With a father from Switzerland and a mother from Itsekiri, Delta State,Tee Mac Omatsola Iseli has been into the business of music since the age of eight. The musician who is more recognized for his versatility with the flute, was born in Nigeria and has tons of businesses in the country. A former President of Practitioners Musicians Employer’s Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Tee Mac is known to have used his goodwill to canvass for the growth of the Nigerian music industry.
It’s been a while, what have you been up to?
I’m been busy all along. I am looking forward to performing at the Lagos International Jazz Festival in December 20th 2015. Then in April, I will be in Denmark, Norway, France, Spain and England. And I’m also developing two mining fields at the moment. I’m into mining of copper in Rivers State, Borno State and Nasarrawa State.
How are you able to combine music and mining?
Because I’m an entertainer doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t get involved in other businesses. In Switzerland, I studied music and business. I have a degree in Refining and a Ph.D in Philosophical Position. So when I made a lot of money in the 70s, I came home and invested in mining in five states and 11 mining cites. Musicians should invest so that we can leave something for our children.
You origin is rooted in both Switzerland and Nigeria……….
I was born in Nigeria. My mother was from Itsekiri. She was the daughter of Olu of Warri. My father was the Switzerland ambassador to Nigeria. He was assassinated when I was three years old and then two years later, my mother married his assistant, Omobolaji Bank-Anthony
How does it make you feel knowing that you are related to the late and revered Mobolaji bank-Anthony?
The question should be, how would he feel to know he’s related to me? I don’t think there’s anything special knowing him. I’ve lived in Switzerland and my father and uncles are from very wealthy backgrounds. They are industrialists who paid for me and my two sister’s education. Bank Anthony was my father’s assistant so, I can’t say I liked him.
Would you have loved to have been born by a Nigerian father because you seem to like Nigeria so much?
I was born here so, it means there’s a reason why I was born in Nigeria not Switzerland. I’ve been connected to Nigeria for many years now. Yes, Nigeria has problems. Every country has problems.
You were one of those rooting for outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan during his campaign to return as president. Why did you get yourself involved?
Yes and that is because I’ve had the opportunity of interacting with him when he was the Deputy governor and later, the governor of Bayelsa State when his father died. I also interacted with met him as the Vice President of the Niger- Delta Scheme and again when the late President Musa Ya’radua was on the saddle. I’ve met him so many times and I think he’s faithful. If every Nigerian had the opportunity like me to meet him face to face, there will be no pressure from anybody because he’s honest, hardworking, and if anything had gone wrong during his tenure, you shouldn’t blame him. I will always defend him.
Are you really kid singer, Ozzy Bosco’s father?
I am Daddy Bosco.
It must be fulfilling to have him take after you in the entertainment industry
It’s fun. We do our best to give him the right training like taking him to the studio, do the mixing and we take it from there.
What’s your take on the Nigerian music industry?
We need a lot of financing and education. We have those who are not ready to work hard in it. I started music at the age of eight and I still find time to practice and work hard on my skills. You’ll find out that many of our young artistes don’t know what music really is. They just go into the studio, mix beats and then sing to it. They cover up their voices with a lot of things but there’s much more to doing professional music. There’s a lot of talent in the industry. I was the elected president of PMAN for four years and saw that the industry needs help. We need a lot of financing.
What would you have loved him to do for the music industry if he was re-elected?
I would have proposed that he makes funds available for the industry and appoint a minister that will be in charge. But remember, you need to give the money to credible people who will use the money for what it’s meant for.
What about the N200 million grant he made available before now?
Yes the money is somewhere and because of the budget and projects presented by many, we had to put the money on hold.
So that means the money is still available
Yes. But to access it, you must be ready to pay an interest loan of 7 per cent as well as have a business plan and with the decision of the committee, you can grab your part.
What you don’t know about Tee Mac
- His first degree is in Economics from the University of St Gallen, Switzerland
- He specialized in classical music concert performance and Philharmonic composition at the University of Lausanne.
- He is one of the pioneers of the Classical Music Society of Nigeria which eventually metamorphosed into the Muson center, Nigeria’s leading music school.
- He was awarded the MFR by President Musa Yar’adua in 2009 for his vital role in brokering peace with the Niger Delta militants and fighting for their rehabilitation
- He has had a career span of 40 years
- He has produced 11 albums
- He has a honorary doctorate degree in Arts from the Bradley University, Illinois
- He is chairman of several businesses, some of which are: Chairman Allied Minerals Ltd, Chairman Tee Mac petroleum Nig. Ltd, Chairman Tee Mac productions etc.