It was the era of “baggy-jeans”, snap-backs and colourful back-packs that are mostly empty. Nigerian musicians were robed into a stereotype of irresponsible rich illiterates otherwise called “money miss-roads”. They were and still is the fashion compass for a lot of young people who rely on their music videos for guidance on how to dress. A nightmare for parents.
To most parents, a career in music was the next worst thing after prostitution and no child of theirs was allowed to think it, let alone pursue it. But then came Emeka Solomon. A handsome black boy with a brain of a genius. He’d excelled in his WEAC, JAMB and UTME examinations which got him admission into the prestigious Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
Within months on the campus, Emeka’s popularity soured. He was the toast of the school but not because of his academic excellence, rather his musical prowess. His songs were on every campus mix, school, state and private radio stations. At the point, he was called the SkoolBoi. The name, the songs and showman-skills resonated with not just the students but the people of Awka. His parents were enraged. This was not why they sent this boy to school.
Skoolboi headlined shows in Awka that A-list artists in the South East dreamed of. A true star was born. Although he was popular, he wasn’t powerful. At least that’s what his parents thought. “One can only be powerful when he’s knowledgeable, literate and sound” said the dad. The South East was there for Emeka’s taking but education was in the way and at such, he was forced to choose between Skoolboi (Music) and knowledge (education).
What did he do? I’ll tell you. But first, listen to “Eh” by Emeka Solomon featuring Lil’ Kesh. That way you’ll have an idea of what i’m about to tell you…