I must confess, I am guilty.
Of what, you ask?
Well, I cannot recollect the last time I did a post about a musician/artiste- female or otherwise.
Is their success and impact to be less valued because they are primarily entertainers? I think not. Music has and remains a great tool for creating positive impact, influencing mindsets and redefining values. So yes, musicians have a very important role to play in changing the negative perception of Africa and ensuring that the ‘Africa rising’ chant is echoed and re-echoed across 55 borders and beyond.
So I repent, and present, Nigerian multiple award-winning singer, Aituaje Iruobe; WAJE to you!
The very talented vocalist has bagged and been nominated for so many awards, it’s almost unbelievable! A graduate of Social Works from the University of Nigeria, Edo-born WAJE has become a fixture on the African music scene.
A few of her awards include: Best Female Vocalist 2011 Nigerian Entertainment Awards, Best Female Vocalist 2011 Hiphop World Awards (Headies),Best African Art 2011 Deafa Afro-Europe Awards, Best Vocal Performance 2010 South South Awards, Best Female Performer 2010 South South Awards, Musician Of The Year 2013 City People Awards, Best Reggae/Dance Hall Headies 2013. Some amazing nominations have included Black Canadian Awards 2014 (Best International Act), World Music Awards 2014 (World Best Album)W.A.J.E, World Music Awards 2014 (World Best Live Act), World Music Awards 2014 (World Best Female Entertainer) and World Music Awards 2014 (World Best Entertainer).
Born in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria, WAJE’s first musical platform was as a chorister. Her innate talent devoid of any formal training in music landed her a scholarship from the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa for the duration of her secondary education; a gesture which was appreciated by the struggling young girl and eldest sibling.
Though the public awareness of WAJE’s star quality was perked when she was featured in P-Square’s 2008 hit, ‘Do Me’, WAJE has come into her own as a vocalist to be reckoned with. W.A.J.E is an acronym for Words. Aren’t . Just. Enough!
In spite or despite her departure from purely gospel songs, WAJE has managed to utilise her music and the global platform she has accessed to serve as a voice for downtrodden and abused women.
Her songs ‘I Wish’ and ‘So Inspired’ depict the plight of abused women, whilst calling on women to be strong enough to get out of abusive relationships.
More recently, she joined eight other female artistes from across Africa including Nigerian Sheyi Shay, Kenyan Victoria Kimani, Tanzanian Vanessa Mdee, and South African Judith Sephuma in partnership with the ONE organization to decree that poverty is sexist through an inspiring song-cum-video titled ‘Strong Girl.’
The #WithaStrongGirls campaign enjoins citizens and governments to act:
– For the girl denied an education or forced into marriage.
– For the mother who risks death when she gives life.
– For the farmer prevented from owning the land she works on.
Interested? Join in here.
WAJE made her acting debut in the 2014 movie Tunnel_(film), with Femi Jacobs, Patrick Doyle, Nse-Ikpe Etim, Lepacious Bose, and others.
The singer whose role model is the late Whitney Houston talked about the driving force behind her success in an interview with The Vanguard. An excerpt:
“My driving force is my passion for what I do. Aside music being my passion, it is also like a hobby to me. I am also driven to make ends meet. For me, it is now a business because the Bible says that anything we lay our hands on shall prosper. I intend to prosper in it. When I say prospering, it is not only about music but also being able to encourage young people.
I want young people to know that if WAJE can win a Grammy award, then, they can also do the same. I want them to know that if I can conquer Africa then, they can do the same. I know how many people that have approached me and said that they are inspired by my music. I don’t think I am worthy of all those praises but at the end of the day, it makes you feel good that you are doing something good that people want and appreciate.”
Words really aren’t just enough. You have to put your money where your mouth is, and get moving!
© 2015 – 2017, Jennifer Nkem-Eneanya. All rights reserved.