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‘I’m not a politician’ – Kenny Saint Best

Kennis music vice president and
veteran gospel act, Kenny Saint Best has
made her intentions known to venture into
politics in the 2015 general elections.
KSB as she’s fondly called is now a card-
carrying member of the APC and would be
seeking elective post in the Lagos state
house of Assembly.
She recently spoke to NET on the reason why
she’s embracing politics at this stage and
other sundry issues.
Let’s talk about you and politics, what
influenced your decision to go into it?
I reside in Onigbongbo local government area of
Lagos state, and for over 6 years, I’ve been part
of the local government in area of development
basically in area of education, development of
the public school and upgrading of public
schools in Onigbongbo local government under
the chairmanship of honorable Idowu Obasa,
so I’ve been a part of it. At the state level, I am
the main act at the state children’s Christmas
party, and I was very active during the 2007
elections that brought in Governor Fashola, so
I’ve always been quite active in the background
of politics, but it was last year that I decided
that I can do something about changing the face
of youth development in Ikeja and Lagos as a
whole. Apart from being a youth coach, youth
pastor that requires me to see to the
development of the youth, I have a yarning and
pull towards the street and seeing that every girl
that comes out to hustle on the street at night
should have a privilege become a better citizen.
What makes you feel politics is the way to go
to make this kind of change?
Each time I look at it that I’m going into politics,
I feel somehow, because of the kind of image
politics has in Nigeria, it gives me shivers, I see it
more as public service and if I look at it more in
the area of seeing to getting people developed,
human appreciation, and what I see in my local
government especially the Opebi axis where I
reside baffles me. The rise of prostitution has
gone up by almost 1000%, it never used to be
this bad, back then you can count the number
of girls you see on one hand, but now especially
at that Pekas junction it seems like a trailer
comes to offload them for the night from 7pm.
It looks like the street is pulling them more and
more all because of money, and what they do
depreciates humanity. I think there can be a
change, something can be introduced to these
girls and let them know that there’s a gift on the
inside of them that can improve their
personality and make money with their body by
working hard without having to dehumanize
themselves.
Coming from your background as an
entertainer, do you really think you have
what it takes to make any change in politics?
I think what it takes is the passion for change in
human beings; it’s like saying why is Pastor
Tunde Bakare in politics? Is it that he’s not
getting enough money from the pulpit, it is the
same call to build humanity, and it’s about
spreading the good news through government.
Yes there is a youth ministry, but their attention
seems to be more on sports development and
we have seen how that has bettered the live of
sports practitioners, especially in Football. It’s
only in football that you have platforms for
under 13, under 15, under 17, Flying Eagles and
then Super Eagles, they don’t have such
organized platforms for any other area of youth
development, we don’t have it for models,
fashion or even musicians and actors. The
government can’t boast of any support or effort
to grow these industries so much so that it’s the
effort of these entertainers that has added to
the GDP of Nigeria that has made us to have the
highest GDP in Africa. Personally, I belong to
Kennis Music and 16 years of my life has been
dedicated into human development and that
what we still do, but we do not have any
structure despite the fact that we can see the
potentials. The money or loan they said they
granted the industry, how many people can
come out to say they’ve benefitted from it. So
somebody needs to come into government to
enlighten them and let them know the amount
of tax they can generate if the industry is
properly structured, that’s why I’m going into
the Lagos state government to get this done, for
crying out loud, Lagos is the hub of
entertainment in Africa, we need to get it right,
I’m not just going there so that government can
make money from the people, but most
importantly it’s about youth and human
development, because all we see now is
wastage and that’s why we had the kind of turn
out we had during the recent customs
recruitment exercise, see the number of lives
lost and nothing has been done to the
thousands of unemployed youths that were
present till now. The best way to curb crime is to
create employment and empower the youth
otherwise we will continue to have people
brainwash them into committing petty crimes
for money.
What do you think the present government
is not doing right, in terms of youth
empowerment?
The major over sight and ignorance on the part
of today’s government is the fact that they don’t
seem to realize that the youths make up the
highest number in the present population
demography. Given this, all the government
ministries and parastatals for youth have
remained the same since the time of Gowon,
there hasn’t been any new thing, and most
times the youth ministry mostly falls under
sports or arts and culture. I don’t think the
youth ministry has ever been on its own, such
that it has the capacity of growing and meet the
demands of today’s youth. Back then; the
youths weren’t as intelligent, exposed and
talented as they are today. So my point is, there
is a neglect of youth in this dispensation, that
ministry of youth cannot meet the demands,
the intelligence, expertise and potentials of
today’s youth.
So what’s the solution?
The solution is the reason I want to go into
politics, haven been an entertainment
practitioner for the past 16 years, I’m an expert
in this industry. The government knows how to
get professionals to handle other ministries but
when it comes to youth and entertainment they
don’t, I still say it everywhere that Nigeria’s GDP
rose because of the huge contributions of the
entertainment industry, meanwhile we don’t
have an entertainment ministry or agency
representing the industry as a whole. The
industry is so big that it encompasses movies,
music, modeling, fashion, make up and more.
And when they decide to have entertainment at
government events, they only bring cultural
dancers as if that’s all about entertainment. The
bulk of unemployed Nigerian youths are
actually educated, the energy is just lying fallow,
these energy needs to be channeled into
something positive and productive. At the
moment the energy is in a neutral gear, which
can only be pushed into positive or negative
gears. You can’t just talk about youth
empowerment and gather youth together for
seminars upon seminars without practical ways
of making money. A lot of graduates now have
to learn make up artistry, make small chops, or
learn video production to make ends meet, and
all these that I’ve just mentioned do not fall into
any category in the structure of government.
What if I put it to you that you are going into
politics to make money?
Am I broke? Am I poor? I’ve been blessed,
because what most people are still praying for
and still have on their list of prayer requests I’ve
been given. So if it were money that’s driving
me, it would kill me because I would see so
much money and die. If it’s just money, then I’m
not going to be fulfilled.
Since you made your intention to go into
politics know, what’s been the reaction of
people towards it?
People are excited, and they know what my
family and I have done in the Nigerian
entertainment industry. For instance Davido
has won Best African act awards at 3
international awards this year and yet no
governor or brand has said well done to him for
making Nigeria proud simply because it’s not
sport. Imagine the hype and government
support for Blessing Okagbare who won Gold
at Glasgow, this is simply because we don’t have
a structure to support entertainment. Now that
I’ve decided to stick my neck out to bring
Nigerian youth to the point of relevance, people
are really about it and giving me all the support.
If the government cannot create a ministry for
the entertainment industry, they can create an
agency for it just like LAWMA and co.
What’s the take of your brother (Kenny
Ogungbe) on your decision to go into
politics?
Keke Ogungbe and KSB
I have a wonderful family, because they know
my person and integrity, they know how
compassionate I am about people, and they
know how many people that have passed
through my hands to become superstars. They
also know my will power, that if I set my mind to
do something, you just need to support and
encourage it. They know that I’m a deep person;
I must have thought it through and even gotten
a go ahead from my pastor because they know
I’m close to my pastor. Everyone knows my
brother is sold out for youth development, an
artiste can betray him today, and he’ll still go
ahead to pick up another one, it’s happened
over and over again, but we can’t do it alone,
because this talent in the entertainment is
growing in thousands. So for me it’s not just the
politics, it is the service behind it.
Are you leaving music to focus on politics?
I can’t leave music, music is me I am music.
So how would you combine both?
It’s already balanced, music is what I’ve been
practicing for over 16 years, and while I was
doing it I added parenting to it and nothing is
more demanding than parenting, and then
along the line I added my own personal
business to it, so politics is just another job
that’s been added to all the things I do and
don’t forget I’m very involved in church activities
too. So politics is not going to take away music
from me, and going forward, there’s a new
approach towards my music, I’m slowing down
but I’m not going out. I’ll be doing softer music,
I’m not doing music anymore such that I can be
invited to perform on stage, there are a lot of
hands on those kind of, so I have to make a
different music that would motivate and inspire
people, it’ll be more enjoyable, laid back and
soft. So there’s no way being in public office
would affect that, after all when Donald Duke
was governor he was still doing music.
Do you belong to any political party yet?
Yes, I’m a card carrying member of APC and also
a delegate here in Onigbongbo local
government.
Why APC and not any other party?
Well it’s because APC stands for change, if you
want a change would you rather not go to a
party that has the track record of bringing about
changes? I think it’s a symbiotic relationship, I
want to make a change they also stand for
change, so I feel we can work together to bring
about the change, and apart from all these
we’ve also seen the change they’ve done in
states that they have ruled, Lagos, Osun and
Ogun states ate perfect examples, even Ibadan
has transformed, it’s been a story of mega and
unbelievable change.
How well do you know your opponents?
The beauty of this political season is that they
want 35% female participation; it has never
been like this before, so there’s room for
women to come out. Of course I know a few of
my opponents, but that’s not the issue, the
issue is my passion to bring happiness to the
Nigerian youth. I have passion for the Nigerian
youth and this passion would not let me sleep if
I don’t act on it.
Nigerians are used to politicians making
promises and not doing and not doing
anything…
(Cuts in) I’m not a politician, I am a servant, I’ve
been in public service for over 16 years as an
entertainer, I am a household name already,
I’m a youth pastor, I’m always motivating the
youth, so this is my life, I’m not a politician, I
just want to serve and if the platform that
would give me the opportunity to serve is
politics then I’m ready for it. If I don’t perform
my duties, let the people stone me and say KSB
you have failed the Nigerian youths.

Kenny-Saint-Brown fcmnew.com

Kenny-Saint-Brown fcmnew.com

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