It was a midday event at TOPS Headquarters in Ikeja on Saturday, January 14, 2017 and there was a big jostle for vantage positions by the many cameras that had lined up, each to capture a unique live shot of the songstress everyone has been talking about for months. Finally, the moment of decision had come. For many present, it was time to find out whether KASI, the damsel born on Nigeria’s historic day of June 12, 1993 and touted to be a new big bomb to explode on the nation’s music stage, is merely the product of a good hype-master’s fixation or she is the real deal.
After waiting for a while, some of those present at the event began to get restless and grumble and the question popped out in different directions, “where is KASI?”
Just then, there was a roar on the streets and everyone made for the TOPS balcony. The roar was from a red-hot Honda power bike with the word “KASI” emblazoned on the sides. Cruising into the venue on the big red machine was a smiling beauty dressed in black slacks, a black tee shirt and black riding shoes. No one needed to be told that it was an important moment in the history of Nigerian entertainment and countless flash bulbs exploded to record the moment.
Outside to welcome young KASI to the event was a man who for several years has been synonymous with Nigerian entertainment. As she disembarked, a clearly proud, Chief Tony Okoroji, Chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), celebrated former President of PMAN and the brain behind TOPS which is rolling out KASI in style, gave the exhilarated damsel a big hug.
Introducing KASI and her first two singles, “Lovinjaitis” and “Ifunanya”, released simultaneously with matching music videos, a very emotional Chief Okoroji said, “It has been one of the important gifts of my life to have the opportunity to work with this multi-talented Nigerian girl who is a complete artiste: a great songwriter, a very hot singer, a soaring performer, a unique fashion stylist who can draw, paint and create different fashion accessories and products with leather, beads, metals, etc”
Speaking about his mission at TOPS, Okoroji said, “I want to spend the rest of my life giving hope to young Nigerians who have very little especially in a country where hope has become such a scarce commodity” He called on Nigerians who have the means to consider investing their money in the many talented young Nigerians rather than stash their wealth in foreign banks and in real estate across the world thereby allowing hopelessness to engulf the country with the consequent strife and instability.
Okoroji who in the last two weeks released “Happy Music”, his already trending first single in more than 25 years called out for introduction, six young Nigerian artistes he has signed to TOPS saying that despite his crazy schedule, in the last one year, he has spent practically every weekend in the recording studio working with what he described as an incredible crop of young Nigerian songwriters, singers, producers, dancers, choreographers, etc. In his words, “I am in the trenches with them imparting whatever skills I have learnt and whatever values I believe they need to rise to the top. Each of them has practically become a member of my family. We work together, eat together, dance together and laugh together. I have also tried to support them with the little I have.
“I know that no one has the exact formula that guarantees success in the music industry but I know that you need talent and KASI has that in abundance. I know that you must have ambition and I do not know anyone who wants to succeed more than Mary ‘KASI’ Anuforo. I also know that you must be manageable and KASI is a joy to work with. Always smiling, always listening, always on time, ever working, rehearsing, and practicing and never asking for anything to come her way easy”.
What was meant to be a media presentation of KASI’s Lovinjaitis and Ifunanya almost became a free-for-all jam session for the different artistes whom Chief Okoroji refers to as the TOPS All Stars. There was an acapella performance by GWILZ who tells everyone loud and clear that he is lyrically licensed to kill! There was an impromptu show by KUL-GP who claims that it is Reekado Banks that looks like him and not the other way round. DOLZI, the sleek King of Melody, gave a sample of what to expect of him. Milly X, the young singer/producer sang and so did Uwem, the guy with the Canary voicewho sang an outstanding melody in Okoroji’s Happy Music. But, it was KASI’s show and when she sang, everyone knew that she is real and a star from whom a lot would be heard has just arrived the Nigerian scene. With that enchanting smile on her face, KASI asked for the support of one and all, promising that she will never disappoint Nigerians.
KASI, born on the historic day of June 12, 1993 as Mary Anuforo lost her father while she was barely 10 years old. While she lost her father and has had to make do with what little her teacher mother provided for her and her siblings over several years of want, she did not lose hope.
It was a truly emotional day and everyone who was at TOPS saw the ever smiling KASI set to fly, prove that if you have hope, dreams can come true.