Bright Chimezie

Bright Chimezie Ironmuo, also called Okoro Junior was born on the day of Nigerian independence i.e October 1, 1960. He is a musician who hails from Ekeoba, Umuahia in Imo State of Nigeria.

Bright Chimezie was born and bred in his village. He grew up with the image of a beautiful African village in his mind. At the time he was growing-up, there were still tales by moonlight, moon dances, folk tales and so on. He was active reading books written by African authors like Chinua Achebe, Cyprain Ekwensi and Elechi Amadi. He also read about how the white man came to Nigeria and desecrated Nigerian culture and he started picking interest on African things and ideology. That was how the Afro-centrism flared up in him and everything he did brought up the exclamation, “Ah, Okoro man,” from people. They meant it to be derogatory at first but Chimezie liked it and consequently, he picked the name Okoro as his stage name.

In the year 1979, when Bright Chimezie finished secondary school education, he relocated to Lagos permanently. Then he played with a lot of bands and in clubs before he eventually joined the Customs and Excise Dance Band and became their assistant band leader and the lead vocalist. He was with the band when his first album, Respect Africa, which launched him into limelight was released in the year 1985. He then resigned from the band on August 17, 1985 and formed his own band, The Ziggima Movement.

The next thing Bright Chimezie did was to relocate to the East and from there, He was going to Lagos for power shows. By 1990, he relocated came back to Lagos. He stayed there, got married there and started having children there.

Bright Chimizie’s music style is called Zigima Sound. It is a genre which became very popular in early 1980. It is a mix of traditional Nigerian music and igbo highlife that is fused with chanted vocals. Bright Chimezie used hiz Zigima sound to revolutionize the musical structure in Nigeria with lyrics that focused on social issues of the country in a way that is funny.

Bright Chimezie is happily married to Chinyere Oyiridiya Chimezie and they have been married for over 23 years now with five children. His first two sons are a set of twins. Their names are Chukwuemeka and Kelechi. His third child is Chukwudi, fourth is Chinemeze and fifth is Chidinma, who is his only daughter.

Nominated by Afam Nnaji

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