This is an introduction for anybody who hasn’t already discovered the multi talented…

Musa Okwonga:

Musa Okwonga

No he isn’t one of City’s latest signings, but I haven’t seen him in a match so you never know…

Musa, originally from west London has an impressive resume.He gained a scholarship to Eton, then studied law at St. Johns College in Oxford before joining a prominent law firm in that same city.

Not only that but also… Ever since Musa was at Eton he had a desire (after reading Othello) to write, initially with poetry. He did this with great success winning a junior Bridport Arts prize for poetry and short fiction, as well as the 1996 WH Smith Young Writers’ Competition for short fiction.

The football…

Musa eventually resigned from the solicitors firm and whilst working in an admin job in the daytime, spent his evening just writing and writing. Finally this led him to combining it with one of his other passions. Football.

A few years ago he had his first book published: A Cultured Left Foot. In which he ponders on the elements that make up a footballer.

During this last World Cup you may have read some blog posts by him via The Independent or the New York Times.

There was a football and music element to one of the posts when he pondered; If World Cup teams were bands, who would they be ?

Next week (AUG 12th) he has another book coming out. It’s called Will You Manage ? In which Musa discusses the necessary skills needed to be a good gaffer. I mean…how difficult can it be…?
A bit of an intro to the book:

Will You Manage ?“Every weekend in pubs and living-rooms all over the country, women and (mainly) men discuss the day’s games and how they could have done better than the cretinous manager. Few people think they can fix their leaking sink better than a plumber or defend their dodgy cousin better than a barrister and yet every Tom, Dick and Harriett is convinced that they can do a better job than their team’s manager. Why is this? In Will You Manage?, Musa Okwonga breaks down the job of football management into its different components and shows exactly what skills the great managers have. He interviews big and little cheeses on the football scene and provides essential tips for Fantasy Football success. As a new season gets underway and managerial heads begin to roll, the reader of Will You Manage? will deservedly have a knowing/sickening smirk on his face.”

The music…

Getting back to the poetry part for a moment – the poetry of Musa Okwonga isn’t what you think. It’s not the “I wandered lonely as a cloud…” type of thing. It’s more modern, I would say almost like rap but maybe not that far.

I was having trouble as to what to write when trying to do some background, but then I stumbled across this on his MySpace page (Which I don’t think he maintains now, he’s moved onto another thing. More about that below) and this is a brilliant summary of what Musa is all about:

“Some are from the streets, from crews like So Solid;
I’m from refugees, Eton is my college:
Posh but no dosh; yes, I guess that’s ironic,
I don’t fight with knives or mics, I write sonnets…
Many mates from school pursue familiar fates;
They’re chasing millions, instead I’m craving William Blake –
So while these cats get fatter, I stay as thin as a rake
Wishing to show life as a poet’s not a silly mistake
And still here I wait, using the tube, not a limousine,
Paycheque is small, not like that footballer Zinedine’s,
Patience is low, ambitions high as the Pyrenees –
Lyrically I’m weak; I need to write more similies…
Seriously, those poor folk who don’t know Benin City
Don’t know what they’re missing, so we look at them in pity,
Poetry spoken over beats like you’ve never heard it:
Passionate chat, drum, bass and sax; the mixture’s perfect.”

As you can see this poetry lends itself perfectly to music and to the formation of the band Benin City.

Benin City

Musa is co-vocalists with this group who are described as “Outkast-meets-James Brown”, very funky uptempo music. A musical mashup of hip hop with rap and spoken word, some jazz thrown in there.

Have a watch/listen below to Benin City in a live studio session performing the song “Work”

(Musa is the one with the posh accent)

The’ve released their first EP called Invisible Cakes which you can download and purchase here.
– For your listening please an online stream only of some selected tracks from the EP:
The track above, Work, also below you may have heard on Soccer AM. (No we don’t watch it any more either)

Benin City – Work:
Benin City – Get It Off Your Chest:

Additionally… as I was wandering around looking for info about the band I found this about an E4 sponsored event that took place at the Southbank Centre in London a few weeks ago. Benin City were one of the featured acts and they gave away a free download – a demo version one of their songs:

» PSH_Baby_v1

Finally for now here’s a little present for you courtesy of Musa himself:

Musa Okwanga » Musa Okwanga -The Flight

A big thank you to Musa. Hope to hear more from you soon.

Maybe you could get the band to record something about Theo Walcott’s silky skills…

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