Tribute to Nigerian/African Music Legend Chief Ebenezar Obey on the occasion of his 70th birthday
Happy Birthday to Chief Ebenezer Obey - by Olutosin Mustapha
Howard Gardner,Ph.D, an accomplished educator at Harvard University must have had Chief Ebenezer Obey on mind when he was able to prove that musical intelligence was one of multiple intelligences in his theory of eight multiple intelligences. He was able to establish that intelligence is not about passing or failing an examination but all about how a person is able to influence his or her society positively.Chief Ebenezer Obey did influence Nigeria with his music! I reflected on this theory as I was watching the videos of the 70th Birthday celebrations of Obey on youtube and I was able to conclude that Obey has indeed influenced Nigerians and the rest of the world with his music based on the videos and how Nigerians in the Diaspora play his evergreen music always. The messages in his music are just too important to be ignored.
Whenever I am homesick of Lagos in New York City, I only need to log on to youtube and click on any of Obey`s music especially "A jo o ma da bi ile o", "A JO YIO" or "Boardmembers" to relieve me. Another music that I love is "WERENGATO" by a Nigerian group called ALL STARS. Whenever I am feeling down, I only need to click on Obey`s music and play classics such as "Oro oluwa ede" or "Fimi lokan bale, oluwa" and I will feel much better. Whenever I am in a good mood, I will click on Obey`s music named "MILIKI" which means enjoyment or another one named "LAGOS STATE" and I will be singing. When some supposely grown-up people misbehave and I have had to reprimand them seriously, I will click on "Rofo-rofo (poto-poto) ti a no ni abata, eni ta si ni ara o ko foriji wa o e. Oro yi wa dabi owe eyin agbagba o..... ".Obey has produced music to touch every area of our lives at one time or the other.
I am writing this brief tribute to let Chief Obey know again and again how much Nigerians in the Diaspora appreciate his music and how much he has influenced the world with his music. On the occasion of your 70th Birthday in April 2012, Chief Obey, just as you sang decades ago, I am simply writing and singing, "Happy Birthday to you my darling, Happy Birthday to you.ye o o my darling oooo, happy birthday..."
The writer of this article, Princess Olutosin Mustapha is the founder and president of Afro Heritage Venture. A New York City based organization committed to improving education and culture since 2002.