The eldest son of the great traditionalist, Pericoma, Ugochukwu Nnaebuka Azubuike popularly known as Prince Pericoma Okoye (Ebube Izuogu,) is not just following the footstep of his late great father, but is a replica of his father with his own uniqueness, in spreading the message of the Igbo culture. Prince Pericoma Okoye (Ebube Izuogu), granted an exclusive interview with Belly of Tuffgig Music Blog, as he talks about the life of his father, his view on culture and tradition and his reasons for choosing that part even after attending a seminary school..Giving insights to his new song titled “Ndi Nkem” , the 37 year old Prince Ebube Izuogu speaks;
Belly: Your father Pericoma is very well known virtually in the whole South East and also beyond, how would you say your relationship with your father was and how was his personality able to inspire you in the way it does now?
Ebube Izuogu: Maybe if you had seen the tribute i wrote to him when he died, you would probably understand what he means to me and how I see him, just like i wrote in the tribute, that my father, Pericoma was the first god i knew and saw even as at the time i was growing up. And my relationship with him is beautiful and memoriable.
Belly: What is your educational background like, because for the fact that you are a traditionalist, some people will be curious to know if you had some educational background?
Ebube Izuogu: Hahahahaha…..well, I attended St. Peters Seminary School Okigiwe but however, I refused to become a Reverend father after completion. After secondary and leaving the seminary, i had my NCE at Federal College of Education (Technical) Umunze and finally, studied History and International Relations in Ebonyi state.. So am quite educated you must say.
Belly: Pericoma as a well known traditional man, People some how, have different varying opinions about him, be it positive or negative. How can you describe your father, especially in his positive ways that when you look back at, it encourages you to follow his footsteps?
Ebube Izuogu: Many who knows Pericoma, knows that he was a man of Justice and equity, he doesn’t judge unjustly or neither does he soil his hands with evil, if he tells you to run, it is to run and if he tells you to wait, then you ought to wait..this is how sincere he was..And for him, it’s all about legacy as he helped in lifting the Igbo culture and tradition by the use of Idioms, proverbs and adages in his songs. I haven’t heard negative comments about him because many knows what he stands for. If you remember one of the most memorable incident in Onitsha where he was tagged with the name “Pericoma na anyi ajo alo” you will understand that, that’s how people sees him.
Belly: When did you get fully into doing music?
Ebube Izuogu: When I was younger, my father had persuaded me to go into music, but because i was not ready, I declined but later on, I saw it’s in the blood and had to follow his footstep to keep the legacy moving. Well, i did my first hip-life album in China in the year 2006, and in 2013, did another album in Ghana which is Afropop, and my father was still alive as at that time..though my initial album, he had not liked it but on my second album, he said was much better and eventually I went into music and started fully in the Igbo cultural traditional way after the death of my father and had continued.
Belly: Are You in anyway, just as you are trying to follow the footstep of your father, doing it traditionally because you have also watched the likes of Umuobiligbo, if we compared the same vision, as they also had followed their father, chief Obiligbo’s footstep?
Ebube Izuogu: No No… I don’t go copying what others are doing, mine is in my blood and I am the first son and first born of my father, Pericoma and a replica of my father, and have no reason to want to copy what others are doing. I can’t be compared to them, everyone has their calling and am doing mine, so I can’t be likened to them.
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Belly: Your new song “Ndi Nke m“, what is the message behind the song?
Ebube Izuogu: “Ndi Nke m” is an eight (8) tracks song and the first song “Ndi Nke m”, looks at the happening in the world today, it talks about back stabbers, people who you will help that comes back to harm and stab you. So it’s a traditional song, that also preaches that when people do good to others and they back stab them that if the good thing done to them do not hold them, then the ground of our ancestors would fish them out.. However, i have six solid albums to my credit.
Belly: Being a core traditionalist, how do you see the views of some people as to tradition, as a traditionalist and someone who believes in culture and also in the aspect of keeping and observing culture, what do you think of the views of this people especially those who refer to themselves as christians?
Ebube Izuogu: We all, in different times, have either been in one religion or the other and maybe as Christians but as a traditionalist and someone with the “Ofor” I stand by the truth and justice and can’t hold the “Ofor” while I do evil, its not possible because if you hold the “Ofor” and swore by it, and you lie, and does not stand by justice, equity and truthfulness, it strikes. But many this Christians will carry the Holy Bible and still commit different atrocities, even their men of God. It can’t be compared to anyone who is a pure traditionalist because there is what is called “Nso Ani”, you don’t go otherwise but less can be said of most of this Christians.
Belly: Finally, what do you think about those who are of the opinion that Igbo’s don’t love themselves, that there is discord among the Igbo ethnic group?
Ebube Izuogu: There is nothing like ndi Igbo don’t love themselves, because Igbos do a lot of exploits, and everywhere they go, they bring about flourishing development, and that’s because they carry themselves along , so that statement is not true of the Igbos and does not represent, the true Igbo ethnic group. Some discord can be found everywhere in different race , ethnic group and country but you should not tag Igbos with such statement as people who does that are ignorant of the truth. And this one reason am using my songs to bring back the cultural heritage of ndi Igbo.
Check out Prince Pericoma Okoye (Ebube Izuogu) latest song below;