Cover Stories, News

Kefee’s Branama Kitchen remains shut

Branama Kitchen, owned by late gospel singer, Irikefe Obareki-Don Momoh, otherwise known as Kefee remained shut, one month after her demise.

Branama Kitchen

Branama Kitchen

The African dishes restaurant, which used to be a hub of activities, has been left unattended as evidenced by the rot in the shade of the restaurant.

ENCOMIUM Weekly’s investigation revealed that the eatery, which was renovated shortly before the passing on of the talented singer, had not been re-opened ever since. Irikefe Obareki-Don Momoh, who died June 12, 2014, was an award-winning Nigerian female gospel singer and songwriter.

She was born Irikefe Obareki to the family of Deacon and Mrs. Andrew Obareki in Sapele, Delta State. She began her journey in music at eight in the children’s choir and afterwards joined the adult choir at 15, three years later, she was made the choir director.

The choir under Kefee’s leadership released some albums which Kefee led the vocals. The songbird, who we all now know as Kefee, is a graduate of Public Administration from the prestigious University of Benin, Edo State, but before her admission, she had written more than 20 songs ready for promotion.

A prolific song writer, dancer and a passionate singer, Kefee, alongside her close friend released their first album titled, Trip in 2000, which was a success and eventually earned them top shows.

The album gained recognition outside the campus as the video was the talk of the town in Benin, being the first female group to break off from the usual approach, but the two friends parted after school, Kefee did not give up on her first love, music. In December 2003, she signed on with Alec Music owned by Alec Godwin, who eventually became her husband and released her first solo album.

Kefee’s Branama album sold 9,000 audio cassettes in just three weeks of the release and over two million copies of CDs/VCDs in a month.

She became the hottest Nigerian female artiste and won a number of awards. Kefee’s fan base increased all over the international scene. She was invited to perform in London and other parts of Europe and America.

Kefee’s first album was a huge success which had her fans eagerly anticipating her second album entitled Branama II. Her sophomore album was just as terrific as her first and also got her the respect of other well known Nigerian artistes who worked with her on the album.

Ever since, Kefee was trail-blazing in her chosen career. She was the CEO of Branama Afrique, an entertainment outfit known for excellent production, established in 2007. The company is responsible for the production, promotion and the entire packaging of Kefee’s works. In all, one thing stood Kefee out among other female musicians aside her talent; she concentrated solemnly on gospel music and helped redefine the industry which can boast of several practitioners today. The soul lifting singer reportedly fell into a coma inside a flight to Chicago in the United States of America, where she was making videos among other things. The plane was reportedly forced to make an emergency landing and she was eventually rushed into the intensive care unit of a hospital in Los Angeles. For 15 days, Kefee battled with death. She eventually died of lung failure in a hospital in the United States (US) on June 12, 2014.

-MICHAEL NWOKIKE

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