Eze Gerald Mmaduabuchi recently performed at the prestigious Asian-African Cultural Festival as the only Nigerian music ambassador. The First Class Honours Music Graduate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, spoke to Uzor Maxim Uzoatu on the outing.
Going To China:
I paid tribute to the Ancient Chinese Emperors. History was made in Beijing as my Oja chimed music and poetry for the first time ever in the ”Forbidden City”. One Belt, One Road! You must not play Western musical instrument to be a great musician; African music is as great, or even greater, especially when the Oja is in my hands!
I did “Tan Mi Mi”, a Chinese love song, with the Chinese Bamboo Flute, called Di Zi. I did Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” with the Oja and the Blues Harmonica. Lastly, I did Phyno’s “Fada Fada” with the Oja. Then I performed at the Century Theater, Beijing during the Gala/Closing ceremony. Then at the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, Beijing.
Butterfly Lovers (Tian Mi Mi – Teresa Teng):
The beautiful, tragic story of the Butterfly Lovers reverberates around the world and it inspired the choice of this song. The power of Love in the story has, for centuries, strengthened the belief of the human race in true love. Love breaks boundaries and brings people together; so may it bring youths all over the world to the realization that love is the most important and powerful gift of all. The growing relationship between Asia and Africa will be further enhanced if we all have love in our hearts.
Hua Mulan (Redemption Song – Bob Marley):
Hua Mulan inspires me a lot, and she inspired this song. The legendary She-warrior, out of love for her ailing father and country, did what no one could imagine; she went to war with a disguise. She reached heights that defied belief and hence broke down mental boundaries her society put up to shackle her and her kind. This song calls to mind our duty to value and love freedom and most importantly urges us to know that there are endless possibilities, only if we believe.
Njima Indigenous Music (An Indigenous Nigerian Music from The Igbo)
E ji m ihunanya bia China (I come with Love to China)
E ji m anuri bia China (I come with joy to China)
E ji m udo bia China (I come with peace to China)
E ji m oganiru bia China (I come with progress to China)
Ndi China, e kenekwa m unu (People of China, I salute you)
Oganiru ka anyi na-acho (Progress we seek)
Oganiru ka anyi ga-enwe (progress we shall find)
This piece x-rays the immense possibilities in the Oja, the Igbo native flute, as a musical instrument as well as a communicative instrument of the Igbo tribe of Nigeria. The Oja speaks the Igbo Language and sings proudly of the beauty, magnificence, splendor and ethos of the Igbo race. For the Oja, (the Igbo flute) there is no barrier; hence the message of this piece though written in Igbo language is translated to Chinese and English Languages for comprehension and artistic appreciation.
This is a heartfelt message from my people and my Oja to enhance and promote the Bandung spirit of cultural emancipation and exchange. I bring good tidings of Love, Happiness, and Peace, and I believe this beautiful union will never end.
During an interview, Amina Xu, a Chinese lady journalist who works in China International Broadcasting Network as the Hausa Service journalist wanted to find out more about my performing group in Nigeria. I mentioned it to them and they found it very interesting.