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Remembering Christy Essien-Igbokwe



Nigeria’s Christy Essien-Igbokwe was a blessing to Nigerians in the 70s and 80s. The artist is responsible for hit songs such as Ife that made the ancient city of Ibadan a fun place, the epic Seun Rere and Akwa Ibom’s unofficial anthem Akwa Ibom Mmi. Such was her impact across the country that whatever language she used to communicate her message evoked emotion and reflection.

On 30 June 2011, Nigerian legendary musician, Christy Essien-Igbokwe MFR also known as Nigeria’s First Lady of Songs died at the age of 50 after a brief illness.

If she was still alive, Christy would have clocked 58 today, November 11, 2018.

In her lifetime, she was sometimes called Nigeria’s Lady of Songs and was known for her song “Seun Rere”. She was the first female president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN). She was also the chairwoman and managing director of Soul Train entertainment limited.

The Akwa Ibom indigene who lost her mother at the age of 12 and her father in 2005, grew up and lived in Aba, Abia State with her late mother’s friend who encouraged her singing career and bought her a fairly used cassette player to record her songs

She sang her songs in Igbo, Ibibio, Efik, Hausa, Yoruba as well as in English. Essien’s fluency in Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, English and her native Ibibio earned her an appeal which cut across tribal lines.

Christy, who began doing music in 1970 launched her professional music career in 1977 by releasing her debut album called ‘Freedom’. Many of her albums became hit records, but none came close to the success of her 1981 hit album ‘Ever Liked My Person’ produced by Lemmy Jackson.

Before her death, she received multiple International and local awards including Nigerian lady of songs award which she received in 1984, Africa music mother award 1984, International special achievement award in Mexico in 1983, world song festival award, Los Angeles, queen of music international award association of theatre arts practitioners in Lagos in 1996 and outstanding achievement in female uplifting.

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The Chronicle of Udom Emmanuel’s Industrialization story, Part 1



abel udoekene Udom Emmanuel industralization

By Abel Udoekene

According to Investor survey report, security, political stability, stable legal and regulatory environment are top on the list of considerations by any multinational corporations before they can commit to investing in any new environment.

For those who are conversant with the ideology of sowing, you would agree with me that the process of reaping bountifully starts with clearing of land, planting (which is sowing), weeding, watering (in some cases) and then reaping.

It would suffice to say that you cannot reap if you don’t sow, and you won’t reap bountifully if you don’t take weeding as a top priority, every step in the process, from clearing, sowing to reaping is very critical and such is the case and story of the Akwa Ibom state industrialization process.

When I visited moribund industries such as the Peacock Paint factory which was recently resuscitated by His Excellency, governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel last week one thing was on my mind, I wanted to understand the drive behind his dream and desire to industrialize the state.

But before we continue, let me point out that as a predominantly civil service state with thousands of youths constantly looking up to the government for empowerment, the story of Industrialization is and will remain news to a majority of Akwa Ibom people until the effect is fully seen.

While looking squarely at the activities of naysayers who would stop at nothing to breeds more ‘Thomas’ it is safe to say that the success of governor Udom Emmanuel industrialization drive does not depend solely on him or his administration but it’s a collective task of all Akwa Ibom people who must shun political or ethnic differences and contribute through constructive criticism, peaceful disposition and applause where necessary to speed up the progress and developmental agenda of the state.

What has governor Udom really done on Industrialization?

Like his excellency, the Senate minority leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio would love to say; Is it the syringes company which will produce up to 400,000 syringes with the capacity to produce a billion syringe a year? Is it the Metering Solutions company which will ensure Nigerians get billed accurately by electricity companies?  Is it the Ethanol Plant currently under developmental phase in Ikot Abasi local government area which will create thousands of jobs for farmers? Is it the toothpick and the pencil factory which has the capacity to inspire Akwa Ibom children to think more and write more or the resuscitated peacock paint factory which can produce up to one million litres of paint daily? Is it the coconut factory which will employ over 5000 people directly and indirectly on completion?

Obviously, the above can suffice as what Udom has done regarding Industrialization of Akwa Ibom state but that’s not really the whole truth.

Few Months back the  Managing Director of Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing Company Limited (JSM), Zubeyir Gulabi stated that they are committing $30 million to invest in the syringe factory in Akwa Ibom State, when asked why? he made the following submission:

“You know that investment and money are like a fly that can easily run but Akwa Ibom investment policy convinced my investors to come here. The main attraction is the policymaking. The Federal Government is also helping fully by providing what we are asking for in the sector. Nigeria has an important future; that is what we believe. This factory is not for the next two to three years, it is for the next 50 years and beyond

“We are in the oil community. The clan is very peaceful; all the clan has four neighbouring villages. This is their own factory; they see it as their own. We can go to the village alone anytime without security. We are much secured. On our contributions to the community, we should talk about this one after three years. Go and get a good picture of the villages now, after three years, I don’t think you will be able to recognise the villages. You will see these villages on cable television as the hub of medical devices” he said.

The governor has successfully opened up to the state for investors by keeping the state open for business, and If the pace is maintained by allowing other company to flood in through Public-Private partnership, Akwa Ibom will be the home of African development in the next 20 years.

As the spokesperson of Yadah business solution who is leading the charge for the ethanol plant in Ikot Abasi local government area rightly put:

“We are happy for people like Udom Emmanuel who has realized that the only thing that can move Nigeria forward is Industrialization and he has been very true to his word”


………To be continued

About the Author

Abel Udoekene is a creative writer, an Akwa Ibom son, a fisherman and a lover of God. He can be reached via



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