There are many reasons to love Teni the Entertainer, a.k.a Teni Makanaki. From her intimidating dimples to her stop and stare voice, and that outrageously charming smile, one is almost spoilt for choice.
She’s a multi-talented star on the rise who’s slowly working her way into reckoning.
On her graduation day from American Intercontinental University, Atlanta, the Dr Dolor signee belted out a traditional song of praise in her local dialect.
Her rendition was so original that its video was massively reposted on Instagram.
Such spontaneous skits, tomboyish charm, and overall creativity have endeared the ‘Askamaya’ singer to her peers, fans and many who consume video content on social media.
The entertainer, born Teniola Apata, talks with TheCable Lifestyle about her sister Niniola, late father, life after graduation, and what her career will look like moving forward.
What is the next step in your career now that you are done with school?
Of course, the music is at the forefront of things.
Full devotion to pleasing the fans and making sure we take the music to the next level.
What were the challenges you faced while trying to balance music and school?
Multi-tasking is a big deal in its self. Let nobody lie to you, it’s not easy but when you are born with a gift, it’s only right to find a way to exercise it and excel while doing it.
Even though music is the gift, I personally feel you need school to equip you with the essential tools to nurture and develop the gift.
Did you ever want to leave school for music?
It’s only normal but anyone who aims to succeed in life simply has to make sacrifices.
However, it’s only essential to have a great support system like family, friends and God to help you through it all.
What did you major in?
I studied Business Administration and finished with a 3.8 CGPA. Hence I plan to apply my degree in business by venturing into lucrative things that can help grow the economy and create jobs for people.
Do you have plans to apply your degree in the real world?
It is highly imperative to note there is no wasted knowledge in life.
Do you think schooling abroad gave you an advantage?
I wouldn’t call it an advantage, it just gives you a broader perspective on the world at large.
Of course, the world might have left us especially education wise but it’s only right to try and catch up if given the opportunity to do so.
Did you build a fan base in school?
Yes, I built a fan base in school, because I used to act.
We had a show every year called African night where African students from all over the United States converge.
If your father were alive, what would he say to you now that you are done with school?
He definitely would be proud to see that his legacy is intact and untarnished.
What would be his reaction to you graduating whilst building a music career?
He indeed would be pleased to see his daughter rising up to the occasion and doing it the right way.
Are you going to collaborate with your sister anytime soon? Do you guys sing together?
I love my sister and she indeed is a big influence on me in all areas. We do things together especially singing but who knows — maybe, maybe not.
What’s your next project — an EP or more singles?
Not letting the cat out of the bag just yet but expect more music.
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