By Kemi Yesufu
Legendry reggae artiste Ras Kimono ruled the charts in the 80s and 90s
with songs like Under Pressure, Rumba Stylee and Lone Ranger.
The much loved artist died today in Lagos after a brief illness. But music fans can be consoled by the fact that, like the popular saying goes, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
The Rub-a-Dub master’s daughter, Oge is also force to reckone with musically.
Oge, who Frontline News Online, Editor-in-Chief, Kemi Yesufu, spoke to years back, not only inherited her father’s good looks, his belief in
Rastafarianism, she is also an unapologetic apostle of reggae music.
Oge who returned to Nigeria in
2010 after eight years in Germany gave insight into what kind of father Ras Kimono is declaring him the best parent a child could ask for.
” I am proud to be Ras Kimono’s daughter but I don’t like it when
people just introduce me as his daughter without recognizing that I am also an individual”, she disclosed.
“I like it when people introduce
me as Oge and they could add the fact that I am Ras Kimono’s daughter,
if they wish.
“The problem is that when most people hear I am Ras Kimono’s daughter,
they ask for favors or place you on a certain pedestal. Definitely, I
am the kind of girl who wants to live like the next person. I want to
do regular stuff like other young people do. I was not raised to seek
for recognition as a celebrity’s child”.
On how she relates with her
dad, she says, “I have a very close relationship with my father. He is
not just my father; he is my best friend and confidant. I discuss just
about everything with him, from my relationships to school work and
music. I can call my father anytime of the day. When I am far from
him, I miss him a lot and he misses me too. We have a strong bond”.
Though she is cocksure that she wants create her own path to success, the tall and light lady accepts that she benefits from her father’s
tremendous goodwill. “Everywhere I go and people get to know I am Ras
Kimono’s daughter, they embrace me. But like I said, I always
introduce myself as Oge Kimono. It is only when people ask if it’s the
same Kimono they know that I open up on who I am. In fact, I started
using Kimono after my father and I quarreled over my hiding my
identity. It was a friend of his in Ghana, Black Rasta, who convinced
him on the need for me to add Kimono to my name. And to be honest, adding Kimono has been a blessing”.
Falling in love with reggae
Though she is the daughter of one of Nigeria’s reggae greats, this
well spoken lady only fell in love with the genre after paying
attention to the lyrics of its proponents. “It is not about having reggae
in my blood like you suggested. I see it more like I had a connection
with the genre at some point in my life” she confessed. “Growing up
as a kid, I would rather listen to Country music, Jazz, pop and R
‘n’B. It was at some point that I started looking at the lyrics and
beyond the slow beat of reggae. You know, the reggae beat is quite
slow and not too enticing to youngsters. But at the age of fifteen, I
started listening to lyrics of songs and I started appreciating reggae
music”. Her full conversion to the music trade came a year after she
took to reggae. “I remember performing with my dad at a concert held at the Ikoyi Club. I was 16 then. That was when the love for music
came over me strongly”, she said.
“It was from that concert that I
thought that music might just be the profession for me”. She didn’t
start recording immediately. Oge worked with many other artistes in
Germany where she resided for close to a decade. “I didn’t start
recording immediately after I decided to explore a career in music. I
worked with a number of artistes in Germany where I lived for eight
years. I got to work with Nigerians like 2 Clan and Ade Bantu. I also
did a song with Bennie Man but I worked a long time as a backup
vocalist to Uva Banton a German reggae musician”. As expected Ras
Kimono gave his blessings when his daughter went into the profession
that brought him fame. “There was no negative feedback from my parents
when I decided to take up music professionally” she says with a smile.
“I started singing at the age of eight. Then my grandmother would ask
me to sing for her friends in Aba where I grew up. I also was part of
the church and school choir. I always loved singing; I think that was
the main reason why I was asked to live with my grandmother. My
parents could see that I had a passion for music and the only way to
keep me in school would be to keep me far from my dad who was based in