Today is the birthday of one of my best friends and my sister from another mother.
Many years ago, a remarkable lady came to my studio ( then located in Castle Hill, Bronx, New York) to book my organization to help her build a website. Her name is Chisom Ooz-lee, the President and Chief Executive of Best Icon Production. After completing all the necessary paperwork, she left with the promise to come back to approve the final work.
Best Icon production I later was told is a movie production company. The first time I saw her , I recalled she had a stethoscope around her neck. I later found out she is a nursing practitioner.
I wondered how a nursing practitioner would run a movie company. Then, one day she came to my studio again with some external hard drives containing images, movie trailers and synopsis of her movies. While watching some of the trailers, I saw her play a lead role in her first film,’ In the arms of a stranger,’ written by Chisom Oz-lee. But, hell no, when I was later informed she is the head supervising nurse in two major Hospitals in Manhattan, New York City, I asked where she finds the time to be a nurse practitioner and also such an outstanding actress, scriptwriter, producer, and director.
As my organization worked closely with her to finish her website, I learned more about her. She had her master’s degree in English Language and was a school teacher in Nigeria before relocating to the United States. Another movie of hers that I embedded in her site, ‘The Lost maiden,’ featured all-time greats like Ini Edo and Omotola Jalade Ekeinde. ‘Timeless Passion, which featured Ramsey Nouah, Desmond Elliot, Uche Jumbo, Chisom Ooz-Lee, was jointly produced by Emem Isong and Chisom Oz-lee.Her blockbuster movie called ‘Unguarded.’ In this movie, Ramsey Nouah, one of Africa’s finest, and Uche Jumbo earned my respect for masterfully interpreting their roles.
So, after seeing all the works this young lady put together single-handily, I had no choice but to use my media power to get all and sundry to know her. That was how thousands of folks out there thought I was her publicist and promoter. It was also part of why I began writing to bring to the notice of Nigerians both home and abroad the activities of great Nigerians who are making us proud. That was how I started a weekly broadcast called-Agu Loud in USA. The vacuum created by lack of writers to bring out front the good works our talents are doing in the United States got me primarily into publishing and running an Entertainment outfit-Iktune NY.
I am not a trained entertainment writer; writing is time-consuming. Since nobody was willing to assist, I found myself spending countless hours documenting the activities of many African talents that live and do business in the United States. I was even nominated for an award as a journalist, which I politely declined.
It was odd because promoting and writing about Nigerian Entertainers living in the United States made many folks who never knew me in the past think I was a journalist. Sooner than I anticipated, it became clear that many folks began identifying me as Chisom’s manager and promoter. Thousands of people forgot what I do daily to earn a living. Some spineless jerks also started spreading the rumor she was my girlfriend.
I will not forget how I went to Houston, Texas, to receive multiple awards as the best African Music Producer of the Year/ best Web Site designer/and the Media Personality of the year. Unfortunately, Chisom, whose movie also got nominated for awards, was in Nigeria and unable to fly directly to Houston. I had flown to Houston, Texas, with one upcoming artiste, called Chisom Orji, and to my greatest surprise, the organizer called her ‘Chisom Oz-lee, Emma Agu’s beautiful wife’! I was so embarrassed. I had to talk to one of the officials to have the Mc to correct what he said.
I also recalled what happened at the African Music Festival in Edmonton, Canada. I was the main act for the festival and Chisom also had the opportunity to premiere one of her movies during the festival. In addition, we both received awards during the festival.
I left for Canada without Chisom Oz-lee. On the day she arrived, I was in a rehearsal when the organizers announced that ‘my girlfriend’ had just touched down at the airport and that the Limo had just picked her up. Then, the main organizer told me she would be staying in my Presidential suite. So I politely told her to book another suite for her. She apologized for thinking Chisom and my humble self was in a relationship.
My relationship with Chisom in the last 15 years demonstrates that true friendship devoid of bad feelings, unnecessary fantasies, and emotional attachment, outlast relationships built on lust and what each party gets from the other. Chisom Ooz- lee is like a sister to me. I have the highest respect for her because she has never looked at me lustfully. I equally adore her like my own sister, and she could attest any day that I have never treated her differently. I won’t say it’s all roses between us; we do quarrel a lot, and in most cases, she would say, ‘Emma let me remind you, am not your wife”.
So when she relocated to a high-brow area in Dallas, I had no clue she went back to school again to get her Ph.D. in nursing. For Chisom, I don’t know when she will stop aiming to touch the sky.
She is beautiful, highly educated, and above all, rich by every standard. She is Nollywood movies powerhouse in the United States. So, friends, help me raise your glasses in the air and toast to Chisom’s birthday on this 13th of October 2021, for she is such a good fellow.
New Music-1People, words/melody by Emman I Agu-Maziyke
yea, we are one people
we can live in peace and harmony
cos we are one people…
in peace and harmony 2ce
(rap) we're living through dangerous times
we're living through the age
when people have become very heartless
The times when people commit violence and atrocities
And just killing each other
The times when people got no conscience or empathy
and Just killing each other
The times when people take the laws into their hands
and just killing each other
Yea- are we going back to the dark era
to the stone age, have you forgotten
stanza 2 (Rap)
when you wake up in the morning
and want to watch the news
You see people fighting and killing each other
when you go outside to catch some fun
You'll see people shooting and killing each other
when you look to the left and your right
you see people shooting and killing each other
are we going back
to the dark era
to the Stone Age
have you forgotten that we are one people
living in peace and harmony
oh, we are one people
oh, one big family
We are living through an era
when people are very mean
we're living through an era
when people are heartless
we are living through the times
when people want power,
at all cost and by all means
we're living through the age
when people don't like you
because of the color of your skin
to all ware mongers
let me ask see questions
who are the real victims of war
the children are the real victims of war
innocent people getting killed every day
what you see is destruction & bloodshed,
Music Review: The way I feel
After listening to “Let Dem Say”, you come off with the feeling, here finally is an artiste and track worth their salt.
In these days of declining musicianship and artistry, WOKOIKE’s return with this massive international track is a highly welcome development. The days of great , good music are back!
This smash hit is a brilliant assemblage of multiple genres: Afro-sounds, jazz, pop,rock, rhythm and blues, soul, Afro-soul , etc, into a truly seminal recording that is at once compelling,soulful and evocatively nostalgic. If great music is your thing, then, this is your track.
Being the veteran that he is, I couldn’t have expected lesser musicianship from the maestro, WOKOIKE; and he proved pointedly, that the long wait by his fans around the world was worth it. He rewarded them with this ingeniously crafted masterpiece of a track, Let Dem Say.
The song opens beautifully with a richly blended doowop style chorus that sweeps you up in a soothing musical high.
Scoring truly professional harmonies has been a recurrent weakness of many of today’s tracks. But WOKOIKE would have none of that! The choruses here are beautifully blended,soothing, soulful, bright, crisp and silky. He ensured that department was well taken care of.
And his own lead vocals are a master class in vocal delivery. Bristling with soul,style and experience, he effortlessly breathed them on the mic with the flair and expertise of a vocal guru. His velvety rich voice was in its A game. Every line is a masterstroke! Don’t take my word for it; go listen for yourself and come thank me later for this rec.
And a thing about veterans is their ucanny ability to craft their song on the appropriate sonic key that maximizes both their own lead voice and the other instruments and voices on the track. It’s a function of great song writing, and WOKOIKE had that crucial question sorted out in the writing of this scintillating track.
The songs’s mid tempoed rhythm makes it a soothing, delightful listening piece.
“Let Dem Say what they like
Let Dem do what they want
I’ll never give up on you
I’ll never stop loving you….”, he croons!
That’s a bold love declaration!
And appropriately titled, “Let Dem Say” is a bold love declaration. Lovers around the world and indeed those pledging their love in marital vows just received a big boost and a new love anthem in this classic track. This is your next big international song on the key of love.Trust me!
And the soulful, anthemic baseline of this track rumbles sonically and definitively underneath throughout this masterpiece, as if putting a stamp on it and augmenting its mellow mood.
Spicy, classic, jazz-influenced and Spanish styled guitar riffs, and disciplinedly strummed arpeggios help tell the song’s story at professionally interspersed intervals.
The soothing world class mix and professional mastering are the icing on the cake. The total effect on you is , you want to press replay after each listen.
Carefully measured arrangements of chorus-verse alternation hold your attention and interest on the song for the 3 minutes or therebouts from its intro to to its coda.
And here’s the caveat about this massive track! The chorus is very singable and highly addictive! You might find yourself whistling the melody in the bathroom. I warned you!
This is a viral song.All the marks are in place and on point. A certified hit amongst pop, rnb, soul, urban and adult contemporary audiences.
I gladly give this 5 full stars.
Maziyke Bounces Back , Issues New Song “Testify”.
Maziyke, Nigeria’s famed international singer, and award-winning record producer, formerly known as Allabama, is back with a sizzling, hot new gospel track titled “Testify” !
This highly inspirational track opens gloriously with elegant guitars and soul-lifting choruses, In it, WOKOIKE , appreciates, magnifies, thanks and praises God for His goodness.
He testifies of God’s mercies and faithfulness.
Those who know and follow the award-winning, diaspora-based music icon, have for long been wondering about the hitmaker’s long absence from the music scene.
But he is back with this mega-hit track which he says has a big story behind it.
The iconic singer and media tycoon opened up to Lagos-based writer, Franz Dickson in this rare chat. Hear him:
“This is the story behind ‘Testify’- a gospel track in my oncoming album release.
“Many years ago, when I newly opened a recording studio in Castle Hill area of The Bronx, New York, I received a call from a ten-year-old kid who later introduced herself to me as Precious Ahunamba.
“The young kid told me she called me from Motifeire Hospital, East Gun Hill Road, Bronx, New York. I was startled on hearing she called me from her hospital bed. I never knew how she got my cellphone number. I had never met her family before.
” After listening to her soft voice, I realized that little Precious was a cancer patient who doctors told her had a little time left in this world. But, she didn’t give up, and before anyone counted her out, her cancer went into remission.
“So she told me about her dream to record a song she co-wrote with her mother . Her dream was for me to put her out there and let the world hear her story.
“Back in the day when I was a teenager, I wrote songs for Nigeria’s singing kid prodigy, Tosin Jegede, so working with kids was part of me. It runs in me.
“I listened to her song and wrote three more songs while she was still in hospital. She was diagnosed with Leukemia, cancer of the bone and made it to my studio for weeks.
Precious stood in my singing booth for hours throughout the recording sessions. It took us two months to complete the entire project. Her younger brother, who now attends one of the United States’ elite universities, also recorded a rap song I wrote during the project.
“Precious came with her little friends, and when she went back to the hospital, we recorded in her absence.
“The very morning of her album release and grand launching at the Holy Rosary hall, information got to me about what happened that morning at the hospital. Precious died hours before her album lunch.
“In my state of shock and disbelief, I wept uncontrollably. That news changed my life and my career. We went ahead with the album lunch since it was her dying wish. We had a successful event albeit overshadowed by this little angel’s sudden departure.
“Though I won the African music producer of the year for that album, I stopped producing and playing music. I was too heartbroken to play music. I saw life as a bitch and wondered why death would snatch such a little kid star away from this planet.
“My fans have all been wondering if I will ever play music again. I remember many upcoming musicians who wondered why I refused to work with them. I have not forgotten many clients who bad-mouthed me for refusing to play in their events.
“I stopped headlining concerts and openly refused awards, including honorary doctorate awards for headling President Obama’s African Inaugural ball in Washington DC in 2009.
“Close friends and family members had all given up on me music-wise. So I took a long music break after headlining the Edmonton -African music festival in 2011.
“Like everyone close to me would say, I don’t usually talk much about my songs; I typically just allow the listeners to have the final say. So, there’s no age, color, religion, or race-based stumbling block in my music. Instead, I hope to tell her story and make the world know who she was- little Precious Ahunamba.”
And that was the music maestro, WOKOIKE telling in his own words the touching story behind the new comeback song, “TESTIFY.”
Thankfully, WOKOIKE has again found his voice and bounced back with this epic track of testimonies.
He’s back to Testify of God’s love, goodness and faithfulness.
Testify is one of the singles from WOKOIKE’s upcoming album.
OBAMA, fully vaccinated and boosted TESTS POSITIVE TO Covid-19
I just tested positive for COVID. I’ve had a scratchy throat for a couple days, but am feeling fine otherwise. Michelle and I are grateful to be vaccinated and boosted, and she has tested negative.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 13, 2022
It’s a reminder to get vaccinated if you haven’t already, even as cases go down.
The former President of the United States, Barack Obama said on Sunday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is “feeling fine” other than a scratchy throat.
Both the 60-year-old Obama and his wife Michelle Obama are fully vaccinated and boosted, the former president said. Michelle Obama has tested negative.
Obama said his diagnosis is “a reminder to get vaccinated if you haven’t already, even as cases go down.”
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