By Bolatito Adebayo
There is absolutely no doubt that Cobhams Asuquo is deeply committed to his craft which is music and he is one of the most gifted musicians and producers we have in the country. The bundle of talent has brought sunshine to our lives and churned out many hits. In this interview, he talks about his mum and the sacrifices she made for him as a special child.
When last did you see your mum?
My mum has been out of town for about two weeks, but I saw her few days before she left.
What’s her name?
Gladys Omasiri Asuquo.
What does she do for a living?
My mum has done many things. At a point, she was a clerical officer, and she resigned her job to take care of her family, and she traded everything out now and again. But right now, my mum is a full time mother flying from city to city looking out for her children and grandchildren. I think she is enjoying that stage of life where you get to be a mother and a grandmother.
What are the favourite things you remember about her?
That’s a very tricky question and one that will leave your mouth feeling sore. I had many me moments with my mum. Like my phone conversations with her to this day are some of my favorite things. So every time I spend with her is precious. Whether it is phone conversation or being a six-year-old remembering her making pancakes for us. You see my mum makes the best pancakes in the world. My mum used to cut my hair, I thought that was just interesting and she did a great job for me. Fortunately, because she is alive and around with us, we continue to experience the joy of being with her.
What number are you among her children?
I am the last child.
So you are the baby of the family?
Yes, because you are never too old to be your mum’s baby and I guess yes, that will make me the baby of the house.
So you two are well bonded?
Absolutely, I am close to my mum and I love her very much. I love her to bits and my mum makes it easy for you to love her. She is a woman with a good heart. When I do what I consider an act of kindness, I hear my sister’s and mother’s voices because they are some of the kindest people I know.
What’s her favorite food?
I don’t think she is someone who will bother about favourite foods. She cooks for us and eats, and just keeps it moving. So that test doesn’t always work for her well.
Which of her dishes do you enjoy most?
She makes lovely pancakes, and because of where we are from, she makes amazing pounded yam and white soup. She makes this very special riverine delicacy called onunu, which is made with yam and plantain with fish stew. It is just absolutely off the chain and I love it. My mum is a cook and that’s one of the things she knows so well and for her, cooking isn’t just a family chore, but a gift. Something she knows how to do very well and even her friends appreciate her for it.
So what’s the relationship like between your mum and your wife?
Like I said, I think most men marry women who are in a way like their mothers. So my wife and my mother are two amazing women who are very kindhearted. They take each other into consideration and respect their roles in the lives of their children and its significance and all that. It is an amazing beautiful relationship. My wife has a lot of respect and love for my mother and likewise my mother. So it’s a great relationship and that’s why I am enjoying a lot of peace in my home.
Growing up, was your mum a very strict person?
Very strict is not how you will describe my mum, but she was strict enough. She would use her hand if necessary, she did not overdo it. I was stubborn but handful and I can’t remember her using a cane. My mother had the ability to handle me and she handled me well.
What about your dad?
Dad was very loving and understanding. He was my encyclopedia. He had answers to all my questions and when he didn’t, he would go to the office and come back the next day with answers for me. So he was good like that. They both spoilt me. They were very affectionate, not just two of them but everybody in general was very affectionate with me. But he didn’t fail to discipline me for that purpose. He was a good mix of everything. A good mix of love and some toughness were necessary.
Does your mum have a pet name for you?
Yes, she does and I am not telling you. (Laughs)
What’s the greatest thing your mother told you that you still hold on to?
You will become something in life. She said that from when I was a child. She always said it. Then I didn’t know what it meant at that time. I think those words propelled me and re-engineered the universe to work in my favor. So such a strong positive confession can do a lot in the life of a child even though they may not know the meaning. She does that till to day.
As a special child growing up with your mum, what were the sacrifices that she made that when you look back, you give a deep gratitude to God for giving the grace?
Like my mum leaving her work and didn’t have any formal training on how to take care of a blind child. I feel like, she put her life on hold. She put her life on hold for her children. Like her children became her new life. So that’s amazing; her determination to see me and my siblings succeed was boundless; and now she still goes to great lengths, travelling from Lagos just to see her kids in school, bringing them whatever little she could give. My parents did not have much but we still had a lot of love. They gave that to us and it propelled us. That’s one of the most valuable things that we still carry till today. I can trust that even when members of my family don’t have anything to give you, I can trust that they can give you love and in a lot of cases, that is enough because when there is love, people can go out of their way and do so much more. So we are family of love.