The mid-western region of Nigeria--an area once known as Bendel State, but now subdivided into Delta and Edo States--has produced a great many outstanding musicians. However, few of them get the opportunity to rise to national prominence largely because the region is composed primarily of minority ethnic groups.
Yes, you have your Sir Victor Uwaifo, Sonny Okosuns, Kris Okotie, Felix Lebarty, Evi-Edna Ogholi-Ogosi and others, but for each one of these, there are scores of talented artists whose fame never extended much beyond their immediate locality, so I'm always happy when I discover some of them.
Until recently, Pogo Ltd was unknown to me... though a few of the members were not: the Benin-based band was made up of guitarist Emma "Cherry" Ogosi, bassist Robo Arigo, keyboardist Emman Osagie Iguagbonmwen, drummer Mike "Gasper" Okuofu (though they all traded instruments) and lead singer Pat "Finn" Okonjo, former frontman of The Hykkers.
(click to bigificate)
They seem to have been fairly popular down there, but the only album from them I have encountered is the reggae set We Shall Win, which I shall--by way of an educated guess--date to 1979.
Interestingly, I found that I was actually familiar with at least one song on the record, the title track:
Pogo Ltd - "We Shall Win"
It was a ubiquitous anthem during the era of the struggle against apartheid, but I actually thought it was an ages-old church song or a public-domain standard or something... But then again, it has somewhat specific references to then-current events involving Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith and South African President John Vorster. So yeah... This must have been a pretty big hit for them.
It would seem that Pogo Ltd broke up soon after We Shall Win: In 1981, Emma Ogosi embarked upon a successful solo career as a country singer, and then later as producer/husband of mid-80s reggae star Evi-Edna Ogholi. Robo Arigo also launched a less sensational (but still very interesting) career as a solo artist and producer. Pat Finn Okonjo went and got himself a 9-to-5, working at the Nigerian Television Authority's Benin office.
When (the awesome) Jake Sollo returned to Nigeria after his long London sojourn, he looked up his old Hykkers buddy Finn, with a mind to putting the old band back together. I don't think that project ever came to fruition in the midst of Sollo's busy schedule, but Pat and Jake did collaborate on the album In The Beginning in (again, educated guess) 1982.
Among the tracks is a reprise of Pogo Ltd's big hit:
Pat Finn - "We Shall Win"
(By the way, I have been wondering whether Pat Finn Okonjo is related to renowned economist Prof. Chukwuka Okonjo, who also happens to be the father of Nigeria's former crusading Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and grandfather of novelist Uzodinma Iweala. Anybody know?)