Today we’ll be taking a dive into the archives of Nigeria’s classic 80’s music era – the Golden Generation. To know who we will be profiling today, you have to go as far back as the 17th of May, 1952 to Obosi, Anambra state where the legend was born to the family of the then popular Politician and Educationist, D.K Onwenu (nicknamed. “The Elegant Stallion”). Meet Onyeka Onwenu, our classic star profile today.
To talk about the very foundation of Nigeria’s Urban Music, the fusing of female artistry with soulful content and meaning, without making mention of this beautiful songstress would be a sacrilege in every right. At a time when the music industry wasn’t yet proliferated with meaningless lyrics & provocative visuals, Onyeka Onwenu made her mark & left an indelible legacy in our hearts with the message in her music.
A brief look through her life would show she has indeed lived a fulfilled one. As a wonderful singer, songwriter, actress, journalist, politician, social critique & mentor, there’s hardly anything she left unachieved.
Onyeka Onwenu had her B.A in International Relations and Communications (IRC) from the Welleslye College of Massachusetts, USA and also obtained a Master’s degree in Media Studies from The New School for Social Research.
Her music career kicked off in 1981; the year she released of her debut album: “For The Love of You”. At the time of compiling this album, Onyeka Onwenu was having to shuttle her music with a career in journalism; working with NTA at the time.
As if being a wonderful songstress, journalist & politician wasn’t enough accolades already, Onyeka Onwenu also had a glistening film career, bagging numerous awards on the way amongst which includes the Africa Movie Academy Awards for Best Actress In a Supporting Role. She most recently featured in a 2013 Nigerian Historical fiction drama film directed by Biyi Bandele, based on the novel of the same name by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun.
She boasts an impressive discography that deals with a lot of social issues, her music would forever be a source of inspiration and motivation. Notable amongst are social reform tunes is her 1986 classic, One Love. A song which is now literally a peace anthem in many gatherings. And also her song about sex abstinence with King Sunny Ade, titled, Wait for me.
Need we say more? Relax as we take you on a ride to the past with Onyeka Onwenu!