Personality of the Week: Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo

Hello dear readers, hope you had a swell weekend. Mine was great, thanks. After some thought, I’ve decided to add a new section to the blog: Personality Of The Week. Our POTW will be selected based on these criteria:

  1. He/she must have contributed to the improvement of the society through bettering people/developing talents/helping the less privileged.
  2. He/she must be successful in chosen career, although he /she may or may not be very financially wealthy.
  3. He/she must be below the age of 50(I’d thought of making this 40 but for some reasons I decided on 50). Any change in this aspect will be for a special reason.
  4. He/she could be of any race, but at the moment our focus will be on Africa and Nigeria in  particular.

This section has been added in the hope that it will be a source of inspiration to someone out there looking to succeed in life despite all odds, and to touch lives positively.
That said, I present to you our very first Personality of the Week:

COBHAMS EMMANUEL ASUQUO


Can I hear an applause somebody?! I decided to make Mr. Asuquo our first Personality of the Week because of my undying love for his music and due to the fact that he always delivers! I remember watching him rap in the song “Mo like Jesu gan” as a young teenager and being so awed at his prowess while at the same time shocked at the fact that he was blind!!! I always looked out for him from then on; from “Mo like Jesu gan” to Rooftop MCs “Lagimo”(how I still love that song!) to the more recent “Ordinary People” and “Do the right thing” featuring Bez. Do yourself a favour and get these songs. Thank me later.
Cobhams is a Nigerian singer/producer/songwriter who is a true embodiment of the phrase “succeeding at your passion”. He has made a definite mark in the music industry, helping produce acts like Asa, Waje, Timi Dakolo and Tosin Martins.
According to his mother, Mrs Gladys Asuquo, Cobhams seemed perfectly normal at birth until about three months after, when she noticed his clumsiness. At the hospital, her worst fears were confirmed: her son was congenitally blind and nothing could be done about it. Rather than bemoan her fate, she resolved to teach him to be as independent and capable as he could. It was not easy, as Cobhams Army officer father was hardly home, so she catered for him and his siblings almost on her own sometimes.

 At a point in time when things became really difficult for them so much so that she had to boil and sell groundnuts to keep the family going, she noticed her son’s love for drums. According to her,” he would beat on anything he could lay his hands on, so I encouraged him by buying him musical toys. Cobhams never went to school to learn to play any instrument; I think it was just an escape route for him”. Unsurprisingly, Cobhams dropped out of University of Lagos as a 300L student of Law to face his passion fully.

Today, 34 year old Cobhams is well known for producing some of the finest artistes in Nigeria, notable among them Asa, whose debut album in 2007 rose to international acclaim. In addition to producing the album, he wrote and co-wrote some of its songs. But before this, in 2005, he signed on to Sony ATV London as a songwriter, and a year later, after working as head of audio productions for Questionmark Entertainment in Nigeria, he set up his own recording facility. According to his interview on BBC’s African Dream, he had no capital, just a computer and ideas that he took to different companies offering advertising and begging for work. He is now the CEO and Head of Productions of Cobhams Asuquo Music Productions(CAMP) in Lagos, which according to him is an all-encompassing entertainment firm.  He has written and produced work for a number of organisations including MTN, Globacom, Etisalat’s 0809ja campaign music, Stanbic IBTC, Cocacola, Close up, among others. Signed on to his label are Bez, Stan Iyke, and others.

Like his hero Stevie Wonder, the musician has never let his lack of sight hold him back. “It is assumed that there are many things you cannot do because you’re blind. And so for me, I had to prove that there are many things I can do because I’m blind, and there are many things I’ve done because I’m blind.”, he says. But he points out that he is not interested in working withpeople whose only drive is the potential financial reward the industry offers. According to him,”I like to work with people who want to create magic, people who want to go a little afield, go a little off the usual path.”

In his words, talent is just not enough. He advises persistence and consistency. He also believe people should strive to be themselves and not a carbon copy of the people who must have influenced them. Some great words from him: “You’ve got to have something unique, whether its your story, your voice or your lyrics, the sound of your instrument, or a combination of all these different factors. I just believe that everything depends on everything and so whenever I have an opportunity, I give it my very best shot”. Note the words I put in bold?That’s some solid advice coming from a great man to everyone looking to excel at something in life

Cobhams got married in 2010 to Ojuolape Veronica Olukanni and they have a son together.To read more about how he wooed and proposed to her, read here.
To read a little more about Cobhams, you check this out. That’s it guys. A dose of inspiration to start the week with. Researching for and putting this piece together taught me a lot and I’m resolved to stand by all I’ve learned so far. I hope you were touched too. You can speak your mind in the comment section! I’m all ears.
Be better, Do better.
XOXO, Chibugo.
photo credit: www.africanseer.com, stargist.com, muzikstreets.com, www.naijashine.com.ng.

2 thoughts on “Personality of the Week: Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo

  1. Wooow! I never knew so much about him until now. To imagine he achieved so much without sight then what excuse av we??? # pondering

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