Toni Payne, estranged wife of Nigerian artiste, 9ice, spoke to ’Nonye Ben-Nwankwo of the Punch about the many controversies surrounding her life and the good things too. She also said she can never beg 9ice to take her back, “Me? Never.” But what’s with she and Ruggedman?
See a brief excerpt from what she said below:
Do you regret coming back home?
I don’t. I was even saying so this morning. If I didn’t, the curiosity would have been too much; I would have missed out on a lot of things. I’m glad I came back home. My feet are so well grounded. I know what I want and I know what I am capable of doing.
For somebody who is into PR, how come negative publicity has followed you in the short while you’ve been in Nigeria?I will not let negative publicity control my life. It can’t make me not to live the kind of life I want to live. That means the people behind it have won. Some other persons would have run back to the States, but I didn’t and I will not. It is a little bit harder to manage yourself in terms of PR. I managed it well. I did as much as possible to reverse the notion about me. The terrain was even new to me. I kept wondering why people would want to say bad stuff about me. But now I have learnt, once I read or hear anything bad about me, I write my defence on Twitter.
What has kept you going?
I’ve been busy. A lot of people would have suffered from acute depression. I got angry at times but I was determined not to be broken. People ended up liking me. They found out I was the opposite of what was said about me.
Do you have any issues with K Solo?
I 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.
How are you coping as a single mother?
My son still has a father who is alive. It is not hard. He is well taken care of. I’m doing very well. It is not a big deal. Things happen, I will not be the first and I will not be the last.
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?
I 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?
There 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…
When 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?
No 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?
Me? 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?
Of 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?
They 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.