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My biggest fans are prisoners –Lamboginny

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Fast rising singer, Yinka Lawanson, popularly known as Lamboginny, tells Saturday Beats about his career

How did you come up with the stage name Lamboginny?

It is globally known as the name of a car but mine has a totally different meaning. My real name is Yinka Lawanson and back in the days, my father had a slang that sounds like ‘mboginni’ which he normally used when we impressed him. I coined my stage name by fusing the first two letters of my surname and the slang.

How did your parents receive the news when you told them you were going into music?

It was not easy because my father was a marine engineer and he wanted me to follow in his footsteps. I was not ready for that because I really wanted to face music which I have a passion for. I lost my mother before I began my music career, so I was left to face my father. After a while, he allowed me to focus on music but he was skeptical because he thought I just wanted to waste my time. Because of the impression my father had, I told myself that I was going to make a difference with my music so that I would be a great role model.

To what extent did your dad go to dissuade you from having a career in music?

I had to leave home for about four years to prove my point. It was four years of no assurance, chasing music with no sponsor and I was a good kid in the midst of ‘wolves.’ Those four years were the most challenging moment of my life as a young man. My father did not send me out of the house but I left because I did not have peace of mind as he kept pestering me to give up on my dream. Then I went for the maiden edition of Star Quest in 2002 and I was the fourth and my passion for music increased. I did not choose music because of money; I am just in love with it.

How would you describe the impact of the four years you were away on your life?

It exposed me because at that point, I was moving with different kinds of people. I was able to identify what I wanted in life and till date, I don’t smoke or drink even though I slept and woke up with drunks and smokers. I was always contented with the little I had. The four years helped shape my life. It is also reflecting in my music because I sing socially conscious songs as well as love songs and party songs. My life style and the kind of projects I have got involved in over time make people think the songs I sing are socially conscious songs. I try not to preach about immorality because I have to protect my brand but I am not saying I am holy.

You were involved in a ghastly auto crash last year, how did it happen?

I was actually involved in two. In one of the accidents, I had brake failure; I had two events on that day and as I was leaving one for the other, my brake failed and I ran into someone but thank God, no life was lost. The second one that happened nearly cost me my life. It happened on Eko Bridge. I was coming back from an event around 2:30am and someone ran into me. I don’t know how the car stopped from tumbling down the bridge. I was bleeding profusely and I could not open the door of my car. The more I tried to force open the door the more blood kept gushing out of my nose because I had a deep cut there. Eventually the door opened and I fell on the floor, nobody stopped to help me and I had to crawl away from the car because I was scared someone could ram into it and run over me. As I began to feel dizzy, I brought out my phone and took a picture of myself because I thought I was going to die. Then I began seeing faces of people that I have helped smiling especially those from the prisons. The next thing I knew was that a young man lifted me from the floor and told me to keep talking to him that nothing would happen to me. He put me in his car and that was the last thing I remembered. He took my phone and sent a broadcast message for people to know the hospital he took me to and in less than 30 minutes, all my friends were there. The young man did not just take me to the hospital, he also deposited some money for my treatment and helped me to tow my vehicle back to the hospital. This is somebody I did not know. It was a great experience.

Why do you have projects that target prisoners, juvenile delinquents and commercial sex workers?

I really do not know why because it all started as a wishful thinking. I was looking at how I could contribute my little quota to my country. I felt that the prison is filled up with both innocent and guilty people locked up in another world and they need to be shown love. Luckily for me, at that period, the comptroller-general of prison was like a father to me and when I approached him and shared the idea of using music as a therapy for prisoners, he said that it was a good one and gave me his support. He said it had never happened in Africa and we held a concert in prison.

Were you not scared when you were performing in prison?

When I went into the prison, I was dressed in jeans and I had about three gold chains and the prisoners were delighted to see me and we related freely. When I told them that I wanted to have a concert in prison, they were very excited. I think my biggest fans are prison inmates.

You also have a project that reaches out to commercial sex workers. Can you marry one of them?

I don’t know who my wife will be until I come across her and God tells me she is the one but the truth of the matter is that everybody has a negative story and a past. Although I have never experienced such, if she is a prostitute and she falls in love with me and the feeling is mutual, then there is no problem, we would get married. If God says she is my wife, so be it. Nobody knows tomorrow and I don’t dwell on the past because I believe in the future. To think of it, prostitutes have ‘sprayed’ me money when I was embarking on one of my projects that involved them. I was performing for them at a rehabilitation centre and they brought out their hard earned money to ‘spray’ me. They liked me that much and it is a very rare gesture.

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