In our continent, it is no secret that Nigerian artists hold the African flag the highest on international stages. From collaborating with heavyweights such as Rick Ross (no pun intended) to getting record deals with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music to winning BET awards, Nigerians have done it all. The latest singer from Africa’s largest country to make waves is an heiress who goes by the name of Abimbola ‘Bim’ Fernandez.
This beauty, daughter of Nigerian billionaire Antonio Deinde Fernandez, is aiming to be the next Rihanna, who happens to be her biggest musical influence. Bim, who has a new single out, sat for an interview with the New York Post.
The 24-year-old New York-based singer believes she has what it takes to be the next Riri. She told the paper that: “Money can’t buy you a record deal. It can’t buy you good music. You can either sing or you can’t”. She has managed to score herself a deal with SMH Records.
She also pointed out that she has embarked on her career without the help of her father, who is believed to be among the world’s wealthiest men. He is reportedly worth an astounding $8, 7 billion. However, she revealed that she does get from him an insane amount of money each month.
A music video of her single, “Let’s Take It Naked”, is expected soon. Ah, a song about being naked! Something indeed her role model, Rihanna would do. Bim insists though that “it’s not even that racy of a song!” She says, “It’s very poppy, like, ‘I think you’re cute! Do you like? So let’s get naked!’ I want it to be that song where it’s like, ‘Turn that song on! Let’s get ready! Let’s do shots!’ ”
Abimbola didn’t have the kind of childhood you and I could afford. At seven she was riding an elephant for an African safari-themed bash. Some of her family friends included the late Nelson Mandela, whom she called ‘uncle’, and Kofi Annan.
Her 80-year-old father, a retired UN ambassador, owns gold and diamond mines in Central African Republic. He is so reclusive that he has always encouraged his family to be private, and it is reported that he will not eat in a restaurant unless it is entirely empty so that he can be alone.
So, given the type of person Mr. Fernandez is and the kind of career his daughter has chosen, it is no wonder that Bim says he is profoundly concerned about her pursuing the spotlight.
“He’s terrified because I’m his baby – especially with me revealing my wealth. He’s terrified of someone kidnapping me and holding me for ransom”, she says.
She says she wants to prove to the world that she’s not a spoilt brat as some people think she is, and that she can actually work for herself and make her own money.
Apart from her musical career, the Nigerian princess is a socialite who is at the final stages of negotiating for her reality TV pilot to be picked up by a major network. Let’s hope instead of being the next Rihanna, she won’t be the next Paris Hilton – stuck in the socialite box, and trying so hard to be taken seriously as a singer.
Written by: Moza Moyo