Burna Boy Still ‘‘A Work In Progress”, His Mother Sounds Off

The Nigerian superstar made a record as the first African entertainer to headline a sold-out stadium show in the United States of America, as well as the United Kingdom.
However, his recent album, I Told Them…, catapulted into the top 10 in charts across the globe.

Yet, his mother says, Burna Boy has not fulfilled his possibility.

“I admire the diligence, the hard work but he’s still a work in progress,” Bose Ogulu, who also manages the Afrobeats singer, told the BBC’s Nyasha Michelle.

“There are many more milestones to attain. We need to not just step down and look at what we’ve done, but keep doing more.”

Nicknamed Mama Burna by enthusiasts, Ms Ogulu rivals Kardashian matron Kris Jenner for the title of ultimate “momager”.

Mama Burna learnt the skill from her late father, who managed the deceased Nigerian Afrobeat icon Fela Ransome Kuti. Aside from music, she’s also an accomplished businesswoman and grammarian.

“I ran a language school for 18 years. I quickly understood the power of languages and the power of culture,” Ms Ogulu, who on Sunday joined the likes of Stormzy, Mohamed Salah and Mo Farah as a Best of Africa award-winner.

To manage the ‘African giant’, Ms Ogulu had to trek away from the language school premises – a decision she says she was convinced to make.

“I have known since he was probably 13 or 14 that he was going to be great at something. I had already seen him in the studio, I had already watched him form a high school band,” she uttered.

“From when he was in JSS3, which I think would be Year 9, we started trading studio time for grades. I would say: ‘OK if you make a B or an A in this, I’ll pay for studio time during your mid-term’.”

Nonetheless, she “wasn’t prepared” for Burna Boy to drop out of college to chase his music career.

She sounded: “That was my problem, like ‘OK you can do this, but you’re almost there. How about you just finish this degree programme’.

“That’s where the African in me came out. Together his father, my father and I sat down and told him the consequences of doing it his way and he was like: ‘That’s fine’.”

Burna Boy has since bested a Grammy and journeyed around the world with his craft, so the risk has paid off.

Quick question where do the mother-son pair go from here?

“If we’re doing four stadiums, let’s do 10,” Ms Ogulu let out.

“There’s always a higher level to get to – and that should be our focus.”

Writer’s email 📥 edemlatsu093@gmail.com

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