In One Nation, Mr Bigger Preaches Unity In Nigeria
Worried about the current situation in the country that pitches on tribe against the other, gospel music artiste, Bigger Ibekwe, has released a new song entitled One Nation. The track, which is gradually picking on air, will be followed with a video that will celebrate Nigeria’s unity in diversity.
Speaking on the inspiration behind the new song, Ibekwe explained, “This is not entirely gospel, but it still preaches unity, love and oneness. With this song, I’m calling on all Nigerians to come together as one and build this country.”
According to Mr Bigger, since 1914 when Nigeria was amalgamated, this is the worst period in the life of this country. “Actually, I was passing through Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere , and I saw a very large poster that reads, ‘If we have to move, it must be together.’ That particular poster engaged me in thought and I began to think about this country on how far we have gone; where we are and all the stuff and that was what triggered this work,” he said.
According to the singer, time has come for all Nigeria, no matter tribe or religion, to join hands together to build a great nation.“When you look at the situation of the country, you will see reasons why we have to start preaching unity. Since after the Civil War, there had never been a time we had it this bad; when everybody is talking about separation. The situation of the country actually prompted this work,” he said.
On the video for the track, he said, “We are working on the video, though the audio is out already. This is not just one-off single; it’s a call for Nigerians to come together. I purposely and deliberately did it single so, when you get it, you are hearing no other thing but the call for unity.”
On the importance of unity to Nigeria, he said, “the greatest ingredients that a country should possess is oneness and unity; that’s what makes you thick. If you are not united, if you are divided, you are destroyed already.”He continued: “America is America because of unity; China is China because of unity; Germany is Germany because of its unity. If you’re a policeman or an army officer and the US sent you on a mission, there’s always a second person watching your back; your colleague is behind you. If there’s any incident, he will take care of it and defend you. But if there’s no unity, he will be the one to even shoot you from behind.”
On the power of music as a tool for change, Ibekwe noted that, “I have been calling on musicians to recognise the power in their work. Recently, a newspaper reported of a young man, who said it was the lyrics of a musician that pushed him into fraud; that’s the power of music. Now, if we as musicians, who speak to the public, could champion causes that are noble, you will see changes in our society.”
Recalling his early days with music, he said, “My mother is a great composer; she still composes great gospel music till today. She’s about 87 years now, but she still sings for Christ. So, in the family, I think God decided to honour me; I inherited it from her. So, you see yourself all of a sudden singing. In school, I used to perform,” he said.
A graduate of Theatre Arts from University of Benin, Ibekwe proceeded to the Fu Gen Catholic University in Taiwan where he studied Chinese Language and Culture. He later went to the Deakin University in Australia, where he studied International Relations and Politics, then went to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism for training in print journalism.
“The unity in China actually is something that I envy. I look at China as the template that we should copy; they are so many, but they are so united. They have more than 3700 ethnic groups, but they are one. So, move out of China and go to America, you see how united they are, irrespective of the diverse cultures. So, I keep asking, who taught us to hate each other? My experience and my exposure actually are instrumental to the urge to create unity in this country,” he said.