Mar 19, 2008


Over the weekend,I forcefully dragged myself to join some friends to cool off in one of the popular 'joints' in Owerri,capital of Imo state,The Eastern heartland.It was such fun.Owerri,on weekends,especially on Sunday evenings, is a package of excitement.There is something I have really come to enjoy about Owerri-its music.
Owerri has a very unique kind of music,largely epitomized by the character and quality of the group known as Oriental Brothers International Band.This group held sway in the highlife genre,in Eastern Nigeria and beyond, back in the late 60s and through the 70s.Tracks such as 'Akwa uwa','Nwanyi di ya bu Eze''Muritala'(in memory of theLate Nigerian Head of state who was assasinated in 1975,General Muritala Mohammed) performed by the group have remained evergreen.The Death of the groups lead vocalist,Christognus Obinna aka 'Dr Sir Warrior' brought to a standstill,this musical revolutionary effect the group was revelling in.Internal squables amongst the group members,according to reports, further dealt a painful blow to whatever remained of this great oriental musical symbol.Oriental Brothers varnished into history.But like the legendary Phoenix,this group is making a come back into the Nigerian music scene,with the release of a new VCD Albulm titled 'Ozo wu iwe m'.The albulm consist mostly of rehashed tracks earlier done by the group,now packaged on VCD,in remembrance of 'Dr Sir Warrior'.It seems the group wanted to catch up with the technological advantage it missed out back then,when musical videos weren't in existence in Nigeria. I have been privilaged to watch some clips from the new musical.The surviving members of the original Oriental Brothers-Dansatch Opara,Kabaka,Chiha and Akwila gave a good account of what made them dominate the musical scene,back in those golden days.Not even ageing could take away the Oriental magic.However,I was not impressed by the choreographic displays of the dancers featured in the video.They were out of tune,rhytm and colour.The video was no doubt hurriedly and poorly done.A better packaging is required to project 'the face of Imo'.
Talking about the Legends making come backs,I learnt that Bongos Ikwue,the guy who did the hit sound-track for the NTA sponsored soap opera that rocked the airwaves in the 80s, 'Cock crow at Dawn' is set to release a 26 track albulm.The title is still being kept secret.But be rest assured that Bongos will blow ya mind,like he did with tracks such as 'Show me a Virgin','Maryam','Cock crow at Dawn','What's gonna be' etc.Bongos' originality,way back those good old days was really amazing.He sonorous voice is his greatest asset.It's still so hard to believe that Dan Seal,Don Williams and Kenny Rogers weren't apprentices under Ikwue's tutelege.Honestly,the guy took his bow from the music scene,so early,even before ovations could be given.

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