Five years after the demise of Nigeria’s Lady of Songs, Christy Essien-Igbokwe, members of her family and friends plan to gather on Friday, November 11 at the Metropolitan Club, Victoria Island, Lagos, to celebrate her life and times.
According to a statement released by the organizers, the gathering tagged, ‘The First Annual Christy Essien Igbokwe Memorial Evening’, will serve as a prelude to an annual event designed to attract dignitaries, renowned musicians, managers and music lovers from all over the world.
Born on November 11, 1960 in Okat, Onna LGA of Akwa Ibom State, Igbokwe started her entertainment career in 1976 with the Now Sound TV programme on NTA, Aba. She joined the cast of the New Masquerade in the same year. Prior to this, she started her musical career at age seven. She started dancing with drama groups in schools.
Some of the late singer’s greatest songs are Freedom (1976), Patience (1977), Time Waits For No One (1978), One Understanding, (1979), Give Me A Chance, ( 1980), Ever Liked My Person, ( 1981), Taking My Time (1986), It Is Time (1988), Hear The Call (1990) and Mysteries Of Life (1994).
An internationally acclaimed artiste, she won several prizes, including the ‘Silver Prize’ winner at the 6th Seoul Songs Festival, South Korea and the International Special Achievement Award of MUSEXPO, Acapulco, Mexico in 1983.
Others include the Star Performer Award of the Nigerian Television Authority in 1983 and Award for Excellence by the Silver Jubilee Committee of the Nigerian Television Organization of Nigeria in 1984.
Igbokwe is fondly remembered for her musical exploits and charity programmes, which date back to 1980 when she started championing the cause of the less privileged in the Nigerian society.
She got married at the age of 19 to Chief Edwin Igbokwe (then General Manager of The Punch newspapers). They had four sons before her death in June 2011.
Her friends, family and NGO are hopeful that an annual event, as designed, will keep her essence and legacy alive. Punch