Wednesday, 11 December 2013

“Lots Of Cheques That People Donated Bounced” - OJB Jezreel's First Interview After Successful Operation

Music producer Babatunde ‘OJB Jezreel’ Okungbowa who arrived the country from India after his successful surgical operation finally granted his first interview.
He reveals how his first wife donated one of her kidneys to him despite discouragement from family and friends.In this interview with HipHopWorld, OJB and his wife, Mama J reveal all what they went through – the pain, the gain, the hate and the love…
See excerpts below:
What were your thoughts when you were told you would undergo a kidney transplant?
It was scary because I find it hard to take an injection let alone cutting the body for surgery. I didn’t really welcome it but with time I had no choice than to give in to the idea and hope for the best.

What do you have to say about the controversies that surrounded donations towards your kidney transplant?

Well, there are well meaning and bitter people in Naija. Most people were just complaining and these people didn’t even donate. All the figures flying in the air then were just fake and make-belief from different angles because if we had the money we wouldn’t have the governor donate N16million. Lots of cheques that some people donated bounced. I don’t want to mention names and when we called them to come for their cheques they didn’t come for it. We didn’t want to talk about it in the media because it was about saving a life. After the surgery in India, OJB had every reason to smile

How would you describe your wife, who volunteered to donate one of her kidneys?

I will say she is a wonderful person because it is one thing if God is telling you to do something but another to do it. It takes a lot of courage to actually do it. Just as Jesus had made the water for Peter to walk on, Peter needed a lot of courage to take that step and that was what she did at that dying minute. Even when the doctors came to tell her that they would have to cut her all the way to the back and would have to remove a rib so they could have access to the kidney and if after that you still go ahead to do it then that is serious courage. I will say she is a courageous woman.

We heard that you are lodged in a hotel for now because your house is undergoing reconstruction?

Yes. Someone by the name Felix Edebo actually spoke to me about that before the surgery and advised I should do a reconstruction because of hygiene during recovery. I was reluctant because of finances, he said he’d give me a call and before he left he gave me $1,000USD. Days later, he called and asked for my account details and paid in N6 million for the reconstruction and still told me he had a gift for me, and then he gave me the keys to a Land Rover jeep. We are having an extension to a bungalow which will be the main house, because the way the house was structured originally had studio with it. It needs to change, people come into the studio a lot and I have to control the hygiene. So I have to separate the two in order to sanitize the house.
The Land Rover jeep OJB was given as a gift from a certain Felix Edebo, the same man who funded the reconstruction of the producer’s Surulere home

When are you hoping to get back to work?

I guess my first work is going to be with P. Square. Hopefully we’ll be doing something as soon as possible, and then mix some of my old songs. Using my experience to help people is another thing I want to do and very soon I’ll start a foundation.

What lesson has this experience taught you?

It’s more spiritual really. I see it as, anybody that has God should be anxious for nothing’, because he has you in mind, you might think He doesn’t but He does. It has changed my whole perspective now.

His wife, Mama J says “I gave my kidney because if he is alive, it is for my own good. So there is nothing to it, I didn’t see it as anything from day one, I asked God to help me and give me the courage and He did. Every step, every process was difficult because a lot of things they told me were enough for me to say I wasn’t doing again. If I should think about the cut, the pain affects some people psychologically because it goes to your brain and you can easily go mad if you are not strong enough. Even till now I still feel the pain, there are some positions you cannot sleep like you can’t sleep on your right side for too long, you can’t sleep on your left or face up. I still feel the pain but now it’s not the pain but the joy that everything is ok that keeps me going.”

Did you face challenges from your family at all?

OH…of course I did. My brothers were like no oh you are not going to do it, my mum didn’t even talk to me. My dad was like what do we do, even if we tell you not to do it you will still go ahead, so let’s not waste time. It’s not just the fact that it’s OJB; he is my husband, the father of my children. I don’t know the reason I will not give him, there’s no reason I shouldn’t give him if I am the perfect match for it.

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