Ocho and the adventures of Kenechukwu.

My favourite Tuface Idibia’s song is Ocho. I jump up each time the song comes up on the radio. It has a charming effect on me and made people to keep asking what it is that I find peculiar in the song.

Well, I don’t know but the first time I heard it, I loved it and placed the cd on repeat. I have a connection to it even though I do not know the meaning of most lines in the song. I mime whatever I hear and move on.

In 2008, I organized a mock 25 years anniversary for Tuface in my head. Tuface has done more revolutionary songs than people would love to remember. I love revolutions and the rebels that make it happen.

I’d invite myself as one of the performing artists for the anniversary and asked myself which song would you sing for the event and chose Ocho.

At that event were Dbanj, Ruggedman, Faze, Blackface, Idris and many more from that golden era, in my head.

Music has a way of getting to me. I wanted to become a musician more than anything else but I failed. I don’t know why it was also but it happened and I have my regrets. I should have moved far and fought more for its survival.

At a younger age, my mother begged me to join choir. It was an everyday rhetoric that I dealt with. “Use your talent to praise God” was all she kept saying. I thought otherwise because of personal reasons.

I was a tough church boy who defied rules in the church and questioned everything. I had run-ins with every holder of authority in our local church and once defied the catholic rules of not questioning reverend fathers while on the altar and asked questions.

“Why should I confess my sins to you?”
It took the church by storm.

It is not like I did not want to join choir. Not like I did not like the very concept of choir but the choir in our local church then did not cut it for me. I dished out excuses at every turn and told my mother that I will join next week. Next week nor dy finish.

At the family prayers, I’d begin by singing Ocho. My family frowned at the audacity that I showed each time at chanting unknown incantations.

They did not know that it was same as “Thank you Lord”. They did not bother asking and because of Ocho, I stopped attending family prayers.

In 2010, I entered for a competition in Enugu. It was organized by a branding company that I have been struggling to remember their name. They were looking for talents; people who would represent the very best that Nigeria would be known for.

They were meticulous in their approach, thorough with their assessment and gave young boys admiration.

Theirs was a honest ambition in a special kind of way but the approach was flawed. They didn’t want people who are in tune with our local songs. They considered it something too easy to do. They wanted voice straining songs of the American operas, the R-Kellys, Whitney Houston, Dolly Partons, Prince et cetera.

We considered it another form of colonization and it ended in a peaceful showdown for the culture.

I slipped the cd to the DJ when it was my turn and I sang Ocho to the consternation of all. I did so well in my own estimation but the energy that I gave off was so unfamiliar.

The panelists were divided but I had broken the rules and I needed to be sanctions for the mere attempt. And someone from the panelists asked if I was from Benue. I shook my head but told him that the non-comforming part of me is.

The Adventures of Kenechukwu will feature on theportcitynews.com every Saturday.