Monday, July 3, 2017

USA Africa Dialogue Series - FW: [Naijanet] Sweet Mother! The Nico Mbarga Orbituary No Nigerian Ever Gave!



Dr. Bitrus Paul Gwamna


From: 'Rotimi Ogunsuyi' via Naijanet []
Sent: Monday, July 3, 2017 11:22 AM
Subject: [Naijanet] Sweet Mother! The Nico Mbarga Orbituary No Nigerian Ever Gave!


We complain a lot about the three [main] branches of government, but our brown bag "journalists" and other professional writers might be equally, or more useless - and that's not to absolve pretty much all the other professions, including mine.



Twenty years ago the man who recorded one of the most successful songs of all time was thrown off a motorbike by a car in Calabar, Nigeria. He hit his head on the road and was rushed to the hospital, where he lay for two weeks, in and out of consciousness, but deteriorating all the time. On June 24, 1997, Prince Nico Mbarga was pronounced dead.


"Sweet Mother," his 1976 one-hit wonder, had sold at least thirteen million copies across the African continent – more than The Beatles' bestseller "I Want to Hold Your Hand." But no global media outlet thought to cover the life and death of the artist behind Africa's most popular song.


Over the last few months, I have tried to piece together a more textured story: traveling to Mbarga's hometown to talk to his childhood friend, his wife and his mistress; tracking down his former band members from Cameroon to France to the US; prodding the memory of his octogenarian producer; and reading rare transcripts of his interviews.


Twenty years after his death, this is the obituary that never was.




His Biggest Hit Sold More Copies Than Any of the Beatles'. So Why Haven't Y...

In a life bookended by tragedy, Prince Nico Mbarga poured joy into his music, including the most popular song in...



Soooo, a Nigerian sold more records than any Beetles single, yet, no Nigerian journalist or story-teller bothered to tell the story of his life [including his two "wives" :-)], until these couple of foreign writers!


And that's an indictment of our record-keeping.


Rotimi Ogunsuyi

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