When you think of reggae gospel music artistes in Nigeria, Buchi Atuonwu’s name comes to mind, of course he is not the only one who is into reggae gospel but his hit track “mma mma” leads the procession for others to follow. What do you know about this accidental gospel singer? Here are five facts.
1. Buchi was a Lecturer by day and a Club DJ at Night
Enyioma Buchi Atuonwu born in Kaduna, 1963, gained admission to study English Language and Literary Studies at the University of Lagos in 1983. By 1988 he was a master’s degree holder, which earned him a lecturing job in the institution. Not done with this, Buchi started pursuing his PhD studies, still lecturing.
While Buchi turned the pages of textbooks to lecture his students during the day, at night he turned the table as a DJ in a club in Marina Lagos. In what seems to be an odd combination, he managed it well, since he did the DJ work out of passion. As a reggae lover, Buchi mingled with musicians who were making great songs during their days and one of them being the Late Ras Kimono. It was at the Floating bukka, a reggae nightclub in Marina that Buchi’s love for reggae music intensified.
Buchi Atuonwu managed his lecturing and DJ jobs until the year 1994 when he ditched both to answer God’s calling to reach the unsaved through his songs in a “reggaeman stylie”.
2. Buchi Atuonwu donated N5M proceeds of his album to charity
We’ve mostly heard of mainstream artistes supporting a work of charity now and again but gospel artistes also do same and most of them prefers to give Nicodemus way as the holy book instructs “Don’t let your right hand know what the left hand is doing”. For Buchi who has up to 5 albums (first album was in 1999), he considers himself so been blessed that he sees one of the ways to give back is to give to charity.
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In February 2016, Buchi Atuonwu donated N5 million naira to charitable causes. His left hand knows. We know too. It can’t be hidden as it is through that he launched the operation ceasefire which is primarily out to feed kids on the streets and send them to school. The operation ceasefire is also determined to help end teenage violence and cultism in the campuses.
3. He Considers himself naked without a cap
It is normal for most musicians, actors, preachers always to prefer a particular dress code because it goes in line with either the message they propagate or the activism they support. For example, Bishop David Oyedepo would always wear a white suit (it is now mafian), Pastor Adeboye would wear a bow tie with a shirtsleeves. For Buchi, it is his Papa’s cap. Always. Perhaps when sleeping too.
Speaking to the Vanguard when he was asked he if he was the cap wearing person he appeared to be, he said, “I am a cap wearing fellow. It I something I love to do. I love the way it makes me feel. I feel naked without the cap. It is something I love doing, it brings me close to the people I want to reach.”
Buchi believes that with his cap, he connects more easily to the unsaved because they will confide in him without the fear that he is coming to judge them.
4. Buchi was a cultist
Back in the days, Buchi was a member of one the clandestine confraternities in school. In fact, he was a member as a student and also as a lecturer. According to Buchi, he had a double appetite for marijuana and would always watch his back even when an unimagined wind blew past him. Then one of the days while he was ducking so that a hit on campus wouldn’t strike him, he paid a visit to a young Pastor, a certain Pastor Chris Oyakhilome. He was invited to church and on that day a new Buchi was born. His operation ceasefire project seeks to end cultism in schools. It has not been a easy thing, trying to put a stop to an association he had enjoyed and empowered so much. He is trying.
5. Buchi Atuonwu is an author.
A lot has happened in Buchi’s life that he believes the best way to convey his life and deeds for when he is no more is to put it down as a novel so that generations unborn would read as fiction and learn from his mistakes and have faith in the power of salvation. As a gospel minister who is after rescuing souls from the Kingdom of this world, he wrote a memoir which describes how dangerous it is to be a member of a cult group.
The book, Ceasefire, which was published in 2016, has sold more than 35,000 copies across the country and it is still selling. Buchi loves this gospel and he is defiant in telling it.