Dalhatu Ezekiel Musa JP, popularly known as McEzee, is the leader, Coalition of FCT Indigenous Associations. He is an entertainer, anchor among many others. In this interview with STELLA MARIES AMUWA, he speaks on the true value be of style and why he fights for the rights of the indigenous people of Abuja.
What inspired you into having your finger in every pie?
A whole lot. First, I was inspired into activism because I am very passionionate about my people, the indigenous people of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). I have always been very ardent about ensuring that justice is done, especially when I travel to other cities and see how people live freely but knowing that back home, the reverse is the case. Here in the FCT, my people are marginalised and do not have a say in their domain, our rights are trampled upon and nobody says anything. I decided to die honourably while fighting for my people. It’s better I act wrongly than not acting at all. I want a society where equity, fairness and justice thrive.
For the entertainment sector, it came out of passion. I was not cajoled into entertainment. The reason I am into it is because I love to put smiles on people’s faces. A whole lot of people either work a lot or do not know how to relax and life is not all about work. When you take time out to attend an entertainment event along the line, you get relaxed. Again, the entertainment sector is lucrative, though very few people know about it. I rose into the limelight because of entertainment.
What challenges have you experienced so far with regards to achieving your set goals?
A whole lot of challenges. The geographical setting of the nation, the literacy level, whether we like it or not, is too low. In a sane society, you have absolute freedom of expression. It would cost you nothing at all to express yourself freely, but the case is different here. There is no enabling environment here for you to press home demands and agitations of the people, and then there are people who see you as an enemy just because you are driving a course that will bring peace, justice and equity. Furthermore, some in authority will take turns to push you to a corner while there are also many others that no matter what you try to do positively, they will give it a political meaning, just to give a bad name to a dog, whereas they know the truth.
Another challenge is that some people will always talk you down, no matter how hard you try, they will say you are looking for money.
What was the most significant aspect of your life while growing up?
I can remember when I dared my teacher back then in primary school, that is why I say my activism is out of passion. I was in primary five when we were about writing Common Entrance Examination. Our teachers would ask us to go to the farm to do some work and the people we worked for would pay. The painful thing was that the money paid never got to us, it always went straight to the teachers’ pockets. Sometimes they would ask us to go and pack blocks for people who were building houses. We would line up and carry blocks with labour masters and teachers making sure that we completed all the work. Those teachers used to tell us that they needed to generate funds to buy chalks to teach us. I got angry one day and said I was not going to join in the labour that day because I was in the school to study and not to work as a labourer. The teacher said that I would be punished but I dared the consequences and that ended the struggle.
Also, when I was studying psychology in the university in my 200 level, during my first and second years, there was no student union government. I asked why we did not have a student union government in the school and I was told that the school management suspended it for a while. I checked my school receipts and discovered that I was paying about five thousand Naira for student union government (SUG) and so I asked what they were using the money for since the union was not functioning even though students were paying for it. I took them up and that was what brought back SUG in the school campus back then.
What is your advice to the younger generation?
Based on what is happening in my dear country Nigeria now, I have reasons to weep and I’m deeply sad. I remember recently, one of the army generals warned that unless something is done quickly, Nigeria is on the verge of total collapse. Some religious leaders too are saying the same thing. I have cause to be worried about the country because of the set of people who are in government right now, they are in their 60s and 70s. I sit back and wonder what happened to my generation and the generations to come. These old generations have nothing at stake, in the next 10 or 20 years, none of them will be here. Hardly will you see a 100-year-old man still working, eventually most of these people in government will be gone and the youths will be left alone all by themselves. So, now, we don’t need to fold our hands and say we are the leaders of tomorrow. Some of them became president at the age of 28, 29 while others became governors at the age of 30. So, you are a youth today and you are 40 or 45, yet you are still folding your hands and saying you are leader of tomorrow, when will your tomorrow come? We need to stand, speak out the truth, dare all the consequences and task the government to do what is needful. It’s high time we stood and spoke the truth. We don’t need to gather like the end sars, in your closet, speak up to change the narrative, things must be done rightly.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion is a way of life, just like culture.
Whether you like it or not, what you wear dictates a large proportion of someone’s first impression of you. Fashion is a reflection of your way of life — whether you pay attention to the little details, whether you’re dressed formally or informally, whether you’ve curated your accessories or you’re wearing heirlooms, whether you are aware and care about what materials and brands you buy and the way you buy, what activities you go to wearing said clothes — fashion denotes personality and character. Fashion will always reflect hints of your personality and your lifestyle. Fashion and lifestyle are inseparable; whether you’re wearing activewear to go to the gym with friends, or whether you’re wearing a suit to meet a friend for coffee — the items you wear will say a lot about you, because your lifestyle and choices are your way of giving meaning to your life.
What keeps you ahead of your professional colleagues in the entertainment industry?
I am unique, I am just me, original. I do not want to be like anyone, in as much as I have mentors, I stick to my original plan.
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m Gbagi by tribe and an activist. I fight for the rights of the indigenous people of the federal capital territory.
How do you unwind?
I love traveling and I unwind by listening to good music like gospel music and RnB.