Media personality Dnerele Edun has come out clean in a new interview with entertainment reporter Ademola Olonilua.
Recently, a picture of you dressed in normal clothes went viral online. What made you dress properly?
It was something that was very experimental and it was on the
television show, Moments with Mo. The owner of Ebony Life TV, Mo Abudu,
called me and told me that they would like to do a special feature on me
to be aired on January 1, 2015. I felt it was a fantastic idea but I
did not know that I would be dressed in normal clothes.
They went to where I grew up and interviewed people in my area. When I got to the studio, the stylist
was trying to make me wear some ‘unusual’ clothes and I was very
surprised. Initially, I thought she was styling for a client who
probably was of my size but only using me as a guinea pig. But when we
started the show, the stylist came with a rack of normal clothes and
flat shoes. I had a lot of extensions in my hair but they ripped that
off on the set and it was a live recording. My natural hair was packed
to the back and I was styled in two different looks. I wore shorts,
something I had not done for about a decade because of my skinny legs
but it was an exciting experience. I also did another one for Complete
Fashion magazine which I did with Beverly Naya. We were just
experimenting with the brand.
That was a long while ago. The last time I tried it was at a show in
Abuja called Runway. I had hosted the first and second edition, so I
wanted to do something different for the third edition. When it was time
for my first entrance, I borrowed a suit from a friend who was of
similar body structure, packed my hair, wore flat shoes and dark
sunglasses. When I was announced, people were clapping but when I got on
stage, they stopped because they did not recognise me. I felt so
uncomfortable. I kept stumbling in the flat shoes and I was sweating
profusely because of the tie. Underneath the suit, I wore my ‘normal’
clothes and so when I got tired, I removed the shirt and suit on stage
and somebody brought my shoes for me. I just wanted to make a crazy
grand entrance. This was about two years ago.
How come you stumble when you wore flat shoes?
I know it is weird but I think it is because I am used to very high
shoes. Most of my shoes are uncomfortable but over time, I have
sacrificed comfort for fashion. Now I am used to uncomfortable shoes
especially those that are not evenly balanced. Even wearing slippers is
weird to me.
Don’t you experience leg pains when you wear such shoes?
Fashion is pain but I am used to it now. There was a particular time I
went to a club and I stumbled down the stairs because some people
accidentally pushed me. They wanted to take pictures with me and they
were trying to get my attention, in the process I fell. My leg got stuck
in the banister and was sprained. I could feel my leg swelling in my
big shoes but I refused to remove it. I limbed from the club to my car.
People pressured me to remove the shoe but I refused and when I got
home, my ankle had swollen. I am used to that.
How do you dress when you are indoors?
Most times I wear my sister’s T-shirts with regular denim jeans. If
the weather is hot and there is no one to turn on the generator for me, I
would walk naked round the house. I do that a lot. I also have a long
kaftan that has a hood and looks scary, I wear that at home. But I am
hardly at home because I always have various engagements to attend.
Whenever I get home tired, I just sleep in the clothes I wore out.
People still argue that you are homosexual?
Over time, they have labelled me as a homosexual, heterosexual,
bi-sexual, I have been called all sorts of names. When people see that
you are successful in the entertainment industry, they try to peddle
some negative stories about you. Maybe they call me names because of the
way I dress. When I started out and people began calling me such names,
I found it very disturbing, annoying, and demeaning but I laugh about
it now. When I am asked about my sexuality, I just tell them that I am a
sexual outlaw. I don’t think my sexuality should be an issue because I
am doing my work very well.
- But are you gay?
All I can say to that is that I am a sexual outlaw.
- There was a time you used to wear female shoes…
I still wear them. There was a night we were going to the beach and
everyone knows that if you do not wear flat shoes to the beach, it could
be quite uncomfortable. But because I wanted to be crazy that night as I
don’t drink or smoke, I wore a female timberland boot with high heels
to the beach.
I got the shoe as a gift. It was hell walking with the shoes in the
sand but I wore them to dance and I rocked them well. I remember D’banj
and Ikechukwu were there and they were making funny comments, asking
whether I wanted to break my teeth.
Whenever I am on stage and I wear these shoes, some people think I do
it to get attention. Some say I do it to find men who are sexually
attracted to me but that is not true. It is just about doing the
unusual. A lot of men wear shoes with high heels outside the country. I
am not saying it is a trend people should follow because they can break
their legs. I think wearing female shoes just to my personality. The
female shoes give the kind of clothes I wear an extra edge.
- Do you think you can keep up with your brand identity when you are older?
Yes, I think I can but maybe not in stiletto heels. My brand identity
is not fake; I did not create this identity because I want to be in the
news or remain controversial. This has been me right from the outset.
People see me and say I dress like Lady Gaga and I laugh. Lady Gaga
started singing in 2006 and I have been dressing like this way before
then. I have no influences whatsoever and I just wanted to be different
from every other guy. This level of high edged, spontaneous, gothic,
creative look is embedded in my system and it runs through my veins.
Even when I am 70 years old, I would still be like this and I know I
would be a funky grandfather. That is why I respect Charly Boy till date
for his relevance and consistency. He is still a rockstar and a biker
for life. I don’t think I will lose this identity for anything in the
- Are you in a relationship?
I am single. I am not going to deny the fact that I am human and I
have feelings. I would not say that I have been celibate or lonely
because that would be a lie. I am not celibate; however, I am quite
principled when it comes to relationships.
God has blessed me and still blessing me, so I would not misuse the
privilege of my job to use and dump all the ladies that constantly come
my way. Some ladies think that being with me would place them at a
certain level and because of that, they throw themselves at me but I do
not misuse the privilege I have.
That does not mean that I am a saint. I am not a saint. There is
somebody in the picture but we are not so sure of our status right now.
We have been tossing it back and forth for a while. We are still
deliberating. The person is fully committed but I am not really ready. I
feel like I have frustrated her to a large extent and she has tolerated
me for a very long time. We have been friends for a while. I am a very
inconsistent person; she could call or send a message and I will not
reply until after five days. I will not use my job as an excuse because
it would be a wrong thing to do.
- What can be done to catch your attention?
Nothing really; I just love people that are natural and down to
earth. I love people who can make dialogue with me in a matter of
seconds. I don’t want a yes-man around me. I have met people like that
in the course of time. I have also met very interesting people.
A girl once asked me at a point in time if I could change my brand
identity for her and I willingly agreed. I told her I would change for
her because she was somebody I really liked. But unfortunately, things
did not work out. This was about four years ago. I still like her and my
close friends know that I still like her a lot. She was seeing someone
at the time and I was willing to share her. That was how much I liked
her. I would not say she was extremely gorgeous but there was something
very special about her that I could not lay my fingers on. Her name is
Yvonne. But that is in the past.
- So it is possible for you to change for love?
At that point, I was willing to. But now, I will think twice about
it. I sincerely doubt I can change for any woman. I have had my fingers
burnt so many times, I don’t think I am willing to make that sacrifice
for anyone. I have made a lot of sacrifices for people, now it is their
turn to start making sacrifices for me.
I am not leaving my career or changing for anybody. I would rather
stay single because at the end of the day, it is about inner happiness.
Inner happiness is something that took me a while to find because I was
trying to make too many people happy at my own detriment but I realised
at the end of the day only my happiness matters. Now that I have peace
of mind that, I don’t owe anybody any favours.