“Focus and sacrifice learnt from my mother influenced my music industry career positively”-Zion Century

By Quadri R. Atanda

In this interview series, the Nigerian Musicologist popularly known as Zion Century hosted our correspondent, Atanda R.A and revealed so many things people will be excited to know about him. For the next three series therefore, do enjoy knowing more about Zion Century.

People will like to know you, kindly introduce yourself.

My names are Kolawole Ojeleke Olayinka, popularly known as Zion Century.

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Lagos state in a small town called, Makoko in Ebute Metta

What pleasant experiences do you recollect about your childhood in Makoko?

Growing up in Makoko was tough, but as a child, I enjoyed things I saw around me. There was a large body of water behind our house where we normally went fishing.

Is there any special attraction about Makoko community that you relished?

Yes, Makoko is a community built on water with attraction of being a fishing community where men are responsible for catching fish, whilst women are responsible for smoking and selling fish which I experienced as a child, and such persists there till present day, the people inhabiting Makoko are mainly from the Ijaw, Ilaje, Egun and Yoruba ethnic groups giving Makoko a colourful rainbow of ethnicities co-habiting peacefully and purposefully . 

Tell us about your family and growing up years.

I come from a family where I have six siblings, and I happen to be the first child. My mother is the person I have been looking up to from childhood because she’s a housewife and takes care of everyone. Some of my siblings are married, and my mother still takes care of their children like the mother hawk that guides over her priceless descendants.She’s a superwoman because she sacrificed everything for us so we can be as comfortable as possible.

What lessons and values did your family inculcate in you and how have they shaped you?

As my mom would always say, “remember the child of whom you are”. This has kept me focused and well-behaved, as such I have been able to avoid distractions. Focus and sacrifice are priceless values I got from my family.

At what point did you discover your interest in and passion for music?

Music has always been part of my life. My mother used to be a chorister in the church while my dad was an instrumentalist in the same church, so I grew up listening to and getting used to music.

After discovering your passion for music, what steps did you take to actualise it?

I became a chorister in my church, and at a point I decided to join a musical group called, Boys In Christ (B.I.C) and we would go from church to church to perform, sometimes we got paid for it, sometimes they gave us foods for our beautiful performances and we participated in various events as a group.

That is interesting, it means you became productive from a tender age. If you are to describe yourself as a total music package, how will you do it?

I will not describe myself as a musician but rather as a musicologist, before I delved into music, I attended a music school in South Africa, where I was honoured with a certificate in musicology, which qualified me as a musicologist.

That’s nice, so how was it like with you in South Africa?

I used to own a studio in Cape Town South Africa ,where I produced and mastered many songs for well-known and upcoming artistes. When I got back to Nigeria in 2012, I registered my company being Zion Century Records Limited and I started as artiste manager and showbiz organizer.

IT Support: Amoo Lukmon

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