Nollywood actor, Abimbola Kazeem, popularly known as Jigan Babaoja, has debunked a report that he was beaten by soldiers recently. During the week, the news that the actor was beaten by soldiers went viral, and some social media users even insinuated that the 'Sho mo age mi' crooner was troublesome and deserved the beating he allegedly got. In a telephone interview with Saturday Beats, Jigan explained what happened, describing the rumour as a plot to destroy his brand.
"I feel what happened in Elegushi (in Lagos) was made up; I am not a troublesome person. What actually happened is this: I was with Jaywon at a birthday party. My friend even owns the bar where the incident happened.
"I have been there several times and nothing of such has ever happened. The fight ensued between the man who drove us to the venue and one of the waiters at the bar. Within a few minutes, the driver had broken a bottle on the head of one of the waiters at the bar.
"I was surprised, and immediately, I said the waiter should be rushed to the hospital, but before we could take him to the hospital, we saw soldiers coming towards us with their bouncers. They held the driver and started beating him. Jaywon and I were bothered about rescuing the driver and the waiter. I didn't talk to the soldiers at all; I was telling the manager of the bar that I had a good relationship with his brother who owns the bar and our priority should be to save the lives of those involved.
"That was what the military men heard and they became angry; they thought I was talking to them. Immediately, I told them that I was not referring to them and that I was only calling the attention of the manager to what we should see as our priority.
"After the incident, I saw a report on social media that I was beaten by soldiers; that news was false. It's all a lie. I feel it was a plot to destroy my brand; they want to distract my fans and turn me to an angry man. We were only trying to protect the driver. The story is fake; I was not flogged by soldiers," he said.
Jigan continued, "If we had not intervened, they might have killed the driver. We were only trying to salvage the situation. I had to use my underwear to clean his body as he was bleeding profusely. The owner of the bar has called to apologise already and everything is fine. Whoever fabricated the story should continue doing such; they would meet their Waterloo. I am not a troublesome person; I have never been involved in a fight before."
Jigan also talked about how he started his career in the entertainment industry, adding that he had to leave the music industry for a while because the cost of production weighed him down.
"I started my entertainment career as a Fuji musician when I was a young boy; I was doing music for a while before my dad told me to stop Fuji music because it would not allow me to focus on my education. In 2001, I set up a group to do hip hop music; however, we had to stop because of financial constraints.
"In 2006, I came out as a solo artiste. I was lucky to shoot a musical video then, it was shot by Akin Alabi. Along the line, the expenses I incurred from shooting the musical video and making music were too much. It was at that point I ventured into movie to see if people would appreciate my acting talent. I felt the movie industry would favour me.
"When social media skits became popular, I saw it as an avenue for me to showcase my talent. 'Sho mo age mi' has opened a lot of doors for me; it was during that period I got a car and an endorsement deal.
"The idea came to me on a movie set, it was during that period when many actresses were celebrating their 40th birthday, and there was an argument over whether they were celebrating their real ages. That was what gave me the idea to do 'Sho mo age mi; I did a skit that day, and before I knew it, the video went viral. I was surprised," he told Saturday Beats.