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Tiv Music Yet To Get Space On Nigerian Musical Map, Says Poly Dean

By Emmanuel Ashingyu

Recently, I boarded a vehicle from Katsina-Ala with intention of going to Makurdi directly, however, due to scarcity of vehicles the driver only accepted to take me to Yandev and without hesitation, I obliged. At the Yandev-Makurdi Road, I boarded a private car and already seated was an elderly man who I later discovered is Sir Michael Abado, the Dean, Postgraduate School, Akperan Orshi Polytechnic, Yandev, Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State.

As we continued the journey, I heard him singing and saw him nodding his head as music played from the car stereo and typical of any nosy journalist, I quickly engaged him in a discussion that later metamorphosed to this interview. Excerpts:

Did you love music while growing up?

Yes! Not only when I was growing up even now that I am growing old, I still love music.

For the purpose of this interview, who is Michael Abado?

Michael Abado, is a Chief Lecturer, is an Agricultural Economist and a Chartered Economist. I am currently the Dean, Postgraduate School, Editor-in-Chief of the School of the Agricultural and Management Vocational Studies (SAMVS), Multi-disciplinary Journal, Chairman, Academic Staff Publications Assessment Committee of Akperan Orshi Polytechnic, Yandev. I also hold and has held several other academic and church leadership positions. I hail from Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue, and I am married with children.

When you are not in church or in the office, what occupies your space?

Reading and music.

As you said music, what genre of music and in what order of preference?

The genre of music preferred and in order of ranking is Christian music, reggae music, sentimental music, country music, afro beat, solo music, etc.

Can you compare music of yester-years and today?

The music of yester-years seems to be more appealing to me. This is because generally the beats, rhythms, meaning, messages and lessons contained in them were richer and attractive to both the young and old; than the present day music which seems to lack most of the characteristics mentioned above and attracts mostly the young people.

How would you assess the performance of the music industry in Benue State, especially Tiv land?

The performance of music industry in Benue State has not met my satisfaction. As a viable avenue for entertainment, employment, income generation, etc, I expect a more robust performance. At the state level, since the exit of our profound Bongos Ikwe from music more than two decades ago, only 2Face Idibia came on board for more than a decade now to put Benue State in the limelight of music in Nigeria. In Tivland in particular, the performance has been abysmal. We currently do not have Tiv sons or daughters on the music map in Nigeria.

From the foregoing, which areas would government and individuals invest in music?

I would like the government and individuals to to invest in three key areas including: Training and skills development of musicians; provision to infrastructures such as arts theatres and equipping them with modern equipment and instruments; and promotion of music can also be done using the mass media and introducing music as a course of study in the tertiary institutions but with more guidance.

Unbelievers venturing into Christian music for monetary benefits, what is your take on this?

The unbelievers venturing into Christian music, to me I feel it is a welcome development, because it is those ideals of the Good News contained in the word of God that they are propagating. Perhaps, from their gospel music, the musicians and their fans will be converted to God. We can recall similar instances in the Bible where the disciples of Jesus Christ came and reported to Him that they saw some people who are not His followers, casting out demons in Jesus’ name and should they go and stop them? Jesus said that they should not rebuke them for “whoever is not against them is for them” (Mk. 9:38-41, Luke 9:49-50.)

Is the music industry regulatory agency really doing their jobs?

I feel the music industry regulatory agency in Nigeria is not really doing their jobs. If they were doing their job well, the general quality of the present-day music and rather indecent dressing of musicians should have been controlled.

Who is your ideal musician?

My ideal musician is the late Lucky Dune because his beats, messages and their qualities really satisfies my heart.

Your words of advice to musicians and music lovers like you.

My words of advice to musicians is for them to imbibe the adage that says “whatever is worth doing is worth doing well” and make sure their music emerges the best world-wide; to have more patronage, earn more in their career, have more self satisfaction of life achievement and inspire others to go into music as a career. To music lovers like me, I urge them to keep supporting musicians to make them realize that they are doing is beneficial to the society, so that they will be challenged to perform better.

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