Saturday, 6 April 2013

I might still marry a younger man –Queen Ure

Queen UreFormer pastor-turned singer, Queen Ure, talks about her estranged husband, Soul E, the collapse of her church, her alleged affair with her producer, Dude Tetsola, and other issues in this interview with ’Nonye Ben-Nwankwo
How has it been all this while?
Things have been great. I launched my album, Porpori, last year. I have become a professional singer. Music has always been a part of me and I knew there would come a time that I would go fully into it. I think that time has come. My video has been on air for a while.
What is the album all about?
It is a 15-track album. It has different kinds of music, such as hip hop, gospel, R and B. It is an expression of the totality of who I am.
What is happening to your banking career?

I have worked in several banks such as Diamond Bank, Platinum Bank and FinBank and I was part of the executive of Centage Bank. But that was in the past. I am no longer in the banking sector though I still work with the corporate sector. I still train and coach. But music is the number one thing I do. Every other thing is secondary. Life comes in stages. You get to a particular point and you know that this is the time for something different. It was wonderful being in the corporate world. It was a platform and foundation for me to get into who I am in terms of the talent I have.
Now that we have so many female singers in the country, how do you hope to compete with them?
Life for me is not about competition but cooperation. When you cooperate with the people there, it will become a bigger industry. There are so many great singers. The more the merrier. I intend to be coming out with good music, meaningful songs that will pass the message and entertain the people. I will be my best. I don’t want to outdo anybody. Everybody has her own style. I will bring out the best in me.
Was it your quest for something new that made you open a church some time ago?
Oh no. Ministry is a part of me. I am a natural uplifter. I am a natural speaker. I have been a church goer most of my life. I was into church when I was in secondary school. That was why I became the Chapel Prefect in my school – Federal Government Girls College, Owerri.
This is not a new thing.
But you are no longer a pastor…
No, I am no longer a pastor. But that doesn’t take away the fact that I still reach out. Ministry is all about reaching out, whether you are on the pulpit, whether you are singing, as long as you are reaching out.
So what happened to the church?
I am not a pastor any more so the congregation is no longer there. I was away most of the time in 2011, and I handed the ministry to someone else. You know how it is, if it is not the founder, it is really not the founder. There were some challenges and they couldn’t continue. When I returned, I knew it wasn’t something I wanted to continue and I decided to let it be and move into my music career.
Even before you became a singer and a pastor, you were always in the news, for negative reasons. Why?
First of all, I have always been a singer. The first time I recorded an album was in 2006. This is not something I just started to do now. I had a music group when I was in the university though it was a gospel group. Talking about negative publicity, I don’t think any right thinking person would enjoy such. If the stories were true, then it would have been okay. But when you just take something and make up a lot of things around it, that is when you have a problem. But I have learnt to detach myself from peoples’ opinions. If you attach yourself to peoples’ opinions, you will lose focus. That is what has kept me all the while. I do what I want to do without minding what anybody thinks about it.
Was that why you married the singer, Soul E, who was more than 10 years your junior?
I don’t even want to talk about it. We broke up in 2008. This is 2013. I don’t know why people keep going back to it.
There is no way your name will be mentioned and Soul E will not come into it. Remember nobody really believed that the marriage would work out…
(cuts in) Honestly, I really do not want to talk about it. It has been a long time. I am facing my music. I can’t keep going back to Soul E.
But so many people could not understand why you got into the marriage…
Well, it was because he professed so much love for me. It is true. It wasn’t something that came from me. He kept confessing undying love. People kept asking him if he knew what he was doing. Well, since I wasn’t in any serious relationship and this person claimed that he loved me, I decided to give it a shot.
Were his feelings returned? Did you love him as well?
I loved him, the feelings were returned. He was the one that walked away. I gave it my best but he chose to walk away. You are not going to tie somebody and tell him he must stay with you, not at all. I am not someone who will make so much effort to tell somebody who wants to go away to stay back. I don’t even think I will do that. If anybody wants to walk away, you let the person go.
If Soul E had eventually come back, would you have taken him back?
Soul E is married. But even at that, I doubt if I would have taken him back.
But there is Dude Tetsola now and he is a young singer as well. Some people are already saying that you are in a relationship since both of you are always together.
Dude produced two of the songs in my album. We worked together and we decided to collaborate in the songs. If you listen to him, you will find out that he is a talented guy. He added some colour to the album. We work together, he is my colleague and he is a fantastic person. He is my friend.
Just friends?
Of course. It is platonic. I am an open person. I don’t hide things. We attend most events together. We work together. He helped me to do a lot of things when I launched my album. I am not in a relationship with him. What we even have is better than a relationship. Friendship is even better than a relationship. He is my friend. A normal friendship works better for me with guys than girls. I have only brothers. I don’t have a sister. I am used to guys around me. Seeing me with a guy doesn’t necessarily mean there is something going on. People will continue seeing me with Dude but I am not in a relationship with him.
There is always a stigma attached to a divorcee, doesn’t it bother you?
No way. It doesn’t bother me in any way. I am happy. I am glad about life. I am well and I am pursuing my dream. Things are working well for me and I am healthy. I have reasons to thank God. For some time now, nobody has said anything about me. There has been calm because there is no relationship to talk about. My parents know the kind of industry I am into. They love me. I am their last child and their only female. They want me happy. Oh yes, they want me to be happily married with children. I do want that as well. I am still hopeful.
You have not ruled it out?
Why will I rule it out? Love is a part of life. It will happen on you. It is not something you look for. You don’t go about looking for love, just live your life happily and it will come when it will come.
So are you in any relationship now?
I am not planning any wedding at the moment.
That wasn’t the question…
But that is the reason people get into a relationship. But I am not in a relationship. I am not planning any marriage soon.
Some people get into relationship because they want companions…
My platonic friends are okay for me. They are my companions.
Some people need somebody they can cuddle and make love to at night…
I agree with you. It is necessary. But you can also get to a point where you can be happy with your life when there is nobody to cuddle and just look forward to having somebody to cuddle. Right now, I can cuddle my pillow. My pillow is there for me. Is it not better to cuddle the person who will be there forever than to cuddle somebody who after a while, you will look by your side and the person is no more there? I am taking my time.
Will you marry somebody that is younger than you again?
I can still marry somebody that I am older than. Age is not a major criterion. The important things are sincerity, honesty and integrity. Love can fling you in any direction. If it is somebody who is much older, then so be it. If it is somebody who is my age, it is okay. And if it is somebody who is much younger than me, I am open to life.
Wouldn’t you have any reservation marrying somebody younger than you again?
I don’t live in the past and I don’t let the past control my thinking. What I will look out for are integrity and sincerity. I was deeply hurt by what happened in my past marriage but I got over it. I am not somebody who wallows in something negative. You get hurt but you clean up yourself and move on. It takes some people years and months to move on. If you will eventually get over something, why don’t you just do it immediately and move on?


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