It's 7:43 pm WAT on the Tribe of Judah's WhatsApp group. Ideas, like waves, are rushing in and you can hear, in the silence, the tack-tack sound of keypads hurrying to make known any idea that flows to their side of the group.
Another brainstorming session in the group!
Brains are put to work, ideas are picked, fleshed out and dropped, there's back and forth on the group with one question on everyone's mind - what unique project can we carry out to celebrate MI's big 40.
As it is the culture with TOJ, the official fanbase of the best rapper in Africa - MI Abaga - the group since its existence, carries out a project yearly to commemorate the rapper's birthday which is on the 4th of October.
Last year, the project was a biography documentary self-funded and executed by the group, released to give MI his flowers and tell his story from birth till present while sealing his legacy as a big name in the African Rap scene, this also came with the premiere of the documentary on YouTube and a surprise birthday hangout at CCX, all planned and executed by this self-funded group.
This year, the project had to be different, so a brainstorming session was organized to shake ideas up and select the best. Hours down the session, no idea was selected yet and hope was almost lost until a tribesman had to dig deep into MI's core.
In his words, he said, 'MI is a man that embodies love for family, helping those in need and supporting new acts. How about we reflect this in our project and seize the opportunity to visit the less privileged across the country to help them'
And like handshakes after a deal, that settled it.
Everyone loved the uniqueness of the idea, and work began in earnest to flesh it out and plan for execution. Now, TOJ has a presence across every state in Nigeria and beyond and due to the limitation of funds, it was impossible to carry out this project in every state. So what did we do?
We selected the top 3 states with the most presence being TOJ Lagos (Gidi Tribe), TOJ Abuja (Buj Clan) and TOJ Akwa Ibom (AKS peepz) and setup state heads in the person of Karen, Etim and Jhaysn respectively, to coordinate the project in each state while Viquetur acted as the overall Project manager.
A Donation link was set up and because of the willingness to execute this project, donations kept coming in. The solicitation for funds was even taken to social media under the pseudonym 'Project X' as the group wanted to maintain anonymity and make it a surprise to MI. Donations came in from a few people on socials and everything was equally divided into 3 equal parts and sent to each state coordinator.
The coordinators with their assistants got the items needed (mostly food and cleaning items) and the visit to the orphanage was made.
Gidi Tribe visited the SOS children village in Isolo, Lagos. Buj Clan visited Christ foundation orphanage, Kuje while AKS peepz visited Akwa Ibom state children's home, Shelter Afrique, Uyo.
The outreach was a huge success and in the words of one of the program officers at the orphanage home, he said 'I know about fanbases of artistes in Nigeria and how they operate, all they do is convince people on social media why their guy is the best, but you guys have proven to be different. This is truly innovative and I'm glad that young minds like y'all still think of humanitarian works and it goes to show that there's still good in the society' Other great remarks were made about MI and the group and we were encouraged to keep moving with this pace.
You're what you listen to, and this shows in the lives of members of the group. What we are and how we move is a result of years of elite inspirational lyrics from the GOAT himself, MI Abaga. All we do at Tribe of Judah is to make MI know that he's enough and we're grateful for the years of awesome music, and also to let the world know that MI is the best to ever do this rap thing in Africa and he should be accorded his due respect and flowers while he's alive to smell them.
Greatness is not a tangible metric that can be measured. However, one's greatness can be seen and felt through the lives of those they've impacted. You're a great man MI and we all say,
Happy Birthday, The Guy - MI Abaga,
The Tribe of Judah.