I was sleeping inside a bus returning to Benin City when I first heard the song “Ovbigbo” in this life. The song woke me up from sleep, induced by the boredom of an uneventful journey from Delta State to Benin City. I had come to visit family like I usually do. With sleepy eyes, I listened intently. The voice was clear and resounding. It was full of life and reverberated with intense emotions and musical energy. The melodious lyrics of this beautiful song went, “Ovbigbo marry Ovbiedo, Iye oh, wagienota gha ta oh, ehenhen, ahoevbomwan no-oh”, which translates to “An Igbo person has married (or is marrying) an Edo person. Let antagonists talk. This is about true love.” Upon research on the Internet and elsewhere in real life (asking questions), I learnt about Influence Akaba, the son of the legendary Akaba Man, another musical maestro. I immediately learnt that, aside from the fact that Influence Akaba makes universally appealing music, he ensures that it has the cultural element of language and generational relevance to the times we find ourselves. When it comes to music, if you capture the youths, you have already succeeded. Content matters, but so does form. Rhythm matters, but so does embellishing it in the prevailing sounds of the time.

This multi-talented musician and instrumentalist comes endowed with the ability to produce sensational and thoughtful music that transcends the imaginative barriers of language. After all, music is universal, is it not? Most of us have a favourite song in our playlist that might not be in English language. Personally, I believe that the exceptionally musical Influence Akaba is now so good at what he does that he cannot produce a bad song even if he went out of his way to do so. His stage performances are also incredible and he maintains cordial relationships with other musicians in the industry; after all, no man is an island and no one can succeed without the voluntary assistance of other people in this world. This pleasant encounter with Influence Akaba and his enchanting music heightened my curiosity and spurred me on to make some research on this indomitable musical son of Edo State. I began my research with:

Ovbigbo: The music video for this hit track was star-studded and it was worth it. Amb. Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen played Influence Akaba’s father. There was also Eunice Omoregie, with Kevin Ikeduba playing the Igbo girl‘s father. This is a great and important song because of its thematic relevance. We live in a society that is “tribal-sensitive”. The annoying concept of parents telling their children which tribe to marry from – as if love can be controlled – is still widely prevalent. Parents – instinctively – do this out of love and genuine concern for their children‘s wellbeing and, by extension, the generational preservation of their genetic and cultural heritage.

However, this song reminds us that in the end, while cultural preservation is important, it is more imperative that true love trumps cultural divisions. True Story: What is quite heartfelt about this “Ovbigbo marry Ovbiedo” song is that it actually resolved some premarital conflicts I know about in real life. An Edo lady was dating a guy from another tribe. She was hesitant to introduce him to her family. Initially her family members were sceptical until “Ovbigbo marry Ovbiedo” went viral. The same sceptical family members were repetitively singing and humming Influence Akaba‘s song until their resistance dissolved. In a subtle manner, music sure does resolve societal conflict which is the fundamental essence of social engineering.

Related News

Dodorima: This is another timeless hit song that no one has got tired of playing and replaying yet. This song emphasizes the essence of gratitude, especially to Almighty God who is the source of every good thing. One thing I have learnt about gratitude is that it tends to uplift the grateful person to upper levels. And as usual, the rhythm and beat of this beautiful song is incredible.

Osamakwe: “Osamakwe ye ghian eh” loosely translates to “God did not let my enemies win”. Other emphatic lines from this song are, “Wa do gu mwen ghogho” (Come and rejoice with me) and “Oghogho eri ighiye” (I am happy). In this song, Influence Akaba talks about his struggles to succeed and how God helped him surmount the evil machinations of his enemies, a.k.a those who wanted to see him fail. This song reminds me that whatever is happening around me doesn’t matter; as long as I keep on trying my best, I will succeed, no matter what and no matter how long. God will surely open a way as there is no success in this life unless it comes from the Almighty.

I only touched a slice of Influence Akaba‘s discography, an artist who remains determined and committed to influencing The World With The Power of Music. It will be worth your while – wherever you live on planet earth – to examine this hardworking and great multi-talented musician from Edo State. There is always something vital to learn, especially from musicians who put a lot of heart, a lot of thought and care into their work. Musicians who don’t just want to have fun, but want to use their art medium to pass along key lessons of life and uplifting messages. Considering how culturally relevant and widespread the profound messages in his songs are, it gives me great joy that I come from Edo State, a place that abounds with immense creativity and creatives worthy of celebration, and who will always reverberate the immutable concept of exporting Edo To The World.