the fortune of the entertainment industry?
Obviously I have made some impacts on this. As we all know, prior to my appointment as Mr Governor’s official DJ, our colleagues used to collect between N5000 to N10000 per function. But today, the story has changed as many are gradually realizing that DJ as a profession could make one to become friend of Mr. Governor, thus, adding more values to those in the profession and as well increasing their income per function. The impression is that many do not believe that we DJ can have such rare opportunity to work with a Governor. That is why people used to give us peanuts whenever they invite us to functions to render services. But my present position has changed the people’s orientation and today, we are better treated and mobilized while this gesture is also reflecting in how much we are paid per event. I can say it boldly that DJs in Osun are charging N50,000 to N300,000 per outing now. So, with what God has done in my life through Mr. Governor, I have been impacting on different upcoming artistes as I do give for free my recording studio where many upcoming artistes used to get their songs recorded for production.
What has been the impact of your relationship with Governor Rauf Aregbesola so far?
Uncountable. To be realistic, I never believed I could meet a Governor neither I had it in mind that I could work with such personality. Though when I was young, my childhood friends used to call me governor (gomina) but today in spite that I have not become that acclaimed Governor, I am working with a Governor and that has been a source of joy in my life for now. My relationship with Governor Aregbesola has made me to know that he ( Aregbesola) is a simple, humble and humane person to the core. He doesn’t underrate and above all, he is a lover of the youths and he encourages people on love which made him to have empowered millions of people particularly youths of which I am a beneficiary too. We can relate this to some of his impacts on myriads of his achievements on youth empowerment, education, infrastructure, health, security, tourism and culture, entertainment among others. On entertainment, it is not a doubt that our Governor has really changed the face of entertainment in the state. To justify this, we can see that since the creation of this state, no government has ever organized a countdown event to herald new year except the present administration. This annual event attracts artistes within and outside the state to come down to Osun to perform and this has since its commencement become annual event. I am proud to be associated with Governor Aregbesola. I am proud to know him and I am proud to be his official DJ. So, this government has been so supportive and passionate to the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the state, thus making the impact to be huge and attractive. It is my candid belief as this government will come to an end this year, whoever succeeds Aregbesola will be an Omoluabi per excellence.