Hello music lovers, it’s another day to celebrate talented Nigerian women. In par with Women’s History Month, we will be celebrating four outstanding Nigerian creatives dominating their various niches and breaking barriers in their industry. The first part of this series already went up and if you’re interested in reading about the Nigerian-American writer redefining Sci-fi and Fantasy genre, have a look here. Today we turn the focus on Music and Theatre. We celebrate sensational singer and stage actress, Yinka Davies.
Yinka Davies is a Nigerian lyricist, dancer, vocalist and judge of reality TV show, Nigerian idol. Yinka Davies father was from the Lisabi Clan from Benin republic although his mum was from the Royal family in Shagamu, Lagos. Yinka’s mum hailed from Ikorodu in Lagos state. She grew up mostly with her grandmother with her parents being divorced and her dad mostly away as he served in the Air-force.
She attended Reagan Memorial Baptist Primary school, Onike, Yaba, Lagos, for her elementary education and Our Lady of Apostles secondary school, Yaba, for her secondary education. She didn’t go to University by Choice.
The 50 year old thespian grew up listening to the sounds of Sam Cooke, Elvis Presley, Jimmy Dean and the likes. On the radio in her grandmother’s house, she would listen to a variety of African music ranging from Cameroun Makossa to Igbo highlife and Fela’s Afrobeats. In the 1980s, she listened to Salawa Abeni and Dora Ifudu who was one of the female musicians who influenced her.
She forrayed into the world of Art first with painting and sculpting. In 1987 she visited the National Theatre in Lagos to meet Abiodun Olaku, renowned Nigerian painter to better her craft and soon fell in love with the ambiance of the theatre. On one of her many visits, she stumbled on Ghanaian dancer, Elizabeth Hammond and became inspired to become a dancer. She was nominated for the Fame Music Awards for their first Upcoming artist Award in 1992
The management of a club in Lagos, Bread and Butter Jazz Club involved her in the last presentation as a club in their efforts to introduce a new renaissance artist “Lagbaja” and she was involved in the production of his first album “Side by Side” released in 1993. She moved on to collaborate with many more Nigerian recording artists such as Mike Okri, Geraldo Pino, Etienne T Boy, Shina Peters and many others. She worked as both choreographer and backup vocalist.
Her albums include; Work, Emi n’lo and Black Chiffon. For stage, she was involved in Things Fall Apart directed by Bassey Effiong, Lion and the Jewel directed by Bassey Effiong, Wind vs Polygamy directed by Sam Loco Efe, Kakaki concert directed by Ben Tomoloju, Death and The King’s Horseman directed by Bayo Oduneye and so many others.
Yinka Davis is one of the many inspiring women in Theatre . She has been in the Nigerian entertainment industry for over 28 years. As we celebrate Women’s History Month. We celebrate her drive, consistency and dedication to her craft. We hope the bright smiles and laughter she brings with her everywhere doesn’t cease.