MTN Project Fame Season 3 winner, Chidinma Ekile, hit the limelight after she won the reality show contest a couple of years ago. In this chat with TOSIN AKINOLA, she opens up on her career and why she kissed Afropop star, Flavour. Excerpts:
What inspired your music career?
Music has always been flowing in my veins. I have been singing since the age of six. I joined my church choir at the age of 10 though, I was never serious about music because my father was strict; he always wanted us to be indoors.
How did you get to know about Project Fame?
I heard about the academy through a friend of mine who helped me out, stood by me and encouraged me that I could do it. I told my mother about it but I was afraid to tell my daddy because I knew he would never give me the go-ahead. So, I told my mum to help speak on my behalf but she was like ‘no, you know the kind of man your father is, I can’t face him o’. Later, I went to his room and I was talking to him from behind the door because I just couldn’t face him to explain myself. Then he asked me, ‘what is it?’ I told him about the competition and he asked who the organisers were and I told him that it was MTN. Luckily for me, everything happened like a miracle after my explanation and my father gave me his nod. My mother was surprised and she said I was very lucky. I was so excited I couldn’t believe that my father had just given me the go-ahead because at times, when I returned late from choir practise, he would lock me out and I would sleep outside.
So, what was his reaction during the show?
My mother supported me all the way but my father supported me partially. However, when my father later saw that it was getting serious by the day, he actually visited me after some weeks and I was shocked because I never expected him in the Academy. And I was like ‘Wow! My father actually came to watch me sing?’ I was so excited and happy and that gave me inspiration to do more because I wanted to make dad proud, and God helped me to achieve my goal.
How has the platform impacted your life?
Project Fame has done a lot for me. It changed my thinking and made me to know better. It made me to know the kind of people I should move with, and above all, it made me popular and then the opportunities kept coming by the day. My life changed positively and ever since I have never lacked any good thing. For instance, I never believed that I could drive my own car at such an early age. All this is just like a dream to me till today. I appreciate MTN a lot for helping people discover who they are. If not for God and MTN, I would have been a house-help or a bread hawker today. Thanks to God Almighty, thanks to Project Fame.
How is your boyfriend coping with your fame?
I don’t have a boyfriend and I don’t want to have one because I am still too young and I don’t want any distraction from any man. That is the reason I don’t want to rush into any relationship. I don’t want to make a wrong choice. I am a strong lady and a goal getter so I am focussing on my career for now. I don’t have a boyfriend and I am not searching.
Okay, what relationship do you have with Flavour? You kissed him in a video recently.
(Laughter) Flavour is just a friend and colleague, no strings attached. The kissing thing was just acting. I am an actress and I can do anything to make my music more colourful. However, that was my first time of doing that, but it really means nothing to me because we don’t have strong feelings for each other beyond music. What you guys saw was just acting. Little wonder most of my friends and fans have been asking the same question, ‘Chidinma, why did you kiss Flavour?’ But I always laugh and tell them that it was just acting. What of if I become an actress tomorrow and I kiss someone on set, would it become news? Flavour is just a colleague, please.
What are you currently working on and what inspired it?
I have a video dropping this week entitled, Kite. It is all about love. You know, just like the kite could fly so high so too the love in my heart could fly so high. I wrote the song to express what I believe should happen between two partners. I am a songwriter and every good writer must be a good researcher. I did my research and got what I wanted. Let me use this opportunity to tell my fans and loved ones to get the video of Kite, which drops this weekend. I love you all and God bless you.