Based in Benin, Nigeria Esther Edokpayi a.k.a Lady of Songs is one of the leading artistes from the South South region. The singer, actress and producer has a large fan base that cuts across Nigeria and Diaspora. But not much is known about her private life and her life before she became a celebrity.
Which was why when she was invited to the popular talkshow Sandra Talk Show a lot of her fans were excited. Because it meant they would have a chance to know more about her. The live interview was hosted by Nigerian-Canadian celebrity, Sandra Idubor.
The interview was held online via Youtube and Facebook on Sunday, 15th of November 2020 allowed viewers the opportunity to ask the beautiful singer questions with Ms. Sandra as the moderator.
Here are the highlights of what transpired in the interview:
Sandra: (Smiling) I am glad to have you on the show Esther.
Esther: (Grins) The pleasure is all mine. I am so happy to be here too.
Sandra: In order not to waste time, let’s move into the interview proper. So I would like to ask, “Who is Esther Edokpayi?”
Esther: Okay….I am a musician, an actress and a businesswoman.
Sandra: Lovely…I like the businesswoman part. The next question goes thus: When did you enter the entertainment industry?
Esther: 2009, precisely. I first started as a singer. It was later on that I branched into acting. Music has always been my first love. When I started singing there was no one to help me. By help, I mean that there was no one to support my career and promote my music. The album most people think is my first isn’t actually my first work. I had released a prior album which didn’t work out.
Sandra: (cuts in) So you mean the album didn’t make waves?
Esther: Yes, it didn’t. Moving forward, I started a business – selling food. While doing this, I decided to give it another try. The passion for music was burning heavily in my heart. So I recorded another album. This time around I promoted it myself. I went from house to house, church to church, advertising my CDs to people.
Soon I received a call from a certain marketer who had heard my song while his neighbour was playing it and he was hooked. So he reached out to me with the intention of helping me to promote and sell my album copies.
Though he was going to be buying it on credit, I didn’t care much. I was more concerned about getting my work out to a wider audience. So working together the marketer and I pushed the album and as God would have it became a hit across the city and country.
Sandra: Wow! That’s a very interesting story. So, what about movies? How did you enter the industry?
Esther: In 2011, I received a call from someone that he wanted me to be a part of a dance drama. I was hesitant to be a part of the project because I had never imagined myself as an actress. But the person assured me that I was the right pick for the role because of my voice. So I gave it a try and found out that I liked it. Since then I have been taking on more acting projects. But I must tell you that it hasn’t been an easy journey.
Sandra: Hmm….persistence is key. Of all your albums, Which do you consider the most successful?
Esther: (smiles) All my albums have been successful. The first was a bomb. Same as the second. But I think the first is still the most successful.
Sandra: I will agree with you on that. It is the first one for me because I remember listening to it countless times. What are your bad experiences in life?
Esther: Personally, I don’t think I have had any bad experience. And I will tell you why. I believe that every experience in life is meant to make me stronger. I see bad experiences as a stepping stone to greater accomplishments in life. Since none of those not-too-pleasant experiences has brought me down, I don’t consider them to be bad.
Sandra: Okay…I like that spirit. It’s time to take questions from our viewers because I am sure they have a lot to ask you. So I would be reading out the questions from the comment section.
Sandra: What is your favourite food?
Esther: (chuckles) Pounded yam.
Sandra: Your weak point?
Esther: I guess the answer will be food. I don’t eat much. On my best day, I ate twice a day. Most times a meal per day is enough to keep me going.
Sandra: Who is your role model in the industry? And who is your mentor?
Esther: Palmer Omoruyi is both my role model and mentor.
Sandra: Do you believe in love at first sight?
Esther: Yes I do.
Sandra: How do you rate the Benin Film industry?
Esther: We are doing well. That’s the honest answer. If I’m to rate us on a scale of 1 – 100, I would say 70%. We are really putting in the efforts.
Sandra: What do you wish for your children?
Esther: As a parent it is expected that I wish my children a good life and pray that they are greater than I am. And I do. But one thing I always tell my kids is that they should be prepared to meet bad experiences in life. So that when it comes, it doesn’t weigh them down but make them stronger.
Sandra: What is your favourite movie?
Sandra: What is your advice for the young ladies?
Esther: My little advice is to let them know that life doesn’t always give you what you deserve. Secondly, be nice and do what you know you can do best in any relationship and in life and leave the rest for God.
Sandra: Where did you grow up?
Esther: In the village. I moved to Benin when I was twelve and I have been here since then.
Sandra: What is your relationship with other actor and actresses?
Esther: It is good. We relate well with one another. The fact that you haven’t seen me and a certain actor or actress in a movie doesn’t mean we are fight or don’t talk to each other.
Sandra: How old are you?
Esther: Many people don’t believe me when I say it but I am 39 years old. I was born in 1981. I guess it’s because of how grown-up my daughter is.
Sandra: How old is your daughter?
Esther: (Pauses) She is 22 years. (Smiles) I had to ask permission from her before telling you.
Sandra: Let’s move over to your business life. So, what do you at the moment?
Esther: (Laughs a bit) I recently started a new business that deals with Organic Products. My products are creams and soaps for kids and adults. During the COVID 19 lockdown I decided to learn about the business seeing that I had free time on my hands. Nevertheless I’m still learning more in order to grow my knowledge. At the same time, I also teach others. Lest I forget, I also have a mini studio. Our services involves photography and events coverage.
Sandra: That’s lovely. You are really a smart and enterprising woman. How can people see more of your music and movies?
Esther: You can find them on my YouTube channel @Lady of Songs TV or that of my daughter @ Sarah Koko TV.
Sandra: Are you still thinking of getting married to your dream man someday?
Esther: Hmmmm…..As God wills. I don’t know what God has in store for me.
Sandra: This is the last question. What advice do you have for young ladies in the industry? I mean those who are still climbing up the ladder
Esther: I would start with this: Never give up. Life isn’t a bed of roses. You won’t get your dreams on a platter of Gold. Also, don’t force it. Do your best and leave the rest for God. Ask God for his grace. With God’s grace on your life, you will do little work and get bigger results.
Sandra: Wow… it’s been such a blast. We have come to end of the interview. I have really learnt a lot from you and I’m sure my viewers also feel the same way.
Esther: (Grins) I am really grateful for having me here. Keep up the good work my sister and I wish you more success in your career. The sky is just the starting point. I also appreciate the viewers for tuning in. Thanks to you all. (Blows kisses) Bye guys…
Sandra: (Blows kisses too and waves back) Bye Esther. See you some other time.