EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ‘My Mother’s Death: A Huge Surprise, Rude Shock to Me’-Mike Okri, Ace Nigerian Highlife Superstar* Laments: ‘My Regrets, Pains, Plans for her on Mother’s Day’* Recalls: “She was a Great Singer from her Teenage years into Adulthood”* Cries: “She was my Greatest Career Supporter, Pillar for LIFE”* Requests HELP from Delta State and Nigerian President BUHARI*Says: “I’m Looking forward to my True Friends forming a Burial Committee Group”*Talks about his 30 Years on Stage, coming Concert as an International Music Legend

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:

‘My Mother’s Death: A Huge Surprise, Rude Shock to Me’Mike Okri, Ace Nigerian Highlife Superstar

* Laments: ‘My Regrets, Pains, Plans for her on Mother’s Day’

* Recalls: “She was a Great Singer from her Teenage years into Adulthood”

* Cries: “She was my Greatest Career Supporter, Pillar for LIFE”

* Requests HELP from Delta State and Nigerian President BUHARI

*Says: “I’m Looking forward to my True Friends forming a Burial Committee Group”

*Talks about his 30 Years on Stage, coming Concert as an International Music Legend

 

Mike Okri is a familiar face in most homes in Africa. He stormed the Nigerian music scene in 1988 with his chart busting debut LP, ‘Concert Fever’, which signalled a change in the general tone of Nigerian pop. Okri, a pop-classic artiste who relocated to Los Angeles, California, United States belongs to the Nigerian pop generation of 80s but has brought modernity into his brand of music through highlife. Nigerians, Africans, African-Americans fell in love with his genre of music, particularly ‘Omoge’ evergreen album which he rendered mostly in vernacular and indigenous Nigerian languages that cuts across all tribes, ethnicity and ages in Nigeria. Okri, a serial award wining musician is presently sad, mourning the death of his dearest Mother, Late Mrs Mary Onojighodame Okri, nee Eruvwekaghwe who died on May 1, 2016 at in DeltaState. In this Exclusive Interview with EMMANUEL OGEDE/ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR, he talked about the essence of his Mother’s death, What life means to him, Burial Plans, Expected assistance from his home state government ( Delta State) and the Federal Government.

Mike Okri and Mother 1Q: How do you feel when the shocking news of your mother’s death reached you?

A: It’s a huge surprise and a rude shock about my mother’s death. Because I was in Nigeria sometime in February to see her. Though frail, there was that initial expectation I would see her again, I was wrong. It thus mean my siblings and I would miss her greatly.

Q: In what ways did the news affect your emotions?

A: Did I hear you say emotions? Listen…it tore me up knowing now she’s no more with us. But again I’m glad she’d lived quite an age 89+ years and by His grace she’s with the Lord.

Q: What significant role did your Mother play in your Music Career?

A: Hmmmm…I could categorically state that my mom was the gifted one among her siblings and she passed that gift of singing to all her children, including me. Looking back now I can say my mother was a strong influence and supporter of my career as an Artist, Lol.

Q:Can you recall some fond memories of her during your Childhood?

A: Yes, those fun moments when she would tell us folk stories she made into songs. Believe it or not, my mom was also a great singer in her days as a teenager and even until she died.

Q: Today, being the Mother’s Day, what message would you have passed on to your Mother if she were alive?

A: I would have wished her “Happy Mother’s Day” of course.

Q: How do you think you can cope with the Vicissitudes of life without your mother?

A: Well, it’s no easy task to overcome, mother being always supreme. However, mortal death is inevitable to all. In my prayers there’s always this old saying about children being blessed and privileged to bury their own parents at the appropriate time designed by God. I’m also glad that the fortitude to bear such a huge loss is the strength of the Lord and the true belief that we shall one day meet again.

Q: What is the burial arrangements of your Mother?

A: Well, as the first male child it is imperative that I go home to Nigeria and team up with the rest of my siblings to make the burial arrangements possible. We hope it all goes well by the grace of God.

Q: What assistance are you looking forward from your State and Federal Government being that you have consistently used music as a vehicle to re-brand Nigeria’s image in United States?

A: (chuckles)…I look up to God to provide all possible assistance necessary to give my mother a befitting burial grand enough to make history. I believe also that my true friends, wherever they are, would make themselves available for support.

Q: Are there plans for you to put in place Burial Committee Group among musicians and friends?

A: Yes, I look forward to having a committee in place with friends of all works of life, including musicians.

Q: As the firstborn in your family, what does this lose of your Mother means to you at this time in your Career?

A: Ah, as a first male child I wish my mother had lived a little longer to enjoy the full benefit of a dear mother. But then who can question the Almighty God? He’s all knowing and has the final say of all Destinies.

Q: Tell us about your present album success in African-American markets

A: All my old albums are still well received and listened to globally. Hence, I see myself very fortunate to be labeled a Legend among other great musicians before me and in my era. That I’m alive and well and still performing globally shows that my fans world-wide are waxing stronger and they ain’t done with me yet…At the moment I’m about to pull off my 30 years music anniversary that’s around the corner, God being able, including lots of collaboration with seasoned artists and musicians on my new works…(laughs).

Q: What lessons do you think life has taught you so far?

A: You never outgrow life’s lessons, do you? One only grow mature to gain experience in dealing with the challenges that resurfaces every given day. So I’ll gladly say, with God’s help and His grace I’m getting over the intricate lessons life has to offer.

Q: What regrets do you have in life?

A: None that I could think of at the moment. I’ll just continue to thank God for His goodness, knowing He alone sustains me through my short falls and errors in the process of still climbing to arrive at the very top of the mountain of success.

Q: What message do you have for your fans across the world?

A: I pray they have their minds focused and fear the one true God. They should also understand that whatever they do it should be worth doing well. They must abide by the law of logic not to want to cut corners tantamount to permanent failure.

 

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