By Victor Arjiromanus
Too often, we see all kinds of people becoming singers from Nigeria music setting, many, without wits and brilliance to touch complex social issues.
But, for Dr Adaku Jennifer Agwunobi, who has attained a frightening height in her educational pursuit at a young age of 27, dabbling into the already saturated Nigerian music industry is ultimately phenomenal, signifying one single fact that, music is a kind of warm-depth that has enveloped her, a foetus that has become the blossomed child of which she is nursing into stardom, today.
The 27year old smart, sultry and velvet-black songstress, Dr Adaku was born and brought up in London, UK but has an Igbo heritage from Imo state, Nigeria. She is currently at the University of Oxford doing a diploma in Health Research but, has bagged four degrees already including; a PhD in Entrepreneurial Health and Wellbeing in the Digital Economy, MSc Health Economics, MSc Marketing and BSc Economics. At 26, she was the first Black doctoral student to obtain a PhD at the campus where she did her PhD at Loughborough University, London.
In Between Wit and Passion
Responding to a question from Vanguard, on why she is pursuing a career in music, despite her educational status, she said with a little smile that intimidated satisfaction;
‘‘Since I was a little girl, from the moment I could talk, I already knew music was everything and I would sing or dance all day long till this day. I would listen to albums from start to finish and I was always able to do this thing where I would guess which song the artist would focus on for singles. I’m 27 but I remember before lyric websites were a thing and I used to have a notebook where I would write out and learn lyrics to songs, it was so fun and made me think deeply into the lyrics from a young age.
‘’Music, song writing and dancing are my outlets being able to show empathy for others through these outlets means everything to me. Music is my passion and it’ll never leave me – no matter what! So in other words, no matter what, I’ll always sing, write songs, and dance’’
Solving complex issues with Music
Out of interest, Dr Adaku’s PhD research was primarily on intersectionality, wellbeing, entrepreneurship and the digital economy. Notably, she researched mostly Black entrepreneurs and looked at themes of wellbeing and equality with regards to race, gender, age and class. With these, she has infused the knowledge of her experiences and education into her songs, solving and answering complex questions for the society.
In her recently released single titled; ‘Can’t Touch That’ sang in a standard Afrobeat with fusion of UK grime vibes, where she dealt with the important topic of consent and entitlement. “Did you know that consent is key, sir?” is one of the phrases repeated in the song. A rhetoric that reminds everyone that women deserve a world where they feel safe and free from harassment no matter the time or place’
Also, on the note of her research in well-being, her first single ‘Jisike’ (https://www.dradaku.com/jisike) is a relaxing song which was written, because of the global anxieties due to the pandemic and also ongoing social injustice pertaining to Black lives. It was created to tell the world that everything will be okay, and it’s written in Igbo and English.
Her intention is captured in her own words here; ‘I’m singing to make a difference. To create art that people could relate to in one way or another. I use music to spread important messages, while you enjoy the vibes, feel good, dance, and smile.
According to Dr. Adaku, ambition or educational pursuit shouldn’t limit you;‘’In this life, you need to do all that your heart desires! You don’t have to just do or be one thing, do it all! Life is too short to not do what makes you happy. If, you, right now are thinking about doing something, do it! If you’re thinking about trying something, try it!! Especially if these are things that you have thought of since you were little. I always say to my friends: “the world is your oyster” and I mean it’’ She said.