Success is anything but a straightforward road. It has more twists, turns, hurdles, and chaos than most people care to admit. Surely Ify Adenuga, the mother to four of some of the most talented creatives in the UK today understands this more than anyone. In her memoir titled Endless Fortune, which is set to be released on October 15, 2020, she narrates her captivating life, the hurdles from living through a civil war, relocating to Tottenham, a poor and crime-riddled community in London with significant cultural differences, to raising 4 children and ultimately surviving.
Iconic stories usually have very humble beginnings. The reason why more established individuals would tell their less experienced and accomplished counterparts to trust the process’, is because, in actuality, nothing good comes easy. When you look at the lives of notable individuals in the musical, arts, and entertainment industry, you may only see the fame and respect they currently revel in and not the uncertainty, the discipline, the fear, and tears that riddled their early stages.
Who would have thought that a penniless student in a foreign country would go on to become the mother of four uber-talented creatives and the core of one of the UK music scenes’ most remarkable families? Her four children, Joseph Junior, popular British Grime artist known as Skepta, Jamie, popular British Grime artist and producer known as, JME, Julie, popular British radio presenter, and Jason, successful graphics designer; are some of today’s most successful and impactful individuals in their respective creative scenes.
At a time when hunger, death, and violence encapsulated her hometown, Ify showed immense strength, hope, and persistence. She not only survived an illness that nearly claimed her life, she moved to an unfamiliar country and married the love of her life who was from a different tribe, much to her family’s disapproval.
Back then in the ’80s, inter-tribal marriages were not the usual practice, especially unions between Yoruba and Igbo people, however, Ify made up her own rules. Falling deeply in love with Joseph Adenuga Snr, she ignored the stereotypical, and pessimistic remarks she often heard and started a family with Joseph. “I loved Joseph Olaitan Adenuga and it didn’t matter anymore whether he was Yoruba or Chinese, his child was growing inside of me”. She would say…
After a few years, and four children later, Ify and Joe, through their non-conventional parental approach have shown that children can fly as high as you let them. In her memoir, Ify narrates how her children fell in love with the creative industry, how her first and second sons Junior, also known as Skepta, and Jamie, also known as JME fell in love with music; how Julie fell in love with presenting and how Jason fell in love with designing. She explains how with dedication, persistence, hard work, and support, all her kids are extremely successful today and in their own right.
It’s safe to say that from a very early age, Ify’s first son, Skepta, had always been hungry for success, as Ify recalls that he was not satisfied with breast milk and would always cry after every feed. This same hunger would eventually grow into unrivaled triumph as Skepta would later go-ahead to start his own record label Boy Better Know, gain international recognition, collaborate with one of music’s great names, P.Diddy, and win numerous awards, including the highly coveted Mercurys Prize.
Ify narrates the early stages of her sons’ music careers, with Jamie releasing his song ‘Serious’ and adopting JME as his stage name, and practice sessions becoming more frequent and important. She recalls driving them to their music sessions which sometimes included industrial and rundown estates as well as fenced off commercial venues, holding up broken barbed wire whilst they crawled under and went to pirate radio, risking being caught by the police while waiting for them, as the car she drove had no tax or insurance and her immense determination to ensure that she supported their dreams. “They would text me as soon as they were finished a couple or more hours later and I’d go back and help them from under the fence, I remember helping Junior, especially because he would be carrying his big bag of Vinyl records on his shoulder.” An excerpt from the book says.
Endless Fortune, which is launching soon, delicately presents a full picture of the elements needed to survive in any clime. It details the importance of love, family, support, dedication, sacrifice, and hard work to guarantee success. The memoir so captivatingly narrates the need to follow your passion, be open-minded, and prepared. We all experience life in many phases and in very different capacity cities. However, there are some experiences we will all share. In writing this memoir, Ify Adenuga hopes her readers can relate and identify with an aspect of her life story.