She started out as a gospel singer, but now claims to be a hip-hop artiste. In this interview with Saturday TRIBUNE, Maheeda talks about marriage, scandals and her unusual ways of life. Excerpts:
What projects have you been up to lately?
I have been doing video shoots and recording. Basically, I have been busy with music
Between last year and now when you got into the news for various reasons, how has your music career been?
I think it’s gaining more attention than Before, you would just wonder who it was people were talking about when you mentioned Maheeda, but now, there is a different kind of feeling.
You were a gospel singer, why the sudden change?
I actually started with secular music before going into gospel. One thing is certain, change will always be constant. We don’t even know what I will change to next, so watch out.
What was your growing up like?
Growing up was tough..
Very tough, I had nobody to take care of me, I grew up on the streets all by myself, I was often lonely, but I survived it. Let me add though, that it’s still lonely because the more famous you get, the less friends you have, but that’s just my life
Where were your parents?
I am an orphan. I don’t know where they are. I was raised up by a woman, a Good Samaritan.
You have been in the news for so many bad reasons lately, are you not bothered?
Well, sometimes, the backlash gets to me, because I’m human, it’s just like a soldier going for a battle, you will be scared, but you have to do what you have to do. Whenever I feel bad, I just have to brace up and tell myself there is no use of sitting down and crying.
Is your hubby not bothered about seeing your nude pictures all over the internet?
He loves it, he always says, ‘oh, so my wife is this sexy’. There was a time he read online that Maheeda is one of the hottest women in Nigeria, he called me and said. ‘can you imagine, I’m married to one of the sexiest women in Nigeria’ and he was happy about it. People are different, but that is my husband’s own way.
What if gets fed up and decides to file for a divorce?
Ahn, Ahn, that’s his luck now, do you know how many men are running after me?
How did you meet your husband?
I met him at a bar where I was working…
And how long have you been married
Just two years.
What about the competition between yourself and Afrocandy and you both were exchanging nude pictures. Are you both friends?
We have never been friends and I don’t think we are enemies, I don’t know her, I just started hearing about her some months ago and truly, she is not bothering me. I don’t feel threatened by Afrocandy, I just respect her, I first try to study people, and respect them for who they are and what they do, everybody is trying to survive. Just like people don’t like the way I’m trying to survive, no one can question the way she is trying to survive. I’m not competing with her and I respect her hustle.
Your unclad photos, are they publicity stunts or the real you?
You know now, it’s just to get the job done and for my fans to get the full package of what they are paying for.
So who is the real you……
Hmm, I’m very homely. I like to play around with my daughter, we do homework together, we talk about school. We don’t have a house help, so I do my cleaning and other chores myself. I even feel lonely because I don’t have friends, I have my daughter and husband only as friends.
How do you hope to keep her away from your pictures or the life you are living right now
She has seen most of my pictures. But one thing I always tell people is that, what matters most is how you train your child.Even in Holland, they see lots of nude pictures, but the kids just pass by them because they know they are not meant for them, it depends on the training you give them. It is that training that would determine what they would do with the pictures. She sees me walking naked in the house and taking pictures, but it does not mean anything to her. It’s new in the country but very soon, people would get used to it and start asking, is there anything else? My daughter knows a lot already
What if she decides to follow your footsteps and style of music, will you stop her?
It’s her choice. I’m just going to advise her. I always tell her that it is her outcome that matters, that is, the end result of whatever she does that matters. when you see that a particular direction did not work for someone, I don’t think you would go there except you feel you will do better. So for me, I just think I will be there to guide her, I want her to do whatever she thinks is good for her, and I want to wait till she is above 18, but for now, I will tell her what to do and that thing is education.
In the industry, do you have male musicians that you admire?
I used to like DonJazzy, Clarence Peters because of the way they work and act, but I have new artistes that I like now… but I can’t name them.
But if you had the chance to date a Nigerian, who would it be?
What’s your educational background?
I went to just primary school, I didn’t go through secondary school because I could not afford it. I had nobody and I couldn’t go to the government to ask that they train me.
So was that why you delved into music?
Not really, but it was one of the reasons. I just felt I could also become somebody in life and entertainment would be the best way to do that
How then did you start singing?
I started by becoming a video vixen, I didn’t really know how to sing or act but I learnt. I was close to a few producers who put me through.
Some time ago on radio, some callers rained insults on you on air…how did you feel?
I was sorry for a particular woman that called, because I felt, if you are under the hot sun frying akara and your daughter is ready to do what I am doing to bring you out of the mess, then you ought to be grateful. My mum is not alive right now, but if she was alive, she will be using one of the most expensive cars, that’s for sure,.I am telling you that she will be proud of me, who wants to die of poverty?
Do you still pray, like when you were a gospel singer?
Of course, I pray to God everyday of my life, it depends on what people see prayer as. Prayer is talking to your father, if you are living with your dad, you know you won’t wait for him to say come to me, no! You talk to him anytime, how much more, God. Making God your friend is the best thing in life, I don’t blame the people judging me because I feed them with what I want them to see and keep the rest to myself, it’s show business you know. If a producer gives me a bad girl scene, I will just act the bad girl scene and go my way, but people should know that I’m not the bad girl you see on the screen, it’s my business, that’s what I do.