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.
Salawu, in an interview with our correspondent, WAHEED ADEKUNLE, praised Aregbesola led government in the state for demonstrating an outstanding leadership quality towards the provision of an enabling environment for trade, commerce, industry and business to thrive.
He extolled Osun state government for changing the face of entertainment industry which he said had suffered serious setback in the hands of successive administrations.
These and many more were the commendations made by the popular artiste in an interview in Osogbo, the state capital.
With an outstanding presence and influence in the osun entertainment scene for over a decade, Bassman joined Ogbeni Rauf and his enigmatic team of change makers to change the political-entertainment scene in Osun and even beyond.
Mutually benefiting from each other’s influence Ogbeni Rauf and DJ Bassman are overtly fond of each other. Ogbeni Rauf appointed Bassman as the official DJ of the government of the State of Osun, making Bassman a big favoured.
Here are the excerpts of the interview:
Can I meet you sir?
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 inhouse 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?
I contact began in 2010 shortly after he (Governor Rauf Aregbesola) reclaimed his mandate after the Court 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 vey popular and Mr Governor himself loved the song and later I launched the album where many personalities far and near attended the occasion. On this day, day, ofthe Aregbesola’s aide 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 has 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 and skimpy 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 which if I was not appointed as his DJ may be difficult for me to make. Mr Governor has through me made great contribution 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 has 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 believ that we DJ can have such rare opportunity to work with Governor that is why people used to give us peanuts whenver the invited us to function to render service. But my present position has changed the people’s orientation as regards this and toady we are better treated and mobilized while this gesture is also reflecting in the money they give us for entertainment per function or event. I can say it boldly that DJs in Osun are charging N50,000 to N300,000 per outing. So, with what God has done in my life through Mr Governor, I have been impacting 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 greatest 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 under-rate, he doesn’t downgrade, 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 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 had ever organized a countdown event to herald new year except the present administration. This annual event attracts artistes within and outside the country 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, collaborative and passionate to the yearnings and aspirations of the people of the state, thus making its impact to be bogus and attractive. It is my candid belief as this government will come to an end this year, whoever succeeds Aregbesola which I believed will be an Omoluabi per excellence will continue to buildof legacy Aregbesola had made.