Popular artiste and entrepreneur, Ruggedman, tells JOY MARCUS, about his trip to Dublin
Where was the most interesting place you have been to and what was the purpose of your visit?
Dublin, I travelled there on holiday and I also had a show there.
Where did you stay and how long was the trip?
I was in Dublin for almost a month. I put up at a very nice place, close to a popular place called Temple Road. It’s a long road where you see a lot of people doing different things like playing drums, singing, etc. just for money.
What fascinated you the most about Dublin?
It was insanely quiet especially when you are not in the areas that have a lot of people. I stayed in a place called Dundalk for a day. The place is so quiet that at a point, I had to stand on the road just to see other people; and trust me, it took almost 40 minutes for a car to pass by. I suddenly started missing the sound of generators.
Does Dublin share any similarities with Nigeria?
I think the only similarity between Nigeria and Dublin is that there are a lot of Nigerians in Dublin. However, they behave themselves unlike when they are in Nigeria. Dublin is one of the few places where you find people already drunk in the afternoon. In Ireland, most of what they do is to drink and engage in other things that I can’t reveal.
What did you find particularly interesting about the country?
It’s the mixed culture. I know in Nigeria we have a lot of that but in Dublin, it was interesting to discover that they also have a mixed culture.
Did you visit any interesting place in the country?
As an artiste, you won’t have the time to do all that but I visited Dublin around March which is the month they observe the St. Patrick’s Day and I also visited Temple Road.
What was the highlight of your trip?
It was the St. Patrick’s Day because I met a lot of Nigerians during the carnival, but unfortunately, I missed the Nigerian flute while I was looking for Internet to post pictures; and also, when I had to get on a very crazy ride. I didn’t want to go on the ride but because of the girls with us and everyone was looking at me, I had to do so due to shame and ego. After that day, I said to myself that I would never allow ego to determine whatever decision I want to take.
How was the weather when you visited?
It was very cold; I was dressed like Captain America. I wore a head warmer, muffler and clothes that would cover every part of my body except for my face but at a point when I touched my face, I felt it was frozen. Despite the cold, I was out there doing what I had to do.
Did you try any of their local dishes?
Not really, I am not too adventurous when it comes to food. I love Mac Donald’s or Nando’s; so, I ate there a lot of times. Afterwards, I looked for where to get Nigerian food.
What are some of the things you saw in Dublin and would love them to be replicated in Nigeria?
That would be their government. They take care of their citizens and when their women are pregnant, they care for them.
Are the Irish friendly?
They are very friendly. There was a time I was recording and some group of white guys came to enquire about my nationality. After I told them, one of the guys just jumped in front of the camera and started calling out all his friends in Nigeria, saying, ba wo ni (how are you)? Whenever I carried my camera, there was a white guy or girl ready to dance and ask me where I was from. Some of them knew a lot about Nigeria.
Did you travel with anyone?
No, I travelled alone.
How is their entertainment industry, compared with ours?
They are way ahead of us when it comes to entertainment because they are already at the global level. Although we are not on the same level, we are doing our best to put some structures in place.
Which country will you love to visit next and why will you love to visit the place?
I want to travel to Trinidad and Tobago. I have been in love with Miss Trinidad and Tobago for so many years. I watched a particular Miss World edition and ever since, I have been in love with Miss Trinidad and Tobago. I want to go there because I know it is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
What is the best travel advice that has worked for you?
My best travel advice for anyone is to make sure you have all your papers, so you can move round freely in any country. Don’t enter any country illegally because they will pull you out so fast when you least expect it. I remember when I travelled to Malaysia, I was at a place and all of a sudden, a lot of people started running around and unfortunately, there were Nigerians among them. They were running because immigration officers had blocked the entrance of the place and began screening everybody’s papers. So before you travel, make sure you get everything right.