“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.”
There is a common saying that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade out of it; when life throws you a seed, grow a tree out of it. One cannot continue to make excuses for his/her failure and hope to suddenly wake up to a net worth of $2 billion. Today’s aspirant represents hope, determination and light to youths and even adults in every cadre of life.
Quickly and gradually transforming to a household name, COBHAMS EMMANUEL ASUQUO is a Nigerian song writer and music producer who has worked with celebrated acts like Asa, Sola Alisson, Timi Dakolo, Lagos Community Gospel Choir, Darey and BEZ to mention but a few. He plays the Piano and Guitar and dwells in a musical genre which blends classical, jazz and a fusion of traditional Nigerian music.
Cobhams was born on the 6th of January, 1981 in Jos, Plateau state, Nigeria to a family of six, but to the peculiarity of his birth was his sightlessness with no known cause. Life already gave him an expensive reason to fail. Though blind and seemingly relegated to a life of failure as some persons would have concluded, Cobhams stood out as he broke barriers, took risks and steadily paved the way to his destiny.
Growing up in a typical Nigerian society where disability is treated like disease or worse still a “spiritual curse/punishment from the gods”, he had to define himself, his beliefs, his life philosophies against all odds; against the fear of his “walking cane” being snatched away from him as he walked by, against the public readiness to see him become a failure.
For him, music was an escape route to the career he began as a kid when he used to puff his cheeks while playing the 12-bar blues. He comically owes his initial musical development to a friend of his, Wrangler Rotimi who stole and brought over his sister’s Piano for him; this pioneered his piano lessons. At the age of nine, he played in Catholic churches as an organist. He later attended Kings College Lagos and Pacelli school for the blind after which he proceeded to University of Lagos to study Law. He took a life-changing risk when he decided to drop out of ‘Uni’ as a 300 level student of Law for a life long time passion he had been nursing.
This career path was nonetheless any easy one. Picture a blind man hustling the streets of Lagos to get producers and popular musicians to listen his beats. But his doggedness and determination to not excuse failure for anything, trust, and stay blind to distractions paved way for his greatness.
The multiple award winning music producer, Cobhams Asuquo, is unarguably one of the best in the business. Fast forward to today, very much like yesterday in 2005, Cobhams got his first big break in a music deal with Sony ATV (Sony Publishing) London (who is arguably the Largest Music Publishing Company in the World) as a songwriter but his passion to be an entrepreneur still burned. In 2006, he founded his own record company named CAMP (Cobhams Asuquo Music Production) on which he has signed on artists like BEZ, Stan Iyke and also raising and nurturing young upcoming acts. Prior to this, he worked as an in-house producer for Question-Mark studios for about a year.
Bez’s debut album under Cobhams at CAMP was listed on The Boston’s Globe top ten. Since then he has worked with notable artists in the music industry and for all his great efforts bagged several awards which includes “Producer of the Year” for two consecutive times and many other awards both on the local and international scene. One of the prominent entertainment blogs listed him on their top 10 Music Producers in Nigeria and also hinted that it will cost you about half a million Nigerian bucks to have him produce your song.
Cobhams got married in 2010 to his ‘covenant’ friend, Yetunde Olukanni and are currently blessed with a son. If you didn’t know, they were joined right here on Redemption Camp by our dear Daddy and Mummy G.O.
At a recent interview in the UK when asked how he felt ‘performing’ with one of Nigeria’s finest gospel act, Aaron T, he partially rescinded thus: ‘‘Performing’ is a word that I’m a bit hesitant to use when I think of myself, doing what have been called to do and supposed to do, which is sharing the gospel with the world through music, and just encouraging people, inspiring people. It’s a ministry, you are ministering to people, you are changing someone’s opinion; being a part of a process that changes someone’s life. So ministering in my mind is more appropriate”.
Though visually blind, Cobhams has achieved a feat in music in Nigeria which a lot can only dream for, not relegating himself for the obvious disabilities in life and ‘refusing his background to put his back to the ground’. In his words, “God has helped bring me to a point where sight is no longer the question but whether I can continue to bring value… God is my comfort and I keep fighting because I see it in my head and I know what it should be.”
We present to you, Cobhams the dreamer; and like Joseph, despite all odds, he has seen through the accomplishments of most of his dreams.
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