A Canada-born Nigerian, Ndubuisi Okwumabua has relocated to his native place, Isele-Ukwu village, Delta state in Nigeria for his music career to gain more recognition.
Okwumabua, popularly known as Ndu, is a young, up-and-coming rapper, songwriter, and producer, who left his place in Winnipeg’s Forte Rouge in Canada, to settle in Nigeria.
Speaking about his decision, Okwumabua, according to Nigeria Abroad, said, “In Canada you cannot fully own anything, everything you own can be taken away from you.”
“I feel at home. I’m realising my dream. That’s important to me,” he added.
He admitted that living in Nigeria is not the same as living in Canada as many Nigerians are scrambling to migrate to Canada, perceived as a land of opportunities, but the music artiste related differently.
He submitted that Nigeria does not have the same accessible amenities as Canada, but spiritually, Nigeria is stronger.
“A simple life can be a good life,” he stated. “I am among my uncles, aunties, cousins and family friends. I’m okay. Luckily my parents used to bring my siblings and me to visit Nigeria since we were children, so I’m chill here.”
“I’ve written a lot during the pandemic and produced hundreds of songs for other artistes and myself and background music for movies. People are getting to know me around here. That feels hopeful.
“I have a big interest in doing independent mix with afrobeat. I want to do it all, dance music, reflection music, and car-listening music,” he said.
Asked why he felt Nigeria is a better place to accomplish his music dreams, Okwumabua responded that “artistes need genuine support in the beginning but there is not a lot of support for artistes like us who are attempting to break the manufactured mainstream mould.
“People who are seen as socially acceptable and successful get more grants than those of us who are behind the curve. I do not think that is fair or right.”
The rapper who once got a grant said the requirements were a hard nut to crack in Canada.
“When I saw what they needed from me, the red tape and all, I returned it to the funder to avoid any further creative block. I am using my own money to create my music right now. It is a little more cost effective in Nigeria to make music, but that is not including the ongoing electricity problem.
“It is sometimes challenging living in Winnipeg, branded as one of the most racist cities in Canada by Maclean’s magazine, where you can be accused or judged because of the colour of your skin or ethnicity and not by the content of your character.
“Nigeria has its own prejudices and post-colonial tribal conflict, but I am accepted as a human being first here and if you work hard and stay focused, you can own a few things.
“You may think you own a house after paying for it for 25 years and if you do not pay your taxes, it can be taken away from you. It’s not like that in Nigeria. What you own belongs to you.
“Life is good in Nigeria, not perfect but good. I am creating my music the way I want to. I would rather be free and be happy with myself to live longer.”