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Entertainment of Monday, 2 May 2022

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How Portable became overnight celebrity, his many controversies

Nigerian singer Portable Nigerian singer Portable

Like him or hate him, Portable remains one of the fastest-growing Nigerian singers in the last five months.

Before December 2021, fans knew little or nothing about Habeeb Okikiola, now famous as Portable.

The 27-year-old Sango Ota-based singer stumbled into fame with the release of his hit song, Zazu Zeh, which gradually won the heart of fans and quickly grew into fans’ favourite song.

Since its release on December 14, 2021, the song ‘Zazu Zeh’ has amassed 6.6 million views on YouTube and is one of the most played songs on Spotify, an online audio streaming platform.

Little wonder, Portable felt the song was deserving of a Grammy award.

A few days after the song’s release, Portable shot into the limelight, allowing him to share a stage with Tiwa savage at the Livespot X concert on Friday, December 17.

He courted his first career controversy within the first month of breaking into the Nigerian music industry.

Portable cursed Pocolee and his show promoter for ripping him off. Although he later apologised to both of them, he still throws subliminal shades at them on social media and stage.

The leader of the Zen nation movement has made a joke of Naira Marley‘s Marlian movement from 2020.

Many of his fans enjoy his stage performances, antics and controversies more than his songs; aside from ‘Zazu Zeh’, Portable has released other songs, but it remains unrivalled.

He is loved for his energetic performances at shows. Fans on Twitter compared the fast-rising artiste with veteran Nigerian rapper Terry G.

Many Nigerians argued that Portable is a better performer with lots of energy on stage.

Portable before Zazu ZehPortable’s journey to fame is typically a grass to grace story. The Ogun State-born rapper grew up in Abeokuta with his family before moving to Sango-Ota, a city in Ogun state but close to Lagos State.

Portable stumbled on fame by chance when a blogger, Don Blue, used ‘Zazu Zeh’ as a soundtrack on a post which eventually piqued the famous Nigerian singer Olamide’s interest.

Speaking in an interview with BoomPlay, on how he met Olamide, Portable said, “I met Don Blue, an online blogger. I have never seen him physically. He reposted my song, and I showed him gratitude.

“Shortly after, Don Blue called me and told me that Baddo wanted to meet me, so I rushed to Lekki to meet Baddo,” he said.

Portable, however, became a household name after he featured Nigerian dancer Poco Lee and Olamide on his street anthem, ‘Zazu Zeh’.

Flight to fameThe singer has grown from a street singer to a highly sought-after performer.

He performed at AY’s show on Easter Sunday, April 17, where the publicity-loving Nigerian socialite E-Money handed him bundles of naira.

It was the first time he was publicly spotted with E-Money, the singer’s latest sponsor, after Portable had sacked his former music manager Kogbagidi.

Portable now chills with the big boys in the music industry as he has been spotted in the company of big names like Wizkid, Timaya, Burna Boy, and Olamide.

The acclaimed leader of the Zen nation movement has also wined and dined with royalty in less than three months of becoming famous.

On Saturday, Portable visited the Ooni of Ile Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi, at the Ooni’s palace.

Beyond meeting royalties and celebrities, the Zazu Zeh crooner has gone international.

On Tuesday, Portable’s new sponsor, E-Money, took the singer on his first United Kingdom tour.

Portable is set to perform in three major cities in the UK, Peckham, London, Birmingham, and Manchester.

Since his rise to fame in December 2021, barely a week passes by without Portable making the news headlines for the wrong reasons.

Here are some of his most popular controversies.

Feud with Poco LeeIt all started when fame came knocking on his door after famous Nigerian singer Olamide had featured Portable and popular dancer Poco Lee in the hit song Zazu Zeh.

Shortly after the song started making waves, Portable, in a series of videos that went viral on social media, called out Poco Lee for allegedly stealing the money given to him by Nigerian Grammy winner Wizkid during his performance with Olamide at Livespot X Festival.

His outburst revealed that he was only given $600 of the money while Poco Lee made away with the remaining $2400.While Poco Lee is yet to react to the statement, the video has amassed different reactions from Nigerians online.

Portable’s outburst did not go down well with his producer, Kogbagidi, which provoked the him to walk Portable out from the record label.

Feeling remorseful, Portable later apologised to his promoter. At the same time, other celebrities like Olamide, Slimcase and Yomi Fabiyi also joined him, apologising to music promoter Kogbagidi on behalf of the singer.

Love life, childrenThe Zazu Zehh star was later spotted on Instagram in a video of himself and a baby, whom he claimed was his son.

According to the Afropop singer, his mother took him away for two years because he had no money. He also said he was arrested in the process.

During an interview with Jahbless Original, the tattooed singer said that he has many girlfriends professing love for him because of his newfound fame. He also revealed that he has two sons from different mothers.

Also, in a now-deleted Twitter post on January 22, the singer said women are the cheapest things on earth after biscuits, a statement which caused a lot of uproar on social media.

Portable sacks manager, DJ and show promoterIn a surprise move, the Zah Zuh coroner had sacked his crew members, including his manager, disc jockey and show promoter.

He said they put up an attitude whenever new people want to “mingle” with him.

Speaking further, Portable accused his crew members of always holding him back from meeting new people and making progress in his career.

He mentioned that he no longer wants to deal with their attitude, and he wants to maintain his space.

Portable ‘denied entry into Canada’Portable was removed as one of the guest musicians performing at a show in Canada.

A Canadian-based Nigerian MC, Morris, said they dropped the singer because of his attitude.

The MC complained that Portable had sacked two managers in less than a year, and he would no longer have him perform in his show.

He went further to say that he has written to immigration to deny his visa application.

Portable fights at showsPortable also makes headlines for his series of fights with some fans.

He allegedly got into a nasty fight with some Benin fans at a show in Edo State.

Hours after the fight, Portable almost got into another fight with a DJ in a club. The singer got infuriated and irritated with how the DJ handled his song.

Shortly after that show, Portable was seen in a live recorded video challenging some police officers who attempted to arrest him.

Officers of the Nigerian police were bent on apprehending the Zazu crooner and his team in Delta State, but he openly resisted the arrest and confronted them. The reason for the arrest was, however, undisclosed.

Portable in another recent video on Instagram thanked God for escaping an accident after he had crashed his new Range Rover SUV.

He said, “Help me remove my car before it tumbles. I applied the brake when it was on free movement,” in Yoruba.

“They have eyes in this car, they have touched it with spiritual hands, but nothing will happen to the child of God. I will fix the building, but nothing happened to the car.”

Portable was given the car in December 2021.

Following this development, Portable accused his ‘haters’ of trying to kill him by using charms to touch his new car.

The singer alleged that haters tampered with his car and were jealous of his possessions.

He, however, claimed that he would soon have a new car after the crash.