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Idols star Dakolo tells whole story

Posted by By TONY OGAGA ERHARIEFE(ogaga@sunnewsonline.com) on 2008/01/28 | Views: 2774 |

Idols star Dakolo tells whole story


It was New Year day. It was a fresh beginning. Having emerged the winner of Idols West Africa, Season 1 last year, 27 year-old vocal powerhouses, Timi Dakolo, sure had reason to be filled with hopes and dreams. Suddenly, hell erupted, almost shattering his dreams into smithereens!

It was New Year day. It was a fresh beginning. Having emerged the winner of Idols West Africa, Season 1 last year, 27 year-old vocal powerhouses, Timi Dakolo, sure had reason to be filled with hopes and dreams. Suddenly, hell erupted, almost shattering his dreams into smithereens!

As he drove into Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, a few minutes to 1 am on that day on his way from church, militants, led by Ateke Tom, stormed the premises of the Hotel, and pumped hot lead into his car, mowing down the security guard attending to him and leaving him for dead.
However, in what could be described as a miracle, the idol, whose car was riddled with bullets and had both windscreens smashed, emerged with minor injuries and two deep gashes on his scalp, made by bullets that narrowly missed his head.

He recounted the experience of that black New Year day to Sunday Sun: “It was after service, the joy of Christmas was still in the air. It was January 1, a few minutes to 1 AM. I was coming from church when I decided to hang out at Hotel Presidential because they had events lined up for the season.
“Normally, before you get into such a big hotel, they give you a gate pass. I was at the gate in my car, talking to the guard when I heard a bang and I thought ‘oh! Knockout.’ I felt it was normal because of the season. I decided to turn around and see what it was when I felt warm blood gushing down my face. Two bullets had scrapped my scalp, ripping the flesh apart and boring a neat path through my Afro. I ducked!

“The next moment there was serious shooting. My back and front screens were blown to bits and my back tyres were flat. The guy that was handing me a chip a few seconds ago was on the floor, dead! Heaven knows why I was not hit!
The night was filled with the staccato of automatic gunfire. He said he heard somebody begging them not to shoot but it intensified.

“After a while, they came towards my car. I heard one of them say ‘Check whether e don die. I felt the blood freeze in my veins. I closed my eyes, fell across the front seat, pretended to be dead and held my breath, waiting for the end but luckily, it never came.
“Somebody felt my pulse and told the others that I was already dead. They took my laptop, my money and my phone. After about 10 to 15 minutes, the shooting subsided and the gangsters left.

“I realised that they had left and I was still alive. I tried to open the doors but they wouldn’t respond. I crawled out through the front window and ran and stumbled blindly into the hotel. It was then that I accessed the extent of my injury for the first time. My scalp was split open in two places by the bullets. My head was on fire. I discovered that I had another injury on my lower abdomen, an abrasion by a bullet.

Lessons
Following his miraculous escape, the Idol is grateful to his creator: “I thank God. When I left church that night, I never expected this. Each morning when one wakes up, one should first thank God for His mercies. The fact that one is okay now does not mean that one would see tomorrow. Like I promised when I won Idols last May, I will use my music to project the injustices in the Niger Delta. It is not only in the Niger Delta, it is all over the nation. I am not a politician, I am not a militant, I only have my music.

“Now I have experienced first hand, what people go through at the hands of militants. Anybody can fall victim. You could be walking down the street and get struck by a bullet. Government should listen to the cries of the people. I don’t think that violence is the way forward. Government should get to the root of this matter. It is making Port Harcourt very unsafe. I gave a big thanksgiving in my church. I thank Him for sparing my life.

However, having survived the attack, Dakolo has a piece of advice for Ateke Tom: “Violence does not pay. Violence begets violence, and even more violence. These militants say that they are fighting for the oppressed. I am from the Niger Delta myself. I am one of them. What would it profit them to kill me, an innocent citizen?”

Fame
How has he been managing the fame that came with Idols: “ I have just been myself. The platform has not changed who I am.”
However, he disclosed that his heart is vacant but he isn’t searching: “Right now I don’t have a girlfriend. The ladies in my life are my friends and I keep it that way. Right now I am married to my music. My priority is not girls.”

Regrets
I have no regrets over Idols. It has been a giant leap for me and given me great exposure. Musicians only dream of the kind of exposure it gave me. I only hope that when my album is out, I live up to expectations because it is very high. Idols has taken me to Ghana and London. I should have been in Liberia but it was cancelled.

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown