THE UNKNOWN STAR FROM THE EAST.
ARTISTE OF THE WEEK – Tochukwu Nzelu
The artiste of this week is a Musical Genius whom many do not know, this is because he was born, bred, educated and started music as a choir boy in the Eastern Part of Nigeria.
Tochukwu picked interest in the piano at the age of 8, but like many parents from the East would do, his parents wouldn’t have him play. On noticing he couldn’t convince his parents to allow him learn to play the piano, he joined the choir and there, as fate would have it, he got closer to the same piano his parents never wanted him to play.
Practicing in one of the rooms in NWU Potchefstroom
By the time he finished secondary school, he was already playing the keyboard with great dexterity, having been showed how to sight read (Lines and Spaces) by his Church Organist Moses Okafor. He then moved on to teach himself how to play the keyboard, under the supervision of his mentor CJ. Okereke and Moses Okafor.
On the Organ.
To fulfill the desires of his parents who wanted him to be a doctor or an engineer, he studied computer engineering at the Enugu State University of Technology (Esut), but his love for music wouldn’t let him be, as Tochukwu dumped his engineering degree and moved over to the North West University Potchefstroom to study Music, majoring in Piano. Again, he proved his mastery and proficiency of the instrument, excelling greatly in the department of Music for which he was honoured as a Member of The Golden Key International Honour Society, for his outstanding academic achievement at the University.
Tochukwu is honoured for his outstanding academic achievement.
The Eastern Part of Nigeria (Igbos) are not known for the excellence/rich heritage in Classical/Choral Music that the Western Part (Yorubas) are known for. Suffice it to say that they are somewhat limited to an extent, due to poor musical facilities in churches and lack of early musical training in schools, except for Dennis Memorial Grammar School (DMGS) Onitsha and very few others. Lack of good music teachers is another painful issue that cannot be left out. This is unlike the Western Part where Pipe Organs can be found even in the very remote parts of the West, with prolific organists and Music directors in charge of very fine choirs.
In all of these inadequacies, Tochukwu Nzelu (Ojoto) is fast becoming a shining light for Eastern Nigeria along with other great musicians in the making like; Nonso Obiezue (Ogidi), Victor Nite (Nite), Echezonachukwu Nduka (Nri), Obinna Ifediora (Nnewi), Chidubem Onyekwelu (Nimo) and Paschal Obidile (Ihiala) among others to mention a few, since the older generation have done little or nothing to salvage the situation in the region.
One would hope that these great men, would turn to the east and make a change in the declining state of Music.
Back to the matter…………
Tochukwu Nzelu having majored in Piano has improved tremendously. His piano technique is next to none and his speed, dexterity, intonation and interpretation is commendable.
He’s also a Choral Conductor, Singer, Teacher, Organist and Saxophonist. A handful of ability you would say.
Tochukwu leading praise and worship in a church in South Africa.
Please put your hands for Nzelu, Emeka Tochukwu
I CELEBRATE YOU TODAY!
Ifediora, Obinna Maurice
Musical Society of Nigeria
8/9 Marina, Onikan Lagos.