BUT for his doggedness and determination, and, well, the God factor, the singer, who is popularly known as Flavour Nabania would have missed out being the multimillionaire music star that he is today.
Reason? His mother, Mrs Onyinyechukwu Jane Okorie never wanted her first child to go into music. Rather, she had always dreamt and hoped that he would become a medical doctor since he was doing really well in his sciences.
But her son, whose real name is Chinedu Izuchukwu Okorie, had other ambitions.
Speaking on her initial opposition to Flavour’s musical dreams on this weekend’s episode of the Supermom Celebrity Edition, she says, “Those days, nobody wanted their child to become a musician because they used to drink and they were wayward people. I did not want that for my child. More so, even if he wanted to do music, I said it should not be outside the church but I didn’t reckon with what God had in store for him.” She had genuine reasons for her reservations for musicians.
It was an era when home-grown musicians were hard done by the economic situation of the country. It was an era also when these entertainers were no different from the hoi-polloi. Flavour’s mum was a lowly-paid clerk in the Anambra State Board of Internal Revenue and she was encumbered with training and fending for five children. Most times, as she reveals on the show, she had to go to Onitsha -which was almost two hours away -every morning to return at night.
Things were so bad she devised the food code 101 (one in the morning, nothing in the afternoon and one in the evening) and in worse scenarios, it would be code 010. ‘It was hard for her as a civil servant to take care of five of us’ Flavour reveals. She laboured to make sure her kids turn out well.
Thus, when her first child started toeing the path of music, she was understandably miffed. Indeed, Flavour’s position in the family thrust many responsibilities on the reed-thin young man and the family’s economy was in tatters so much that he had to start selling ‘ice water’ on the streets of Enugu where he is hero-worshipped today. These struggles did not break the resolve of Flavour to make it big in music. What kept him going however was the fear of failure and what his mother would say if he didn’t succeed.
“I saw my mum as my biggest challenge and I was ready to prove her wrong,” he adds.
Thankfully, he has paid his dues and the dividends are now rolling in. Riding on the huge success that has trailed his second album, Uplifted, which contains hit tracks like Ashawo and Adamma, Flavour is one of the breakout stars of the last five years, and constantly referenced as the revivalist of a dying genre, highlife.
Today, Mrs Okorie is proud of her son and the height of success he has attained already. Even if she isn’t referred to as ‘mama Doctor’, she is fulfilled to be called Mama Flavour. “Now, if any of my children wants to go for music, I would give them my full support,” the proud mother says.
For the 79-year-old mother of top actress, Binta Ayo Mogaji, Alhaja Sarat Aderonke Mogaji, who is also featured on the same episode, her story