Caroline Danjuma (nee Ekanem) was one of Nollywood’s most promising actresses, a couple of years back before she left the industry to start a new life with her husband, Musa Danjuma. And ever since little or nothing has been heard about her as regards her acting career. She however shocked everyone as she floated her own entertainment outfit, Guepard Record Label which has already signed on a couple of promising artistes. Guepard Record Label is a first class company that promises to set a new record and standard in the Nigeria entertainment industry. She has acquired a world class world class equipments and capable hands for the company.

The company has two divisions; the visual and audio sections. The visual deals with Film and TV production, while the audio incorporates her Guepard Record label. It handles radio jingles, post production, hiring of equipments and event management. In this interview, she opens on to City People Fashion Editor, BOLA AKINBOADE on what led to the floating of her own record label and what the company entails. She also opens up on why her marriage has been a blessing, and the fact that her husband has been very supportive of her career.

How did the idea of floating a Record Label come about?

I’ve always loved to sing, I’ve always loved music; and when I got older and learnt how to handle a business, I said to myself , let me just do this, follow one of my passions and run with it! And now the music industry in Nigeria is booming; growing exponentially by the day. I want to be a part of this monumental change, and also contribute positively in terms of nurturing talents and producing world class music. That is the core objective of why I chose to float a record label

Can you then give us a brief detail of what the record label is all about?

First and foremost, Guepard Records is a subsidiary of Guepard Productions; a rapidly growing production company that has been responsible for some of the top-notch audio visual productions you see around. The name Guepard, is the French word for Cheetah, which to us is a symbol of grace, silent strength and determination.

These are the attributes by which we run the record label and are clearly evident in all our operations across board. Like we constantly say at Guepard Records; we are the Epitome of Music, which means that everything from sound, production and promotion, are done according to international, world class standards. We are all about adding value to the entertainment industry, which is why we are constantly on our toes to ensure that our artistes, producers and promotional team operate under the strictest levels of professionalism and international standards, so that our music is able to compete favorably in the global market. We want to give Nigerians home and abroad, music that they will be proud to identify with.

How many artistes have you signed on?

We have 3 artistes presently signed on to Guepard Records. There is J2D – ‘The Dynamic Dancehall Duo’ made of up Jifera (the lead rapper), and Slim D (the backup singer and songwriter). Their genre of music is basically ragga dancehall, but with a smattering of ‘Nigerianess’ so you are not in doubt as to where they are from. Then we have Le Soul aka ‘Mr Certified’ an R&B/Pop singer with the ability to compete favorably and even floor some of the greatest R&B singers of this time. As time goes on, we hope to expand the repertoire of artistes we represent by delving into other genres such as Jazz, Rap, Neo-Soul and the likes

What are the criteria for choosing those artistes?

Basically the 3 artistes were selected because of ONE thing; and that is TALENT. They are ALL incredibly talented and show extreme passion for what they do. It’s amazing and humbling at the same time to work with musicians who are so gifted. A classic example is when Jifera of J2D did freestyle, on-the-spot cover to Gyptian’s ‘Hold Yuh’ at the Glamourous Gig listening party. It was so amazing! Same thing for Le Soul who can out-sing and out-perform some of the most seasoned and talented R&B artistes in the world. That is the kind of talent we constantly look out for at Guepard Records, and that is why we signed our artistes on

Tell us, where is all this inspiration from?

Like I said earlier, I have a passion for music, but even more I recognize and I’m able to understand what it takes to make good music, from pre to post production. This isn’t just a hobby for me or a favorite past time, I am determined to show that finely honed talent and excellent production can actually be exported from Nigeria to the rest of the world. Guepard Records hopes to change the perception that Nigerian music is all sound and no content; we are determined to ensure that Nigeria occupies an enviable position in the international music industry.

You used to be a highly promising actress, but after marriage you went off scene. Have you ever missed the acting part of your life?

Well, it’s a talent that I have, so in some way I do miss it. However, I am now focusing on being a Movie and Music Video Director so in actual fact it really isn’t something that is outside the sphere of acting; what it is, is that I am now taking it a step further and branching out into new horizons.

You were on top of your career when you got married 3 years ago; it came as a pleasant surprise. So how has marriage been with you?

My marriage has been extremely wonderful. No marriage is ever perfect without the usual challenges that occur, but mine has been a tremendous experience. I am blessed with a wonderful and caring husband, under whose love and care I have blossomed into who I am now. He is really the wind beneath my wings, because he has been very supportive, understanding and caring. I always say that he is the best husband in the world. If I had a chance to come back in the next world I would marry him again (General laughter)

But one remarkable thing about you is how you quickly settled into marital life and motherhood. Does that have to do with your upbringing?

First of all it has a lot to do with my upbringing. I grew up under the strict supervision of my grandmother who constantly told me that a beautiful woman must always have brains, and must ensure that she uses her intellect to uphold her family. And apart from that, I have seen that a woman who supports her husband and makes him happy, is more likely to be supported and made happy herself; so it’s basically what you give that you get.

Though your marriage is still very young, but it’s been a success. Can you share some tips on how to make your marriage work, especially celebrity couples?

I don’t think there is anything like ‘celebrity couple’; every marriage needs massive amounts of unconditional love, patience and prayer. And even though I am relatively new in the marriage institution, experience has shown me that once both parties have mutual love, respect and understanding towards each other, then they’ll be able to weather any storm that comes their way.

What does your schedule look like when it comes to your family and career? Do you ever have time for yourself?

Well I am Caroline Danjuma; wife and mother first, before I’m Caroline Danjuma the Managing Director; so in essence my family does come first. However, because I have a husband who is extremely supportive and understanding of what I do, I can strike a balance between both worlds and transition seamlessly from one to another. It takes a lot of hard work, intricate juggling and excellent time management, but I do manage to get it all done. And yes I still find a little ‘me-time’ to re-boot and re-energize myself.