The rise and fall of the popular Igbo music group Oriental Brothers

The rise and fall of the popular Igbo music group Oriental Brothers

Just after the end of Nigerian civil war and the great massacre of the Igbos, in the middle of the heart of Owerri town in Imo state, eastern Nigeria, a set of brothers were growing their music, forming a band which will later salvage the igbo people from the traumas of the Biafran war.

The Oriental Brothers was one of the successful bands in 1970’s formed by Godwin Kabaka Opara with his brothers Ferdinand Dan Satch Emeka Opara, Christogonous Ezebuiro "Warrior" Obinna, and Kabaka Opara, along with Nathaniel "Mangala" Ejiogu, Hybrilious Dkwilla' Alaraibe, and Prince Ichita.

Just like most other emerging bands of the 70’s the Oriental Brothers suffered a severe hardship trying to get recording contracts.

The duo came together after Dan satch’s brother Ikediala had issues with the band where he was a vocalist at a time, facing a life threat from the group and in the bid to save his brother, Dan Sacth also a musician decided they should form their own band.

The rise and fall of the popular Igbo music group Oriental Brothers
Dan Satch, founder of Oriental Brothers music group. Source: TheNiche.

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They bought instruments, scouted for musicians who played in the band with the help of their sponsor Oliver Biaduo the band was set up.

The Oriental Brothers first performed at Biaduo’s hotel called Ambima in Enugu between 1971 to 1972, due to major hardship the band didn’t prosper, they came back to Owerri and some of their instrumentalist left.

After many major setbacks, and some band members dropping at some point, they moved back to Enugu with Kabaka and Chief Dr. Sir Warrior joining them.

From Enugu the band moved to Kano, not still able to get a recording deal, they relocated to Lagos, where they were played in few shows.

After facing several rejections from record labels who didn’t find their music worthy enough to sign them, the Oriental Brothers were later signed to Afrodisia, an European music record label.

Oriental Brothers was signed under Afrodisia between 1976 it was launched till early 80's. Until Sir Warrior decamped from the band and formed his under the same record label.

The band yet again suffered a great hit, Dan sacth continued with Ichita forming an entire new band with the same name, after the band prospered, they formed an alliance with Chief Dr. Sir Warrior whose musical band started thriving just as theirs at the late 80’s but later died in 1999.

After several years of successfully leading the band, the band lost its members, Ichita and Ejiogu who died leaving only Dan satch.

Dan satch ran the band, after several health issues he retired from playing instruments and only sang, at that time the band was having legal issues with its record label Afrodisia who were running their shows without paying them.

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The case resulted into several court dramas leading to the band totally decamping from them after they won the case, leading to Afrodisia folding up.

The Oriental Brothers songs were soulful, many had referred to their music as being therapeutic, it was a music cherished by all, as it was a hit played by different radio stations then in the 80’s.

It’s a music rich in humanity, culture and the need to live with others peaceful, most of their song themes were drawn from war experiences diluted with rich Igbo proverbs.

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