Nigerian singer, Olalekan Fadeyi, popularly known as Azadus, who is well known for hit songs, such as ‘Madam’, ‘Sodiyen’ and ‘U is the one’ recently recovered from COVID-19.
In this exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the former member of the Hip hop group, Def O Clan, reveals how he became infected with COVID-19 and how he pulled through the entire episode
PT: How did you find out that you had COVID-19?
Azadus: I didn’t realise what I had was COVID-19 until my doctor asked me to just go and do the test. I had been going from one hospital to the other, I had been talking to different doctors.
I thought I was dealing with malaria or malaria and typhoid but after a while, my doctor said since, unfortunately, we’ve not been able to get you up and running, why don’t you go and check if what we are dealing with is COVID-19 or not.
That was how I went to the isolation centre and I got tested. Unfortunately, when I got home, the symptoms became much more intense so I had to go back to the isolation centre to complain that I may not make it through the 72 hours I was meant to wait till my test result comes out.
Glory be to God, they admitted me and the result came to me while I was in the isolation centre receiving treatment.
PT: And your experience at the isolation centre?
Azadus: Sincerely, the Lagos State government has really tried. Every COVID-19 patient is treated like a king. I am sure that the medications that are given to patients are quite expensive and the government would feed you in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night. That doesn’t come cheap. At the end of the day, you are not billed one naira.
PT: Do you feel you might break down again?
Azadus: No, no, no, I have never felt like I might still break down. In fact, I feel stronger by the day and I don’t just sit around. I try my best to also engage myself with exercise, mental, and physical exercise. I try my best possible to stay off cold drinks.
I don’t actually feel patients who have been discharged may still come back sick. Instead, I am of the opinion that COVID-19 is a virus just like chickenpox that infects an individual once in a lifetime.
PT: Did why wife and kids also contract the virus?
Azadus: To God be the glory, they are all safe. I try my best possible in making sure that I isolate myself from them. I thank God they are doing pretty well. I actually feel very strong. I don start to dey play ball sef (pidgin).
I feel strong and I am very grateful to the Lagos government for their care and show of concern. God bless Governor Sanwo-Olu, God bless Lagos and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
PT: Is it true you have left the music industry?
Azadus: I have not been off the music scene, I’ve been recording and been playing gigs. Although I have other investments that took a lot of my time but now, I am fully back into the entertainment industry.
PT: What projects are you currently working on?
Azadus: One of those things that I am doing at the moment is that they are building a mobile app for me and the mobile app is basically for talented individuals who do not have the opportunity to showcase their talent to the world. The app is going to help them exhibit their talents in an environment where you have loads of entertainment lovers.
PT: Which of your songs has fetched you the most proceeds?
Azadus: I can’t say a song generated more money than the other because there was no time I actually put that into consideration. While recording in the studio, I am still making money from the previous recording. When the new one comes out, I am making money from the new one and the old one. Take for instance, I want to perform, I am going to be performing my popular tunes so they are all making money for me at the same time.
PT: Your fans can’t get over your monster hit ‘Madam’. What really inspired the track?
Azadus: I was living in Festac at the time, I was dating a lady and at some point, I went to see her because I used to check up on her every day, sometimes in the evening.
On that fateful day, it was the mum that I first saw. The mum now indicated that she wasn’t interested in me getting married to her daughter.
That got me very worried and unhappy. On my way home crying like a little baby, the inspiration for that song came and that was it.
PT: COVID-19 has really hit your industry hard. How can Nigerian musicians stay afloat this period?
Azadus: The truth is that I don’t know. I really don’t know, but I feel it’s an opportunity for us to really work on album sales and not depend on concerts and all of that. Album sales would have been doing well for us at this period but unfortunately, pirates won’t just let us be. I think the online sale is beginning to make some sense but we are still not halfway yet.
PT: Any last words for your fans?
Azadus: I just got discharged from the COVID-19 isolation centre and I am free from the virus. Half bread is better than puff-puff. That Garri in your house is far better than the good meals you won’t be able to eat at the hospital. My advice is if you must go out, see everyone as that COVID-19 itself and wash your hands for 40 seconds (NCDC recommends 20) at the least.
This mask is not just a gear. I am wearing it to re-sensitise them, to remind them that they need to always wear their mask. Wearing a mask should become a part of you.
You don’t want to cough from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. like I did. You don’t want to use 19 tablets in the morning, 19 tablets at night like I did. You don’t want to be given any meal, the best meals and you cannot lift your hand to put the food in your mouth. You don’t want to see messages from your loved ones and you cannot even type.