Ofege (If u just said who? Then you’re definitely an 80/90s baby) is probably Nigeria’s most popular school band till date.
Ofege, a boy band formed in 1973, was made up of teenage hippies who schooled in St. Gregory’s College, Lagos – Melvin ‘Noks’ Ukachi (lead vocals, guitar, percussion), M-Ike Meme (drums, vocals, percussion), Dapo Olumide(keyboards), Paul Alade (bass, vocals) & Felix Inneh (vocals, guitar, gong (???)) along with session efforts of Berkeley Jones (of BLO) and Soga Benson(of St. Gregs rock band Grotto) on guitar. They were the Nigerian Funk Doctors of their era dropping four albums along the way between 1974 and 1978. They were just groovy babe, mixing funk, psychedelic rock, pop & Afrobeat together.
They were in form 4 (SS1 for the new generation) when they dropped their groundbreaking & highly influential album “Try And Love” from which the hit single “Try And Love” is off. It’s my favourite Ofege track with its bad ass instrumentals, psych-crazy guitar solos and slightly off-key singing. It’s like a mix of Hendrix, Santana & Geraldo Pino all rolled in one. It can’t help but grow on u because it encapsulates a bunch of naturally high or stoned ‘rah-ray’ (stylish) students with little song-writing skills trying to show the Nigerian music industry how to play funk and men, did they rock it. Their album jacket even showed their style. The song and the album was produced by the great Odion Iruoje and the lyrics by Melvin Noks. My big bro said Ofege was a local slang for rebellion or an act of defiance.
After high school, they all went different directions mostly to Universities in the UK & Germany. Only 3 of them met to record the final album in 1978 – “How Do You Feel”. The lead vocalist – Melvin Noks released 2 solo albums as Melvin Ukachi, “Evolution” (1982) and “Ofege as One” (1984) before calling it a day.
Today, they have all pretty much left the music scene and settled down into non-stardom life; Most of them are still overseas. People have said that Dapo Olumide may now be a prominent pilot that was the former CEO of Virgin Nigeria (not verified).