By Befelow Uk
The trending sounds of the 21st century have made so many al’Igede believed that the likes of the styles of music played by other nations and the neighbouring tribes are actually the style of music the Igedes use to play. The proximity of the Igbos to Igede land and the historical relationship between them made the Igede people embrace their culture and style of music and this is not becoming funny and normal anymore, because it has pushed the Igede’s style of music to the point of colossal extinction. Oh! You actually think the Igedes have no musical styles? You’re wrong. They have Ogirinye, Akatanka, Abakpa, Aita, Opese, Ihyi, Ibechi, Imeje etc. These styles of music are played by different groups of entertainers across the land.
[You can also read: 4 EVERGREEN IGEDE TRADITIONAL SONGS]
While Ogirinye, Aita, Akatanka, Abakpa are owned by their men, the women play Opese, Ihyi and Imeje traditional music, though it’s not prohibited for any gender to play/dance to any of the aforementioned except Ogirinye which is mostly played during burial of a hero by it’s strict members.
The Igbos have several original musical styles, ranging from Igbo-Highlife, Ogene, Odumodu, Egedege amongst others.
Igbo-Highlife which is the one played mostly by the Christians in the churches in Igbo land has taken over the entire Igede land leaving the original styles – Ogirinye, Opese, Aita etc dying.
Both Gospel and circular artists from the Igede extraction can not boast or claim any originality of the styles of music they do, except the Catholic Gospel singers. Why? Because all of them do foreign styles of music. The circular artists embrace hip-hop, RnB, Afro pop etc, while the gospel singers cling to high-life, Makossa, RnB (worship) etc. This is where Christianity comes in. Apart from the preaching of the Gospel with foreign music styles like Reggae, Rhythm-and-Blues, Hip-hop, Makossa, Jazz, Rock etc, can’t Ogirinye, Opese, Ihyi and the rests of them be done with Gospel and biblical message too?
Hip-hop originally came from the street with a vulgar lyrics. Now we have so many gospel raps and Hip-hop everywhere. Rhythm and Blues use to be love songs, now we have them turned to worship songs, too. Let us bring it down to Nigeria; the likes of Yoruba Fuji, now have gospel blend and the style is still maintained, in fact, all their traditional music styles are all available with different messages. E.g Yinka Ayefele and Evang. Tope Alabi.
If I may ask this rhetorical question, is it not ridiculous that we perform foreign styles of music in our traditional occasions? These are what we have now:
✓Traditional marriages – Igbo Highlife.
✓Funeral ceremonies, Cameroonian Makossa or Igbo High-life.
✓Naming ceremonies, the aforementioned or New York Black American Hip-hop, RnB.
Any type of traditional gathering done in the land now, you’ll rarely see any traditional music style being performed. What could be the reason why we have trashed the one that is rightly ours and have embraced that which was borrowed?
We now see the performers of the original Igede styes of music as archaic people, sinners, uncivilized, ritualists, thereby treating them with contempt.
One will be asking what my motive behind this post is and what I intend to gain with it. Is it not our elders who say, a river which has no source will soon run dry??