What follows is an excerpt from my liner notes to Osita Osadebeâ€™s final American release, the CD called â€œClub America.â€ Osadebe died last month. My words, written in 2003, still stand:
Osita Osadebeâ€™s music springs from the lives of his people, so â€œClub Americaâ€ is a natural fruit of his labors. He is the master of the lilting lyrical Highlife â€“ and Nigeriaâ€™s foremost musical poet. Listen to this record â€¦ you will be taken instantly to a faraway place: to the frenetic, joyous, topsy-turvy world of West Africa â€¦ You will feel instantly at home. Osadebeâ€™s music is at once global and local, irresistibly cosmopolitan and yet grounded in the tastes, smells, emotions and authenticity of Osadebeâ€™s beloved Igbo people â€¦.
Osadebeâ€™s lyrics are straightforward and quickly get to the essence â€¦. He sings of renewal, of hope, of the human capacity for moving ahead even in the face of poverty and disappointment. â€œNo matter how bad [things are], we must live,â€ he sings in the song, Makojo. â€œNo matter how much it rains, it must stop raining someday. The sun must shine.â€