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Lasisi Releases New Album In Honour Of Chibok Girls 10 Years After Abduction

Akeem Lasisi
Akeem Lasisi

The plight of the over 276 schoolgirls abducted in Chibok, Borno State, in 2014 has echoed in a new musical poetry album by seasoned poet, Akeem Lasisi.

In the new album titled ORERE, Lasisi dedicates a track to them by not only critically reviewing the circumstances surrounding the sad incident but also asking critical question on the fate many of the victims yet to be rescued.

The pupils of Government Secondary School, Chibok, were abducted by terrorists during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, and when the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, was the Borno State Governor. Ten years after, some 91 of the ‘girls’ are still in captivity, based on official figures that say 187 have been rescued. Now in a track titled ‘Chibok Girls’, the poet laments the fate of those still in bondage while sympathising with their parents and other loved ones who live with the nightmare of their absence.

In the track, the poet features a Yoruba folklore song in which a woman begs an eye igbo (agbigbo the hornbill), which had abducted her child, singing:

Eye igbo ba n gb’omo mi o

Eye igbo…

Igbo bird, release my child to me

Eye igbo…

As expected, the poem in ‘Chibok Girls’ is not only sorrowful but is also critical.

Lasisi says on the track: “I still feel pained like many other concerned people. The best way to feel what the abductees and their parents are going through is to imagine the tragedy happening to one. Imagining having one’s own daughter or son – or both in the jaws of terrorists, somewhere in the anonymous bush, not just for a month or a year, but for 10 long years. It is extremely painful.”

He, however, adds that producing the track for Chibok girls is a source of relief to him because making a case for such embattled young ones is a debt that whoever has a voice should pay one way or the other.

Since Lasisi’s poetry is intensely African, he never walks alone. In ‘Orere’, as he did in his past albums such as ‘Eleleture’ and ‘Udeme’, he collaborates with fine artistes such as Edaoto, Phumzee and Kunle Oduremi, while top drummers, including veteran Ayanlere Alajede, are also in business with him. Many of the songs were produced by Oduremi, with consummate cinematographer and singer, Sanjo Adegoke, also being part of the production of the title song.

A surprise element in the album is the discovery and featuring of an Ibadan, Oyo State-based lady, Olamide Yusuf, who injects Yoruba bridal poetry – ekun iyawo – into ‘Ile Oko Ya: Wedding Bells’ and ‘E wa Wo Wa: Colour of Love.’

Packaged by Oludotun Ajibola

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