Nigerian Women In History

A Brief History Of Comfort Omoge – The Woman Who Promoted Folkloric Traditional Music In Nigeria

   

A native of Igbogida, in Okitipupa, Ondo State, Comfort Oluwafemi Omoge was 14years old when she started music and became fully involved in it when she was 17 years old.

She was greatly encouraged by her husband, Oba Williams Omoge, the traditional ruler of Igbodigo kingdom, who always heard her sing from her sleep.

So, she formed the Aboba- Asiko band, following the advice of her husband.

Comfort reportedly revived the Asiko music, a form of folklore people used to entertain themselves when they returned from farms and markets in the evening.

To keep the original sound of her music, she never employed any western instruments. All instruments used for her songs were local and indigenous as well as identifying with her roots, the cultural Asiko of the Ikale people.

In 1976, Comfort and her band released their first album, “Orogen rogen” and this made her the first woman in Ikale, old Ondo state, to take music as a profession.

She played prominent roles in the promotion of traditional music and her music reportedly competed with the late Afrobeat legend, Fela’s works on the foreign airwaves as authentic music from Africa.

Regarded as Queen of Asiko music, Comfort recorded a total of 60 albums throughout her career. She sang about politics, the economy, current affairs, using exhortation, advice, prayer and moral integrity.

She was nominated by the Federal government of Nigeria to represent the country at the Black Cultural Festival scheduled for USA in April 1984 but did not hold due to the change of government in December 1983.

Before her death on 28th August, 1999, she was the National Adviser of the Performing Musician Association of Nigeria. She was conferred with many chieftaincy titles and bagged many awards.

For taking the traditional Ikale cultural music idiom to international reputation, her burial was attended by musicians from all over the country.

Listen to a popular song by Comfort, “Olorun mi, Iwo ni ma sin.”

 

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