In a recent interview after not saying much for a long time, African China, the Nigerian reggae artist reportedly said that he would never keep quiet about the truth even if it would cause him his life.
For someone who built his music career that sprouted wings and took off in 1999 on telling truth to power, his recent silence has been no less deafening. Who can forget his songs particularly from the two popular albums Crisis and Mr. President, which seem to have been produced only yesterday for all the messages there. But that yesterday now seems a long time ago. Everyone who hears his songs expects that he would still be churning hits to this very day. There is after all ample material in a country like Nigeria where one Mr. President is often like the one before, if not worse. Perhaps it was his experience in the UK where he had gone for a concert and had a date with fate, or maybe because he is now a family man. One may never be able to put a finger on it. What is evident and true is that African China has been silent for way too long.
Born Chinagorom Onuoha, he was destined to be Nigeria’s ever young and top rating artist until the thing that deeps a finger in your throat and stops the songs from flowing freely happened to him. He was supposed to be the Fela that everyone was missing and knew they could never do without. Fela was after all his role model while he was growing up in the Orile area of Lagos lapping up the Afrobeat legend’s every song, wanting to be him. But he dropped out, opting instead to groom men.
Nigerians are still in love with his evergreen songs and hope that he would find his voice soon. Mr musician, sing am well. What is the point dying silent anyway?