celebrity dating connections - Denomination dating blues

Twenty years after his death, this is the obituary that never was.* * * he first place Mbarga knew, the town of Ikom was the last stop on my journey.

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In a modest bungalow there I met Esame, his widow, and Ojong, his best friend, on a warm evening on the cusp of the wet season.

On plastic chairs in the shadow of his mausoleum, they told me about Nico Mbarga and the place he called home.

Nico’s father drew a salary sawing timber, so Nico himself was able to go to primary school (perhaps fewer than one in five children did at the time).

More exciting for Nico though, his music-loving father bought a Phillips radio.

Ojong remembers early mornings with young Nico on the river, fishing for tilapia and catfish, and days spent in the shade of the forests, setting traps for birds.

Today Ikom is still fairly remote – the tarmac roads coming in and out quickly crumble into dirt – but back then it was positively isolated.

The only way goods such as bicycles and sewing machines made their way to the village was by lighters on the river from Calabar, more than 100 miles to the south.

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