Oct 26, 2011

Eric (Show Boy) Akaeze - Umu Ani Oma

Lost in the shadows of third rate night clubs and dancing restaurants on the Apapa axis, Eric "Show Boy" Akaeze struggled to re-enact the hit songs that fetched him relative fame in the highly competitive and crowded Nigerian Highlife music scene of the 70s before he took ill and died in Lagos this month.

When I visited him last month at his Ijeshatedo, Lagos residence, he was down, but not out. Though emaciated and weak, he exhibited those stubborn traits of an artiste whose robust sense of living would not inspire to sing his swan song yet. He spoke with great effort but expressed hope that the debilitating illness would not kill him. Above all, he had turned to God for deliverance. Heroic even in illness, he had returned to the stage after his initial discharge from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), believing that he had triumphed over the illness. Maxwell Hotel, his favourite haunt on Olodi-Apapa where he played every Sunday, welcomed him back. His fans, many of whom were too young when in the 70s he composed such hit singles as Salute Mama, Salute Papa, We Dey Find Money, Ije Nwane Me Nwanne , Adanma, Akalaka and Ayolo, were glad to have him entertain them again. But he was already retreating, and suggested as much when he fainted on stage during a session. He could no longer withstand the rigours of stage performance. He had cut off his appearances at Taged Bar and Restaurant on Kofo Abayomi Street, Apapa, but he had managed to rehearse occasionally at Olatuga Jolly Hotel. And as he had revealed, he had even recorded some songs, most of them with Christian lyrics. He was working on a duet with his younger brother, George Akaeze who he described as a saxophonist.

Read the full article at allafrica.com


01. Umu Ani Oma
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