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  • Emeka Aniche

Chief Pericoma Mesuo Okoye - traditionist, singer/songwriter and local politician

Chief Pericoma Mesuo Okoye, (1935 to 2017) was a Nigerian 'traditionist' singer/songwriter and local politician. Pericoma Mesuo Okoye was born in the Arondizuogu, Imo State, about 1935. His first name 'Pericoma' could alternatively be spelt as 'Pericomo' 'Perry-Coma' and 'Perry- Koma' he was predominantly known throughout the Igboland for his strong belief and practice of the traditional religion of the Igbo people, named Obeah and not Odinani as originally erroneously believed. He was also known as "Arusi Makaja 1 of Arondizuogu", "Arusi Ndizuogu", "Lion of Africa", "Okala-mmuo, Okala-mmadu", "Oje-na mmuo", "Oke-arusi izuogu na iheme"

Okoye was prime minister of the Arondizogu community in Imo state until his death in 2017.

His music style could be best defined, described and explained as "oral rendition of the culture, proverbs, as well as the tradition of the Igbo people".

He featured in a movie titled Lion Of Africa alongside Nollywood star, Pete Edochie, the movie which was in two parts was a biography of his early life.

Okoye was a firm believer and practitioner of the traditional religion of the Igbo people; Obeah

Pericoma Okoye whilst alive was as much a famous musician as he was a 'Sorcerer' or 'Medicine man' as described by Nigerian News, NAIJ. His title 'Arusi Makaja' may also portray this, as 'Arusi' when translated to English language means 'Deity' or 'Oracle'. During the Ikeji festival he performed several feats which defiled several rules of physics, a good percentage of the people from [[Arondizuogu]] his community, believed he was a little god. Several displays of "supernatural powers" or "sorcery" as it was often tagged, and back-to-back victories in contests, earned him the alias "Lion of Africa".

Okoye was a prominent individual in the nation Nigeria as a traditional prime minister in Arondizuogu, he was instrumental and took notable roles in the development of the Ikeji festival held in his community yearly. This festival which is held yearly every April serves as a source of foreign income for the nation Nigeria, as it attracts tourists from around the world.

Pericoma Okoye died on 16th February 2016, aged 81.

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