Bright Chimezie Returns, Preaches Truth And Justice

For over a week now, veteran highlife musician, the Zigima exponent, Bright Chimezie (Okoro Junior)  has been thrilling his teeming fans in Lagos.

The musician who relocated from Lagos to Umuahia, Abia State so many years ago is back with a new album entitled, ‘Truth and Justice.’

In his 60s, Chimezie has been leaving his Lagos fans mouth agape with his stage performance as he still exudes the energy he was known for over 20 years ago.
Performing at different locations in Lagos, the Zigima crooner and his band will be touring the city for three weeks to reconnect with his Lagos fans and introduce his latest work which is currently enjoying rave reviews across radio stations. caught up with him at Cement area of Mangoro, Agege and he spoke about some issues that trailed him when he left among others.

What is the secret of your strength at your age?
I don’t know how to put it, let’s say it is God. I’m telling you. Even myself, I cannot explain it. As the day unfolds, I get more energy. I take things moderately. I work out and eat wisely.

You are here for three weeks, what is this tour all about?
I have a new album titled, Truth and Justice. That has been our style right from when we started. Once you have a fresh album, you get on the road, you play it live, you endear it to people. That is how we started and we are sustaining it. We are basically in Lagos to introduce Truth and Justice and thrill our traditional fans.

It took you so long to release this album, why?
One thing with Zigima is like we are writers. I consider each album as a book. I have just written a book. Novelists don’t write books anyhow. I keep telling people that I am not a commercial musician. Most things I say are not commercial. They are deep. I don’t depend so much on sales of my records, I depend on enshrining my philosophy, my thoughts in the hearts of men. It takes us long to work out the song, rhythm and the peculiar Zigima touch it normally has.

What next?
We are playing in Surulere, Agric, it will continue till the end of September. I have a personal doctor but I have never had any reason to give him urgent call on my health. No emergency at all. I grew up doing it. I cannot stay for two weeks without a show. If there is no show, I create one.

Many people have been asking why you disappeared?
I didn’t disappear. I am a family man. There comes a time in a man’s life when you think for the future. I am married with five children. I had four boys in Lagos here who never knew my home, where I come from. Who couldn’t even speak my language. I looked at myself, a cultural ambassador, in future they will ask any of my sons in Igbo ‘how are you?’ He would answer, ‘my father said I am Igbo.’ I said I am not going to do that. I called my wife and I said, if I ask you to go to the village and get these kids indoctrinated in the culture and tradition, they would say Okoro Junior abandoned his wife in the village and he is chasing small girls in Lagos. I said no. We relocated. There is showbizness in the east but the only thing is that the glamour, publicity is here. We have done quite a lot in the east that is not reported, that is the only thing we missed. I do come to Lagos and I am gradually introducing them back to Lagos. Now I have gotten what I want. They speak fluent Igbo, they know where I come from. If I die today, they know where to take my corpse to and there is a home for them. And they won’t be threatened by the villagers. They are grounded.

How do you feel that after so many years, your fans are still appreciating your music?
I feel great about it. Our labour in the past has not been in vain. I have been getting a lot of phone calls, people telling me they will come to the next venue. All to the glory of God.

How do you introduce yourself to the young ones?
One funny thing about creation is that there is evolution. As we are growing old, the younger ones are picking up. For the fact that I have been consistent even though I have not been in Lagos, they don’t have a vague knowledge of me. There was a time I was like them. I debuted in my 20s and they used to call me the youngest of them all then. They know me. They know what I stand for. I don’t need to overstretch myself to get them convinced. 

When are you going to formally release this album and what are your expectations?
The album is already in the market but I will do the official release here in Lagos, we are working out something.
I’m expecting reconnection even though we are entirely’ zigimatically dichoted,’ the thing is still there. I want to tell my fans that I am not dead because there were so many stories when I left Lagos. Some even got me associated with the IPOB group and stuff like that. The true story is that Bright Chimezie is Bright Chimezie. I have interacted well in Nigeria. They know me in Yorubaland, they know me here. My music was able to break the tribal barrier. I cannot get myself boxed up into one particular corner no matter how genuine they are. If there is truth and justice all over the federation, nobody would be asking for Biafra or any other agitation. It has to do with marginalization and wickedness from man to man. Truth and justice is not only from the leaders but also the led. Our truth is as it suits us. Truth is supposed to be painful even to the person that speaks it. With truth and justice, we would have a stable society, a great society. A society where you can keep your phone and nobody will pick it. Very soon I am going to form a party, Truth and Justice party. That is what we need. If we have truth and justice, the constituency allowances would be used well, the security votes would be used well. Without truth and justice, where are we?

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