I am hale and hearty at 50 – Gosporella | Independent Newspapers Limited
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I am hale and hearty at 50 – Gosporella

Posted: May 30, 2015 at 12:10 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

He was born Prince Afojeare Ikhialose-Igbauma, but later known by his stage name Alfred Campbell. Today, he is popularly known as DJ Gosporella. He owns and online radio called Gosporella fm while he is still regularly features on Beat fm in Lagos. He clocke 50 recently and his fans threw him a big party. In this chat with senior correspondent, Hazeez Balogun, he says he is fulfilled in his golden years. 

You had an event to celebrate your 50th birthday…



Before you go on, let me correct that. I have seen many publications saying that I hosted an event to celebrate my birthday. Yes there was a big party, held last weekend, but it was not organized by me. Some people who truly love me just called me and said I should attend an event. I did not really know what was going on. I did not really tell anyone that I am 50 years old, so I was not expecting anything. It was when the event was getting close that I started getting wind that they were planning to honour me. They even went as far as making gingles forthe event. I was on Victoria Island some days before the event and some people walked up to me and weregreeting me happy birthday. I said how do you know about my birthday? They say it is all over the place, that they know I am having a big event to celebrate. That was when I started understanding the scope of the event. It was Nomoreloss that instigating the whole thing. On the day of the event, I saw that they took it beyond my imagination. Sammy Okposo was there, Anniie Love was there, Nikki Laoye was there, Joe Praize, Henry Soul and many many other celebrities were there. The fans were everywhere, the venue was packed full, that even Nomoreloss that organized the whole thing could not handle it at the end of the day. I thank everyone that showed-up, it was a real honour to me. I realised how much I have touched people’s lives and how much people appreciate the little I have done.


 It is still your event since it is in your honour

Why I am trying to make a distinction is that I and my team were already planning an event to celebrate my 50th birthday. And we are still planning it for later in the year. The event was which held was hosted for my by friends and well wishers. That however does not mean that our planned event will not go on. Some senior men of God will be a part of it and it is going to be a big celebration.


How is it like turning 50?

Nothing much. When I woke up on the actual date of my birthday, there was no difference. I flexed my muscles and they were how they have always been. I am hale, I am hearty, I have a sharp mind and I thank the lord for that. So I did not see the real buzz about turning 50. To tell you the truth, it was more difficult for me when I was turning 40. I understood what people meant when they say life begins at 40. When you turn 40, your thoughts change. Then you also realise that your body mechanism will tell you that you are no longer a young man. All also depends on God. When you worship God in truth and in spirit and you do all the things he says you should do and also avoid all the things he has asked you to avoid. There is no two ways about it, you will live long. You cannot live a reckless life or abuse certain things and expect to live long. Nothing good comes for free. Excess of everything is not good. If you eat too much, it is a problem. If you drink too much, it also has its own consequences. You have to do things in moderation.


Lets talk about your radio station…

It is not my radio station.


Who owns the radio station?

God, I am only running it for me.

Let’s talk about God’s radio station that you run, tell us how have you been able to cope with running a radio station?

Gosporella Fm is not about me. When God said that that is the next thing for me to do, he also had made provisions for me to manage the station. I was never afraid that the station will fall into hard times because I know it belongs to God and he will surely take care of his own. Anything that you see happening in Gosporella Fm today is divine. I’m sure that you can tell thatthis place is not the way you saw it the last time you came here. It will still keep growing, that is God’s plan.


How has the response been so far?

I do not try to follow things the way people do now a days. I don’t care how many Twitter followers or Facebook followers. Though we have a lot, we try not to judge by how many followers we have. We judge by how many people that listens to our station. Yes we are not where we plan to be yet, but what I say is that we are growing at the speed God wants us to grow. Now Gosporella is being listened to in over 50 countries in the world is not a small feat. We are successful in our own rights.

Online radio is actually bigger that terrestrial radio all over the world. Nigerianns are just slowly getting to embrace online radio. We are one of the pioneers in Nigeria and we are already reaching thousands of people. We still have our biggest listener base within Nigeria, but a lot of people listen in from USA, Germany, UK and many other countries. And that is the edge we haveover terrestrial stations. They can reach at most three states at a go, but we cut across those barriers and can reach every corner of the world. Like I said, we already have people from 50 countries listening to us, how many terrestrial stations can boast of that? Anytime we are on air,at least there are ten countries listening in.


How do you monitor listenership?

Oh it is an online radio, everything is digital. If I go an my computer now, with just a few clicks I can tell how many people have listened to us today, which countries they come from, how manyhours did each person listen for, which programme was the most listened to and many other data as I want. We have our technical department. I must tell you the truth, I do not know muchabout all these things.


Is it true that you are not married yet?

Finding a good woman to marry is a big job in itself. In the Bible it says ‘he who finds a wife findsa good thing’. It did not says he who finds a woman or a lady, the Bible stressed on ‘wife’. Haven been beating before, I realised that you life is all about the woman you marry. If you do not open your eyes and you go into it, it will all end in regret. Once you are involved in a marriage, whether you have children or not, whether you divorce or not, it never goes away. There will be reference to that union in your life many times. It is better not to marry in the first place than to have a bad marriage. It is an advice to anyone who you want to get married. Ask yourself, are you sure this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with? There must be a bond between both of you. He or she must first and foremost be your friend.


Do you give these kinds of advice on your station?

Yes, we discuss a lot of topics on the station. Like this morning, we talked about sex education. Some people will say that we are a gospel station that we should only talk about Christian issues. Gospel is Good news. We tell people that we are a family radio stations. That allows us todiscuss things outside the Christian scope and also play inspirational music that are not really gospel, but are uplifting. We have a sports programme, a business programme, politics and all that will be included in future. We want to be holistic in everything we are doing. 10 am in Lagos is not 10am in New York. If you close at night in Nigeria, that means some people abroad who are in daytime cannot listen to you.Onlie radio stations should run for 24 hours, but we run for 12 hours every day live. When we get bigger, we will be able to run 24 hours. Nothing just happens all at once. I am still on Beat Fm every Sunday, I believe that I was sent to Beat Fm to learn more about running a radio station. We will get there but it is a gradual process. For now, we do not have the kind of money that we make us run for 24 hours. Also, Christian ministries are yet to key in to the online media and online radio. Meanwhile this is a tool that many ministries abroad are exploiting on a daily basis. There are hundreds of thousands of churches in Lagos alone. I can bet you that only a few of them are on radio talk less of online radio. Look at all the ministries that are very successful in Nigeria today, you can link their success to their strategic use of the media. Now, with Gosporella radio, they have a total station dedicated to Christendom. It is theirs, they need to make use of it.


Will you apply for a terrestrial radio station license?

Sure we will apply. But we will apply when they appreciate what we are doing with our online radio station.


People talk about the danger of having religious stations. 

There is nothing to it. What danger are you talking about? we all have cable stations in our houses today. Go on DSTV, there are Christian channels, there are also Islamic channels on the same platform. Is anybody killing anybody because of that? What danger has that caused? Go toGhana, they have religious stations. People need to wake up and understand that the world has changed. That is why I thank God for some pastors who has seen the vision of what we are doing and are supporting us. We know that very soon, more will come. But I have the believe that the online is coming on strong and we are a good example of that. Who knows, by the time we are big enough, all the terrestrial stations will have started moving online. Even the mallam out there knows what data is now. Lagos State Government says there will be free wifi in some spots of Lagos. Before you know it, radio and even tv will be online and we don’t need a license to operate online. Advertisers are already seeing the advantage. Their adverts can be heard in Lagos, and every other state in Nigeria, and it can also be heard all around the world. Which terrestrial radio station can say that?


You are sourcing from adverts only from the church?

For now, yes, and that is because they are our primary target. We will also be marketing to companies who are into family products and services. We cannot promote anything that is not faamily oriented.


What is the biggest challenge you face?

Data. We want telecoms company to reduce their cost of date. Let Nigerians have the freedom to do anything they want to do online. I know that it will get better. I remember when they first came out, they sold SIM cards for N15,000. Today they are begging you to take it for free. So I know that a time will come that data will become that cheap.


What is the next step for Gosporella?

Television. It has been a long time coming. We will work towards that in the near future. We want the digitalization process to be completed so we can know where to place ourselves.


Any regret at this age?

Yes, there were things I did at a young age that I wouldn’t have done.  One of my greatest regrets is that Ididn’t allow myself to be mentored.  Everybody needs a mentor.  I thought I knew it all, that no one should mentor me.  There is something about mentorship, if you want to stay relevant you must be mentored.


Will you say you are fulfilled?

I am content with what I have but I need more.  I am a father, I have honour, I have a business.  God has given me honour.  When they are calling the names of people who have made impact in entertainment, my name will be there.


Your philosophy of life?

Don’t start what you cannot finish.  I am a man of integrity.  I believe you must stick to whatever you say. It is in the Bible, “Seeth thou a man that wants to build a house, he must first of all count the cost, if not, his mate will laugh at him.”