Omokomoko Osokpa

Urhobo Historical Society

Omokomoko Osokpa:The Father of Urhobo Music

Everytime your music plays from the gramophone

I am captured by its sway as though inspired by aridon

And the artistic force of your Obodiete-Orogun ancestry

Indeed, you had the magical voice of ominigbo

Beating agogo, akise,igede and isorogu with dexterous expertise

Though your mortal life has passed,

Your music lives on endlessly

And the world has never forgotten

The legend of Omokomoko Osokpa

You were a candidate for international exposure

Swimming above the challenge of disability

No one juggled time as well as you,

Interweaving music and culture passionately.

Although you did much, much of what you did, lay unobserved;

 But Urhobo Historical Society, in their usual manner,

Remembers you and Ogute Otan

For over sixty years you crooned Urhobo values,

You now signify the award of excellence in Urhobo musicology

But now that you have entered the long silence,

I lay my gratitude across your memory

Like flowers strewn across an open bier.

I thought of you with love today

But that is nothing new,

I thought about you yesterday

And days before that too.

I think of you in silence

And you have become reminiscence

I often call your alias, Omokobluff,

And sing of your soulful music

Especially the ones about aghanokpe, okpagha and akpobrisi trees;

The ones about Ikutegbe, Mowoe, Okpodu, Omorohwovo, Salubi…

The ones about the need to have a big man in a family, adventure, life as a marketplace, the wonders and rigours of existence, dying young,fishing and hunting, favourite wife-avwebo, friendship and marriage, respect for elders, patience, hardwork, obedience, the importance of Urhobo language…

Now all we have are memories

and your picture in your album.

Some may think you are forgotten

Your life was a gift and a blessing to us indeed

We’ll never forget you or your wonderful deeds

Thanks for the way you gave so freely

Your music brightened our days and encouraged us really

We love your songs and love the fact that they do have the power to bring all Urhobos together

We’ll never forget your creative genius 

How you pioneered Urhobo traditional music

Singing at first with Orogun dialect and shifting later to Agbarho –general Urhobo

All in a bid to reach a wider Urhobo audience

Omokomoko, you are and will always be Urhobo musical icon

A father and a friend, there will never be another

We will always miss seeing your face among the cherished faces pictured on memory’s walls;

Among familiar voices that sang in memory’s halls,

Your loving face is the dearest face we see,

Your melodious voice had the sweetest sound to us.

A little corner in our hearts is set aside for you,

As long as life and memory lasts,

 We will remember you

But we know that you are in a better place.


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