This is definitely the most revealing interview
about popular television presenter, Denrele Edun
Read all he told entertainment reporter Ademola
Olonilua about his style, career and love life.
Continues after the cut.
Recently, a picture of you dressed in normal
clothes went viral online. What made you dress
It was something that was very experimental and
it was on the television show, Moments with Mo.
The owner of Ebony Life TV, Mo Abudu, called me
and told me that they would like to do a special
feature on me to be aired on January 1, 2015. I
felt it was a fantastic idea but I did not know that
I would be dressed in normal clothes.
They went to where I grew up and interviewed
people in my area. When I got to the studio, the
was trying to make me wear some ‘unusual’
clothes and I was very surprised. Initially, I
thought she was styling for a client who probably
was of my size but only using me as a guinea pig.
But when we started the show, the stylist came
with a rack of normal clothes and flat shoes. I had
a lot of extensions in my hair but they ripped that
off on the set and it was a live recording. My
natural hair was packed to the back and I was
styled in two different looks. I wore shorts,
something I had not done for about a decade
because of my skinny legs but it was an exciting
experience. I also did another one for Complete
Fashion magazine which I did with Beverly Naya.
We were just experimenting with the brand.
That was a long while ago. The last time I tried it
was at a show in Abuja called Runway. I had
hosted the first and second edition, so I wanted
to do something different for the third edition.
When it was time for my first entrance, I
borrowed a suit from a friend who was of similar
body structure, packed my hair, wore flat shoes
and dark sunglasses. When I was announced,
people were clapping but when I got on stage,
they stopped because they did not recognise me.
I felt so uncomfortable. I kept stumbling in the
flat shoes and I was sweating profusely because
of the tie. Underneath the suit, I wore my
‘normal’ clothes and so when I got tired, I
removed the shirt and suit on stage and
somebody brought my shoes for me. I just
wanted to make a crazy grand entrance. This was
about two years ago.
How come you stumble when you wore flat
I know it is weird but I think it is because I am
used to very high shoes. Most of my shoes are
uncomfortable but over time, I have sacrificed
comfort for fashion. Now I am used to
uncomfortable shoes especially those that are not
evenly balanced. Even wearing slippers is weird to
Don’t you experience leg pains when you wear
Fashion is pain but I am used to it now. There was
a particular time I went to a club and I stumbled
down the stairs because some people accidentally
pushed me. They wanted to take pictures with
me and they were trying to get my attention, in
the process I fell. My leg got stuck in the banister
and was sprained. I could feel my leg swelling in
my big shoes but I refused to remove it. I limbed
from the club to my car. People pressured me to
remove the shoe but I refused and when I got
home, my ankle had swollen. I am used to that.
How do you dress when you are indoors?
Most times I wear my sister’s T-shirts with regular
denim jeans. If the weather is hot and there is no
one to turn on the generator for me, I would walk
naked round the house. I do that a lot. I also have
a long kaftan that has a hood and looks scary, I
wear that at home. But I am hardly at home
because I always have various engagements to
attend. Whenever I get home tired, I just sleep in
the clothes I wore out.
People still argue that you are homosexual?
Over time, they have labelled me as a
homosexual, heterosexual, bi-sexual, I have been
called all sorts of names. When people see that
you are successful in the entertainment industry,
they try to peddle some negative stories about
you. Maybe they call me names because of the
way I dress. When I started out and people began
calling me such names, I found it very disturbing,
annoying, and demeaning but I laugh about it
now. When I am asked about my sexuality, I just
tell them that I am a sexual outlaw. I don’t think
my sexuality should be an issue because I am
doing my work very well.
But are you gay?
All I can say to that is that I am a sexual outlaw.
There was a time you used to wear female
I still wear them. There was a night we were
going to the beach and everyone knows that if
you do not wear flat shoes to the beach, it could
be quite uncomfortable. But because I wanted to
be crazy that night as I don’t drink or smoke, I
wore a female timberland boot with high heels to
I got the shoe as a gift. It was hell walking with
the shoes in the sand but I wore them to dance
and I rocked them well. I remember D’banj and
Ikechukwu were there and they were making
funny comments, asking whether I wanted to
break my teeth.
Whenever I am on stage and I wear these shoes,
some people think I do it to get attention. Some
say I do it to find men who are sexually attracted
to me but that is not true. It is just about doing
the unusual. A lot of men wear shoes with high
heels outside the country. I am not saying it is a
trend people should follow because they can
break their legs. I think wearing female shoes just
to my personality. The female shoes give the kind
of clothes I wear an extra edge.
Do you think you can keep up with your brand
identity when you are older?
Yes, I think I can but maybe not in stiletto heels.
My brand identity is not fake; I did not create this
identity because I want to be in the news or
remain controversial. This has been me right from
People see me and say I dress like Lady Gaga and
I laugh. Lady Gaga started singing in 2006 and I
have been dressing like this way before then. I
have no influences whatsoever and I just wanted
to be different from every other guy. This level of
high edged, spontaneous, gothic, creative look is
embedded in my system and it runs through my
Even when I am 70 years old, I would still be like
this and I know I would be a funky grandfather.
That is why I respect Charly Boy till date for his
relevance and consistency. He is still a rockstar
and a biker for life. I don’t think I will lose this
identity for anything in the world.
Are you in a relationship?
I am single. I am not going to deny the fact that I
am human and I have feelings. I would not say
that I have been celibate or lonely because that
would be a lie. I am not celibate; however, I am
quite principled when it comes to relationships.
God has blessed me and still blessing me, so I
would not misuse the privilege of my job to use
and dump all the ladies that constantly come my
way. Some ladies think that being with me would
place them at a certain level and because of that,
they throw themselves at me but I do not misuse
the privilege I have.
That does not mean that I am a saint. I am not a
saint. There is somebody in the picture but we
are not so sure of our status right now. We have
been tossing it back and forth for a while. We are
still deliberating. The person is fully committed
but I am not really ready. I feel like I have
frustrated her to a large extent and she has
tolerated me for a very long time. We have been
friends for a while. I am a very inconsistent
person; she could call or send a message and I
will not reply until after five days. I will not use my
job as an excuse because it would be a wrong
thing to do.
What can be done to catch your attention?
Nothing really; I just love people that are natural
and down to earth. I love people who can make
dialogue with me in a matter of seconds. I don’t
want a yes-man around me. I have met people
like that in the course of time. I have also met
very interesting people.
A girl once asked me at a point in time if I could
change my brand identity for her and I willingly
agreed. I told her I would change for her because
she was somebody I really liked. But
unfortunately, things did not work out. This was
about four years ago. I still like her and my close
friends know that I still like her a lot. She was
seeing someone at the time and I was willing to
share her. That was how much I liked her. I would
not say she was extremely gorgeous but there
was something very special about her that I could
not lay my fingers on. Her name is Yvonne. But
that is in the past.
So it is possible for you to change for love?
At that point, I was willing to. But now, I will think
twice about it. I sincerely doubt I can change for
any woman. I have had my fingers burnt so many
times, I don’t think I am willing to make that
sacrifice for anyone. I have made a lot of sacrifices
for people, now it is their turn to start making
sacrifices for me.
I am not leaving my career or changing for
anybody. I would rather stay single because at
the end of the day, it is about inner happiness.
Inner happiness is something that took me a
while to find because I was trying to make too
many people happy at my own detriment but I
realised at the end of the day only my happiness
matters. Now that I have peace of mind that, I
don’t owe anybody any favours.
This is definitely the most revealing interview