Tony ‘One Week’ Muanagor: Gyrating To The Hallowed Chamber A Second Time
THE multi-talented entertainer and later day politician has been there before. He sat in the hallowed chamber as the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate representing Idemili North constituency at the Anambra State House of Assembly.
This was from 2011 to 2015. He even emerged a minority leader and some of his colleagues affirmed that he had the highest number of motions in the House. One of them revealed that ‘Honourable Tony Muanagor’ moved over “23 motions and three bills in less than four years in the house” and that these motions are related to road, education, erosion and social welfare for his constituency.
Fired by this long held desire to continue to impact positively on society, a reason he also gave for venturing into entertainment, Tony Muanagor, who is popularly known as ‘Tony One Week’ is seeking to return to the hallowed chambers, this time as the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
“I want to do more for my people. I don’t think I have done much even though it is well known that I moved a lot of motions that affected them positively. My life is about service and I want to serve my people and my state more’’ said the singer, actor, event compere, producer and acclaimed gyration master who shot into prominence as a singer after he dropped an album in 1998.
Tony took the decision to engage in active politics in 2006. This was the year after his unsuccessful attempt to be elected as the President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN). He joined the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2006 but dumped the party in 2009 after he failed to secure the party’s nomination. He later joined the ACN, secured a ticket, campaigned vigorously and was in 2011 elected a member of the House of Assembly.
Even as a politician, Tony remained relevant in the entertainment industry. He launched a talent development programme for youths called the Anambra State talent hunt programme and, only recently, Tony took time off politicking to collaborate with the popular singer Tuface Idibia on a track titled Ifedinma.
The song, an infusion of gyration and highlife, is featured in Tuface’s latest album Ascension. “Our involvement in politics can only slow us down because there is much to do, but it can’t make us quit our first love,’’ Tony explained.
Tall, well built and gap-toothed, Tony who admitted that his involvement in moviedom provided the springboard for his incursion into other vocations, was born in Enugu to parents whom he credited for seeing him through childhood travails. An old boy or St Patrick College, Emene and Abakaliki High School, Tony studied Mass Communication at Higher National Diploma level at the Federal Polytechnic, Oko in Anambra State. He proceeded about a year after his compulsory youth service programme to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka for a second degree in Business Administration with bias for management.
Upon completion of his education, Tony hit the road just so as to make ends meet. With his bag packed and with just a few naira notes tucked in the back pocket of his khaki trousers, Tony journeyed to Lagos in search of “greener pasture”. This was in 1995. Things have started to look up for Nollywood. The phenomenal home movie “Living in Bondage” has made acting, directing and investment in home video production lucrative. Tony had done some acting and singing in school, so he concluded that there should be a place for him in Nollywood.
On arrival in Lagos, Tony made a few friends and together they combed the streets of Lagos in search of audition notices. Luck, however, smiled on him after about a year. He was engaged to feature in the sequel to the ground-breaking movie Betrayal and that opened the floodgate. Tony would later feature in every other movie, manage productions and/or serve as Artistic Director.
The period between 1997 and 1998 was the period Tony described as his ‘period of hibernation.’ Tony revealed that he got “a leading from God to venture into music.” It was that ‘leading’ that brought about his debut hit album You Go Bow, which heightened his popularity. Tony called his brand of music ‘gyration’, akin to the type played by Kegites. In no time the music became a household song and was dubbed best-seller by some marketers who ran out of copies days after the album was released. Tony’s career sun has since then not gone down.
So what are the chances that he will get re-elected? ‘I stand a very good chance by God’s grace’’ he cut in, adding “my people who voted for me when people said I had nothing to offer as a musician have seen the difference. I have not disappointed them. I have not only worked for them but I have been physically available and accessible to them. So I am just humbly seeking their mandate to serve them even better. This is not about adding to my CV but it is about serving my people.’’
And, how did he come by the name ‘Tony One week’? Tony explained that, as a student, he could accomplish so much within a week. Besides he said he was known for getting in and out of trouble weekly. He noted that it was perhaps because of the ‘troubles’ he gave to his mates and teachers in school that he was dubbed “one week, one trouble” which later became “Tony One Week”.
He recalls: “There was one of my teachers who got fed up one day and just said – ‘Tony one week, one trouble.’ That was how the name came about.”
Though he is stuck with the name, Tony said the one-week, one trouble student has become an outsized version of his own story. “I am a big boy now. In fact I am man, a husband, a father, a representative of my people. So all old things are passed away and everything has become new now,” he enthused.