• As album is unveiled tomorrow
By Doris Obinna
The gospel music sector will this weekend be at the centre stage of activities when song writer and composer, Bigger Ibekwe releases his debut album.
In an interview with TS Weekeed, the Theartre Arts graduate talks about the album set for launch on Saturday, November 5, at Park Lane Hotels, Ajao Estate, Isolo, Lagos among other issues.
It is not everyday one comes across somebody with a name, ‘Bigger’. How come your name is Bigger?
I began to answer Bigger in my primary school, specifically, Primary 3; and that was as a result of an incident. A teacher looked at what I did and said ‘this boy you are bigger.’ Definitely, it is not about size but about contents of the head. So the name stuck and I have been answering the name ever since. And it so happened that the name has been bringing me a lot of good luck. So, I strongly believe that there is much in a name. In fact, when I come in the midst of people they are surprised, wondering ‘who is this bigger?’ They would be expecting somebody so big, but when they see me, they are surprised.
What really prompted you into studying Theatre Arts?
It was as a result of my desire to go into the university with the hope that of reading law. But by the time I graduated in Theatre Arts, I so much fell in love with it that I didn’t want to study law again.
For Chinese language and culture, circumstances took me to Taiwan, and you needed to learn their language to be able to communicate with them. And if you can communicate with the Chinese, they become very friendly with you. So, I had no option than to study their language, study their culture. And we used that to facilitate our visa. When I completed my programme, I did my Master’s degree in Australia. I was then shuttling between Taiwan and Australia.
Then what prompted my going to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, Lagos, was the fact that I like writing. Also, you see, we were always watching ‘Village Headmaster’ that time; there was Boniface, there was the Headmaster, Chief Eleyimi, Garuba, Oloja, Councilor Balogun and so on. Then, once it was time for Village Headmaster, everybody would run home to watch it. The streets will be literally empty. So, that was how I fell in love with acting. Village Headmaster really inspired me to study Theatre Arts. Then, I was living with a lady who was working at NTA as a news caster. We looked at her as a star; when she was coming back from work or going in the evening, we always admired her. So, the desire to work in television started developing.
When did you start acting?
I remember playing a role which later became popular, Idikoko, a man who was actually feigning blindness. I have acted major plays such as Kurunmi and Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again by Ola Rotimi. I also acted in Gods Are Not To Blame.
Could you tell us about your album?
This is actually my debut. It is called Rapture. Theatre and music are like husband and wife. They so much interrelate. In my secondary school days, I used to compose songs.It is something I took from my mother, who is a very good composer. She used to compose and sing for local women. Of course, out of her eight children, only two of us inherited that talent from her.
And in those days if there were songs they wanted us to use in theartre, I composed them. And I was a member of the university choir, headed by Dr. (Mrs.) Mokwenye. She requested that we compose traditional songs. I remember I came up with one that she liked.
The album, as you know, is entitled Rapture. Most of these songs, I composed and kept them, and at some point, it began to bother me that what if die without producing them? What do I tell God? He gave the creative talent and you don’t use it. So, I felt guilty, and I said from now onwards, at least every year, I should be coming out with an album.