Music Icon, Esse Agesse ruled the music scene in the 90s, providing an alternative for music lovers in a seemingly Reggae dominated market. She got married to Kingsley Agoro, arguably one the best music producer at the time and seemingly disappeared from the music scene afterwards. In this interview with our correspondent, FRANCIS OGBONNA done via email, she talks about the reason why she took a break; her new genre of music; her foray into politics; family and other subjects. Excerpt…
Beyond the Music diva that blazed the entertainment scene in the 90s, who is Esse Agesse?
Esse Agesse is a mother; daughter and a gender activist. I am very concerned about women empowerment and the education of the girl child.
When did music really start for you professionally?
This would be roughly 1990, when I was doing jingles etc; however I released my 1st album sometime in 1992.
You literary ruled the music scene in the 90s, providing an alternative for music lovers in a seemingly Reggae dominated market and when you got married to the legendary Kingsley Agoro (the best music producer at that time), the whole world thought that union would automatically take up reign of the music world both locally and internationally, but on the contrary you literary faded off the scene, what really happened?
Well I suppose man proposes god disposes… It just didn’t work out but i am grateful for life and my children.
If your taking a break was deliberate, would you say, with the benefit of hindsight that your decision has been worth it?
I have never regretted having my children. If I had to do it again though, I would do it differently.
You sing gospel music now, what informed you switch from the secular?
The fact that I came to the realisation that I was given the gift of singing to praise god.
You are presently separated from your husband , Kingsley Agoro, what really happened?
My separation with my ex-husband is water under the bridge, totally nothing to talk about there.
What is your relationship with him like now?
It is very cordial; he is the father of my children after all.
Have you found love somewhere else or are you planning of reconciling with him?
Your baby (first daughter) was Miss Nigeria, Ireland, guess that would have made you a very proud mother? How did it happen?
She was encouraged by a young friend of mine (Zainab Shode), to be honest, my daughter didn’t really want to go in for the pageant, but Zainab and I encouraged her and the rest they say is history. I am very proud of her and her siblings.
You ventured into Politics in 2011; if I am correct you vied for the office of Deputy Governor, what informed that decision and how did that go? Are you planning on contesting in 2015? If yes, on what party platform?
I did indeed. I was invited, based on my passion for my state by the party (PPP) at the said time and after deliberating with my family, I complied. I am grateful for the first hand experience and will like to serve my state in whatever way I can. I was in delta state for the better part of 2009 to 2011 and the experience was a life lesson that I will never forget. There is much that needs to be done and I hope in the coming election the right candidates will be elected. I am not thinking about contesting in the next election; however I am open to serve my state in whatever capacity I can.
You recently started a pet project “Women of Love” international, what motivated that move and what is the thrust of that project?
I have always been a gender activist, I would hire a woman first given the opportunity, I would push for women empowerment given the opportunity, so Women Of Love (WOL) international was just a matter of time. Years ago I witnessed a situation where it was discovered that a 12 year old girl was impregnated by a full grown old man. I was so angry and helpless because the family didn’t want to press charges as they were happy enough to be paid off. Poverty does a lot to people. If I could have taken the young girl under my wings and sponsored her education at that time I would have. WOL international is about women empowerment and education of children, most especially the girl child. We focus on encouraging people or organistions who uphold our beliefs. We hope to be established soon in Nigeria where we can start empowering programmes to educate the girl child.
You were also an actress and produce movies as well, do you intend reviving that aspect of your giftedness?
Well if the opportunity to act presents itself, I will oblige. At the moment, I am not thinking of producing any films. I do not know about the future though.
What is your assessment of the music industry today in Nigeria? Do you peradventure plan on re-establishing yourself as a major player, probably at the production or music label CEO level?
Music in Nigeria has grown, I am happy that the new generation is reaping where we laid foundations. I wish though that there is more content in the new type of music. Re-establishing is not ruled out; however I am a bit concerned with WOL international at the moment.
You recently added the prefix H.E. To your profile name on Social media, what does it mean and what informed it? Does it have anything to do with your foray in politics?
Oh yes it does, during the election period my party members would refer to me as Her Excellency and so for a laugh I added it to my profile (calling the things that are not…..)