Tag Archives: Nigerian musicians

‘Without Sin, There Is No Forgiveness’ – a love song by Celestine Ukwu

My love for Celestine Ukwu is well documented, so I shan’t begin to gush about how his melodies soothe my soul, how the lyrics to his songs are full of meaning, of Igbo philosophy. How it harks back to a time I would probably consider simpler, an assessment with which my parents might disagree: ‘Love your neighbour’, ‘The enmity of a friend is dangerous’, ‘Don’t do bad shit,’ ‘The world doesn’t belong to you alone so share it well,’ and so on.

Anyway, this morning I was writing a short story (in fact I am still writing and will return to it once this blog post is done) when this song popped into my head. My story’s about this woman who plays Igbo music whenever there is trouble in her household. At first she starts with playing one of Chief Osita Osadebe’s hits but soon she segues to Celestine Ukwu. She’s a typical Igbo woman, in my view. Not great at talking about the softer parts of life, but very vocal about the hardships and her disappointments. And so, she lets the music do the talking for her.

In this song, he narrator starts by pleading with his lover, Adanma not to leave him. “The two of us will leave together, Adanma,” he says, although that’s a transliteration. In English it will be more like “Please say you’ll stay with me.”

‘Adanma the woman in my heart won’t let me rest

Adanma  my friend whom I love won’t let me sleep

My love whom I have in my heart won”t let me rest

My friend whom I love, take my heart away

Adanma whom I have in my heart, take my heart away

Take my heart away, Adanma whom I love,

Take my heart away Adanma whom I carry in my heart

Take my heart away, Adanma please don’t leave me

Etc etc etc. A lot of begging, backed by sweet music.  Then:

What have I done that’s caused you to run away from me?

What have I done to make you angry with me?

Whatever it is, please forgive me

If there is no love, there will be no forgiveness.

Please come and embrace me, Adanma

Ah. I am not romantic or sentimental but this music sits in the soul and washes it clean with its tears. If I were Adanma, I would have agreed with a quickness that would make your heads spin!

I wish the whole world spoke Igbo because I cannot write down the lyrics in their entirety. But trust me, they are very sweet, heartfelt and even a little sorrowful. Because you know Adanma is an Igbo girl and she DEFINITELY did not agree to forgive him. I can imagine her now, her eyes sharp, hand on her hip, mouth twisted in disdain.

“Is music food? Are words meat? What, am I now supposed to eat music? Mschew! Nonsense. My friend zuz out.”

Chai. Why are Igbo girls like this?

Enjoy the music! Tell me what you think in the comments section.

Blame it on my chi.

Ndewo nu, Igbo ndi oma n’agu akara edemede m n’aka  ugbu a. Kedu ka unu mere? And good day to all you non-Igbo readers as well!

This post is about Flavour N’abania so if you’re tired of hearing me talk about him, biko kwuruga – just shift to one side, as we say in Nigeria.

Flavour N'abania

Let’s have a moment of silence to fully appreciate God’s work, please.

Eh-he, where was I? Yes, so I understand as a Christian that whatever I ask for of my heavenly father will be given. Matthew 7:7 – ‘Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.’

In this case it translates as ‘Seek F(l)avour and ye shall find F(l)avour.’ Hallelujah? Amen!


Is this because Christianity also makes provision for those times when you ask and do not receive – it is simply not in God’s plan? He knows what is best for you; you’re supposed to ‘Wait upon the Lord and he shall renew thine strength. (Isaiah 40:31). So this would mean  that meeting Flavour now or at any other time would be somehow bad for me.

 I don’t attend the so-called ‘New Generation’ churches but I find that a lot of them believe in speaking words into action – less waiting, more…commanding. I am comfortable with this approach with regards to my current Flavourless existence because it is similar to the Igbo belief system.

We Nwa afo Igbo believe in chi, your personal destiny, inseparable from your will. This is not a god to be bartered or traded or destroyed if they do not do your bidding.  This chi is both the physical manifestation of your will and the will itself.

So you see, I simply refuse to believe that it is not God’s plan for me to meet Flavour N’abania. I refuse. Mba. No. Nicht. Non. It is simply that my chi slumbers. For how else will you explain that ALL of my friends have met, touched, danced with or interviewed the Flavoursome One, eh?

Hear one of them : “Nwoke mara mma o. Skin bu so so mma eh!” (“He is so fiiiiiiiine and his skin is so lovely!”)

Needless to say, we have since parted ways.

I promised no more Flavour for a while on this blog, and I kept my promise both to myself and to you. I boycotted his music, I did not speak his name or allow anyone else to do so. Heck I even stopped watching  Alien vs Predator which I love because Predator’s  hairstyle reminds me of Flavour’s.

Now I have gone back to him in force, starting today. Flavour if you are reading this, I AM COMING FOR YOU. You cannot escape.

It is destiny.

If you have Spotify, and you speak Igbo listen to the skit below. It is supposed to be what happens when a group of Igbo boys hang out in a beer garden with the purpose of picking up chicks. The conversation is HILARIOUS. I would love to translate it but I have a feeling that it will make the whole thing dry and humourless.

Flavour – Skit By Waga G, Loye & Falvour

In defence of Tonto Dike as a creative being.

Eh-hen. They have come to see what I am talking about.

I didn’t want to put a post up when the whole hullabaloo was going on over Tonto’s two singles ‘Get High’ and ‘Itz Ova‘ released about six to eight weeks ago – I didn’t want it to get lost jokes about how she was responsible for earthquakes and such, seeing as I have no proof of those.

But in the light of her latest offering, I thought it was topical again so here goes.

I’ll start by saying that I’m neither a fan nor a ‘hater’ of Tonto. This is important because it means I am probably the only unbiased person in Nigeria on the topic of Ms Dike. I don’t care one way or another about her tattoos, or the fact that she seems to have gone several shades lighter since the start of her film career; I am not one of those people who cares about the ‘message’ she is sending to young people by either, since I assume young people are not stupid and her brand is pretty clear. Her accent makes me frown a little but that’s purely from a broadcaster’s standpoint. I am aware that she would sound more intelligent if she was not concentrating so much on sounding American (?), that it’s difficult  to understand what she is saying.

Now that’s done, my point is simple; Creative people gotta create.

Tonto for whatever real or imagined flaws she has, is a creative person – an actress. Her job is to keep us entertained on film. She’s simply chosen to take her talents elsewhere. Did she sleep with President Goodluck? No. Has she declared herself the risen Christ? No. Did she steal from public coffers or stick a smouldering cigar up her fanny on live television? I don’t think so. (Am I giving her ideas? Maybe.) All she did was choose another medium of self-expression. And Nigerians HATE her for it. Dare to dream? Please. Stand still, Tonto! We’re trying to laugh at you.

While I understand and respect the rights of anyone to critique material in the public domain, I think the critique should be about the material presented. The level of vitriol or praise should also be proportionate and separate from perceived personal – as opposed to professional – failings . It is hard, I know.

The defence might be that a lot of people fail to see the difference in the two parts when it comes to someone in the public eye and thus, might consider their reaction to be honest, when to the rest of the world, it is obvious that we – Nigerians- revel in hyperbole. Observe:





Ridiculous. Funny (and sometimes insensitive in the wake of tragedy, but I guess people had to find a way to do the flooding and Aluu4 jokes seeing as nobody in their own families were affected).

Reading comments for her videos on YouTube, people implore her to ‘Stick to what you know’ but how else are you supposed to know what you’re good at if you don’t try? And how else are you supposed to grow as an artiste if you are not allowed to experiment?  We complain about the quality of our artistes and their portfolio and yet we hate them when they try to diversify or better themselves. Ah-ahn! Which way Nigeria?

Yes, she doesn’t have the best voice and her tracks are rather auto-tune heavy, but it’s not any more than most Nigerian ‘musicians’ use in their songs – which we see it fit to bump and grind to on weekends. This isn’t even her first rodeo, she has had more natural-sounding songs, like this one with fellow actress, Patience Ozokwor.

She isn’t the first creative to try two or more media in the world; James Franco has his hands n so many pies, it’s like he’s the oven, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Juliette Lewis are both rockstars on the side, Dawn French is a writer and Onyeka Owenu and RMD went into politics – yes, I said it. Politics is ‘creative’ industry. Before you film purists attack me for comparing Tonto to people with ‘actual talent’, may I please remind you that society  – and possibly you, purist person – did not always look kindly on the aforementioned people trying other things as well. They had to prove themselves first, hence the comparison.

Moving on. We should give the woman an award. Heck, she’s succeeded where even people like Zik and his fellows failed. No food? Nepa messing you about? No money to treat your malaria? No problem! Tonto’s tracks are available for you to bond over with your sick child. Why pay tithes when you can indirectly pay Tonto for downloads? Nigeria was united in her singular hatred of all things Tonto; all the hackers, fraudsters, robbers, serial porn-viewers and any bored youth with access to  the internet put their talents towards one purpose in the days that followed the release of her singles. President Goodluck is still struggling to create jobs but this woman did it in one day!

Let’s make 17th of October our Unification Day, to hell with Independence.

And for an artiste whose currency is controversy, she’s laughing all the way to the bank. In the words of the woman herself:

Poko poko baby!

Now who wants to get high?

Weekend Ramblings: Boys, boys, boys.

This video brought you from here. To quote the author “You can take the boy out of the village, but you cannot take the village out of the boy.”

And another thing, Wizkid really creeps me out. Oh, it’s not him per say, it’s what he represents. I feel the same way about Justin Beiber. Before that it was Jerome Childers.

There is just something about small boys – and by small, I mean young – chyking older girls/women that really, really  gets my goat. I cannot explain it. It’s not just them trying it on with older women, it’s the singing about what I consider ‘adult subject matters’ or acting older than their ages in that particular field. I see them doing it and I want to slap them so hard.

With that in mind, you’ll understand why this sketch sending up Wizkid is one of my absolute favourites. I usually despair of the sameness of Nigerian comedy (Ethnic group stereotypes, rich/poor jokes, drunk guy jokes) but this is so spot on that you can tell Tee-A – whom I had never heard of before I watched this show – is an artist. He actually studies his subjects not just physically, but mentally too. It’s so nuanced…ah, just watch it. Watch it to the very end.

GRRRR!!!! I just realised this is not the full thing and I couldn’t find it anywhere. I won’t spoil it for you in case you do find it but if I don’t by Friday, I’ll tell you what happens in the end.