Don Jazzy: How I deliberately failed in secondary school to pursue music

The record producer was speaking in the Black Box Interview with Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, the television host.

Jazzy recounted his early outset in music with a gospel group at FGC Ijanikin, where he had his senior secondary education.

He also narrated how he showed up with faked results from one of his final exams, which he failed.

“My parents divided us into two. Two went to FGC Ijanikin and two others went to Kings College. They used to report me for skipping classes. My dad would ask where I was and he would be told, ‘the music hall’. He already knew music was where I was going. Any other thing was not entering, even as I was a brilliant kid,” he said.

“When I started failing in SS2, I did it on purpose. I was doing it to join some bad gangs. Osi Asika and I were in a music group called Ministration Voices, a gospel band. We were seven. We used to sing and write songs. I backslid towards the ending of SS2 because I wanted to join some other guys who were into some other form of music.

“And for protection from rich kids. I became friends with the strongest guy, Niyi Adelusi. My colleagues and I used to bet over the first to submit during tests. It was like I was hit with voodoo, especially in WAEC. I would just submit. My parents started to beat me. During my SS3 mock, I came back home with a faked result, where I didn’t do well.

“My dad visited my sister in school and they had posted the real results. She told him I had disgraced the family. ‘4P, 4F, 1C’. It had traumatized her so much that she crammed it in her head. The C was in Igbo or Yoruba. My dad was pissed. I had to make up with my knowledge of computers, which made up for my stupidity alongside music.”

Don Jazzy had earlier recounted growing up with a dad who farmed and his mother who sold akara (bean cakes).

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