Nollywood is on my mind and it’s for a heartwarming reason. This Made-in-Lagos industry caught the attention of the world last week in a very significant way.
First, two of its illustrious stakeholders – Femi Odugbemi, cerebral filmmaker; arrowhead of IRep International Documentary Film Festival and the man that will drive Multichoice’s Talent Factory as well as star actor Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde were invited into the new set of cineastes from across the globe to join the Academy of Motion Picture Association as voting members.
In other words, Femi and Omotola now have voting rights in determining which films and filmmakers now win the OSCARS. The invitation is a major accomplishment for these two professionals and for Nollywood as a home-grown industry.
And it gladdens the heart that the first two considered worthy of this honour live and work in the home state of Nollywood and cinema in Nigeria. #lagostourism is proud of you.
Remarkably too, jusy few days after the good news from the United States, home of the Academy Awards, the French came to honour Nollywood In its homestead. And it wasn’t just an ordinary honour, the recognition for Nollywood as a super force came from the very top. President Emmanuel Macron of France joyfully turned his State Visit to Lagos to a cultural extravaganza that is still resonating all over the world, validating Lagos as the undeniable liberal home of the creative industry in Africa.
President Macron chose the iconic New African Shrine as the venue of that historic night last Tuesday to celebrate African culture. He saw a mini exhibition of art works by Nigerian artists; curated by Tokini Peterside of Art-X. He was wowed by 11-year-old Kareem Waris’ painting prowess. He danced to Femi Kuti’s afrobeat and beat the talking drum with Ara (Thunder).
He applauded the fashion parade from Lagos designers; granted a no-holds-barred interview; spoke gkowingly about Lagos even in pidgin and took selfies with practically everyone at the Shrine.
But he seemed to have reserved a special love for Nollywood!
He acted on the stage with screen icons like Chika Okpalla (Zebrudaya); Jide Kosoko; Joke Silva; Omotola; Rita Dominic; Ramsey Nouah; Yomi Fash-Lanso and Kemi Laala-Akindoju among others in a mock production set directed by Kunle Afolayan.
It was no ordinary show.
The President of one of the most powerful countries in the world and the home to the world’s biggest film festival acting in a Nollywood skit on a Lagos stage serves a special purpose. It’s an endorsement that is more than an offer of partnership. It’s an overture; a bright green light for a love story that is about to happen.
Monsieur Macron entertained questions from Afolayan and had a one-on-one with Mo Abudu. He brought Mauritanian-born Cannes film festival veteran, Abdulrahaman
Sisseko to interact with other Nollywood icons like Olu Jacobs, Tunde Kelani and Genevieve Nnaji who were also in the audience, ostensibly saying what Sisseko achieved with TIMBUKTU at Cannes and at French cinemas (or Ousmanne Sembeme with MOOLADAY) can indeed be achieved by say a Kelani; Odugbemi; Izu Ojukwu; Fred Amata; Lancelot Imasuen, Niyi Akinmolayan; Kenneth Gyan or Afolayan, who all are flying Nollywood’s directorial flag beautifully if the industry can get the politics and diplomacy components of the global audio-visual business right.
Yet, President Macron listened and nodded in agreement to the film school initiative from Chioma Ude, the brain behind African International Film Festival (AFRIF) whose partnership with Lyon, France-based CineFabrique will open another window of opportunity in film studies in Lagos. CineFabrique Lagos from next year promises young talents two years of study in Lagos and last year in France. Nollywood sure is going to another level.
Puting icing on the cake of this historic visit, Mr. Macron chose to announce the year-long African Cultural Season in France in the year 2020 in Lagos. He didn’t make that announcement in Dakar or Cotonou; all he did with those two important cities was to pick the godfather and godmother for the cultural season – Yossou Ndour and Angelique Kidjo – from there; and then brought them along to Lagos for the special announcement to be made.
What President Macron was saying in essence was that the doors are now open; no more barriers and that the opportunities will be limitless for talented professionals and creative entrepreneurs with fresh ideas. The Shrine declaration was a message that Lagos and Nigeria must take its rightful place at the Year 2020 African Cultural Season in Paris.
For Nollywood, the journey of the last rennaisant 30 years – from celluloid big screen films; to ‘reversal’ movies; then to home videos and now to the digital new Nigerian Cinema that has returned the audience to the movie theatres is just about to enter a new phase; a new vista that is getting the world to take more than a passing interest in the ways that we have chosen to tell our stories on the big screen.
For sure, the keen interest that Lagos State has in this industry is adding to the new lease of life – in supporting productions; award ceremonies and festivals; in providing opportunities for stakeholders to share in the glory that Toronto International Film Festival bestowed on Lagos in 2016 as the City in Focus and at Cannes Film Festival where it has provided a Pavillion back to back for quality visibility for the industry; in appointing two key professionals into the Board of Council for Arts and Culture and in bringing on board the views of industry heads and stakeholders in preparing its Tourism Masterplan.
A warm hand of friendship has been extended and it can only get better.
Undoubtedly, therefore, the other night at the African Shrine attests to the good vibes that Nollywood is getting from the City of its birth. That the Academy Awards and the French President are in open romance with the industry at this point simply means that the sky is not the limit.
Reflecting on all these on Sunday evening, few hours to my special day, I couldn’t help but conclude that the special honour that President Macron has bestowed on the new African Shrine and Falz’s legacy; Nollywood as indeed the entertainment and culture sector; on Lagos State and Nigeria as a whole, is essence a special birthday gift to yours truly.
Thank you Monsieur Macron; congrats Nollywood and the Lagos arts scene!
Ayorinde is the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism Arts and Culture
For most of the Nigerian bigwigs spotted at the New Afrika Shrine last night, President Emmanuel Macron of France who chose the venue to mingle with stakeholders in the Nigerian creative sector as part of his state visit to Nigeria had just rekindled an old flame in them.
The list of politicians, diplomats, government officials, showbiz entrepreneurs, and entertainers was as unprecedented as the long wait, as the visitor, who had earlier touched down in Abuja to see President Muhammadu Buhari got to Lagos three hours behind schedule. But the night, at the Shrine, was unusually charged for these old folks who not only recalled old times in their private conversations, the media kept them busy with questions bothering on the legacy of the late Afrobeat founder, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti vis the place of culture and tourism in the export reserve of Nigeria.
From the likes of former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba to former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; Senator Ben Bruce; Senator Florence Ita Giwa; former manager of Fela, Mr. Femi Esho, Founder of Africa International Film Festival, Chioma Ude; CEO of EbonyLife TV, Mo Abudu, and entertainers like Olu Jacob, Joke Silva, Jide Kosoko, Kunle Afolayan, Ramsey Nouah, Rita Dominic, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde among others, the Shrine shone with eminence.
Touted as a celebration of African culture, the evening of music, fashion, Nollywood, dance, visual arts, and performances with President Emmanuel Macron of France had celebrated singer and actor, Banky W, as Master of Ceremony while CNN presenter, Keturah King and French media personality, Claudy Siar were Nigerian and French hosts respectively.
Guest at tge New Afrika Shrine
Macron who arrived the venue with Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode was first taken on a tour of some art exhibitions of artists like Ndidi Emefiele, Victor Ehikhamenor and Abraham Onoriode Ogbobase, and just before his brief media chat on stage, he requested to be ushered round the Shrine, climbing to the topmost floor from where, having attained a full view of the venue, he made the Fela signature fist, earning a louder ovation across the hall.
Footprints of David Youth Group had opened the show, doing the Sango dance with attendant energy. Their song eulogised Macron and Ambode, while a shimmering effect portrait of both men presented by the group sealed their show. This was just as a sole portrait of Macron, painted by an 11 year old boy named Kazeem was added to Macron’s souvenirs.
Put together by Trace Events, a division of global broadcast and digital company, Trace, Highlight of the event sponsored by Ecobank was the official launch of Season of African Cultures 2020, an initiative of Macron for the showcase of the best of African creative endeavors in France.
There was no dull moment as Afropop queen, Yemi Alade opened the stage for musical performances on the night. Guests were also treated to the dexterity of Ara with the talking drum as well as the sonorous voice of Cameroonian singer, Charlotte Dipanda. Giving a befitting climax to the musical segment was Femi Kuti, son of the legendary Fela and his sister, Yeni Kuti with their electrifying performance.
The potpourri event was also spiced with a cultural segment including art exhibition curated by Tokini Peterside of Art X Lagos; a fashion show by Jane Michaek Ekanem; a Nollywood skit designed by Kunle Afolayan and a short video presentation by Chioma Ude, announcing Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF)’s partnership with French film school, CineFabrique.
In his opening remark, Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Charles Kie noted that one of Ecobank’s aims is its strong resolution to help grow and develop Africa’s businesses and economies, adding that Africa’s strong heritage in dance and music has brought many together by integrating them through entertainment and sheer interest.
According to Kie, “Sales of African art at Christies in Paris raised €6.1 million in June and just over a year ago Sotheby’s inaugural sale of modern and contemporary African Art generated £2.8 million in aggregate sales. Nigeria’s British-based artist Yinka Shonibare MBE’s ‘Crash Willy’ sold for £224,750.”
Peter Obi and Ben Murray Bruce
Ambode, while reiterating his determination to tourism, hospitality, entertainment and sports for excellence, as components of his T.H.E.S.E agenda, described Lagos as the fifth largest economy in Africa, and Macron’s visit as a dawn of a new era between France and Nigeria, “especially for the myriad of talents that have made Lagos their home.”
Macron who said he has a different view of Africa than a lot of people in Europe, said he is determined to champion a new narrative about how Africa is perceived, adding that the African Cultural Season 2020 is one of the ways to project the continent positively.
“I believe that we have to build together, a new and common narrative. And this new common narrative is not based on what is important for Europeans, but what is important for Africa about their culture – how they want to build their culture, how they want to explain their culture, how they want to promote their culture and which places are important for them for these promotions.
“European leaders are not here to lecture African leaders. African leaders are here to take care of their people. They are not there to lead the young generation to believe that their future is outside Africa. They have to build their future here in Africa.
“We decided to organize African Cultural Season 2020 in France for several reasons. It is about a team of young creatives coming from different parts of Africa. You’ll have contemporary artistes, painters, people involved in fashion, movies, visual arts, architecture… all different arts existing and present in Africa, especially Nigeria.
Femi Kiti and President Macron
“Some people say this is a tremendous continent. This is a unique place…. And at the same time, some people say Africa is a place of terrorism… these two messages are true at the same time. But why I believe it is possible to change all these negative messages is because what we need is for African people to speak about Africa. Because you always replicate, mirror Europeans impression about Africa. When I say we need new narratives, what I mean is that we need you people to make these narratives. I see a new generation of artistes, of entrepreneurs, of people coming from civil societies, of journalists, of intellectuals coming from Africa and explaining, speaking about Africa in Europe and everywhere…,” he explained.
President Emmanuel Macron of France has given the reason behind his decision to visit the Afrika Shrine in Lagos.
The French leader disclosed this during a joint press conference at the presidential villa in Abuja.
Recalling his days in Nigeria, Macron said he never imagined he would return to Nigeria as president of France.
Fifteen years ago, the president of France worked as a diplomat in Abuja.
He told reporters that the Afrika Shrine stands as a symbol on the importance of African culture.
“First, because I wanted to find a good occasion to come back there. I know the place and I have some memories, I have to confess at a time that there was no president around, I hope I will not spoil the party,” he said.
“First, I think that is such an iconic place for a lot of African people and African culture. And I think very often when you speak of the African culture in Europe, those who are successful in Europe and in France, which is different most of the times are not dramatically very famous in Nigeria or in Africa. And there is a bias because you know people are absolutely not the same.
“I mean Fela, Femi, Seun Kuti are obviously very famous in France and Europe, I mean they are big successes but the Shrine is a cultural hub, an iconic hub and it is very important for me first on a personal level, and that is why I want to say with a lot of humility that I recognize the importance of this place, I recognize the place of culture in this current environment.”
Members of high society including senior government officials, industry captains and a long list of celebrities had bombarded Lagos State officials for invitations to the event at the Afrika Shrine, which is currently ongoing.
A slew of A list performers were scheduled to entertain the French leader.
Macron’s visit is seen as a coup for Lagos State which has ramped up efforts under Governor Akinwunmi Ambode adminsitration to position the state as a major tourism destination.
Elaborate preparations, including a snap facelift at The Shrine, security upgrades and traffic diversions had been emplaced ahead of the historic visit.
Popular On-Air Personality, Daddy Freeze, has again ignited a discourse following celebrated writer, Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie’s take on chivalry and feminism.
The OAP generated mixed reactions after he wrote an open letter to Chimamanda following her recent comments on chivalry.
He downplayed her feminist ideologies, stating that the female gender had the innate belief that men must bear the greater weight of a physical burden.
Freeze backed his allegation by sighting an incident he witnessed some days ago. He said, “Dear Chimamanda, yesterday, while driving home from our online church service held on the radio, I saw a broken down ‘Danfo’ bus. All the women remained on the bus, while the men assisted the conductor in pushing the bus, as the driver tried his best to jump-start it.”
Freeze, however, said wisdom was important when tampering with the innate characteristics of both genders, to avoid stirring up unwanted consequences.
“The other day you spoke of chivalry in a cute way, although your understanding of the word seemed questionable, your motives were nonetheless benign,” he said.
In an interview with Trevor Noah on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show Tonight, Chinmamanda had said, “I think gestures like holding the door shouldn’t be gendered. I think it’s lovely to hold the door but we should hold the door for everyone like I hold the door for everyone both men and women. So, I think the idea of holding the door for a woman because she’s a woman. I have a problem with it.”
She stressed that her issue with chivalry was how people made women look weak and in need of protection, adding that women and children were not meant to be classified in the same group.
However, Freeze’s position sparked mixed reactions amongst the male and female folk in Nigeria.
While a number of women on several blogs and social media are undecided on his view, the males are.
While one of the commentators cautioned Chimamanda on what he saw as extreme feminism, another said, “I can never understand why everyone seems to misunderstand Chimamanda. Listen to what she said! She says that she herself likes the idea of chivalry and likes it when men open the door for her but she hopes they are opening the door not because they think she’s weak but because they are polite and ultimately we should all be opening door for one another regardless of gender.”
For Ibitox, Chimamanda has a lot to learn from Freeze’s views. He said, “I must give you kudos for this brilliant and well articulated write-up. I hope and pray the lady in question gets to see this and probably meet you for some good lectures about humanity in general.”
Janet Jackson has revealed that she suffered an “intense” battle with depression, which she linked to a childhood inferiority complex and societal racism and sexism.
In an essay in the latest issue of Essence, a magazine geared toward African American women, the 52-year-old pop superstar said that she has found joy after giving birth to her first child last year.
But the singer — who became a superstar in her 20s with her blending of hip-hop into pop music and her elaborately choreographed live shows — said that her 30s were “difficult years.”
“The struggle was intense. I could analyze the source of my depression forever,” she said, according to excerpts released Wednesday.
“Low self-esteem might be rooted in childhood feelings of inferiority. It could relate to failing to meet impossibly high standards. And of course there are always the societal issues of racism and sexism,” she said.
“Put it all together and depression is a tenacious and scary condition. Thankfully, I found my way through it.”
The younger sister of King of Pop Michael Jackson, who also battled depression and anxiety, Janet Jackson returned with an album in 2015 and then abruptly suspended her tour.
She gave birth to her first child, Eissa, at an unusually late age and soon afterward announced her split with the boy’s father, her third husband Wissam Al Mana, a Qatari tycoon.
Essence announced that Jackson would headline a festival affiliated with the magazine next month in New Orleans.
She is also set to play later in July at Panorama, which is staged in New York by the promoters of Coachella, the major festival in California.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has soft-pedalled on its threat to take legal action against Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana over his controversial ‘This is Nigeria’ video.
Last week, MURIC had issued the artiste a seven-day ultimatum for the withdrawal of the video and had also demanded an apology.
The video featured, among other things, hijab-wearing female choreographers dancing ‘shaku-shaku’ and a Fulani man appearing to behead an individual.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Islamic group said “in deference to pleas made by well-meaning Nigerians,” it has resolved to drag the artist to government agencies that are responsible for censoring films and videos.
The statement signed by Ishaq Akintola, MURIC director, read: “Our office has since been inundated with solidarity visits, while our telephone lines have been flooded with a deluge of calls from members, friends, well-wishers, journalists and other concerned Nigerians, majority of whom are of the Islamic faith.
“In deference to pleas made by well-meaning Nigerians, in order to keep faith with our avowed motto (Dialogue, Not Violence) and to further confirm that MURIC is a listening, mature and responsible organisation committed to promoting peace in Nigeria, the Think-Tank resolved to drag the artist to government agencies saddled with the responsibility of censoring films and videos.
“It is not a U-turn but a sudden change in tactics.”
The group said the new move “will have a more enduring impact not only on Falz but the entire industry” as it will make agencies sit up to their responsibilities.
“MURIC is no longer contemplating court action against Falz, neither are we demanding any apology from him or his management,” the statement read.
“The likely pecuniary gain in the event of a court validation of our claims does not interest us. We are no longer looking at Falz but at a larger picture.
“The matter will now go to those government agencies who are supposed to do their jobs in the first place. Instead of creating media tension and granting cheap popularity, this matter will now be handled by professionals who know what to do.
“In the interest of peace, law and order, we are calling on the National Film And Video Censors Board (NFVCB) to take up the matter from this moment.”
Furthermore, MURIC maintained that the video is “offensive and provocative,” saying it “portrays Fulanis (and Nigerian Muslims) as killers”.
The group added that the video “is capable of igniting crisis and precipitating a general breakdown of law and order”.
Tributes have continued to pour in for Nigerian reggae musician, Ras Kimono, who died early on Sunday.
He was 60.
The reggae star, who was known for hit songs like ‘We No Want’ and ‘“Rum-Bar Stylée” had reportedly concluded plans to travel to the United States on Saturday.
Sadly, he was rushed to a hospital in Lagos on Saturday where he passed on in the early hours of Sunday.
Born Ukeleke Onwubuya on May 9 in Delta State, he celebrated his 60th birthday amidst fanfare in Lagos a few weeks ago.
In his lifetime, he exuded energy that could easily rival that of any young musician on stage. His dexterity on the stage was incredible and that endeared him to many fans.
Among those who mourned his death are controversial senator, Dino Melaye, singer Sound Sultan, Shina Peters, Oritz Wiliki and many of his contemporaries.
A recently elected director at the Copyright Society of Nigeria, he was full of life and present at any stakeholder meeting of the society.
Coson’s Head, Corporate Affairs, Chibueze Okereke, confirmed the development.
According to him, COSON’s chairman, Tony Okoroji, was with the deceased reggae icon, on Saturday night.
He said, “COSON deeply regrets to announce the passing on of a frontline member of our board, great African and great musician, the reggae toaster, the great Ras Kimono Onwubuya. Mr Okoroji left Kimono in high spirits on his hospital bed at the Lagoon Hospital, Ikoyi on Saturday.
“He was excited to see him and other guests. Okoroji received the news shortly before he boarded the plane to the east earlier today, Sunday. He was present at the 60th birthday celebration of Sir Shina Peters earlier in the month and he was full of life.”
The late singer started out his career as a student of Gbenoba Secondary School Agbor, Delta State and later as a member of the Jastix Reggae Ital, alongside, Majek Fashek, Amos McRoy Jegg and Black Rice Osagie.
In his tribute, his long-time friend and colleague, Majek Fashek, revealed that they were together on Friday and planned to record some songs together.
“Ras Kimono why too soon kimono my brethren? RIP I am short of words, our last meeting three days ago was for you to meet with my manager Uzo in America and death took you away. You will forever be in my heart. I am gonna miss you. Jah love you more till we meet again. Just three days ago, Ras Kimono and I spoke to my able manager presently in America to meet in New York before death took you away,” Majek lamented.
Music band, Bantu, said, “Thank you Ras Kimono for the great music and positive vibes. You never had any airs around you, always approachable, always generous to a fault. It was a privilege to have performed and shared the stage with you. Our thoughts and prayers go to your daughter, Oge Kimono and your family. Rest In Power LION!”
Similarly, the President of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, Pretty Okafor, said he was shocked when he received the news.
Another reggae icon, Blackky Inyang, expressed shock at Ras Kimono’s death when PREMIUM TIMES contacted him on Sunday.
He said, “The news can’t be true. Where did you hear it? Please give me a few days to process this news. I’m sorry I can’t comment at this time.”
Mr Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West, also reacted to the sad news on Instagram.
Sharing a photograph of him and the late musician, the lawmaker said “what a dark day”.
“Death why! Why! My brother and my friend. Legend Ras Kimono rest in peace. What a black day! What an unceremonious exit. I love you and will miss you. Sad sad sad,” he wrote.
An advocate of social change, Kimono was known for his patois styled music.
In 1989, his band group, Massive Dread Reggae Band, released an album titled Under Pressure.
He once revealed that he is a vegetarian and has never indulged in any affair that went against his upbringing, including smoking and drinking.
Ras Kimono rose to stardom after the release of his debut album ‘Under Pressure’ in the late ‘80s.
His style of music was significantly influenced by the hardship he reportedly experienced in his early life.
The late reggae music icon won several awards including the Nigeria Music Awards and Fame Music Awards among others.
In october 2017, he dropped a new single after many years of hiatus from the music scene.
His former record label, Premier Records Limited, released the single titled, “Blessed Africa”, digitally. The song is a reflection of what Nigeria and Africa have been going through despite the rich mineral, human and natural resources in the land.
The multi-award winning reggae icon returned to the country in 2010 in an effort to reconnect with his fans.
He released albums in 2009 and 2011; both albums had an impressive reception.
In a recent interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the star spoke extensively about the reason behind his music hiatus.
One of his daughters, Ogechukwu Onwubuya a.k.a. Oge Kimono, has already taken to music putting out a few reggae singles.
She performed with her late father at the June 2015 edition of Afropolitan Vibes.
His death would be most felt by his immediate family, especially his children and wife, Sybil.
The late singer was married to Sybil, who relocated to the United States of America with him but did not return to Nigeria with him.
Sybil, herself an accomplished dancer, currently resides in America.
They met at the University of Lagos where he used to go for rehearsals. They got married in 1990 and Sybil served as his manager for many years, even when the couple relocated to the U.S. in the early 2000s
He also welcomed a daughter, Dimma, with his manager Efe Okedi, in 2013 – news he confirmed in several interviews, during his lifetime.
Okeleke Elumelu Onwubuya , the legendary Nigerian reggae imusician better known as Ras Kimono, is dead.
He reportedly died at a hospital in Lagos on Sunday morning.
Kimono dominated the music industry in Nigeria in the late 80s.
“Under pressure”, his debut album, brought him into limelight.
Among the hits in that album were “Rasta get jail” and “Rum-Bar Stylee”.
He “disappeared” from the scene after travelling to the US, where he spent six years.
Kimono later admitted that his sojourn in the US had a negative impact on his music career.
“It is true that my career was affected negatively when I travelled and stayed in the US for about six years. I thank God that I had made my marks already in the industry before I travelled,” he had told PUNCH.
“The reason I left Nigeria was that I wanted to know how life was on the other side of the river. I wanted to broaden my horizon. When I went there, I saw, conquered and came back to my country. However, any youth who has made one or two hits in Nigeria and feels he can travel abroad to continue his career would only kill his career.”
He started out his career as a student at Gbenoba Secondary School, Agbor, Delta state and later as a member of the Jastix Reggae Ital. Majek Fashek, Amos McRoy Jegg and Black Rice Osagie were also members of the group.
The Honourable Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Steve Ayorindeon his Instagram handle, bid farewell to the reggae legend.
Senator Dino Melaye, in a post on Twitter, also expressed sorrow at the news of Kimono’s death.
The Senator said “Death why! Why! My brother and my friend. Legend Ras Kimono rest in Peace. What a black day! What an unceremonious exit. I love you and will miss you. Sad sad sad.”
Ras Kimono (BlackHouseMedia)
Majek Fashek reacts
According to LIB, veteran reggae artiste, Majek Fashek said he had arranged for Kimono to meet him up in America. He said“Ras Kimono why? Too soon Kimono my brethren. RIP! I’m short of words, our last meetings was for you to meet with my manager Uzo in America and death took you away. Forever in my heart I’m gonna miss you….Jah why.”
Ras Kimono was known for his frank talk about artistes who do drugs.