Festus Igumbor, also known as Ikaboy Empire is an illustrious son of Ika land based in Indian. He is the Chief Executive of Officer (CEO), Ikaboy Music Entertainment and one of those making Ika nation proud internationally in the music industry. In this personality of the week interview he granted Ika Weekly reporters online recently, from his residence in Indian, Mr. Festus Igumbor spoke about his belief in being self-confident saying that hard work pays.
May we meet you?
Firstly, I want to specially thank Ika Weekly team for this wonderful opportunity to be your personality of the week. Sincerely, I feel highly honoured.
To answer your question, my name is Festus Igumbor, a native of Ogbemudien, Ime-Obi in Agbor in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State. I was born on December 24, 1986 to the family of late Mr. Sunday Igumbor and late Mrs. Philomena Igumbor nee Ujjain both from Ime-Obi Agbor. I am the sixth child among the seven children of my parent, five boys and two girls.
Which schools did you attend?
I had my elementary and secondary education at Orogodo Primary School and Gbenoba Grammar School respectively. But because of lack of financial assistance and being an orphan, I dropped out of school. I do not regret, because I have the hope that someday, I will get to the peak of my educational career.
How was your growing up?
My growing up was very interesting despite lives challenges. I grew up from an average family. My father, Mr. Sunday Igumbor was a fisherman and my mother, Mrs. Philomena Igumbor runs a palm wine bar where she used the bulk of the fish that my father catches to prepare assorted fish pepper soup. The joy of my family was cut short when my father died. Then I was just two years old. My mother was then left alone to struggle for my well-being and that of my siblings. We grew up to embrace hard work to support our mother who struggled to keep us alive.
After I dropped out of school, I learnt the skill of barbing. As a young man with well-to-do relatives, I grew up with no support because none was willing to help. Even though it was painful, I never gave up in life because I trusted in God as the only hope of the fatherless.
What prompted your decision to travel to the Indian?
The need to go for greener pasture elsewhere made me to travel to Indian. But to say the truth, life is not easy anywhere; you must continue working hard, because when you really work hard on your dreams, you will reap great rewards from your endeavors. Whichever way life treats you, do not give up but continue to have self-confidence and work hard on your dreams.
How is life like living in India?
Despite all odds, I have cause to thank God for the opportunity and open doors that He has made possible for me. I am the CEO Ikaboy Music Entertainment.
Are you a member of any Ika Association in India?
Yes, I belong to Ika Rinma Association, India.
How are the Ikas in India doing?
Our Ika citizens are doing tremendously well in India. Those living in my area of residence in New Delhi, the capital city of India, are what I call my brother’s keepers. We look out for each other. We rejoice and mourn with each other whenever the need arises. Personally, I am proud to have come from Ika.
How are you contributing to the development of Ika nation at home?
Whatever I can do to affect my people of Ika positively, I will do. Amidst the hardship of COVID-19 pandemic, I gave out an amount of two hundred and fifty thousand naira which was shared out to fifty individuals in Ime-Obi, Agbor to cushion the effect of covid-19 pandemic. With the help of God, I will always remember my root as there is no place like home.
Back to your life career as a music artiste; how did you get into music?
Music has always been my passion while growing up and I have always nurtured the talent no matter my circumstances. At my free time while in Nigeria, I always go to Getto Diamond Studio in Benin-City where I do my rehearsal.
I have never relented despite failing in 2009 to launch my first music track titled “Amaka”; for the fact that no one was there to assist me financially.
Who inspired you to making music?
The love of my life, Christy. She is an Indian girl I met in a shopping mall who after all efforts towards success failed in music has been so helpful in actualizing my music dream and honestly it is my dream to get married to her. I am the choir leader of my church in India called Royal Mountain Ministries. The joy I have gotten from music knows no bound I will therefore continue to press towards success when I have the opportunity to sing.
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What genre of music do you do?
I do Afro beat.
What is your creative process like?
My creativity comes from thoughts, past, betrayal, love and many more.
Who would you most likely like to collaborate with?
If you would open a show for any artist who would it be?
What is one message you would like to give to your fans?
They should keep hustling with the mindset of a brighter tomorrow.
What is the most useful talent that you have?
My vocal is quite unique and sometimes I feel it’s crazy.
Do you sing in the shower and what songs?
Afro beat remains my favourite.
Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues? Do you have any upcoming show?
I have performed at the Radisson Blu Hotel. It’s a 5 Star hotel in New Delhi India. Just like every musician, I have many bookings lined up and I attend as many that meets my demand to feature.
How do you feel as the internet has impacted your music business?
The internet has been a great tool in the music industry because it aids my promotion and advertisement.
What is your favourite song?
It is titled Over Load.
Which famous musician do you admire?
I admire the late music maestro, Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
Have you gotten into trouble with the law?
I remember a case of mistaken identity with the cops.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
To stay focus and keep my dreams high.
If you could change anything about your music, what would it be?
I will like to update my ways of performing songs, sing with understanding lyrics and with cool beats.
So what comes up next?
Shooting my videos and launching of my album comes up soon.
So far, who are you dedicating your success story to?
Firstly to God, the giver of life, and to my beautiful future wife, Christy. I also want to thank my uncle Destiny, the immediate younger brother to my mother, Uncle Sunny Ojinji, Uncle Davidson Christopher Okafor and Uncle Chuks Ojinji for their supports.
There is always the desire by Nigerians to travel abroad. What do you think is the reason?
I am not going to blame people who have that mindset. I am one of those Nigerians who traveled abroad in search of greener pastures, but the story is always different from person to person. People think that as soon as you get abroad, changes begin to happen automatically. But the answer is no because the difference with other country is that the environment provides opportunities for hand working people to succeed. There is hardship everywhere, one only needs to be patient and remain focus to succeed.
What’s your driving force in life?
Growing to become a legend in the music industry and to render help is a great driving force to me.
What do you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered as a great international musical legend from Ika Kingdom.
What is your best Ika delicacy?
Pounded yam or Akpu with Ujuju.
Finally, your advice to your Ika people, especially the youths?
My message to Ika people is that there is no better place to call home like Ika land. We must continue to love one another by supporting one another to grow. My advice to our youths is to remain focus and believe in God to make a way for them.
BY PATRICK GBUCHANYE