Why I Still Take Public Transport – Tope Alabi

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When it comes to gospel artistes in Nigeria, Tope Alabi is one of the popular ones. She recently trended on the Internet with her spontaneous worship song, ‘Logan Ti Ode,’ which featured songwriter and celebrity photographer, TY Bello.

The video was viewed by hundreds of thousands of people on several multimedia platforms, especially on the YouTube and Instagram pages of both singers, with many fans sharing comments of how the song inspired and moved them to tears.

In an interview with Saturday Beats, the singer revealed that she composed 16 songs on that day, insisting that they were not pre-written.

According to Alabi, many celebrities live a fake life but despite the fame she enjoys, she has made a conscious effort not to live like them.

“I still go to the market to buy groceries; I don’t like the idea of living the life of a celebrity. Sometimes when I want to go out, I take public transport. There was a day I boarded the BRT bus in Lagos to get to the popular Balogun market; I could hear the passengers whispering to one another.

“They were arguing if I was the one or not. They were saying Tope Alabi is not a poor person so there is no way she will be on a public bus. When I was about to alight from the bus, I revealed my identity to the driver, and this made many of the passengers to also get down from the bus to take pictures with me.

“Sometimes, it is necessary to have a taste of what it feels like to be an ordinary woman on the street. Many celebrities do not live their real life and are not free to do whatever they like; that is why I don’t restrict myself. When someone is not free to do what they feel like doing, like every other person on the street, it causes depression which can even lead to death.

“Some people try to sell fabric worth N20,000 to me at the rate of N100,000 because I am a celebrity; they don’t bother to find out if I have that kind of money or not. Living a fake life can lead to indebtedness as some celebrities always want to meet up to a certain standard,” she said.

Alabi explained how she enjoys going on long walks in her neighbourhood, describing it as “the kind of life I like.”

“Someone once told me to get escorts for security reasons, but I declined because I didn’t need them and still don’t need them. I am still discrete about my movement but I still live a normal life.

“I believe in buying only the things I can afford; I’m not materialistic. I always hear different stories of celebrities that lie about their material possessions; there is no need to live an extravagant life at all,” she added.