According to Nigerian born singer-songwriter Nneka, Germany gave her the Platform to Africanize herself…“Germany educated me a lot about being Nigerian”.
In saying so, she was trying to explain how she could only see and understand some situations about Africa and particularly Nigeria better only after she stepped out of Africa.
“I never knew about our politics”. “I became more aware of Nigeria when I stepped out of Nigeria”. “I was not aware of issues like corruption, and oil exploration”. These declarations made by Nigerian born singer and songwriter Nneka Igbuna Nneka was to highlight how being a child from a mixed race…a Nigerian father and a German mother and being born born in Warri, Nigerian in 1981, she was never segregated against and never experienced racism while living in her father’s home country, Nigeria.
But according to Nneka, when she moved to Germany, her mother’s home country, she had a whole different experience. Growing up, she never thought of racism although of lighter skin than many of her childhood friends and school mates in Warri, Nigeria as a result of her mum being a German white but in Germany, it was a new experience for her.
Nneka says she never knew about racism before coming to Germany or …”that she had colour” and things like discrimination until she left Nigeria. These made her “more aware of my roots and pushed me to learn more about my origin”.
In relation to music, Nneka explains that she never made up her mind to play music. It was gradual. When “I knew myself better and was passionate about some issues which I was eager to express, that is when music found me”.
The Nigerian musical maestra sees herself as one who shares her heart’s feelings and not as a performer. Talking to her, it is difficult not to see how philosophical she is. It is this philosophical way of looking at issues that characterized her music.
Parents and upbringing
“Initially I thought my parents were harsh but now I know that has helped me discipline myself. I am now happy with the way I was brought up” she explains about her upbringing.
What Inspires her now
“I am passionate about life…about human beings, about children. The issues happening within Africa and Nigeria…e.g tragedy inspires me to express them through my music”.
Advice (Words of wisdom)
Nneka says whatever you do, do it with passion and do it with love.
With her fan based growing Nneka is trying to help children of Nigeria. “if u invest your love and your time to nurture them (children), they grow”. “The only place we can repair what we (as adults) have destroyed is in the children”
She was nominated for the 5th Annual NIGERIAN ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS (NEA) in 2 categories:
1) Indigenous Artist of the Year and
2) Best Soul/Neo Soul Act of the Year
The Ceremony took place on September 18th 2010 in New York. Rolling Stones and Billboard magazines have declared her as the best new comer of 2010. After relocating to Germany she’s been singing “professionally” for about 7 years now.