There is a growing conflict over moves to help ace music person, OjB Jezreel, overcome his grave ill health.
The celebrated composer and producer, real names Babatunde Okungbowa, is down with a Kidney problem. He needs a transplant and already has a donor.
The total cost to effect treatment is pegged at about N15m- and friends and stakeholders have kick-started myriads of strategies to achieve this aim.
Trouble, however, is there is no uniform approach. The different attempts by from varied groups appear to be working against, rather that helping the cause.
Self-styled friend and confidant, singer Nomoreloss (Muyiwa Osinuga)- with the support of actor Segun Arinze – initiated his appeal for funds, in what is labelled a controversial manner with this message:
‘This is going to FANS, ARTISTES, THE MEDIA and those BLESSED ENOUGH to HELP. I watched in sheer horror and displeasure as the MEDIA and ARTISTES made a MEAL out of his STORY…Like vultures I watched them circle over a DYING HUMAN BEING. “Friends” and so called “MEDIA PARTNERS” took to social network platforms to GENERATE STORIES and create various hash tags to CELEBRATE A STORY at the expense of the LIFE of a HUMAN BEING…1, How many of these so called friends bothered to CALL HIS PHONE? 2, How many that know him well cared enough to VISIT HIM at HOME? 3, How many of these SOCIAL TOWN CRIERS bothered to visit him in the HOSPITAL? This is what I know though…1, The minute he dies YOU will be the first to say WE lost a RARE GEM. 2, The minute he dies YOU will be the first to say how much GOOD he did for YOU. 3, The minute he dies YOU will be the first to POSE for PICTURES over his LIFE-LESS BODY. 4, The minute he dies YOU will be the first to SHED CROCODILE TEARS and ROLL ON THE FLOOR and TEAR YOUR CLOTHES. #GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!…His name? Answer: OJB JEZREEL. 1, He has KIDNEY ISSUES. 2, He has to have 2 DIALYSIS TREATMENTS WEEKLY at LASUTH so feel free to go and ask HOW MUCH IT COSTS! 3, His HOME address has NOT CHANGED…It is still 4 GBAJA STREET SURULERE. 4, His PHONE NUMBERS are STILL THE SAME. 5, He NEEDS to have a KIDNEY TRANSPLANT. 6, A donor has been found.7, The procedure will cost $100,000. 8, HE IS STILL ALIVE. 9, YOU CAN HELP HIM.10, YOU CAN CHOOSE NOT TO. I know what you may be thinking…HOW DOES THIS CONCERN ME?…WHAT DID HE DO FOR ME? WHY CAN’T COSON and OTHER MUSICAL SOCIETIES COME TO HIS RESCUE AFTERALL HE IS A MUSICIAN?…And to that I say this: It doesn’t concern you really and you are absolutely right he has done nothing for you but, remember this….IT COULD BE YOU! This is also a CLARION CALL to all the BIG Music STARS that he has ever worked with. You can make a difference….
‘For all who would like to help OJB JEZREEL you can visit His house @ 4 Gbaja Str Surulere or you can donate by paying into His account details below. BABATUNDE OKUNGBOWA UBA 1015075120 #HelpSaveOJBJezreel he has a Donor already. God bless you as you do. Pls pass on. Thanks’
A window into the diverse and varying responses his action generated came from connected entertainment news dispenser- Hazeez Balogun.
Here is Balogun’s reply: ‘When I received a broadcast from numerous contacts on OJB. From the BC I found out that it originated from Nomoreloss. I take offence of his insinuations that the press or ‘so called media’ and ‘Town criers’ as he describes us. He claims media ‘made a meal’ of OJB’s condition. Well Mr. Nomoreloss or what do u bear these days?, if u truly are a friend of OJB and had been with him throughout this ordeal, then you will confirm that his people have not been releasing information about his condition. I personally was at his house, but would not be allowed to enter talk less of see him. No one would talk to me. That is why I never wrote anything on the issue, I don’t write what I don’t know. But I don’t blame those who went ahead to write, OJB is a big name. In the past, I have received press releases from either him or his people with headlines, ‘OJB drops new single’, ‘OJB album out soon’. I guess it would have been of help if a release of the true nature and situation of OJB was sent through similar channels. That could have made for more informed reports. Mr. Nomoreloss should know that Nigerian media are the number one supporters of our stars. Many sick and ailing entertainers have received help due to appeals sent out by the media. It was a journalist who sat with Ngozi Nwosu on the hot seat of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire,’ when she needed funds to treat herself. Her colleagues also went all out to source for funds, but it shows how far the press will go. I remember the case of Steve Kadiri, there was hardly any DJ by the man’s side. even the radio station he worked for did not send out an appeal. It was the continuous reports from the media that got the help the man needed. Nomoreloss should put his knowledge of the situation into better writing and send to those that will get it out to the public. That will help better than his ‘Holier than thou’ rambling ‘
Outside of these accusation and counter-accusations, investigations revealed another group is at work.
Allegedly backed with the endorsement of top-rate entertainers such as king of comedy – Alli Baba, notable technician Eddy Lawani, grounded musician Willie Walkman, media person Sunny Neme and others, a project tagged ‘Concert For OJB’ is being put together.
According to an insider ‘the objective is three-pronged…draw more attention to OJB’s plight, raise money via gate fee and also utilise the concept to get sponsors and donors on board’
Some are already leveraging on the issue of ‘accountability’ to kick against the move.
As at press time, there is no indication of any move to harmonise the different methods.
A keen observer of the unfolding drama analysed the situation this way: ‘ The fear is that, if left unchecked these conflicts might prove great hinderances to availability of expected funds for the well being of the OJB at the point it matters most!’