Adejoke Bankole aka Omoolope recently released an album entitled, My Comfort. She spoke with Ayodele Lawal about her absence from the music scene and why her marriage to her promoter crashed. Among others she also opened up on her relationship with fuji music star, Wasiu Alabi Pasuma. Excerpts:
Who is Omoolope?
Omoolope is Adejoke Bankole, a gospel singer. I attended St. Kizito Primary School, Iju Grammar School all in lagos and later, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State where I studied Mass Communications.
How did you come into gospel music?
I started at a very tender age. Then I was in my father’s band. He had a jazz band and I was one of the backup singers. I started professionally in 2001 when I met my former promoter and I released my first album in 2002.
How did you meet him?
I met him through one of my friends.
Was that the album in which you featured Wasiu Alabi Pasuma?
Yes and I thank God that the album was a hit.
After the album you went into oblivion, why was this so?
That is a long story because I later got married and after the marriage I decided to stay back to take care of the family among other things.
You got married to who?
My husband (laughter).
So, how was the experience?
It’s been rough and tough but I believe God will use this new album to compensate me.
Your fans will want to know what has happened to you because you said it’s been rough and tough?
My fans should just thank God for my life.
A lot of artistes complain about sexual harassment among other things on their way to the top, was your own experience like that?
I cannot really say anything because the promoter then was my husband and I did not have any bad experience.
Why did your marriage to your promoter crash?
That ‘s a long story. May be that was God’s wish. I did not pray for it but it happened. I really tried to make it work but I was helpless.
You were on the same record label then with Omoologo, Safejo, Tekoma and Shanko. What was the working relationship among you then?
It was very cordial. There was no problem though we were not really close but we had a good working relationship.
Your promoter was your husband. How were you able to cope?
I tried my best.
What happened along the line?
Nothing, the marriage did not work
Did you make money from the album, Omoolope, or were you cheated?
The story is not for today but another day.
Your marriage to the person that discovered your talent did not work, don’t you think some people might call you an ingrate?
I’m not an ingrate because what happened was beyond music.
Then why did it take you so long to come out with a new album?
Let me put it this way. Let’s say between four and five years Alphabet Music led by Dammy Damola Kolawole stopped promoting artistes and he did not care about my career so that really affected me, he decided to move into another business and kept on promising me.
Is that why you walked out of the marriage?
How many kids do you have for him?
Were you legally married?
Did you encounter any problems with other promoters?
No, I have not moved to any promoter after him, I have been playing at social engagements and church programmes among others.
But the Alphabet Music clan was very big then. Why did it collapse? Were you part of the problem?
No, I think the promoter should be able to answer the question himself.
Did you make money from the album, Omoolope in which you featured Pasuma?
I did not make money from it. All I got was the fame.
What was the experience like?
Nice but it was a case of mixed blessings. Some criticized me while others praised my effort.
What have you gained and what have you lost?
I have lost nothing but gained a lot and I believe I will gain more now.
When has been your happiest and saddest moments?
My happiest moment was on April 28, 2013, when I launched my new album entitled, My Comfort, because I see it as my first album.
But Omoolope was your first album?
To me the new album is my first album because I don’t think I had one.
But Omoloope shot you into the limelight?
I know but its controversy outweighed the benefits. The new album is pure Omooolope.
Was there rivalry between you and Omooologo when both of you were under Alphabet label?
Why is it that most female artistes can’t keep a home.
I don’t know. Some may have problems because of stardom but mine was different.
So your husband dumped you?
No, that is a long story. My own case is different. I did not leave my husband because of fame. If that was the case I would have left him years back.
Let’s have a bit about your experience…?
Not now, it is a personal issue. I will tell the story when the time comes.
Any plan to remarry?
I will when I see the right man.