Gerald Eze, often called Ogbu-Oja, is a first class graduate of music from Nnamdi Azikiwe University [NAU], Awka. He holds a Masters degree in ethnomusicology from the same University. Gerald is a lecturer in the Department of music, NAU, where he demonstrates an excellent understanding of Igbo traditional music especially in theorizing and performing Oja music. Gerald promotes Oja music by exploring it in novel textures and styles, thereby breaking the bounds of culture and instrumentation.
A winner of the Christopher Kolade Prize for Musical Excellence, Gerald exhibits rare mastery in his appreciation, teaching and performance of various indigenous musical instruments of the Igbo. In 2016, Gerald was the only music ambassador from Nigeria in the troupe that represented Nigeria in the Asian-African and China-Africa Youth Festival held in Beijing and Guangzhou respectively.
There, in a peerless performance, he showcased Oja music to the world. Gerald, the Ogbu-oja, in his unique and historic performance of Oja in hip-hop music was a significant feature of Headies Award, 2015. Gerald is committed to expressing the place of indigenous Igbo thoughts, ideas and arts in modern society through his music and teachings.
In his hands, Oja – an instrument that was traditionally played with the drums, is now performed in Highlife, Afrobeat, Afrosoul and his yet-to-be-defined personal style of music. Such are his contributions to modern society, essentially modifying and promoting the musicianship of the Ogbu-oja.