Sunday, 15 October 2017

How we lost Ovoke to M.J By Edison Iboyi

I travelled home some months ago on completion of final year exams. Finally, I was out of the cave called school. My childhood friend Ovoke’s family house is a few blocks away from ours in Okumagba layout, so one Thursday I visited.

One would have thought i just became the new minister of petroleum, from the way mama Ovoke welcomed me, I wasn’t surprised at the joy of the family knowing that we had now completed university. After the pleasantries I noticed something was missing. Ovoke was not at home and hasn’t been at home for some months, even before final year is mother sadly said.

Jamb questio, Where's Ovwoke? 

The question and answer session placed me on the very hot seat of life I’ve never imagined I’d ever be in. Ovoke’s parents and siblings all played inquisitive panelists. I couldn’t bear it all that I had to phone a close friend in his department.

The story uncut.

My friend, Ovoke had left school at 300L without the knowledge of his parents (still collecting fees, though). I wondered how! Even though I had been at the Abraka main Campus, I saw him a couple of times at Oleh Campus where he was studying for a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Ovoke’s passionate drive to do music had forced him out of school. I remember how he once dared a lecturer, on confrontation about his academic weaknesses, egotistically bragging that he still would make it as a dropout.

He said “school is nothing, after all if I ’blow’ today even dis university go recognize me”. I feared for Ovoke. We all did. The way he went about the music thing was just not right. He dumped classes for concerts, night reading for studio sessions…just to make the music.
We were all worried because of the effect that would result in the nearest future. Often times, he told me he wanted to be like Davido and the other big boys in the game. Somehow, those moments sounded hilarious to me because he barely could sing And we knew it.

Once, he travelled to Ghana supposedly for engineering course training, but did nothing of sort. Friends confirmed he toured the night clubs and event centers scouting for Ghanaian music producers for record deals. He actually didn’t get both the certificate and the record deal he was chasing.

The whole family was in pandemonium, as they had thought like google would have the answers.

Where's Ovoke?  Ovoke’s father arguably absolved himself from the situation, saying to his wife, whom my lack of answer took her last strand lf hope. 

“That boy is your responsibility, go and find him,  if not…” he stood up,  to leave, not before gulping the half glass of fresh palmwine, I suspect he had brought home, from tapping.  I wonder how a father would say such words.

Efforts to locate Ovoke didn't  end in futility, as a week ago; he was discovered at a dumpster in Surulere, Lagos State. What the hell was he doing in a dumpster? I asked. My friend Ovoke had gone mad. Madder than the mad. In order to be hard and highly spirited like his celebrity role models, Ovoke did the ‘M.J’.
Ovoke smoked marijuana and got so addicted that it resulted to a serious mental breakdown. 

That’s how we lost a Mechanical engineer  from a Palm wine tapper to the psychiatric world.

Doing good music is way beyond getting addicted to skunk, SK, marijuana and the likes.
Education, especially self education still remains a need to entire human race.

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