Remembering Singer, Songwriter And Traditionalist, Chief Pericoma Mezuo Okoye

Posted on February 17, 2024

Chief Pericoma Mezuo Okoye was predominantly known throughout Igboland for his style of music and strong belief and practice of the traditional religion of the Igbo people, named Obeah.
His music style was an “oral rendition of the culture, proverbs, as well as the tradition of the Igbo people”. His title was ‘Arusi Makaja’, he allegedly performed several feats which defied several rules of physics.
A good percentage of the people from Arondizuogu, his community, believed he was a little god. Several displays of “supernatural powers” or “sorcery” as it was often tagged, and back-to-back victories in contests, earned him the alias “Lion of Africa”
He featured in a movie titled Lion Of Africa alongside Nollywood Legend, Pete Edochie. The movie, which was in two parts, was a biography of his early life.
He stopped the illegal taxing of people in Upper Iweka, Onitsha.Pericoma was on his way to Onitsha when he was waylaid by the area Boys at the then notorious Upper Iweka.
These illegal tax collectors, not knowing who he was, demanded for his tax receipts, but he ignored them.
One of the thugs lifted him up, placed him on his shoulders, and carried him to their office. He did not utter a word nor complained.
On the way, he suddenly became too heavy such that the guys who carried him wanted to put him down, but he could not. For several hours they begged him to come down but he refused, and insisted that the gods must be appeased for him to come down.
He made several requests which included certain huge amount of money.
His requests were all provided and he majestically came down from the guy’s shoulder after several hours.
This brought about the popular saying “Pericoma na anyị ajọ alo”
That incident was said to have put an end to the menace of illegal tax collectors at Upper Iweka.
He is the father of internet personality & musician, Speed Darlington.
He was prime minister of the Arondizogu community in Imo State until his death in 2017.

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