Christiana Essien-Igbokwe, a late singer known as ‘Nigeria’s Lady of Songs’, has been honoured with a Google doodle on her posthumous birthday; November 11.
Essien-Igbokwe, a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR), died in Lagos on June 20, 2011.
During her career, she sang in Igbo, Ibibio, Efik, Hausa, Yoruba as well as in English and was the first female president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN).
In 1977, she launched a professional music career by releasing her debut album called ‘Freedom’. Many of her albums became hit records, but none came close to the success of her 1981 hit album ‘Ever Liked My Person’ produced by Lemmy Jackson.
Essien-Igbokwe starred in the early Nollywood flicks such as ‘Flesh and Blood’ and ‘Scars of Womanhood’, both of which addressed issues of child abuse and female circumcision.
After the singer’s death, her husband, Edwin Igbokwe, said he kept her corpse in a room for three months.
He had said: “I didn’t want to believe she would not wake up. She was smiling peacefully. I couldn’t believe it. I made sure I looked at her every day. I was confused, depressed, dejected and hopeless. The children began to monitor me. I was still in denial, hoping she was asleep… she would wake up. I kept reassuring myself. She never did.”
In honouring Essien-Igbokwe, Google noted that her multilingual ability gave her music “a broad appeal across cultural and tribal lines”.