THE CANKERWORM AMONG CLASSICAL MUSICIANS.
The festive season may have come and gone, but for many, the memories will linger in their hearts for a long time.
For some musicians, the memories bring a very large doze of anger and bitterness towards “Oga” who over worked them during the festive season only to pay them peanuts.
Today, I’m not writing to celebrate a Classical Musician like I always do, but to discuss a growing concern that will affect some, if not all great Classical Musicians in the society. If you are part of those who cheat their subordinates, count your teeth with your tongue and let your conscience judge you. Na Money Matter!
My attention has been drawn to the growing trend of greed and covetousness that abounds amongst us.
For some years, I have sat and watched our senior colleagues (Oga) cheat us year in, year out. How does it feel as an Oga, that your children attend the best schools, wear the best clothes, drive the best cars and can afford the beautiful things of life, while that Singer in your band/Choir cannot afford to buy a N3,000 shirt without feeling the pains when he hears his phone ring with the Alert of his current balance.
These people exploit young musicians, they take you to a show where they are paid 5 million, and they give the Band/Choir members N5,000 each, that is smart robbery without a gun.
A senior colleague once argued with me for paying my Orchestra Members N30,000 each. He said I should have paid them N10,000 each, after all, “na me bring the show”. But NO! my conscience wouldn’t allow me, even when the guys didn’t know what I discussed with my clients in terms of their honorarium because they trust me. I couldn’t pay them lesser than they ought to have gotten, just because they had no idea of my agreement with the clients.
I couldn’t bear the feeling of smiling with them, having cheated them behind.
For instance, how can you go for a show where you’re paid N10,000,000,000 (10 Million Naira) and you pay your musicians N30,000 each? Would it hurt if you pay them N100,000 each?
I’m sure you’ll still have at least N8,000,000,000 which is still big money.
A young musician came crying to me last December. He played in over 6 shows all through the Christmas season and in the process, he broke his instrument in one occasion, as he tried to transport it to the venue and all he got from Oga was N25,000. Come on???? For 6 shows?
Oga must have gotten at least 3 to 4 million Naira per show. Would it hurt to pay N30,000 per show? In my opinion, Big NO!
Now these young, fantastic and vibrant musicians have nothing but negative feelings towards these “Ogas”. I have sat with them several times, all they ever do is reign curses on Oga for cheating them, you’ll never hear them say anything good about their Oga. As much as I really don’t like it when they reign those heavy curses, what can I do? they even grow angrier when I try to stop them.
An African proverb says “A good name is worth more than Money” If Oga knows this, I’m sure he’ll not cheat on young musicians, clearly they need these guys to make great music. No Oga in this Music game can do it alone.
Some see their phones ring, and refuse to pick it, they are tired of working with Oga, because they can already tell before hand, that nothing good will come out of the show.
For how long?
How long will you continue to cheat your musicians?
For how long will you continue to rob your subordinates of their hard work?
That money will only bring you pain and sorrow, the repercussions are usually grave. You might not see it now, but consequences will follow soon.
For this reason, I have decided to be on my own, I have decided to chase a solo career. I will work for myself and earn my own money, rather than help another man build mansions, buy the latest cars and become a Trilionaire. It’s just that the Big Men in the society will not help you when you go to them to sponsor your show, they prefer to give large sum of money to Oga, than give to you who is upcoming and trying to be like Oga, in the game. So tell me, how can Omo Ise grow? Not to forget that so many Omo Ise(s) are prolific at what they do. To say the truth, this game belongs to the youth, young minds rule in this game now. Check it out, the best Pianists, Violinists, Trumpeters, Singers etc, are young people. It’ll be very difficult for Oga to hold a show without Omo Ise, so why use him and pay him chicken feed?
I hold no grudges against any particular person, neither do I have anyone in mind as I write, with all due respect. Oga remains Oga, but I seize to be a member of any group or Choir/Band/Ensemble.
The one man mopol na him favour me pass. If you cannot afford me, no problem, call the rookie who would accept the peanut. Like I always say; “life is like an Express road and overtaking is allowed, if you get there before me, CONGRATULATIONS” I’m in no competition with any one. A Yoruba proverb says “aye po gan”.
One thing is of the essence;
Let there be a turning point in your life this year Mr Oga! Yes, You! I am talking to You, reading this Now!
Pay your subordinates what they worked for, stop cheating people, in the name of “na me bring the show”
Above all, give your life to Jesus, and live a life that is just, with truth and fairness. He is the only one who can save you from such a fast lane to Hell.
“For what shall it profit a man, to gain the whole world, by cheating his fellow musician, and loose his soul”……
Think about it.
A WORD IS ENOUGH FOR OGA!!
I have spoken!
I will write again.
HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Ifediora, Obinna Maurice
30 Adenrele Street,