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I’ve given up on Chelsea – Tolu Obanro

Music composer, Tolu Obanro, best known for his soundtracks in hit movies Gangs of Lagos and Jagun Jagun, spoke about his love for football and how he started supporting Chelsea, in this interview with ABIODUN ADEWALEInformationGuideNigeria

How do you unwind when you are neither composing nor recording?

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My Saturdays are usually free and I don’t joke with my Saturday morning football. Sometimes I go out of Lagos to even play matches because I play for a football team and I train regularly. That’s ECWA FC, which was first owned by the church. We do play organised friendly matches against teams like First Bank and we also play some other competitions. My club knows the type of work I do, so they take me like a partial member and allow me to play. Thanks to football, I’ve been able to keep my shape physically as well.

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You still combine football with your career, does that mean you’ve wanted to become a footballer while growing up?

Yes, I wanted to become a footballer because I played really well when I was younger, around 16 and 17. There was a time I almost joined the U-17 national team because they were screening close to my school. The coach took interest in me but my school was changed after I told my parents I wanted to give it a trial. My family doesn’t believe in anything outside education. Until recently, they still wanted to see me as a normal 9-5 oil company kind of person because I studied Petroleum Engineering. But right now, they are aligning with the vision of what I am doing.NYSC Portal

What are the fond memories you have while playing football?

I played football a lot while growing up. At a very tender age, I already broke my leg while running after a football. They told me the ball got into the drainage, I jumped into it as well and had an injury. As a result, I had a surgery, spent months in the hospital, but I started playing again after I got better. I didn’t stop playing football because of that and I played for my primary school; Anthony Nursery and Primary School in Lokoja, Kogi State. I also played for my secondary school and as well as my department at the Federal University of Science and Technology, Minna. During NYSC, I remember playing against Bayelsa United in Yenagoa. In fact, I was actually posted to the capital city because of football.JAMB Portal

When did you start supporting Chelsea?

I had a lot of clubs I admired then, but because Chelsea signed (Didier) Drogba, I started supporting them and there were a lot of black guys in the team. There were other players like Hernan Crespo, Arjen Robben, Joe Cole and many others who also made me like them. These days, Chelsea is breaking hearts. The last time I could say I’m proud of my club was during the days of Eden Hazard. Right now, I just watch football because there was a time Chelsea could give me a heart attack. But now, I’ve given up. Anything they play, I just accept.JAMB Result

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Amid all these feelings, what would you consider an achievement for Chelsea at the end of this season?

I don’t think there will be a major achievement for Chelsea unless there is consistency and they deliver more than the mentality they have at the moment. They need to win games back-to-back and overcome the spirit of complacency. It will be a miracle if we make Europa League. This is January and we are 10th in the table. The chances of making Europa are probably winning all our remaining matches in which the thought alone is not even making sense.

The AFCON starts in a week’s time, how do you see the chances of the Super Eagles?

I’m very optimistic about the Eagles winning the AFCON but I am also managing my expectations because of heartbreak. I know they will go far and if they don’t win, they would have done their best too. But I will be heartbroken if they don’t win the AFCON. The team has had some recent lows, which won’t allow for complacency this time around.  I still remember the 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Ghana in Abuja. They raised my hopes but unfortunately, they couldn’t qualify. It was really sad.

So, if you will make a body of work from the Eagles highs and lows over the years, what would it sound like?

The theme will be a blend of sad and happy orchestration of the two stanzas of the national anthem. It would be emotional and inspiring.

What about Chelsea?

That is really going to be funny because it will be like this aiye le oo ibosi ooo (meaning the theme will be that of a cruel world).

Nicholas Jackson will be away during the AFCON, do you think Chelsea will miss him?

Of course, they will miss him. I just hope he will be able to get his jersey when he returns because Christopher Nkunku might be syncing better with Armando Broja. I hope he’s able to make the team when he returns.

Talking about music, are you considering the mainstream music industry?

For now, I’m not going back to the mainstream, I’ve been there and done that. I did that first before I got into what I’m doing now so I’m okay

How challenging were your projects in 2023 and what more is in the offing in the New Year?

After I did Gangs of Lagos in late 2022, the most challenging job for me was Jagun Jagun, not because it was tedious, but it took time. And I have others too like House of Secrets and Mikolo. This year, I’m looking forward to doing a greater number of movies than I did last year. I did about five or six last year and I’m going to try to fit in more. I already have about six or seven this year and I want to grow my team and hopefully work on my second Hollywood feature as a composer.


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Emediong Silver

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing. Whatapp: 08088735884

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