I Hawked Pure Water And Plantain Chips As A Young Boy – Timi Dakolo


‘Iyawo Mi’ crooner, Timi Dakolo in an interview with NET shares his story on growing up, life and his music.

Read excerpts below:

How was growing up for you in a place like Port Harcourt?

‘I grew up with my grandmother in Port Harcourt. I grew up to know that my grandmother was my only parent. She used to have a shop at Mile 3 market in Port Harcourt. After school, I would join her at the market. I hawked pure water, plantain chips etc. I did a lot of hustling as a young boy. But the truth is, what I went through while growing up made me who I am today, the experience taught me that hard work pays.’

When exactly did music start for you?

‘It started after Idols competition, trust me. I wasn’t doing music before then. Even during the competition, I never knew I could get anywhere. I was always like who will vote for me? I felt I couln’t get to the final because nobody knew me. But I was hoping to be back every week so that I can eat free food and enjoy the air-conditioner. But along the line I realised that I have this connection with people when I am singing. So I said to myself, what is worth doing is worth doing well.’

Would you say winning West African Idol helped you get your big break?

‘The big break didn’t come immediately after Idol. Despite that fact that I won the competition, it was very tough for me when I started my career. I had problems such that I didn’t know my left from right. It was very tough for me and winning the competition put a huge pressure on me, people were expecting me to hit the ground running but nothing was happening. I wasn’t releasing songs; I didn’t even know where to go from there. I later met Cobhams, I told him I may not have money to pay you now but I will pay you someday, let’s start making music and that was how my story changed’.

How do you make your money because people barely see you perform at the major shows in Nigeria?

‘I make my money from shows. Because you don’t see me on these publicised music concerts doesn’t mean I don’t get shows. I make money performing at corporate events. I get paid well for performing at birthday and private parties’.

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