Suicidal or record breaking, His Royal Punkness, Charlie boy Oputa and Kenyan born Spencer Conway are set for the Guiness Record as they embark on a tour of the African continent on motorbike to raise funds for a humanitarian programme called ‘Save The Children,’ a non governmental organisation (NGO) which is in partnership with the United Nations and some other sponsors.
It was gathered that when the 40 year old father of four children rode to Nigeria last week through Calabar after covering 21 African countries, it took him no time to link up with the area father, Charlie boy. With their connectivity, your guess is as good as mine because apart from his weird, wild and wacky lifestyle, the grand commander of the Peoples’ Army and ex president of Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN), Charlie boy Oputa will definitely top the list of Nigerian philanthropists with special love for bike bikes.
Interestingly, while speculations were high that Charlie boy will join hilarious Spencer Conway who was brought up in Switzerland and trained in London on the four of the African continent on motor bike, the Oguta born showbiz personality said, ‘it did not take me by surprise to connect with Spencer because we share the same dream, aspirations and in a lot of way we are both alike.”
Spencer Conway who early last year covered 76 countries on boat, is currently touring African countries on a bike. Presently, he is in Nigeria riding to distance places like from Lagos to the South South along side Charlie boy, president of Okada Riders Association Nation wide.
It was also learnt that from Nigeria, his next port of call will be Togo, Ghana and Senegal amongst other Africa countries. At the end of the tour Spencer would have emerged the first sole biker to ride round Africa with just little support.
Life And Times Of Goddy Oku
“In his book, ‘The Wings’, drummer-turned-guitarist, Manford Best, wrote extensively and glowingly of the pivotal role Goddy played in his music career, in the face of his (Manford’s) natural challenge”
On Friday, January 19, 2024, Chief Tony Okoroji, the Chairman of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Uche Emeka Paul, Sir Angus Power Nwangwu and other members of COSON were in Ukpo, Dunukofia Local Government Area, Anambra State to pay the last respects of COSON to Engr Goddy Ogomegbunam Oku. Describing Oku as an “iconic musician…long-term motivator of the music industry…leader of the Hygrades, proprietor of Godiac Studios…a great man and a true genius”, Chief Okoroji draped the casket with the flag of COSON. To perform this rite of passage, Okoroji flew in from Lagos, Paul flew in from Abuja, Nwangwu drove in from Enugu and other members arrived from various states reflecting the esteemed regards Goddy Oku commanded in the COSON family. My experience with Goddy Oku and those of others as contained in the following dirge epitomise the essence of Okoroji’s graveside oration. Goddy was really a “long-term motivator of the music industry”.
During the Nigerian civil war, my family took refuge in Umuchima, down the valley at the outskirts of Orlu, Imo State. One evening, my father returned from Orlu with a message from my friend, Emeka Ifejika, that Biafra Army Officers Training School (BAOTS) was setting up a pop band and they were searching for a bass guitarist. Goodness gracious!!! I was the bassist of The Hardnuts, my defunct teenage band in Port Harcourt; so, I saw it as the opportunity to avoid conscription, which had intensified at the time. Very early the next morning, I sneaked through the back into the sprawling scenic compound of Bishop Shanaham College, Orlu, which housed BAOTS and, as God would have it, I met Goddy Oku. For three hours, he drilled me on bass guitar playing, basic chord progressions and eventually accepted me as bassist/vocalist of the proposed band. An identity card and a “Pass” were quickly prepared to enable me return to Umuchima the next day, pick up my personal effects and report for duty.
With Dona Dyke (Donatus Nwadike) on drums and Goddy on lead guitar/vocals, we became The Silhouettes, a power trio that played side-by-side Sunny Nwamama of “Umunwanyi ji ukwu achodi” fame. That was at a time Jimi Hendrix Experience, James Gang, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Cream, Grand Funk Railroad and other Power Trios were hip in Europe and America but hadn’t emerged in the West African music scene; so, our ensemble was peculiar or odd, if you prefer.
One day, Warrant Officer Murphy introduced a young man by name Justus Nnakwe (JU-Xperience) to Goddy and appealed that he (Justus) should be taught an instrument. Within two weeks, Goddy drilled Justus and transformed him from a complete neophyte to a rhythm guitarist. Eventually, JU had his first outing and The Silhouettes morphed into a four-some at an event for the Commandant of BAOTS, Colonel Tim Onwuatuegwu. Thereafter, Goddy groomed a singer whose entry gave the band a greater body and earthy sound. At the end of the civil war, I returned home to Port Harcourt, Rivers State, cofounded The Blackstones Band in January 1970 and chased the stars until 1972 when societal and family pressure leashed me back to school in the United States where I consistently earned pocket change thru playing guitar; the trade in which Goddy Oku groomed and gowned me.
Goddy mentored numerous artists in his days; the list is virtually endless. Sonny Okosuns, John Kerry, Nelly Uchendu, Panam Percy Paul, Chris Okotie, Felix Liberty, Felarday, Clement Amaechi and a host of others. Kenny Koburn (KK) once reminisced on how he broke bounds in high school to watch The Blackstones perform at Golf Course Hotel, Owerri in the early 1970s. Enamored by the performance of the bassist of the band, KK said he dropped out of school and headed to Enugu where he was tutored to play bass guitar by Goddy Oku. Subsequently, KK co-founded Founders Fifteen of Port Harcourt. In his book, ‘The Wings’, drummer-turned-guitarist, Manford Best, wrote extensively and glowingly of the pivotal role Goddy played in his music career, in the face of his (Manford’s) natural challenge. Before his demise, Prof Frank Onyezili (Frank Zilly of The Fractions) narrated to me the crucial role Goddy played in his music career before he returned to school. Goddy it was who played the classical guitar interlude in “Igede” by Celestine Ukwu. Arguably, “Igede” stands out as the first instrumental music in the Highlife genre and one of the most memorable songs of Celestine Ukwu.
Over the years, Goddy and I maintained contact and I visited him periodically. We even planned that he’d do one week with me in Port Harcourt and we’d embark on a musical pilgrimage to Abak, Akwa Ibom State to visit Emmanuel Ntia of Solo Hit fame, but that didn’t come to fruition. However, when JU came home in April 2021, I hopped into Enugu on the 13th and the three of us spent one night of reminiscences. We put two mattresses on the floor in Goddy’s parlor and played guitar and talked all night. We relived our collective experiences and walked through the engagements we played during the civil war. It was a memorable night.
JU Xperience, Goddy and
The next morning, April 14, 2021, we took a group photograph without realising that that would be the last time we’d see each other. First, JU sailed to the great beyond in far away China and now Goddy is gone; a rather grim reminder of my sitting at the “Departure Lounge of Life”.
May the creative soul of Godfrey Ogomegbunam Oku rest in the Bosom of God, Amen.
TB Joshua:This Is Why Victims Do Not Speak Up -Seun Kuti
Seun Kuti has weighed in on the ongoing controversy regarding late Nigerian Prophet, TB Joshua, and states that the vilification of victims is why they do not speak up.
Seun Kuti does not believe that all people who do good things are completely good people.
“I don’t care if he took your family to space, you aren’t everybody,” he said.
The Tide Entertainment reports that the singer aired his views on the issue on Wednesday, charging “religious people” to “do better.”
“Eyin Elebi. Once person someone shares money and rice for people, he is a good person automatically,” he said.
”When this man was alive, he was sooo powerful that his criminal negligence, according to state coroner in Lagos led to the death of 84 people and he didn’t spend one second in police station and you want some young women to come and do what?! When Timis wife came out, you all turned a married woman to a prostitute like magic! That’ is why victims do not speak up!! E du Betta, religious people!!”
Going further, he slammed people who defend the late prophet on the grounds that he helped them one way or another, stressing that the experience of some is not the experience of all people.
In his words, “I don’t care if he took your family to space, and he was good to you, you are not everybody! Because a politician helped one person he would prove to the world that the man is a ‘good person!’ News flash- YOU ARE NOT EVERYBODY!!!”
The late prophet and his church have become the subject of controversy after a three part documentary produced by the BBC, highlighted the negative experiences of ex-Synagogue Church of all Nations members, who called the church “a cult”. Some women also accused TB Joshua of rape, forced abortions, child abuse and overall abuse. These claims have become a topic of discourse ever since with some siding with the church and others choosing to believe the victims.
However, the church has denied all the allegations.
Mohbad’s Father Cries Out Over Threat To Life …Fingers Falana, Wunmi
Mohbad’s father, Joseph Ayoba has said that he is fearful for his life, alleging that the singer’s widow, Wunmi and her lawyer, Femi Falana want to kill him.
Speaking to Newsmen, the aggrieved father expressed his dismay regarding the release of his late son’s autopsy report. He then alleged that he had been receiving threats from Falana and his client Wunmi, and has become fearful for his life because of that.
The Tide Entertainment gathered that Mohbad’s father, Mr. Joseph Aloba also wants to conduct a separate autopsy at a private facility.
He claimed that Wunmi (Mohbad’s widow) called with a private number and threatened to kill him.
”I need justice for my son and I want people to support me. This delay of autopsy report and other things can result to denial. I do not trust anyone right now. Even with the threats Falana and his client used to threaten me, I am unable to sleep. I need help. And I want people to support me because the autopsy is going to be done [at a] private facility.”
Joseph also stated that he has been scared that Wunmi would set him up to be killed, alleging that she threatened to kill him. He also accused Falana of being in cahoots with her, adding that the famous lawyer had set roadblocks to prevent people from assisting him, among other accusations.
“Another thing is that I don’t know where to live now because of the threats. Yesterday, when I heard a knock on my gate, I was scared that it may be the people Wunmi said they want to come and kill me. And Falana is still on her side,” he alleged.
”She called me, threatening me when I was on the mountain with a strange line. She said she can kill me, and I recorded the call. Falana is aware of this. Upon all that, he is still standing by her side. He is even preventing people from helping me. People that are saying the truth, he wants to silence them. He wants to manipulate because of money. And we are from the same Ekiti State, he said.
Since Nigerian singer, Mohbad died on September 12, 2023, his father and his widow, Wunmi have butted heads regarding the singer’s possessions and assets. Aloba has also been insistent on Wunmi conducting a paternity test on their son, Liam. In the midst of the back and forth, she attained legal representation from the lawyer, Femi Falana.
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