by S’ola Filani
Media personality Denrele Edun has disclosed in an interview why he is yet to settle down with the right partner.
The 31-year-old Channel O presenter again reacted to rumours of his alleged homosexual affair with Charles Oputa (Charly Boy). He also spoke about his career and admitted that he doesn’t know how to drive.
See excerpts from the interview with the Tribune below:
How old are you?
I am 31. I was born on the 13th of June. (Flip) the numbers 13; that’s my age. I’m sure I don’t look it. It’s good. I can get away with anything.
I’m sure the right people have started asking the right question. When are you planning on settling down?
Everybody, in fact, is asking me that question o. And I remember back then I would say when I am 30 I would marry. But now, I have passed 30. Linda Ikeji and I were talking marriage last week. She said I still have to get my life together. You know, my life is scattered. I am here and there. I don’t think I can find a woman that can cope [with that].
Does it mean you are not in a relationship?
I am not dating anybody for now. I am single and searching.
I’m sure some people are reading this right now.
Eh! My people, make una come put ring o! My mother has been mounting pressure. My father has been telling me. My uncle, my grandmother, everyone wan make I marry.
Why haven’t you found the right person yet?
I think when that time comes, I will marry. I have been into many relationships. I have dated girls who would want to do anything I tell them. I want a woman who can hold her own. I don’t want a woman who cannot make dialogue with me. I don’t want a woman who will want to change me because she should already know who Denrele is. I don’t want to hear, “my father said you cannot dress like that” I will be like, “Oya, come and carry your witch and go. And return me my bride price before you go”. I want a woman who is not pretentious, hypocritical or a fame seeker. I want someone who is original. I want somebody I can go to the salon together (with) to make our hair; who wouldn’t mind if people are talking. I love a woman that can wear heels. It may sound flimsy. I love girls on heels. This is why I have always had a thing for models. If my wife cannot wear heels…
Here you are talking about marriage, while people have described you as gay. What do you have to say?
I’m aware of it. In fact, a lot of people have come with different terminologies for my sexual preference. They have labelled me homosexual, heterosexual. Some have said I am bi-sexual, asexual. I think I am a sexual outlaw; that is the best way to describe it. Am I gay? I am a sexual outlaw. Gbam!
What does that mean?
I don’t know. I don’t even know what my sexual preference is. The media have blown my sexuality out of proportion. Maybe it is because I am feminine in nature, or because I look like my mother or because of the way I dress. My clothes are the reflection of my personality, but people use it to judge my sexual preference. And if people want to continually judge me because of my dressing, they should go ahead.
Does it mean you are not gay?
People can say what they like. You know, this can be a mystery. If people keep pondering on it, it will remain a mystery. If I give the answer now, una no go dey wonder about anything. Make una dey ponder dey go.
Are you using this to keep the attention on yourself?
Not quite; it’s just for the fun of it, really. I am not one of those people who would want to deliberate on people’s sexual preference. I really cannot be bothered about things like that. But it is so funny how people have made a big deal out of it. It’s not about attention. Otherwise, I would have been suing this or that newspaper for saying this or that thing about me. I really can’t be bothered.
People love you, some hate you and others don’t even understand you. How do you feel about these things?
I am the one sitting in front of you. I am alive and well. Over time, they should have realised that I no send. It’s not that I am not grateful. I am grateful to critics. I am grateful to people who love my originality. I am grateful to people who hate my guts. I don’t like to use the word, but haters are like confused admirers. They cannot understand why everybody likes you. And they cannot bring themselves to like you. They either will not like you because they do not understand why you are doing something they should have done, or why you are getting away with doing it. It’s funny. I think the people who do not understand the essence of Denrele are the ones who do cyber bullying. If you have noticed, when someone insults me, I retweet it because it’s a sort of compliment. I am not a hypocrite that will be retweeting only good things about me. I want people to know that I too get insulted and abused and that I take it in good stride. For me, I have also realised that my target audience is not only the teenage group, but also older people, like grandmas and grandpas. My brand cuts across to everyone.
Is Denrele a role model?
I don’t know if I have attained the position of a role model yet. But I think I stand for originality. I think I have a voice. I can speak my mind without conforming. I think that can be emulated.
What is the worst thing that has happened to you for being who you are?
I think it is the scandals. And I can handle scandals well but people have fabricated so much about me. They say I have a child somewhere that I have abandoned. They say I am bleaching my skin – that is even the one they are using to chase me up and down. If only people can see me when I wake up in the morning, then they will know whether I am bleaching on not.
Would you like to clear the air on that?
Of recent, I discovered my love for powder. I normally like to wear the one that is lighter than me, so anytime I use this powder and my face becomes fairer, people will begin to say I am bleaching. Someone recently said to me on Twitter: ‘Denrele has bleached his destiny away’. Another said, ‘Denrele is looking like Michael Jackson in his time of death’. Somebody said, ‘Denrele looks like the remains of a ghastly car crash’. This is the one that will trip you. The person said, ‘Denrele looks like the spirit behind this recent fuel scarcity’. I thought that was a classic one. I have received a lot from people, especially during the period I went through the Charly Boy/Denrele saga. They said I kissed Charly Boy and I was trying to cause problems in his matrimonial home. Nigerians took it upon themselves to judge the freaking daylight out of me. They tried to pull me down at any opportunity they could get. But for where? Nothing can put me down.
Even when you were asked to respond, you did not come out straight. You were still trying to keep the suspense.
You know when you are caught up in the middle of a situation, you sometimes give up. I felt that any explanation I will ever give will fall on deaf ears. Because the moment that picture hit public domain, everybody came to one conclusion: these two are dating. And whether or not it was a photoshop feat, a publicity stunt, a controversial agenda or the real deal, everyone decided to believe what they wanted to believe. How many people do I want to convince? I just said to myself that I do not owe anybody any explanations. So, let them say whatever they want to say. You know this is a free world. Everybody has poetic licence. But I know in my heart of heart what happened. I just decided to retain some suspense and intrigues around it.
What really happened?
You want to really know what happened? Hmn. Heat don dey catch me for here. It’s a long story. But we will save it for another day.
Why wouldn’t you tell me now?
Tell me the truth. What happened between you and Charly Boy?
The truth is it was not real. If it was real, there should have been something behind it. But Charly Boy is somebody I respect in the industry for his relevance and consistency. To answer your question, there is nothing going on between me and Charly Boy. He is my area father. But then the media blew it out of proportion. I think it was a phase I had to go through.
I hear you can’t drive.
I do not drive. I am 31, but I can’t. I have a driver. That’s why I do not want to do any sporty car. They are just for two people and I need a roomy (big) car. If I do Porsche or Ferrari, the space wouldn’t be enough. It will really look funny.
Why can’t you drive?
I am always on the phone, and I am always changing. If I am rushing for an event and there is no one to drive, it’s certain I will get there late or not properly dressed. I have never learnt how to drive. I have always had drivers.