My impression on Root N Raw

Event flyer

Root N Raw was born out of the fact that many say Abuja is a soulless city. There are many talented people in Abuja who decided to get together to showcase some of their talents. This was the first of its kind, hopefully the initiative will continue and possibly it will be done once every month in the future.

Doors opened at 6:00pm but the show was meant to start at 6:30pm, then end at 8.00pm. I arrived at 6:45pm and the show started around 6:50pm. The atmosphere was relaxed and there was an African touch to the venue, the props worked well. We were lucky that the rain held back so the weather was good too. Not hot, it was just right. It was meant to be a small event so it had an intimate feel to it.

The first act was by Atta Lenell, he played the guitar and rendered about six songs which I think were well done. I do not know much about guitars, but his singing and the sounds blended quite well. He showed good mastery of the guitar.
Atta Lennel

About thirty minutes from when I arrived, the place filled up. I looked round to gauge the audience’s reaction to things and there was no blank stare. Everyone looked captivated and like they were enjoying the show. Atta’s seemed to only tease us, there is a lot more he could do with his lovely voice.
Atta Lennel

The next act was Amuta Stone and Ezra. Her singing style sounded to me like a mix of soul and other genres of music. There was something about one of her songs ‘bloodlines’ that had an Asa kind of touch to it but was different in its own right.
Amuta Stone
I loved her hair, she has natural hair, if you know anything about maintaining our hair, it is time consuming. I have to find out how she achieved that hair do…sorry I digress. She came up and rendered her songs in such a playful way. Ezra played the guitar and sang some songs with her. Their performances were great.
Amuta Stone and Ezra
Amuta Stone and Ezra

Dike Chukwumerije did his thing, taking us all into his thoughts but provoking ours. Poetry, spoken words, he has a way with words and that always tickles me deep inside, it connects to something deep in me. 
Dike Chukwumerije
I love words, I do. His words flowed from love, to politics, to topical issues on our dear country. It was amazing! If you have any love for a play with words, you need to hear him.
Dike performing

The last act was done by CEF and someone incredible. It started with something different. He came up with a man who was dressed in a local attire. He played on a bamboo made xylophone.
The man on the xylophone
CEF drummed on a calabash with his hands and blew into a horn. There were other local instruments. I remember playing with some of them as a child but never knew what they were called, I still don’t. CEF finally moved up to the microphone and just played with his voice. 
He was so excited and brought so much energy to the stand that the chair he sang from, could hardly contain him. His songs had high and low keys, loud and quiet parts.
CEF full of energy
It was a good fusion of sounds. Lindsey was ‘harassed’ into coming to sing. He teased her in song and begged her to join him on stage. She did and her voice wowed me. 
Lindsey and CEF
She has one of those powerful and well trained voices. I doubt if they rehearsed anything together but each tried to outdo the other person’s notes. They played about with whatever words they chose to and the beauty about knowing how to sing is that the sounds all come out harmoniously beautiful.Feel free to check her out here  You will also hear Atta Lenell's play the guitar as Lindsey sings.
CEF invited Atta up to join him and the guitars spoke, CEF moved to drumming on his. His excitement with what he does is palpable. 
Atta Lennel and CEF on the guitars

Of course all these acts did not fit into the allotted time. I left at 9:20pm and it was still on but I gather that it ended about thirty minutes after I left.

Gradually, people are beginning to insert a soul into Abuja. If initiatives like this continue, I am sure that one would not need to look very far to have fun in this town. For a first, I think it was successful, although, there is room to improve on certain things and of course, time management.

That's about enough from me:-)

Photo Credit: Greg Imberty 
See his collection here.


  1. Interest piqued and me waiting for the next one. Keep me posted.

  2. The sound system was really good. Thumbs up to the audio people. Thanks Cef for putting this together.

    1. Yes, they did a good job. It was time well spent.


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