A foremost cultural music icon , Chief (Dr) Uko Akpan Ekpo Umana, has died, family sources disclosed.
The founder of the famous Uko Akpan Cultural Group passed at age 88.
Born in 1932 into Nto Ekpo Umana family of Ikot Obong in Afaha Obong, Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Uko Akpan, was bestowed a Doctor of Music Honoris Causa degree from the University of Uyo.
He was largely celebrated for his commitment to typically African pattern of music, which has ignited a large following among younger generation, none of whom, has been unable to overreach him in the art.
At the age of 84, the octogenarian was still active, singing and performing.
When he was born, emphasis was more on subsistence farming than on western education and ways of life. Thus, Chief Uko Akpan immersed into farming, an occupation he had pursued to its logical conclusion; he ran one of the most successful oil mills in his locality.
He was seriously engaged in bull rearing and presently, he hamore than 15 bulls for sale to the public.
Although Chief Uko Akpan Ekpo Umana was born in circumstances that did not have a formal education, he, nevertheless, came into the world lavishly endowed with a talent he inherited from his late father, Chief Ekpo Umanah, which has made him even more valuable to modern society than many who have gained from formal learning.
This talent was his ability to compose songs, sang and danced with great ease and which he had so dutifully explored that it had tended to equate and compensate for whatever gains formal education would have brought him.
He realized his potential at the age of 15 and launched into it with all the zeal and zest and was brought to the limelight, following his participation in the 1977 Festac event.
Among his songs are ”Se Ukpono Se’jen Akpono Ette, Nse Agwo Anam Ari Dakwo Fun, Anyie Agwo Eku Abogho, Mkpa Asong anyen Abogho and Naira Udorji, Edemne Ema Agwo Inogho Uko’kpan”.
With little or no access to the English Language, Chief Uko Akpan had most wrapped his great compositions in the Annang variety of the Annang/Efik/Ibibio Language of the Lower Cross subgroup of the Benue-Congo subfamily of African languages.
Uko Akpan has put in atleast 60 years in the industry.
Good night Dr Uko Akpan