Nigeria’s lady of songs Christy Essien-Igbokwe has died. She was aged 50. The singer fell ill three days ago and was taken to hospital where she died around 9:30am on June 30.
Her son Kaka had made a request for prayers on his Facebook page in the morning before she passed. “In prayer of Agreement let us pray for our loved ones that are sick today and say that God will heal them all today ‘cos he is the mighty healer,” Kaka wrote.
Essien-Igbokwe was a former president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, PMAN, and the first and only female till date.
An actor and singer, Igbokwe was for years a star on screen where she played parts in The Masquerade on national broadcaster NTA. Afterwards she started her music career with her maiden album Freedom in 1977 at the age of 16. Fame and marriage three years afterwards ensured that she would not proceed to university even though she earned a scholarship alongside the cast of The Masquerade to get further education.
In a 2010 interview with Tribune, Igbokwe said that her talent was from God. “I think I am blessed with the talent, exposure, skills and the right measure of vocal delivery, as well as God's musical blessing.” She sang in English, Yoruba, Igbo and her native Efik-Ibibio.
Igbokwe’s last major public appearance was during the final of this year’s Nigerian Idol where she performed her hit track Seun Rere with finalists Yeka Onka and Naomi Mac.
A call to Kaka for confirmation by TELL was received by a manager who said the family is yet to release an official statement.
Former PMAN president Tee Mac told the magazine’s Arukaino Umukoro via telephone that the singer will be missed for her verve.
“Actually, for the tremendous energy she had. Even though she was not a very tall lady, but she was strong. I have shared the stage a couple of times where she performed. Whenever she came on stage I was always surprised about the energy she would put into everything. She was a great organizer. She was a big mummy. She was always mummying everybody. She was a good friend,” Mac said.
Time Waits For No One 1978
One Understanding 1979
Give Me A Chance 1980
Ever Liked My Person 1981
Taking My Time 1986
Hear The Call 1990
It's Time (Unknown)