‘I hope to perform for Presidents Jonathan, Obama,’ says Tobi Saxmistress
Oluwatobi Befo,14, is living her dreams. She plays the Saxophone with a deep-rooted passion that keeps her audience enthralled. In an interview with her, she told me how she got fascinated to the Saxophone, how she was groomed and started playing the Sax at age 9.
Although the Saxmistress has displayed her talent performing at different occasions, her ‘big dream’ is to have a grand performance for the Nigerian president, and that of the United States of America. “I wish that someday soon, I will play for President Goodluck Jonathan and the American President, Barack Obama.”
Described as the youngest professional Saxophonist in the teenage bracket, Tobi Saxmistress who is working towards rounding off her high school education, enjoins parents to help their children realize their dreams of using their talents productively for themselves and society at large. Today, Tobi has a manager who handles her professional engagements.
How come about your interest in playing the Saxophone
I got fascinated by how my eldest brother used to play the Sax. I was just about eight years old at that time. I would sit and watch him play while having his rehearsals, and I never stopped imagining me handling the Saxophone and making all the wonderful melodies just like he did. One day, he decided to begin teaching me after I told him that I could play the Saxophone if he puts me through. Today, I am proud of him that he believed in me even though I was only a little child.
How long did you learn for, to become a pro
From the day that my brother decided to start teaching me, he ensured that I has at least 30 minutes of practice during school days. At weekends, the training sessions were not less than four hours. This continued until I turned 9, and he gave me my first Saxophone, one which he was using. I blared away on that one, doing the best of everything I learned.
Do you have your works in any produced form yet
I just finished work on a single titled ‘Halleluyah Sax’ from an original done by Lara George and produced by Wole Oni.
What advice do you have for young people who want to develop this kind of talent
It’s very easy for them to succeed if they are disciplined. They must put in practice time when they should, and no disrespect to your instructor. I remember well that my instructor (my brother) was pleased to continue teaching me because I never took my assignments for granted. As with every teacher, he worked with the zeal that I displayed. That’s just the secret to building a successful career.