WHO WAS NELLY UCHENDU (Nelly Uzonna Edith Uchendu)?

She was an Igbo singer, born in 1950 at Umuchu in Aguata, Anambra, Igboland, Biafra.

She lived all her life in Enugu.

Her voice was out of this world.

Uchendu started singing at an early age.

She later joined Professor Sonny Oti's music group under which she flourished.

In 1976, her music career shot to limelight following the release of "Love Nwatinti".

She went on to release "If you marry a waka about (Waka)", "Aka Bu Eze", "Mama Hausa" etc

Uchendu's career blossomed during the regime of old Anambra State Governor Jim Nwobodo (79-83), who was rumored to be her paramour.

Onyeka Onwenu was also her close friend.

One of her compositions titled "Ikemefuna's Song" was used as a soundtrack in a 1980s film adaptation of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart.

Uchendu has equally played alongside such veterans like Bobby Benson, Bala Miller, Sam Akpabot, Sonny Oti, the Oriental Brothers and a host of others.

Uchendu's career also saw her perform outside Africa, mostly in London, England, UK alongside Sir Warrior and his Oriental Brothers during the 1980s.

Unfortunately, she did not live long. She died on 12 April 2005 at a hospital in Enugu after a reported cancer-related illness.

She died at the age of just 55 years old.

This golden voice of Africa died a pauper (very poor).

She was married to a man named Chief Obika Ikpeze (based in the USA) in the year 2000 when Nelly was 50 years old.

As of the time she died, she had an 8 year old daughter (Chidinma) and a 7 year old son (Kenechukwu Amaechi). No one is sure whether they were adopted or she had them by herself.

Her bosom friend Senator Joy Emordi, in her tribute described Nelly's death as very sad. She said death was so unfair to a loving gentle lady like Nelly. She however promised to ensure that her two children shall be well taken care of.

Her colleagues, members of Association of Female Musicians, led by their president Onyeka Onwenu were fully represented at her burial and in their tribute they lamented how sad it would be for them to miss Nelly's company. Also in attendance was PMAN President, Charlie Boy.

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