Another lease of life for Okra

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

There is a common myth that a cat has nine lives and that’s probably why hiplife act Okra (Twi word for cat) Tom Dawidi has decided to give himself a fresh lease of life with three new singles after getting lost on the scene for a while.

The three singles he just brought out are Winner For Life, Forever and Do Da Dance. They are Okra’s  pass to the contemporary music blitz which has left him adrift for nearly five years now.

The public first heard of Okra in 2004 on a single called Ayekoo from Obrafour’s  Execution Diary compilation album. He was again included on Hammer’s Sounds of Our Time compilation a year later.

Okra featured on works by other artistes including Qaata (Wunie), Sidney (Colour TV), Tinny (Lighter) and  Kwaw Kese (Asem Beba) before going into hibernation and re-surfacing in 2008 on the Madtime Entertainment label with an album which didn’t get released.

Five years after that, Okra is back on Winner For Life saying he knows the fans have missed him like the way a junkie misses cocaine and that he is back for good with full of surprises.

The initial surprise one encounters with Okra’s comeback is the apology he renders on Winner For Life for getting lost in action. The song itself is quite catchy with some worthy Okra-like punch lines. That is the track he is promoting and hopes would catch on with the listening public.

The other two songs, especially the lyrics, sound very much like what we hear on countless other hiplife tracks. They simply evoke some feel-good moods that can get people to enjoy the songs and dance. There is nothing surprising or outstanding about the lyrics and arrangements. 

Okra’s real name is Emmanuel Ralph Kotei Nikoi and hails from La in Accra. He started taking music seriously in Junior High School at St John’s in Accra. He paired up with a friend and they called themselves Tom & Jerry, after the famous cartoon characters.

When Jerry left the country later and Nikoi needed a name to adopt to continue in music, he kept the Tom which represents the cat character in addition to a Twi translation of cat. He decided to further add a nickname and that was how he became Okra Tom Dawidi.

Okra has been with the hiplife fraternity for over a decade. He knows the scene well and all the big names in the field are his pals. Now that he has re-surfaced on the block, his fans hope  he would stick around and make his voice heard without long spells of break anymore.