What Efe Omorogbe Must do Next, Now That He’s 50
BY AYENI ADEKUNLE
I really shouldn’t be writing. Because I really shouldn’t find the time with all that’s going on at BHM. But writing is not the only thing I shouldn’t have time for. When last week, I began getting persistent requests and instructions to record a video tribute for Efe Omorogbe, who clocks 50 today, 3 March 2021, I realised that having not seen a barber in nearly half a year, I really shouldn’t be sitting in front of a camera either. So I decided to write.
There’ll be a lot of events this week and the next honouring the gentleman behind Now Muzik and Buckwyld media. Most will refer to him as a talent manager (2face’s manager), events architect, or copyright crusader. And they’ll all be right. But the Efe Omorogbe I met almost 25 years ago was a hip hop culture aficionado, super writer, poet, and rapper. Along with Solomon ‘Solo Dee’ Dare, Loknan ‘LD’ Dombin, and others, Efe was an early evangelist of what became the mainstream urban music and hip hop culture in Nigeria.
He was a writer’s writer, a critic’s critic, and a leader who propelled everyone around him – writers, rappers, editors, designers, and students – into a realm they didn’t know existed. He had the power to do it too, well before you met him. All you had to do was have the privilege of reading him in HipHop World Magazine.
I was already a writer before coming across HHW, thanks to Tosin Kassim and Ayo Oshun. But – and it’s not the first time I’m admitting it – it took reading Efe and SoloDee and all the other guys to open my mind to the culture, and to a style of writing I didn’t know I could contemplate. Imagine my joy when I would eventually meet him, and get the opportunity to write with and for him.
HHW was an incubator for so many young creatives between 1997 and 2005. And Efe was one of those who made it remarkable. I’ve followed his career since he quit full time writing. And it’s clear he’s made giant strides and big successes off artiste development, marketing, management and administration.
But I often wonder if we would have benefited more had he continued to write, full time, and maybe even teach. It’s a question I ask about my own career too – shouldn’t I have continued writing? You know, you think Teju Cole, and Chimamanda and wonder maybe guys like Efe would have served us better in newsrooms and bookstores and faculties?
But then I think of the likes of Scott Galloway and Stephen Waddington who are now devoted to writing and teaching after enjoying a lifetime of business and management.
I read Galloway and realise the reason he had to have lived as an entrepreneur and investor is so he could provide everything he’s writing and teaching from a practical I’ve-been-there-done-that perspective as opposed to passing theories around.
So you see, there’s so much more Efe Omorogbe can, and should be doing as he opens this new chapter.
And we’re all waiting.