Kogi State will be going to the polls today for the local council elections in the state. As all attentions turn to the conduct of the election, Switch Nigeria brings to you an enchanting interview with an upcoming artiste, a young man with amazing skills and a beautiful dream. A rising star in the music industry, Emmy Suave,(pronounced SU-AY-V), combines his artistic tenacity with surprising maturity and a knack for going across divides to advocate for sanity, unity, and nonviolence, a nature that is not akin to the manners of music artistes nowadays. He is an apostle of progress and is deeply concerned about the plight of the youths and the need to ensure unity. He believes that without unity progress is not achievable.
Here are excerpts from the Track Ùdàmá and their meaning in English:
Úgbódú k’àmọ́ma Igala dẹ́ kadé,
Ẹ̀nyọ́ ki t-ọ́gba ma e
United we stand o
Ùdàmá ch’ùkpáhiú, ùdàmá ch’ùkpáhiú!
(Wherever Igala people find themselves
Being good should be their way
United we stand o
Unity is strength, unity is strength!)
Here are excerpts from the song Ìjàbé (Election):
Ọ̀la jábé ch’ọ̀là ujà nó
Ónú kpẹ úchẹ́ ẹ ná d-íbé cheñw
Ọ́láyí kẹ lí íla n-èjì nó
Mẹ̀ tódú Ọ̀jọ́ mẹ ná d-íbé cheñw!
(Election things are not conflict/fight/spitefulness
If a king sends you on errand, be careful/ use your initiative
This life you see, has no duplicate
For God’s sake, be careful!)
Our correspondent virtually met up with Emmy Suave yesterday morning, 11th December 2020 and the following interview was conducted.
Switch Nigeria: Hello, good morning sir. Can you introduce yourself?
Emmy Suave: Good morning sir. My name is Gabriel Emmanuel Ọjọchẹ́nẹ́mí. I’m popularly known as Emmy Suave, that’s the stage name. An upcoming artiste, sir.
Switch Nigeria: Oh, that’s great. Please, can you introduce us to a few of the works that you have done so far? We’re talking about songs that you have done. And how relevant they are to the society you live in?
Emmy Suave: Yes sir. I have done several songs. One of them is titled Election (Ìjàbé). The one titled Election is kind of advising the society, the youth on how to go about elections and other (related) stuff. Election should not be all about killing, destroying properties, you understand? And so forth. It is a thing that we should just come together as one to participate in, you understand, elect the person we want to go lead. Something that we have to use our mindset, like what we have, our initiative, to work something out in order for things to work out.
In the same song I advised the leaders also, you understand, that it is improper, to call someone else’s son, to hand him a gun, to go and harm another. It is not good, you understand. It’s abnormal. So in such situation, I mentioned how stuff like that can be resolved, so that the conflicts will not occur. That’s on the Election track.
I also have another song, titled Ùdàmá. And Ùdàmá means unity. In a society where there’s no unity, I don’t think something good can work out. You understand, because in a society, all we need is to unite as one. Nigeria to unite as one. Kogi State to unite as one. All the 36 States to unite as one. The country as a whole, and the whole world, to unite as one.
I used my dialect, that is, Igala, in order for me to pass the message well for them to understand.
I talked much about ùdàmá and the song is really, really, trending. Like everywhere, it is trending, to the glory of God.
And in the song, also, I talked about a certain people who have traveled and have gotten used to the city or place they are living, and have ignored the place that they came from originally. They have forgotten their roots. It’s not supposed to be so. They have to look back, because their people are still at home. They need to work together with their people at home to work on things for progress and development. No matter who you are, or the office you may hold, try to look back to your people, unite and take your state and your society forward.
“Please when someone says to you let’s go and destroy this property, let’s go do one or two wrong things, please just say no to it. Because this is the time we need our voices to speak, let them hear us well. Let us say no to political thuggery, let us say no to domestic violence, let’s say no to hatred, let’s say no to murder.”Emmy Suave
Switch Nigeria: Ok, once again, concerning the track Ùdàmá, you were talking about some the indigenes of the State, and also indigenes of the Igala dialect, who are outside of the state, and how they can contribute much to the unity and the progress of their people and their state, I would love to also ask please, on ground right now, regarding the people who are within the state itself, what has been the effort so far to harness the resources and potentials, within the state itself for its development?
What are the things that can bring employment to the teeming youths of the State? It seems that the youths, once they’re through with their school, the next thing they do is to leave their hometowns, their villages, or even cities, to go to other states or other cities of other states? What can be done to reduce this? Other youths tend to join violent groups and political thuggery, which does not do any good to the image of the State’s youths. What is the potential that the leaders of the State ought to exploit or what should they do to reduce this incidence of moral dysfunction, and exodus of youths from the state?
Emmy Suave: Yeah. I think what our leaders should do is to take advantage of our mineral resources to create jobs and add value to the society. There’s the iron and steel company in Ajaokuta which can be expanded to accommodate more employees. We have coal! We need to harness our coal. We have several mineral resources that if wisely managed can create employment for the youths. The busier the youths the less likely it is for them to have the time to join in political thuggery, or even robbery. There should be factories, industries!
You can’t compare the educated and the uneducated ones. It’s an error to expect those with higher qualifications to be engaged in menial jobs that don’t add more value to their profession or field of study. Let there be effective policies to engage graduates and integrate them into factories and industries and relevant companies within the state.
What they need to do is come together with the youths and rub minds to work something out. The youths need empowerment. You expect them to go to farms so you need to empower them to be professional farmers. You ask them to go to farm and you don’t give them hoes and cutlass, not to speak of fertilizers, improved seeds, tractors, harvesters, and the many suitable modern equipment. They will need something more than they are being given. Standard equipment and tools to farm efficiently.
There is a need for our leaders to come down from their high horse, join hands together, and chart positive paths for improvement of the economy of the State. This will be achieved if there is unity within themselves and with the youths, the people.
The situation of the youths and the economy of the State makes me sad. I feel hurt about it. Our well-to-do people elsewhere need to come back and help to set up factories and industries. This is the way to go. There are little or no such thing in Igala land. It is making me sad! There should be something to get the youths engaged positively.
Personally, I would love to have the chance to speak with the leaders in sensitive positions, to impress it on them that we need to work something out. I know I will have the chance soon. But those who have the chance already, should talk. Say the truth.
Those who are in position to speak with our leaders and those with the power to help should please do so. Let’s talk. Let’s do the talk.
Switch Nigeria: Beautiful to hear this. I as a correspondent, on my way to a place in Kogi State, the driver played your song titled Ùdàmá. After it played, the driver and some of the passengers started discussion on the issue of unity in Igala land, and Kogi in general. Some said it has been a long time that there are calls for unity among the people towards the development of the society.
So far, at this juncture, is there any indication that there is a sign of a growing unity among the people, or from your observations, things are getting worse by the day?
Emmy Suave: The situation is not getting worse. I’m seeing some changes already. To the glory of God. Our heartfelt cries are loud and I’m seeing God is hearing us. He’s answering our prayers already. So I think it is better now. Things are better now as per unity, but a lot is expected, still.
Switch Nigeria: Emmy Suave, how soon are we to expect more tracks or even album from you? And, what message do you have for your fans right now, who are expecting you to bring more songs to the table? And also, what is your advice to the teeming youths, especially regarding the economic and political turmoil that, not just the state but the country as a whole is going through right now?
Emmy Suave: Yeah! By the special grace of God, 2021, my album will be out. I have a lot of tracks on ground already, I’m working and compiling them together. And the album is going to be out this 2021 by the special grace of God.
All my fans waiting for me, please don’t be tired. I’m coming with the best. The best, I can confide, is what I’m coming with. Always stand by me because without you, I’m nothing, can’t stand on my own. It’s your power I’m using. So please, always stay with Emmy Suave. It’s not an easy task.
Also I would like to advise the whole youth. Please let’s use our tongue to count our teeth. Remember the home you are coming out from, know where you are going. Discover your potential and work towards it. Your talent, what you have doing, what you can do, give it all the best for your society.
Please when someone says to you let’s go and destroy this property, let’s go do one or two wrong things, please just say no to it. Because this is the time we need our voices to speak, let them hear us well. Let us say no to political thuggery, let us say no to domestic violence, let’s say no to hatred, let’s say no to murder. Please anywhere you are, any state you’re from, Nigeria as a whole, let us unite as one, let us love one another, let love lead. Thank you very much!
Gabriel Emmanuel Ọjọchẹ́nẹ́mí is currently studying Sociology at the Kogi State University, Anyigba. He will be graduating in 2021.