I Feel At Home In Nigeria-Canadian-Born Nigerian Returnee


Ndubuisi Okwumabua, better known as Ndu, is a young and upbeat Nigerian who has experienced life from what his home bred would refer to saner clime. But the song writer, rapper and producer, born and raised in Winnipeg’s Forte Rouge, Canada where he began a musical career that got enough clout to him win a grant to move up the musical scale, is having none of the life millions of his peers would give anything to have.
Even with all the opportunity and better living condition in the North American country, the young man chose to leave everything behind and relocate to his native Isele-Ukwu, Delta state, homestead, which he says offers him and his fledgling musical career the opportunity to grow naturally and get due recognition.
“In Canada, you cannot fully own anything. Everything you own can be taken away from you.
I feel at home. I’m realizing my dream. That’s important to me,” he said of his decision to relocate to Nigeria.
Ndu admitted that life in Nigeria is indeed, not the same as that which Canada offers. He is, of course, also familiar with the fact that many Nigerians are ready to do anything to migrate to Canada which they perceive as a land of immense opportunity. For him however, Nigeria offers better fulfillment in terms of spirituality.
“A simple life can be a good life. 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,” he said.
Truly, it appears Ndu is having a dream world back in the village. Already, he has deployed his time and energy in the place to raise his musical profile having written and produced hundreds of songs and background movies music for himself and other artistes. For that he says, “People are getting to know me around here. That feels hopeful.”
Yet, his dream about why he is back to his roots is as big as any can be. Hear him.
“I have a big interest in doing independent mix with Afro beat. I want to do it all-dance music, reflection music and car listening music,” he said.
Ndu is not in any doubt that Nigeria is the right place to accomplish his music dream than Canada where he pointed out, does not offer much support to upcoming artistes. According to him, the North American country has more eyes for established acts than those trying to break into the mainstream.
“People who are seen as socially acceptable and successful get more grants than those of us who are behind the curve. I don’t think that’s fair or right.”
Ndu got some looks at from the Canadian music industry though. He got a grant to help smoothen his way up the ladder. But he had to return the offer as the conditions were rather too stringent.
“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 the content of your character.”
For sure, Ndu knows that Nigeria has enough teething challenges. But he prefers it for being a place where he is seen first as a human being anything else.
“Nigeria has its own prejudices and post-colonial tribal conflicts. Nut I am accepted as a human being here and if you work hard and stay focused, you can own a few things…
Life is good in Nigeria but not perfect but it is good. I am creating my music the way I want to. I would rather be free and ne happy with myself to live longer,” he pointed out.

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