Toni Payne, estranged wife of Nigerian artiste, 9ice spoke to PUNCH’s Nonye Ben-Nwankwo about the many controversies surrounding her lifeExcerpts:
Do you know music so much that you had to go on social media to criticise Tonto Dike’s song?
I didn’t do that.
But where did the story come from?
know where it came from. I was at an event and somebody asked me what I
thought of her song. I said she is a woman like me and she is trying.
We are not all perfect. The next thing, I started reading online was
that Tony Payne said this and that about Tonto Dike’s song. I was
amazed. I never said anything negative about her songs. I have heard the
song just once on the radio.
But what do you think of her music?
haven’t really heard it. I don’t believe in abusive criticism. If I
listen to the music, I might even end up liking it because of all the
abuses she has got.
Why did you come back to Nigeria?
got married. I just had to move back home. I felt I should have a close
knit family. I got into working in Nigeria and I have been having fun.
Do you have any issues with K Solo?
don’t have any issues with him. We are not friends. We’ve never sat
down to have a 10-minute conversation. The issue with him came up
because I follow him on Twitter and I saw the comment he made concerning
his son. The mother in me couldn’t take it. I was angry about why he
could say such concerning an innocent child on social media. That was
it.Have you ruled out marriage?
Everything is in God’s hands. I will not rule out that aspect.
What if 9ice comes back to you?
(laughs) No comment. I will not answer that. I cannot predict the future.
What is this story that he snubbed you at an event?
don’t know where that story came from. How could he have snubbed me? We
are not enemies. He didn’t snub me at any event. I got to the event
quite early. At that point, I was about leaving. And because there were
too many eyes on me, I just had to stay awhile. It was even later that
he asked me if I was at the event.Do you still talk?
Oh yes we talk. We have a child together. We are friends.
During the brouhaha, you were outspoken, why?
will be a time in the future when my son will be able to browse the
Internet and read up all the stuff that happened. I didn’t want him to
ask me why I didn’t defend myself. That was what inspired my own
decision. I didn’t care whatever consequences that came out from my
defending myself. I had to defend myself.
Why did you marry 9ice? So many people were of the view you were taken by his fame…
I met him, he wasn’t that popular. I met him before the stardom. He was
somebody whose personality I liked. It didn’t have anything to do with
his being a celebrity. I saw a person I liked. I didn’t look at his
status. I would say he was the first guy I was ever really in love with.
Was he your first boyfriend?
No. he wasn’t. But he was the first guy I had genuine love for.
Who was your first boyfriend?
It was one guy. We still talk. I’m not going to mention his name. He is still my friend.
How did you feel when you heard that another lady now has kids for 9ice?
comment. I am not going to say anything concerning that. I don’t even
know about it. I read about it in the papers. But then, I have read so
many things about me that weren’t true in the papers. However, true or
not, I will not talk about it.
It is more than two years since you separated. Are you now officially divorced?
I’ll not say anything about that. I’m sure 9ice will not tell you either.
We learnt you went back to beg him to take you back?
Never. I did not. I know where the story came out from. Somebody close
to him was feeding the press with the story. For some reasons known to
him, he never liked me. He was the one that was always talking about me
and coming up with such stories.
I guess you mean his former manager, Deinde?
Yes. And since he left him, no story has been said about me. I didn’t go to beg 9ice to take me back. Why would I do that?
Did you actually sleep with Ruggedman?
course I did not. I can categorically tell you I did not. Ruggedman has
been my friend. But even before then, we didn’t see. And even after the
whole incident, we have hardly seen. The last time I saw Rugged was
during Occupy Nigeria. I have not seen him again since then.
Would you want Ruggedman and 9ice to be friends again?
are adults so they should make their own decisions. But then again, I
want peace between them. The fight was not warranted. There shouldn’t
have been any fight in the first place. The song that caused the problem
wasn’t about me. I was there when the song was recorded. I can still
remember what I cooked that day. I cooked jollof rice and I diced the
meat I used in cooking the rice. The lady referred to in the song was
not me. All the attributes didn’t have anything to do with me. I don’t
have tattoos. The last time I checked, I wasn’t bisexual as the lady
referred to in the song. It was just a song but people just chose to
believe whatever would suit them.