A song writer and OAP, Ikenna Elkino Anya has written his old time friend and business partner Duncan Mighty popularly known as Port Harcourt first son on his 35th birthday.
Ikenna Elkino Anya, a US based Nigerian recalled with nostalgia how Duncan Mighty was instrumental in making him succeed and many others as on-air personalities. He also extolled the production skills of Port Harcourt first son and how their relationship has soared over the years.
Our meeting that early Thursday afternoon, sometime in February 2005, at the corner of Kingfisher, GRA by Orazi, PH was sheer Providence. I was still trying to figure out what to do next after a brief stint in Politics having contested for a councillorship position to represent my Ward, World Bank/Low-cost ward 5 at the Umuahia North Local council area in 2003. I had so much on my plate. My Post Graduate studies at Uniport, involvement in local politics and random voice overs and productions which was my main source of income at that time coupled with endless chasing of airtime for my radio productions…same time fixated on my passion for Afro pop music.
I had gone to Obigbo the previous day to see my uncle and decided to walk through GRA after hoping off the bus at Presidential Hotel bus stop. The intention was to look for a studio where I could lace a song I had just finished writing and there you were in front of a video shop wearing a 3 quarter jeans, bare body, on a flip flop and ransacking through a shelf of video tapes. At first glance the shop looked like a studio and your image…the short dreads I guess made me pause to take a closer look. At that juncture u asked me with enthusiasm what I was looking for and without hesitation like it was on cue I told you I was looking for a studio to record a song. Your answer in the affirmative was a dream come true and I followed you to your house which was directly opposite the shop. That meeting and the interactions we had afterwards defined my relationship with you. You were quite hospitable…and the fact that we shared the same taste for sound, art…yeah he is painter and sculptor.., and are Scorpios i guess was the reason we synergized in a flash.
You listened to the song and told me straight away that you would produce and equally do the hook! The next few weeks we spent listening to your catalogue of songs, changing a few things about my song, smoking ‘laud’, eating fish ‘bbqd’ by you and spending nights at the studio producing the song.
However fate had something else in store for us. On the night the song was finished, we decided to spend it at the studio and leave early the next morning. Meanwhile, I had discussed stuff about a new radio station in Umuahia who had approached me for a production and on air position. I also did tell you that I would love for you to come with me as I could do with your production prowess. You agreed…which was a bit strange as most Ikwerre boys I have met wouldn’t leave PH for anything. So that morning on our way out of the studio, a call came in from Mrs Susan Obi of NBC, who equally doubled as a consultant for KSBJ Texas, the parent station for Vision Africa Radio. She asked me to proceed to Umuahia immediately as they were done with test transmission and would want to commence with formal broadcasting right away. I had earlier hinted her about you and she wanted to meet you. I told you what was going on and we immediately agreed that we would set off for Umuahia ASAP! There my life, our lives took a different trajectory. Music can wait for now…bills gotta be chased.
On arrival at Umuahia and after our meeting with Susan Obi, Chijioke and Oga Orji our journey towards changing the radio culture in Umuahia began. You, myself, Justice Nwagu and Chukwuemeka Nwankwo changed the radio landscape not only in Umuahia but the entire Southeast with scintillating shows largely aided by your sound engineering dexterity. Your talent and skill set Vision Africa apart from other radio stations around. Your production skill was something else. We all learnt what sound production was from you.
My family received and accepted you as a son and your humility was second to none. I would always query my mom why she would send you on an errand when there are other people around but she would retort that you solicited to go…the market, clinic, garbage disposal…just name it..
But you eventually left…I knew you would..your calling has always been to make music. I wasn’t gonna hold you back but surely promised that I gotcha back. Umuahia especially those who have come to appreciate your talent missed you. They kept asking questions…the guys you sparred with during those rap battles at Ohokobe… Yes you left but your legacy remained in tact..the station sig tunes you produced are still being used till date at the station.
Then eventually by 2007, your first official single, ‘Dance for Me’ off of the Koliwater album which dropped the following year caught everyone off guard. How could he? Where is he from? What kinda sound?…Were a few of the questions many asked. But I always knew. You had the talent, you had humility and above all God! That album still holds the record as the only album in which all 22 songs was a hit. The battle and efforts by Susan Obi and myself to get the song back on radio after it was banned is a story for another day. NBC had thought that the hook, ‘for me for Mee ooo’ was ‘fuck me fuck Mee oo’…🤣🤣🤣🤣
I celebrated you…we all did… Then you returned to Umuahia for a show which didn’t pan out very well…then the Aba show at Binez… Yet surprisingly the capital of the music and entertainment industry in Nigeria refused to fully recognise your ingenuity and talent…they intentionally downplayed your other albums, Ahamefuna (Legacy) (2010)
Footprints (2012), Grace & Talent (2014), The Certificate (2016)….
Despite their unscripted ”akpor” you held it down in the Southeast and NigerDelta…while refusing to relocate to Lagos. It paid off…especially with your endorsements and construction company. Then in 2010 we met again..and had so much to catch up with..
Fast forward to the present day…you have become the toast of the nation again. The most sought after voice and sound for collaborations. I smile demurely when people attribute Wizkid to your resurgence. It’s funny really. When you were grinding and making hits, the likes of Wizzy and co were jiving to your songs and rolling tires down the streets of Ojuelegba. In all fairness, wizkids super star status may have rubbed off pretty good but you made Fake Love unarguably the biggest song of the year. You showed Wizzy how to make sweet music and I know too he must have let you in on some secrets with packaging and branding…one area we had disagreements over..lol… Am happy to see you shinning again blood..I always knew and never worried that this moment would come when I shall see you in well shot videos for hit songs…
You have worked hard bro..from the humble beginnings in church as an instrumentalist, Benson and Hedges as sound student, Dolphin studios as a studio boy, Vision Africa Radio as the stations very first sound engineer and a sound engineering student in Europe….now super star. I choose this day to piece this epistle because on this day 35 years ago God blessed the world with your birth! Happy birthday blood. I love you but God loves you most. Have fun, the one and only Port Harcourt 1st son. Stay gwinnin 🍾🍾🍾🙏
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