Google on Sunday celebrated Nigeria’s Lady of Songs, Christy Essien-Igbokwe on her 58th posthumous birthday with a Doodle.
Google Doodle is a special, temporary alteration of the logo on Google’s homepages that commemorates holidays, events, achievements and people.
“Born in Akwa Ibom state on this day in 1960, Christy Essien-Igbokwe was an actress and singer known as “Nigeria’s Lady of Songs.”
“Fluent in her native language of Ibibo, Essien-Igbokwe also spoke and sang in English, Yoruba, and Igbo giving her music a broad appeal across cultural and tribal lines.
“Among her many popular releases, the inspirational record “Seun Rere” became a rallying cry within Nigeria,” Google said.
Google said that from humble beginnings to singing in clubs, she landed an appearance on a televised talent show, which led to a role on the popular TV show ‘The New Masquerade’.
“Essien-Igbokwe released her first record, Freedom, at age 17 and never looked back. Her 1981 album Ever Liked My Person became a smash hit. In 1987 the Akwa-Ibom artist recorded a song, “Akwa Ibom Mmi,” which became an anthem of pride for those sharing her heritage.
“Using her fame to highlight social issues, she appeared in the Hollywood films Flesh and Blood and Scars of Womanhood, which addressed the abuse of women and children.
“In 1981 Essien-Igbokwe helped establish the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria with renowned artists such as King Sunny Adé and Sonny Okosun, becoming the organization’s first female president in 1996.
“She was also a staunch supporter and advocate for the Performing and Mechanical Rights Society, often donating her own royalties to health and education programmes benefiting women and children as well as the handicapped,” it said.
Essien-Igbokwe, a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR), died in Lagos on June 30, and was buried Sept. 10, 2011.