LIFE HAS TAUGHT ME TO GO WITH THE FLOW - CHINAZAEKPERE MBAKWE
The parents of Germany-based Nigerian, Chinazaekpere Mbakwe Nkechiyere left the country during the civil war. Now of age and tired of living in a foreign country, she is doing everything to make sure that she relocates permanently to her fatherland as soon as possible.
Mbakwe, who is making waves as an Afro jazz artiste in Germany, came home on a visit recently. She bares her mind to Blockbuster on her music and plans to finally settle down in Nigeria. Excerpts:
'I am a popular jazz artiste living in Berlin but trying to relocate to Nigeria. I was actually born in Germany, but because of the Nigerian civil war, my parents fled to Germany and since then, they've been there. I am the first child of my parents. I am from Umudike in Abia State.
Really, I do jazz, and I try to blend jazz with Nigerian music. My first album is Freezes. I have been working on my voice for more than 15 years, I've been trying to play jazz for years but my parents insisted I go to university, which I did. I did my Master's degree in Science and Media Communications and then became a professional singer.
Music for me was more like God's calling. At first, I didn't want to be a professional singer but then people were calling me to perform. At first, I demurred but at time went on I decided to go for it. Most of my life, I tried to fight it, as you know people think musicians do not have a good reputation. It's now that I am thinking of building a serious music career and I want to try as much as I can to be a good girl.
My vision is very strong, everybody wants to part ways for you, but then you have to listen to your inner voice. You have to be connected to God, and say no to things you don't want to do. You really have to be grounded to my kind of music, and pray that you will make money out of it.
I was invited to the Lagos Jazz Session last year. I was performing with Nigerian musicians when one of the Germany consulate officials saw me and got interested in my music. They wanted to have me for their opening party but then I told them I was based in Germany, and that I can only come to perform if they could fly me down to which they agreed. That's how God's blessing came on my life.
I love the Nigerians music scene because it's so vast and diverse, and everybody is trying to do something. Life has taught me to go with the flow. If you try to do something, which is not your call, let it be done, so that is what has been saving me in a city like Lagos, if you try to do something by force, it may not work, but if you do it willingly, it will just be easy and smooth.
For now, I don't have a lover. Maybe now that I am through with my schooling and engaged in music, I will think on that line.'