I have been a bad, bad wife. An unfaithful butterfly who flitted from flower to flower without remembering her first love. You see, it was always Flavour N’abania. He was the first one who made me sit up and pay attention to Nigerian music. My first love on the music scene.
I might as well come out and confess that I have never been much of a Fela fan. There. Who wants to die should just hug transformer. Yes, I know and love a lot of his greatest hits but I would never have a Fela night or wax lyrical about his songs. I understand that he fought The Power (and didn’t win – Buhari is back, but that’s a story for another day). I understand that he was the sole but genius voice of a generation. Not only do I get it, I appreciate all that good stuff. But there is not a single Fela song in my collection. And if there were, it would merely be to seem like a “woke Nigerian”. I’d most likely skip it every time it got to the song.
Yes, there were songs from my youth. Evi Edna-Ogholi was my BAE! I begged and pleaded till my father bought me the cassette – there I go, giving my age away.
Also, there was no gee like my gee – Adewale Ayuba. I know the entire Bubble album off by heart and still listen to it now. God bless whoever uploaded it on YouTube; your reward is surely in heaven.
Yes, there were slight dalliances with Blackky and Daddy Showkey but mostly, my heart was with Boyz II Men, Tupac, Snoop, Aaliyah and Chaka Demus and Pliers. No time to look time where Nigerian artistes were concerned.
There was Style Plus and Plantashun Boiz. Yes, we had the tapes, but we wouldn’t exactly go to weddings and rock to Olufunmi or Call My Name. In fact, the first time we ever willingly danced to African music was when Makossa swept our known world. So you know we’ve been dancing to music we didn’t understand since 19-kpiridim.
And Then Came Flavour!
The fire got turned up a notch with Mo’Hits, Wande Coal, Don Jazzy, D’Banj and Bracket, but Flavour N’abania oooooo!
I’m not gonna lie, I was tardy to the party. The first Flavour N’abania song that made me sit up and pay attention was Ada Ada. Since then, it has been love all the way.
If I want ballads, Flavour knocks me out with Gollibe – which means Rejoice! I can literally listen to this song on repeat all day, everyday.
Otego m chobalu nwa di mma m ga-anu
(For long I have been searching for a good girl to marry)
E don tey I have been searching for you
Otego m chobalu asa di mma oyoko
(For a long time I have been looking for a gorgeous babe)
E don tey I have been searching for you
Fortunately oo m we funu nwata di mma
(Fortunately I have found this good girl)
Anwunta atabeghi ya
(she has no mosquito bites – beautiful with smooth skin)
baby na sweet paw paw
Baby get something, nekenunu nwata nwelu something (look this babe has something)
Achala ugo nwanyi nwa bu Ugegbe oyibo
(she shines like a precious stone; like a foreign mirror. Ugegbe literally means – mirror)
Nwata makata mma le le (makata makata)
If dem tell you this kain strong word, you no go gel? Even if you no understand the language? Isn’t it just perfection? Isn’t this the kind of toasting Jesus died for? Too sweet!
The Mr Shake-Your-Waist Flavour
But Flavour N’abania does so much more than village love, although that is when I love him the most. I discovered three other songs that were more up-tempo but made me love him just as much:
1. The ever-popular, ever-joyous Nwa Baby (Ashawo Remix). I know Spirit-filled men and women of God that will at the very least tap their toes if this song comes on air; even now, more than five years later.
2. Odiro Easy – this one is less popular but is a personal favourite for me. No word of a lie in this song at all. “Gimme one bottulu…one bottle of ah-ko-holu ooo…mek I drink away my sorrow, mek I shack, shack dey go! Because ife uwa odiro easy (the things of life are not easy)”. Abeg, my brother lie??
3. Ikwokrikwo – Wallahi, I have no idea what he says from beginning to end, but let this song come on and you will see my bad behaviour! There is a point he says “My baby, you sweet like vitamin C” LOOOOLLLL!!! ???? Only an Igbo would think this was a compliment; and only a heartless woman would not blush!
And there you have it, people. I have changed my errant ways and I am now back with my initial husband, my first love of Afrobeats. The man who made it all worthwhile before all these small small boys like Phyno Fine and HumbleSmith came to plait my hair dada.
Obi’m, my heart! I remain faithful, I remain loyal to your administration. Continue to do your amazing work. You are an awesome singer and a great performer.
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