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People Mistake Me For My Dad’s Girlfriend —Funke Kuti
Friendly and homely are the best words to describe the ex-wife of Afrobeat king, Femi Kuti, Funke. A mother of one, Funke, in this interview with TUNDE AYANDA, revealed why she was recently arrested by the EFCC, her relationship with Femi Kuti, her future plans and other issues. Excerpts:
CAN you give us some informationabout yourself?
I was born in Lagos and grew up there. My schooling was at the Federal Government College, Sagamu, later to the University of Lagos, where I studied Business Administration. I am the first child of three, all girls.
Do you have any memorable childhood experience?
Not really, but I remember going on holidays with my parents, it was fun at that time.
Being the first child, has this in any way determined who you are?
Oh my God! Yes, I have a lot of responsibilities and this has shaped my life to become the kind of woman I craved to be. I am forced to be good and lay good examples to my siblings. I am like their second mummy and I see it as a responsibilty not to disappoint them.
Who are you closer to, your dad or your mum?
You want to put me in trouble (laughs), they will soon start calling me. I am closer to both of them, but I will say my dad because we often go out together and when people see us, they think I'm his girlfriend.
How do you relax?
I listen to music, I dance and at times, go to nightclubs.
Which of the night clubs?
I like Swe bar, I just love the ambience.
There is no way we can talk about you without mentioning Femi Kuti, what is the state of things between you now?
Femi is the father of my child and naturally with that, we can't be enemies. With that, I will adopt the no comment answer to further questions about us.
But do you plan to re-marry as it was speculated or reconcile with Femi for the sake of your child?
No comment! Whatever that happens between me, Femi and our child is a private matter.
But where have you been all these while?
I have been around, I've been at my place of work at the National Sports Lottery.
How do you feel working with NSL?
I work as the Head, Corporate Affairs and Marketing of the company and I must confess to you that my job is pretty hectic. I am engaged in multiple tasks and with this, I am involved in quite a number of things, but the truth is that I'm enjoying myself because I'm doing something I believe in and I know very soon, we will show the world the best way to do lotto.
How does your personal company, fk Management, fit into this?
I have always loved the entertainment industry and after a clinical study of the terrain, I believe with my experience, both in and outside of the industry is one of the best ways I can make positive impact via the artiste management aspect. I have studied that particular area of the industry and I realised that there were certain things that were lacking that I have what it takes to do better.
How do you juggle the two, fk Management and the nsl job?
Its all about planning, mind you, I have people working for me as well, everything is fine and I thank God for that.
One day, you will leave the nsl and face your business squarely, how soon do you see that coming?
Naturally, a time like that is inevitable in everyone's life when certain decisions would be taken, but right now, the answer to your question is not one of the things immediately on my agenda. For now, I still have a job to do at the NSL and also at FK Management so that both missions would be accomplished in a manner that will not affect each other and until that is done, talk about the time to quit takes the back row.
Recently, the efcc arrested you, what was your problem with the commission?
In summary, it was a case of one Alhaji trying to play a smart one on the the company. He claimed to have won N51 million in a N50 million promo and unfortunately for him, he was doing this with numbers that did not register on our system. So, in the course of investigation into the matter, he came up with another number that won N13,000 and a couple of naira, but he insisted his winning money was N51 million. He has gone to different law enforcement agencies before the EFCC. In fact, we were in court at the time of the EFCC arrest! But thank God, we were able to prove our case and the EFCC released me after I spent some hours in their office.
What's the situation now?
NLS has provided the EFCC with all relevant documents about the case, all the documents they asked for have been given to them and they told us they will investigate and come up with their own report, so they are investigating the matter.
What was your people's reaction to the way the matter was celebrated?
They didn't like the first report, which said that Funke Kuti was involved in a N51 million fraud. Funny thing was that if you read the report, it was apparent that Funke Kuti was not in the so-called drama, they didn't even try to contact my office to get our side of the story. The whole thing was really embarrassing, I got countless calls from people and some of my friends were, like 'so you have so much money? Come and borrow me ten thousand...' But seriously, it wasn't funny, but later when people were able to discern what actually happened, I was relieved and so were my people.