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Dele Momodu Between Don Jazzy And D’banj

12 May 2012

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By Dele Momodu

Fellow Nigerians, please let’s leave politics for this week and discuss my primary constituency, showbiz. I’m always happy to see young people break barriers of poverty through creativity. This is why I have invested materially and otherwise in our talented youths since 1989 when Sir Shina Peters broke record charts with his monster album, Ace. I doubt if any other album has recorded such monumental success. For the first time, a Juju artiste captured all the major awards and took the front page of Nigeria’s biggest-selling Weekend Concord, edited at the time by Mike Awoyinfa. SHINAMANIA was the headline of my story and this became the title of Sir Shina’s next album.


Through my work, I would later interact and become officially or personally close to some of Nigeria’s greatest icons such as Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi, King Sunny Ade, Chief Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Prof Kolington Ayinla, King Sonny Okosuns, Admiral Dele Abiodun, Ras Kimono, Onyeka Onwenu, Christie Essien-Igbokwe, Laolu Akins, Toni Okoroji, Evi Edna Ogholi, Queen Salawa Abeni, Tee Mac, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall, Mike Okri, Alex Zitto, Mustapha Amego, Esse Agesse, Mandy Brown Ojugbana, The Mandators, Charly Boy, Adewale Ayuba, Abass Obesere, Alex O, Daniel Wilson, Blakky, Wasiu Alabi Pasunma, OJB Jezreel, Sammy Okposo and others. The warm relationship would later extend to the younger artistes like the Plantashun Boys, Tunde & Wumi Obe, Paul Play Dairo, KUSH, Dare Art Alade, Tony Tetuilla, Remedies, Omotola Jalade-Ekehinde, Genevieve Nnaji, Ruggedman, Olu Maintain, Bouqui, Sasha, Banky W, Timaya, Zaki Adze, Solek Crew, JJC, and many others.


I have gone through this preamble to demonstrate my substantial interest in Nigerian music and showbiz in general. The essence of my piece today is to situate my position on the imbroglio between Don Jazzy and D’banj, two of Nigeria’s most influential artistes of the moment. I believe my first encounter with D’banj was in March 2005, when he performed at the Global Recognition Awards staged by my friend and Brother, Mayor Akinpelu. All I needed to convince me about  the awesome talents of D’banj was this young man coming on stage blowing his hamonica with a passion and singing Mo Bo Lowo Won. I never danced in public like I did that day. This guy blew me apart and took me to Cloud 10. D’banj was that infectious.


After his performance, I asked Mayor where he got this guy from and he said Percy Ademokun, KWAM 1’s manager had pleaded with him to feature the guy who used to work with JJC & his 419 Squad in London. As a matter of fact, Mayor was reluctant to put D’banj on stage because that slot had been reserved for Sunny Neji who unfortunately did not turn up but thus created the chance for our young friend. From that moment, I took more than a cursory interest in this guy. I later learnt there was another young producer who was the pillar behind the D’banj rising stardom. His name was outstanding, Don Jazzy.


My first one-on-one contact with D’banj came one Sunday morning, when D’banj told my former Personal Assistant, Chichi of Africa, a songstress in her own right, that he would like to meet me. Chichi knew I was very fond of him and did not waste anytime in setting up the appointment. She picked him up and drove to Bay Dorchester hotel in Victoria Island where I was at the time. As soon as Chichi arrived, I asked where D’banj was and Chichi said he was waiting in the car. I asked why she had to keep our superstar in the car and Chichi said she needed to get clearance from me. D’banj came in and prostrated flat to me while I told him he didn’t have to do that. But he was a very humble Yoruba boy who understood the culture of his people. He brought out his cd and I gave him some amount of money and we became brothers from then onwards.


I must have been among his top ten fans. And swore by his name. The only artistes who had won me totally over like that were Sir Shina Peters, KWAM1, Adewale Ayuba and Tu Face Idibia. There was hardly anything I wouldn’t do for them. And each had touched my life in different ways. D’banj was next to them. In 2006, a friend of mine, Richard Senou, was running the presidential race in Benin Republic, and he asked me to invite my celebrity friends in Nigeria to help with his campaign. I quickly assembled my closest buddies like RMD, Zack Orji, Stella Damasus-Aboderin, Fred Amata, Tony Tetuilla, and of course D’banj to Cotonou. We took over the city and rocked the place like never before. D’banj could not join us the night before but still managed to come in the morning and I was very grateful.


Our next encounter was Ghana. I had persuaded Iyiola Ayoade, the CEO of Charterhouse Ghana and GhOne Television to invite D’banj and Don Jazzy to their annual Ghana Music Awards Festival. On arrival, I welcomed the powerful people from Nigeria at my home. D’banj and Don Jazzy came in with the doyen of entertainment, Kenny Keke Ogungbe and Dayo D1 Adeneye. It was such a dramatic evening at my place as the incredibly energetic D’banj showed off his acrobatic prowess and started somersaulting in my living room. He was just full of raw energy and blew his hamonica endlessly.  Thereafter, he and Don Jazzy disappeared from our radar. We later heard they enjoyed the akwaaba hospitality in Ghana. The next time D’banj came to Ghana, he was with Dr Sid and they dropped by at my restaurant, The House of Ovation.


D’banj and the Mo Hits featured in the 2007 and 2008 Ovation Red Carol effortlessly. But thereafter fame and money chased them from every part of the globe. That was when we started drifting apart. It became difficult to communicate by telephone as numbers changed rapidly. Wande Cole became my boy and participated actively in the theme song for the Ovation Red Carol of 2009. But I never stopped praying for D’banj and Don Jazzy in particular. Theirs was a marriage made in heaven.  A break-up would spell doom of tragic proportions for both of them. I was always elated anytime I read interviews granted by D’banj in which he poured encomiums on Don Jazzy and referred to him as the boss though he was older than Don.


I had the last chance to advise them on a trip from South Africa to Nigeria. The engine of our plane had suddenly failed as we were taking off and the flight had to be dangerously aborted. Sammie Okposo was with us and he was visibly rattled. The problem engine was later fixed and we had chance to discuss the music industry in Nigeria. I was relatively assured that theirs was a solid union. I gave examples of big stars who had perished due to one mismanagement of fame or money or both. My favourite example was that of the Spice Girls. They had it all wrapped up. Fans camped outside their hotels for nights while on world tour. My ultimate idol Michael Jackson got terribly broke after all that gargatuan popularity and fabulous wealth. I told the story of how Chief MKO Abiola described poverty as the most stubborn animal and that you must never throw the cane with which you beat it away because it will always come back.  Every fall in life begins with a wrong move.


D’banj and Don Jazzy were brothers from another mother. I don’t know how and why they allowed the devil to come between them. In the whole of Africa, only the twin Brothers, Peter and Paul, of P’Square enjoyed better or equal supremacy. Reading the exclusive interview D’banj granted Ayeni The Great recently, Mo Hits must have made too much money. In the process, my brothers must have forgotten the truism that wherever too much money is gathered the demon must make itself Executive Chairman. They obviously did not see the omnipotent demon walk into their lives. If they did they would have fought tooth and nail to chase it back to the pit of help. No lizard can enter a wall that had no crack in the first instance.


I’m extremely saddened by this unfortunate saga. There is nothing as crazy as two bossom friends fighting and going their separate ways. Husbands and wives do fight. The tongue and the mouth are no exception.  It is a rule of life. But we must always try as much as possible to manage our differences. Wealth and women are often the causes of problems between friends but these guys had more than enough of both and could have ignored their worst adversary. I don’t know what roles their closest friends played in this disastrous separation but I believe it would have helped if they intervened at the right time. I read somewhere that a few important personalities tried to settle the rift but were unsuccessful. It is a big shame that we lost what could easily have been the biggest crew in African music. It is possible that individually they can start all over and blow up their individual talents again. But that type of merry-go-round would have been unnecessary. There’s a great lesson in this experience for other artistes planning to kill their brands to start from the very beginning. I learnt from Chinua Achebe that when things fall apart the centre don’t usually hold.


I really pray that God continues to bless their hustle so as not to turn theirs into an Israelite journey when you spend 40 years on a trip that should have taken 40 days.      


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  • I really don't know what to make of this article. Is he talking about don jazzy and Dbanj or is he just advertising himself. Dele Momodu u need to sit down n ponder about ur life.

    From: Marc

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • That is why you are a father and a Good brother for the industry, Really a shame to see the duo part ways because they would have even gone beyond the shores of Africa. Dou Don Dazzy launch new lable and D Banji oliver twist is No 1 on top chart UK but both seems to have forgetton way back what brought them together. God will help them thru their journey

    From: Saheed Banji

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Why was your point made after. So much praises. About your self Sir....you didn't have to tell us that dbanj came prostrating and all of the singsongs

    From: jide

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Well said! Money is inevitable but the root of all evil, I would blame all of this on “pride", the incurable disease of Mankind

    From: TA

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • BABA DELE MOMODU I HAIL U! WHAT A CHRONICLE! THIS ARTICLE IS BY FAR THE MOST INCISIVE AND INDEPTH AV READ IN A LONG TIME. I AGREE WITH UR ADVICE. AND THIS SHOULD APPLY TO EVERYONE. THANKS A LOT!

    From: Raymond Ofua

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Uncle Dele, I didn't expect less from you. Why won't your write up tilt towards protecting D'Banj? I would have been disappointed if this piece of yours was a balanced one. A Yoruba man will always have a soft spot for his brother, no matter how wrong the brother could be. I don't want to dabble into this issue. I suggest that when next you write, try to be fair to both parties. I expect that the way you described D'Banj as that humble boy who prostrated before you, who called Don Jazzy 'Master', even though he was older than the latter, that you would have at least extended a commensurate sentiment on Don Jazzy's persona. Whatever is the case, it is obvious that no musical group has ever lasted for ever. Even P Sqaure will one day separate. Wait till they get married and you will understand what I mean.

    From: Eluma

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Well done Dr. Dele Momodu. This is is another succintly narrated story from you that always keep me begging for more. The DBanj and DonJazzy episode is a sad one. I keep on wondering if they can replicate the same magic that they have always performed holding the Nigerian music industry spell bound. But i think that what has happened between these young lads will always happenwhen anyone party feells he is the most important in an association. Dbanj or Donjazzy i dont know which one must have allowed their contribution to the group got into their heads. Since his has happened,we can only pray for them like you have done. May they learn from this episode. But most importantly, may it not be the begining of the end for anyone of them. Well done once again for another good dose of pendulum this saturday.

    From: Idris Titus

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • WE said Dele!!!!!!!!

    From: Peter Odije

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Greetings Mr. Momodu! I agree with all you have penned down in this write-up. I also hope both D'banj and Don Jazzy will read this. Or better yet, since you already have a personal relationship with them, reaching out privately may do a world of good. It is my opinion that forces external to the two artistes, who stand to profit from their seperation, fueled the situation that led to this state of affairs. Notwithstanding, I pray they see behind the mist of competition that has obscured their vision of true greatness, and re-unite.

    From: Ibrahim

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • I was so sad when i heard the incidence of the break-up. I am still sad about it cos i really love the Mo Hit crew especially D banj. I wish them well in life. I wont stop hoping that they come back together again as one.

    From: Olayemi Ajayi

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • After talking about yourself for most part of the article I can really understand the import of this article???? I think I just wasted 5mins of my life reading this!

    From: Jepawski

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • What a counsel! Hope they can still do something about it. It is never too late to mend fences; we are all perturbed by this avoidable split. Let D'banj and Don Jazzy humble themselves the more by appreciating divine favour and the love they shared at the beginning and reunite again. But if they insist on going their separate ways, let them be. After all, Segun Adewale and Shina Peters also parted ways at the peak of their fame in Dec. 1978 for reasons best known to them and their promoter alone. It is well with them.

    From: Michael Awe

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • I must confess, I'm realy impressed and motivated by Sir Dele Momodu' intervention into the entertainment industry. He has been a great source of tremendous inspiration to me ever since childhood.
    I am a student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Foreign Languages Department (B.A German) in view. And I have the ambition of being an Ambassador of our great country - Nigeria. In this regard, I made Sir Dele Momodu my role model. With admiration and respect of his ability to maintain his business trademark (Ovation) and also portraying himself as a distinguishing ambassador of Nigeria to the world at large.
    Sir Dele Momodu you are indeed a blessing to our generation and a great source of inspiration to we the nigerian youth.

    From: Odewade Aderoju

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • I must confess, I'm realy impressed and motivated by Sir Dele Momodu' intervention into the entertainment industry. He has been a great source of tremendous inspiration to me ever since childhood.
    I am a student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Foreign Languages Department (B.A German) in view. And I have the ambition of being an Ambassador of our great country - Nigeria. In this regard, I made Sir Dele Momodu my role model. With admiration and respect of his ability to maintain his business trademark (Ovation) and also portraying himself as a distinguishing ambassador of Nigeria to the world at large.
    Sir Dele Momodu you are indeed a blessing to our generation and a great source of inspiration to we the nigerian youth.

    From: Odewade Aderoju

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • True talk sir... First, i thank God for this beautiful day & for allowing me log-on to twitter the right time i did else i would have just missed this wonderful story... Secondly, i know its not going to be easy but if i had one & only wish, i will wish d'banj & don jazzy never had whatever it is they had that made them seperate... and Thirdly there's nothing God cannot do,so i leave everything in the mighty hands of God the author and finisher of our faith....

    From: Emokidi Samuel Light

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Very incisive write up. I also remebered how much I enjoyed Shina Peters Ace while in tthe University. No party was complete withoiut Shina's Ace. Good old times. Sad one on D'Banj and Don Jazzy. Though I wish them the best of luck in their individual quest but thy should also know that very few broken Unions usually succeed on their own if they decide to go their seperate ways. Examples abound, I would rather tey sort out what differences they have and continue with their fruitful relationship cos just like Chief Dele Momodu rigjhtly said, The teeth and tongue also quarrel.

    From: Fatima Ibrahim

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Very wise counsel from Bob Dee. Exactly my thoughts too. Could you please try and intervene? I think your quotation by Chinua Achebe will be the case here. Its so sad.

    From: Rashida

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Good one Bob Dee!

    From: Yinyin of Africa

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • I must confess, I'm realy impressed and motivated by Sir Dele Momodu' intervention into the entertainment industry. He has been a great source of tremendous inspiration to me ever since childhood.
    I am a student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Foreign Languages Department (B.A German) in view. And I have the ambition of being an Ambassador of our great country - Nigeria. In this regard, I made Sir Dele Momodu my role model. With admiration and respect of his ability to maintain his business trademark (Ovation) and also portraying himself as a distinguishing ambassador of Nigeria to the world at large.
    Sir Dele Momodu you are indeed a blessing to our generation and a great source of inspiration to we the nigerian youth.

    From: Odewade Aderoju

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • very well said sir.

    From: jibola

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Leaving aside politics and discussing. Showbiz in a very matured and enlightening manner shows u are really a great man..........you have said it all and its all true talk,I just pray journey of 40days don't turn 40years as you have said. God help and guide them

    From: folashade omoboyowa

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Thanks Chief for this wonderful 'intervention', even though it may not solve the crisie between the two. When this happens, usually one party looses and the other wins...look at all the available examples? Eddie Remedies lost and Tony Tetuila succeeded, Tuface won and BlackFace lost, Olu Maintain won and his partner lost...the list extend to othere industry.

    From: Olufemi Oluwole

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Great piece sir. I do hope they have time to read this. You're a true leader

    From: Ojekunle Aderemi A

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Well the deed has been done,we can only pray for the two parties that the end of Mo-hit should be a new good beginning for them

    From: Ronny

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Pride comes b4 a fall, when individuals fails to appreciate The
    Power of synergy and settles 4 win alone, failure is inevitable. I can only wish D Banj and Don Jazzy The Very best in their new found aspirations.

    From: Olaolu Abayomi

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • No one is talking about development of science and technology. It's all about music, music and music. The whole world has left the black man behind because all he knows is music, music and music. What has the black man got to offer the world apart from music? How won't there be mass failure in WAEC/NECO when all our young ones do is look up to such 'role models' as d-banj and don jazzy??

    From: wikileaks

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Bob Dee is like the new Soyinka! Eyes always on politics and the arts.

    From: Oge Chikero

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Just can't help myself. TEARS!!!. Was their big Fan 24/7

    From: Seremo

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Great write up ,when a man stops reasoning ,foolishness takes,over

    From: idah pee

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Very instructive piece...& I actually like the fact that I am reading something other than Nigeria & its headaches.

    From: Osahon Omoruyi

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • But they have moved on. Dbanj tweeted and congratulated Don Jazzy on the new record company and Don Jazzy replied and also said God Bless. As far as I am concerned, the root of the split was too much money. I am a big Dbanj fan and never really cared much for Don Jazzy but I have been impressed by his approach to the whole saga. I guess it was time to move on!

    From: Akin

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • well articulated article bob dee thanks for always shedding the light,this duo better realise so long they choose to go separate thats the end of the career for either of them.they should learn from the story of jay z and damon dash.

    From: adenekan taiwo

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • you too vain dele only God will help you you represent that culture that deprives the likes of us that quest to live in that country all you do is blagg God help you you not a journalist

    From: diaspora sweet

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Bob Dee, You are the champion, don't relent, endevour to arrange a meeting between the duo and see if this last opportununity of settlement can work. God will keep blessing you.

    From: Dume

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • well done Dele, you have said it all. I hope each of them will find the grace to make it to the top cos we know they are better of together; I bid them both good luck.

    From: Paul Okenwa

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • This should serve as a lesson for everyone of us. Thank God we have people like you Sir in the entertainment industry.

    From: Adedun

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Looking at d situation on ground, I sense it was D'banj Ego & Proud †ђa† caused all dis problems. Hardly will u heard Don' Jazzy speak publicly or grant interview. But D'banj get it wrong when he first grant interview on Sahara reporters & he was talking rubbish by saying he didn't ve any ideal †ђa† subsidy protest was going on in Nigeria while he was in London. Τ̲̅ђe next interview from London, D'banj said he was d owner of Mo-Hits Records α̲̅πϑ Don jazzy was his boy. I think †ђa† 's d genesis of d problem.. He also later claim he was d one financing d whole Mo-Hits Records budget claiming he bought car for all d artistes include Don' jazzy.

    From: Prince Adey

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • Bob dee, respect thank u for all your support in entertament bisness,and god we bless u more, u see most of our artice in niger are very arogant when they make Money, it take grace of god evrything will become in life. When D banj and Donj started there music carear it was not like this they started, but sometimes greed cause it, but 2 captain can not ride one ship, Donj made Dbanj today

    From: wiliams

    Posted: 1 year ago

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  • It is very natural for D'banj and Don Jazzy to part ways... Reason, in every money making settings there must always be the boss and followers. Having an equal business relationship can never work except in an extreme understanding.

    From: oliver

    Posted: 1 year ago

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