Larry Madowo has had the pleasure of interviewing huge names on The Trend, more names than he could possibly remember. This year alone, he’s interviewed Aloe Blacc (which I loved!), Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Alaine, Trey Songz (which I am so jealous about), Tinie Tempah amongst other huge names.
Now that 2016 is coming to a close, Larry has, just like most of us, decided to analyze what his year has been like, by naming and shaming some of the best and worst guests he’s ever had on the show while calling out those who have turned an interview down for one reason or another.
On his Front Row column on the Daily Nation, Larry spoke highly of South African jazz star Hugh Masekela, British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo, Trey Songz (hey boo!), Aloe Blacc, Victor Wanyama, Mafikizolo, Oliver Mtukudzi, Yemi Alade, Tinie Tempah and Jose Chameleone. He described them as “awesome to hang out with”.
Who he didn’t like though, (uh oh), Nyashinski, David Rudisha, Koffi Olomide, Lupita Nyong’o, Jimmy Gait, Flavour and Sinach.
He said that Lupita once dismissed him during an interview in Kampala. He wrote:
I was back in Kampala for a show in late September when I heard that the Oscar-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o, was in town to premiere her new film, ‘Queen of Katwe’. I made a few calls and got an interview. Traffic was horrendous that Sunday because of a huge festival that was taking place in the middle of the city, so I jumped onto a boda boda to get to her. Like all the other journalists at the junket, Disney gave each of us just 15 minutes. In her room, Lupita was sitting between co-stars Madina Nalwanga, 16, and her on-screen son, Martin Kabanza.“We like your ugali video,” I told her as we settled down, referring to a Vogue-produced clip where she learns to cook the Kenyan staple from her mother. “You put me in a lot of trouble,” she responded with a smile. She had confessed to me in a previous interview that she missed ugali but didn’t know how to make it, which set Kenyan social media alight. She was detached and appeared bored throughout the rest of the interview, which prompted some to say she didn’t value African presenters, compared with her American appearances. The interview ended abruptly when I asked about reports that she was a prima donna and I was ushered out without a picture.
Which makes me wonder, has she “sold out”? She never really acknowledged being Kenyan and was “Mexican” first, so could this be it? Is our precious Lupita too Hollywood for Kenyan media?
As for Nyashinski and Jimmy Gait? Well, all they did was cancel interviews via text and dodged calls.
Others like David Rudisha, who has consistently refused to do the show with an ever-expanding list of excuses. Even that is still better than Jimmy Gait, who canceled last October in a text message to producer Kevin Gitau, then refused to answer calls.
Then there are those who are booked in advance but decline to come on when they land in Nairobi, like Koffi Olomide, or Nigerian artistes Flavour and Sinach. Well before he got deported for his airport drama, Olomide just couldn’t be bothered to honor an invite. Flavour reportedly had drama with immigration officers when he arrived that ruined his mood while Sinach wouldn’t leave her hotel room.
Every so often, there is also a guest like Nyashinski who confirms, then stops answering calls and ends up on another station.
I’m quite surprised that Sinach is on this list. I mean, isn’t she one of the good ones? God’s people? Kenyans love her song. I will probably never see her the same again (spoken as a journalist). Damn!
Either way, I’d like to hope that these people had their reasons BUT communication is always important. Having been ‘bounced’ for interviews before, I say, if you don’t wanna do it, the first let down pinches less than being stood up.