...MY MUSIC IS MY WAY OF EXPRESSING MYSELF. ..-----SIMPLY AFEE
Talking to Ms. Ekang was like talking to a long lost friend. She was not only amiable, she was also quite accessible.
AM: cought with the latest music sensation in Nigeria, Ms. Afee Ekang, aka Dyna at the Celebrity Hotel in Lagos. A synopsis of the life of this twenty something year old calabar beauty would reveal years of struggle, hard work and endurance.
AM: Hello Ms. Ekang, thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Our readers are eager to know certain things about you. Please who is Dyna.
Afee: Lets out a brief and sexy smile, exhibiting a set of well chissled open teeth.
"Mhh! Afee is nice, not too quiet, accommodating...
AM: Wao, that is the way you see yourself, how does the world see you.
Afee: the world sees me the way I see myself .
Born in the early 70s in Calabar-Cross River State, Nigeria . she attended Obot Atan primary school. In 1984, at the end of her primary education, she migrated to Lagos State where she has lived ever since. Ms. Ekang lost her parents when she was barely 15years old.
AM: I'm sorry to hear your story. It must have been very hard growing up without both parents.
Afee: Yes, it was very hard, but I was raised by my elder sister whom I call mummy. She had herself to take care of and barely had enough. As a result, my education was not as important as putting food on the table. However, when I came of age I enrolled myself in a computer school - Ana-jat computer school; this school was a subsidiary of the Lagos State University.
AM: Apparently, computers must have been your first love, how did you get into music?
Afee: My love of music came from singing in the church choir.
AM: When did you realise that you could make money as a singer?
Afee: I've always wanted to sing, but I was scared that I was not good enough. I was afraid that nobody will appreciatte my voice. I used to dance for fun. But one day, a musician from Ghana whose name I have forgotten encouraged me to sing at a function. That day, I prepared Lucky Dube's songs "Dont cry and Remember me". When I was called to the stage, I was nervous like hell; however when I was done, I was awed at the ovation. From that day, I shed all fear and music became me.
AM: Why did you choose to sing Lucky Dube's songs, did he have some kind of influence on you?
Afee: Definetely, I have utmost respect for Lucky Dube; but my inspiration and mentor was Maria Makeba. She is an embodiment of a true African mother. My dream is to meet her some day.
AM: Does this attachment explain your costumes?
Afee: South Africans epitomize struggle and most Africans are still in bondage. On the other hand, My costume is my trade mark. It says Afee. Simply Afee.
AM: Back to your music carreer. What happend after your performance?
Afee: I started rewriting copyrighted songs. I rewrote songs written by Mariam Makeba, Lucky Dube and Chakha Chakha. My first major break came when I started performing at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos; but it was shortlived, as I was compelled to resign.
AM Why did you resign.Did you get a better offer?
Afee: No, I wish that was the case. As a matter of principle, I don't mix business with pleasure. It got to a point where my dignity as a woman was challenged and I had to put my foot down. I will not sleep with any man for favors. After my resignation, I got another contract performing at the Nicon Noga Hilton in Abuja. I performed there on and off for six months. When the gig was over, I came back to Lagos where I got a job as a receptionist.
As fate would have it, in 1997 I was invited to perform at a baazaar somewhere in Lagos where I was cajoled to sing. At this function I did " My coat of many colours" by Dolly Parton and "Omo Mi Seun rere" by Christie Essien" . At the end of the concert, a guy walked up to me and asked if I could join the Daddy Showkey Band. Just like that, I was on stage the next day with daddy Shokey.
AM: We would aasume that the name Dyna came as a result of your role in one of daddy Shokey's videos.
AM: Ms. Afee, it was a pleasure talking to you.
Afee: the pleasure is all mine.