From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Grammy Award winner, Damini Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, has said the future is bright for youths of Rivers State, with Governor Nyesom Wike at the helm of power.
Burna Boy has also said he was humbled with the conferment of one of the highest honours in Rivers State by Governor Wike.
The internationally acclaimed music icon was at the weekend, conferred the honour, as ‘‘Distinguished Service Star of Rivers State (DSSRS)”, which is the second highest distinction in Rivers State Order.
The award is conferred on individuals in recognition of their exceptional service or performance in any field of human endeavour.
Burna Boy, who was accompanied by his parents, siblings and crew members, expressed profound gratitude to the Government and people of Rivers State for considering him worthy of the award.
He expressed: “I have collected honours everywhere in the world. But, it feels different when you get it from home. This is my most humblest moment and I thank each and everyone of you.
“I thank the best Governor I have ever experienced. I don’t like politics and politicians; but this my Governor has shown me that there is hope for the youths and there is hope for us.
“This award is not only for me, but for all of you and the future Burna Boys. I love you Port Harcourt, everywhere I go, I carry you with me”.
Meanwhile, Governor Wike had conferred the honour on him for winning the Best Global Music Album with his Twice As Tall album at the 63rd Grammy Awards, during a grand reception organised by the Rivers State government for him in Port Harcourt.
At the award ceremony, which was attended by people from all walks of life, the governor said the honour was aimed at showing gratitude publicly to indigenes of Rivers State, who have shown outstanding talent with their works above their contemporaries in various endeavours.
The governor described the homecoming reception for the music legend, who hails from Ahoada West Local Government Area of the State, as a joyous moment for the State.
He also announced that the government would allocate him a land in Old Government Residential Area of Port Harcourt and give him money to build a house there.
“Rivers State government will provide a land at Old GRA for Burna Boy. Not only are we to provide that, we are going to give him money to build for himself. We are going to do that for him let others be encouraged, that if you get to this level, Rivers State government will promote you. We are happy with you (Burna Boy), we are happy with your parents for what they have done”.
Governor Wike, explained that the ceremony was one of the happiest days of his life and assured that his administration would not relent in promoting indigenes of the State like Burna Boy and others, who make the State proud in any field of human endeavour.
Wike said: “I will do what is required as a governor to encourage him (Burna Boy) and his parents and to encourage all our artists to know that the time has come when we must look inwards; when we must come home. All of you, you go to Abuja, you go to Lagos, home is home. Who would have believed in this world that an Ahoada man will win Grammy. Who would have believed it? So, you should know that this is God’s own state”.
The governor commended Timaya, Duncan Mighty and other artists, who graced the award ceremony in honour of Burna Boy and announced a gift of N10 million each, to all the artists that performed during the concert.