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Content-Creation in the Songs of King Pereama and Dr Izonebi, By Ekanpou Enewaridideke




My unapologetic years of sojourn on earth have taught me that whenever lies are gilded and deodorised as healthy debates, criticisms and treatises in the secular immensity, appropriate language must be called into being as a counter-force to reduce them to pieces beyond resurrection as creatively demanded by Ngugi wa Thiong’o in his DEVIL ON THE CROSS – a novel in which the Marxist Wariinga is positioned to do the finishing job on Gatuiria’s father and end further proliferation of the devil on the cross. For the purpose of today’s journey, Wariinga’s pistol in DEVIL ON THE CROSS that violently does the finishing job has no space here; only healthy language that figuratively does Wariinga’s finishing job without violence would be accommodated.


Content in music is what always endears the musician to the music listeners.The musician dies who does not have good content in his musical compositions. Content makes a musician a household name in the world of music listeners.No musician can be talked about rhapsodically by the music listeners without an inspiring and didactic content.With healthy exploitation of instrumentation and message, inspiring content can be created by a musician in his songs.In terms of inspiring content, King Pereama is clearly situated by his musical treatises on women, marriage and home management. King Freetown would have been no where in Ijaw music if he were a composer of songs without content.Do some people actually understand content-creation in music?


For Dr Izonebi it would have been the end of the world for him musically after the death of King Dr Robert Ebizimor but for his nourishing content in his songs. Izonebi endears himself to music listeners with his inspiring content in music geared towards revival of old traditional Ijaw songs played with percussive instruments like Opuozi.With healthy exploitation of the Opuozi drum in songs, Dr Izonebi has revived and popularised the forgotten traditional Ijaw songs by which music listeners got connected to late Kuro-endi, Ball-ere, Birifou, Beinta and others in the dead years. Through Izonebi’s content-creation drawn from instrumentation and message, the contemporary world has been connected to the the heydays of the old traditional Ijaw songs once forgotten with the death of the music gurus like Birifou and many others.


Izonebi has equally endeared himself to this generation by creating beautiful and didactically loaded songs from contemporary events and challenges to chart a path for the world. In the harsh days of President Muhammed Buhari when hunger ruled the world tyrannically, Izonebi satirised the change mantra and told Buhari how he had pulverised Nigeria with hunger.What about the inspiring content in his ‘Delta Ijaw’ song where he musically empowers, persuades and energises the Ijaws to go for the Delta governorship slot in 2023?


It is unforgettable that Izonebi creates inspiring content from contemporary events and chart a progressive path for the world, and his contents always resonate with music lovers across the world. In instrumentation and didacticism in their songs, King Pereama and Dr Izonebi are original composers and content creators. It is still a measure of their originality that they stylistically evoke elements of King Robert Ebizimor, Professor IK. Belemu, Field Marshall Echo Toikumo, Bestman Doupere, Agbeotu Teiyeibo and others in their songs with acknowledgements away from any charge of plagiarism.These stylistic evocations immortalise the departed musicians and foreground the compositional flexibility, fluidity and ‘feletefeletetism’ of Pereama and Izonebi.And it is on record that no Ijaw musician counting from King Pereama Freetown down to this present generation can escape the charge of stylistic evocations in their songs embodying elements of King Ebizimor, Echo, Bestman, Agbeotu, Ik. Belemu and many other old Ijaw musicians because it is a creative stylistic embellishment-continuum passed from one musician to another either in their periods of musical infancy or musical maturity as they grow in their music careers.


All over the world music enthusiasts are wowed and captivated by the reproductive artistry and capacity of musicians displayed on stage. Sometimes musicians stirringly communicate to their fans how deep-rooted, versatile, sophisticated and good they are on stage by reproducing the music masterpieces of fellow musicians. For dead music enthusiasts dead to the drive behind this reproductive capacity often demonstrated by Pereama Freetown, Alfred Izonebi and other musicians like Abraham Young, Kennedy Duduku, King Fezena Pius Alabeni, Gift Ebigba Promise, Eniye Egole, Tokoni, Golipat, Alex Kimaki, Romeo Okoye, Kingsley Takemebo, King Allen Alabor, Ezonfade Bouy, Smally Okpe, Best May and Omoko Ogbomudia on stage, they lazily attribute it to lack of originality – a meaningless originality which they smugly feel should centre solely on the released songs of the musician.


Sadly, these questionable music enthusiasts have forgotten that to reproduce movingly on stage the songs of other artistes, which shows musical versatility and dexterity, is another strategy of content-creation that resonates with the audience. What about creating jobs for people through revival of Opuozi percussionists who now have a space to join music bands and derive economic power from their percussionist talents?Is Izonebi the trail-blazer in the resurrection of the Opuozi culture in music not an inspiring content-creator in music?


Even if it accidentally falls ‘walala’ into the marsh of self-repetition, it must be sounded again and again as if some persons had gone iguana that content-creation in music is sometimes dictated by the music enthusiasts and listeners whose demonstrated attitudes and thoughts signal the musician on how to create a content that would resonate with them on stage and off the performance stage. Content-creation is not static as a phenomenon because it is sometimes determined by what instrumentally or thematically captures the fancy of the enthusiasts. So what is celebrated as an intriguing content among some people may be questioned by others who don’t find that quite moving.Sometimes a notorious nonsense is celebrated as a captivating content; yet it is this notorious nonsense that endears the musician to the audience. Depending on the predispositions and predilections of the music enthusiasts, notorious nonsense could be deodorised and hailed as a good content.


There is no universally acceptable formula or fixity in content-creation because it varies according to the varying thoughts of the music enthusiasts. It sounds absurdist, unconventional and uncultured for anyone to say that known musicians whose inspiring contents have carved a niche for them as a connecting rod between musicians and the people, and whose songs are still the heartbeat of the people, don’t have a good content. This is a defective criticism not grounded in the flexibility, fluidity and non-fixity in content-creation in music – one that no healthy thought should be spared for in the music industry because content-creation in music bears resemblance to ‘borders’ which no longer enjoy geographical fixity as scholarly dictated by current border studies.


From whatever angle it is approached, let me tell you without equivocation that Ijaw musicians are compositionally and instrumentally good and are worthy of commendation anytime any day even after the death of greats like King Ebizimor, Bestman, Agbeotu, Echo and others. For King Pereama and Dr Izonebi, it is the inspiring content in their songs that has endeared them to the music listeners and this inspiring content shall always remain the connecting rod between these two musicians and the enthusiastic world of music listeners. Bravo to King Pereama Freetown and Dr Alfred Izonebi as they endlessly create memorable contents through their musical compositions because the world will never be tired of listening to their songs!



Writes from Akparemogbene, Delta State .

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