"Recently, Afrobeat strived to remain on Nigeria's main-stream music,after the temporary vacation of Nigeria Reggae pioneers like Winning Jah, Empress Dqueen, Rymzo, Majek Fashek,blessed memory (Isaac Black), The Mandators,Ben Priest, Evi Edna Ogholi, from Nigeria music entertainment industry. The success of Reggae genre to hit Nigeria's mainstream music again, is no longer a Breaking news. Professionalism spiced with technicality of Winning Jah will be held accountable for the genre's victory.(Entertainment Reporter - Vanguard Newspaper)
Kingsley Eno Osagie popularly known by his stage name Winning Jah, is a Nigerian veteran Reggae musician, prolific songwriter,producer,multiple instrumentalist, record label CEO, human right activist and a Philanthropist. He was among the first Children’s reggae group, called “Emababa Reggae Group” to win “John player Gold leaf Awards”, for best reggae new acts 1989, the children’s reggae group was known for covering Bob Marley’s songs and later brought them national fame in Bendel State, now called Edo state (Nigeria), he was the lead vocalist, they consecutively performed in major social events, the group disbanded as parents diverted to various locations, he is mostly known for his songs like “Big Man”(2) released in the 90’s, to be banned for political unfriendly lyrics (3), his songs like”Deep Sea” peaked #3(4) on Amnesty International arms youtube channels music chart(5) for a week, “To Whom It May Concern feat. Naxis Dg” peaked #1 on Reverbnation main Italian reggae chart for weeks,(s) “Homeless World” peaked #1 on Reverbnation main Italian reggae chart(s) for months, this hit tracks were also part of his album “Nouveau Business” released in year 2016(s) by VP Records arms VPAL,. Rude Boy” was another single released as audio and video by VP Records arms VPAL,in 2017, to hit numerous deejay mixtapes internationally, with high record sales world wide. His song “Trust” received positive reviews from various professional music critics, repeatedly aired on canadian radio stations to massive audience, like on “CJM Radio” and disc jockey mixtapes , it was also positively received by an iconic Nigeria most respected Disc jockey like “Dj Oscar b”(5)
Born in Kano State, northern part of Nigeria, by Mr Bright .U.Osagie and Mrs Stella Osagie, he is the fifth child of ten siblings, six brothers and four sisters. His biological father was a managing director (MD) at New Nigeria bank Plc, while his mother was a singer, professional fashion designer , traditional ruler, Philanthropist, Entrepreneur and an official representative of Singer Corporation, she was known for early knitting of cardigan for Government schools like “Edo College, Idia College, Benin Technical School, Egba Grammar School” alongside designed for Guiness Plc etc. The company was stationed in Benin city as “Stella Best Knitters company Ltd”. He was raised in Benin City -Edo State, where he furthered his education, firstly attended Edaiken Primary school, later got admission to Eweka Grammar School, he became member of the music and press club, he represented the school for national events, music, drama,comedy , mainly as a singer and a percussionist, alongside co students like “Amenaghawon Adesotu”, “Aghatise Osarobo”, he was once president of Man’o’ war, (s)”Danfodio Unit”, a paramilitary organization in Nigeria, he represented Edo state National sport council on “Taekwondo” to win a Gold, and one bronze medal to his name at Borno national camp 1991 (Featherweight) .While in school, he contexted in current affairs quiz, to win “Best student of the year“, he also represented an annual scholar programme “Father or Mother” which is more relevant? an interschool debate, sponsored by Ministry of Education (Bendel state), headlined (Kingsley Eno Osagie (Eweka grammar School) to defend Father, vs Clancy Omokaro (St Maria Goretti college) defending Mother, to win and benefitted a scholarship prize, for free education. He proceeded to Immaculate conception college under the scholarship grant, finally progressed to University of Benin (U.N.I.B.E.N) and studied Business administration.(6)
He started music at the age of six, as a member of national children’s music group, called “Emababa Reggae Group”, innovated by his mother , he lead the group as a vocalist to perform at schools, national event, Birthday events, churches, etc. the group turned superstardom for covering Bob Marley’s songs. The group performed with percussions and recycled materials , mostly privileged showcasing on theatre centres main stage, like the international Ebohon theatre centre , the Edo State’s King’s Palace of “King Erediauwa” to fuel national recognition of the group, his hard work performances and social integrity fueled various award winning, catapulted him into stardom. His successful music life from youth , were firstly credited to his parents encouragements, moral and economical support . His early fame was based on comedy, music talent and sport, his multiple recognitions, inspired established merchants and private companies to endorse him by using his image portraits to advertise commercial product’s flyers , like “Cabin biscuit“, “Stella pomade“, leading to other important honors as best traditional “òsaIkpema nèla” meaning (no flames without fire, (òsa) mean’s (gorilla) “defining his percussion beats with Gorillas chest beat” (an incredible percussionist) honoree received from the ” 39th Oba of Benin City, Edo State (Nigeria). After winning the notable “John Player Gold leaf music award” for new reggae acts in the 80’s. The “Emababa reggae group’s” fame was mostly credited to Winning Jah.
He was also the innovator of his sub reggae genre, called “Emababa beat” Emababa means “Toyish” in Benin language, a reggae genre spiced with traditional music notes, mostly used amongst musicians from Benin City- Edo State (Nigeria).He was inspired by Fela Kuti, Alpha Blondy, Osayomore Joseph, Baba Sissoko,Sir Victor Uwaifo,High Priest Osemwengie Ebohon, Peter Tosh, Ebo Taylors, Culture, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear and Bob Marley.
In 2008, month of November, he was arrested by the Italian Government to be sentenced for three years imprisonment, alleged for accommodating illegal immigrants,his explanations before the Judges or reasons was based on humanitarian services but unluckily his reasons was unachievable and unacceptable .
In the early 90’s, he professionally released his studio debut album “Big Man”(s1) featuring tracks like;
- Concept By – Fela Kuti
- Directed By – Collins Osagie
- Recorded By, Executive Producer – Lucky Unuaigbe
- Remix – Dj Oscar B
- Songwriter, Performer – Winning Jah
The album was in a vinyl format with a successful sale of 650,000 units in Benin city Enugu and Lagos state, by street hawkers and private music merchants, the album appeared massively on various deejay disco compilations, and aired on national radio stations, to be banned by a District police officer (DPO) “Okhoro Police Station” from the Nigerian Police Force, subsequently convocated his reasons of immediate ban, as regards to political unfriendly lyrics.(s1) (s2). The tragic weighed him down to vacate entertainment scene temporarily , to bounce back in 2013-2014 with a new identity , this time with the stage name “RaPrince” later “Raseno” the efforts ended fiasco and he returned to his earlier act name “Winning Jah” which eventually beared him fruits worldwide.
In 2015 he collaborated with UNICEF and UN to fight corruption against fake International nonprofit associations working in Africa. During the campaign , he wrote and published a song, to turn anthem, titled “To Whom It May Concern , the video was subtitled in three languages “English” “French” and “Italian” , while copies deposited at National Library of Turin (Italy) , the album was positively reviewed by students and renowned music critics . “To whom It May Concern” peaked on #1 at Italy Reverbnation national reggae chart (The Italy Charts Change Location ) on the 10/02/2010 (s)
He is the Ceo of an indie record label named Enorecords Snc. , an established brand, known for artist scouting, record label, management, and music distributions with VP Records arms VPAL. He went into Agriculture deals, recently the director and founder of EnoGoAgric farms situated in Uhuonde local Govt area in Benin city, the food initiative has given job opportunities to over 95 persons in the Ohuan village, alongside a guest house with over 150 apartments to support tourism in the local Government area.
In 2016 , he signed artists like Austin Peter to his record label “Enorecords”popularly known as King Wadada , Kora Award winner for best Africa Reggae 2010. previously signed and produced, Ebere Chi, to turn a complete sold out artist for three decades after releasing a national hit song “Amour Impossibile” , most critically acclaimed in Nigeria and Benin Republic, “the Amour impossible crooner” , was nominated to open Nigerian Independence day, (October 1st) by Nigerian authorities, the song fueled serial tour internationally. also Carol Jiani , popular for her early “hit n run”, to chart on Billboard, also first Nigerian female singer,to arrive Billboard chart(source). Enorecords snc, was first established by his parents before he took over the indie label.
In late 2016, he condemned the famous act of injustice, religious crisis ,uncompromising muslim fundamentalist due to frequent terrorist attack, economic Churches in Nigeria and founded his religion “WinningJahrian” with over 700 practicing members, which initially adopted his philosophy and belief, with a consecutive growth daily, he converted from Rastafarian belief finally and created a sub rastafari religion “WinningJahrian” . In 2017, he converted over 1000 persons .(7)
In 2018, he educated Nigerian and International mainstream recording artists on royalty programs, and the essentials of ISRC, for audio recordings, he educated artistes like 2face Idibia, Wande Coal, Majek Fashek, Daddy Fresh, Eedris Abdulkareem, Brymo, Mamani Keita and others. after discovering the incapability of their royalty recoveries (source).
Winning Jah took to Government officials, like in European Parliament and most Government in Africa , speaking on relevancy to legalize marijuana, his points of defence were based on religious and therapy use.(8) Due to his concern on global social illness, visible in most of his recorded song lyrics , he was honored as the recent “Nigeria King of Reggae”(9) (10)
In 2018, he was honored by Obaland academy, to receive Obaland Royal Awards- Honorees 2018. for Best Edo state/Diaspora Philanthropist, Best africa reggae artiste . alongside 40 artistes, (source) (source)
He is the founder of Amc1d Aiutabambini Onlus, AMC1D PROJECTS INTERNATIONAL ONLUS,a global non profit organisation in Italy and Africa.
In 2001, he worked with blessed memory Andrea Don Gallo, of Genova (Italy), were he worked and managed kitchens, as a chef in “Casa masoero” , his relationship with the institutions became noted after three years. During holidays, he toured countries, states and streets, visiting hospitals to support sick persons with music therapy (source Italy) (Source Dublin Ireland) during his trips, he quickly requested a licence to perform in famous tourist centers like “Milan Duomo“, “Acquario di Genova“, “Alba “Fiera di tartufo“, “Arena of Verona“, Firenze” etc, were millions of tourists visit’s annually. His Djembe street exhibition earnings, enabled him established an alimentary mini maket shop, named “Afro Food Esotic market” located in one of best ancient streets of Pinerolo, “Via Silvio Pellico 30” in Pinerolo city (Italy), the shop was first of its kind, being the first black rastaman to introduce esotic African food market to the city, his innovation fueled curiosity and successfully generated incomes to be used in constructing new schools and renovating old schools in Africa, like in Mali, Nigeria, Cotonou (Republic of Benin) and Tema- Ghana .
He has promoted and donated thousands of free urine sacs for paralysed patients, like orthopedic kits, important sanitary machines, to various hospitals, churches, private clinics and ( PWD) institutions in Republic of Mali, Republic of Benin, Federal Republic of Nigeria and many others. In early 2000, statiscally over 35,000 men and women in Nigeria only, has received micro finance support, to empower local traders or boosting old ones, as they attended his skill acquisition workshop of “Know how” . Over 3 thousand homeless families, victims of social illness from Europe and west Africa documented, received rented apartments and facilities to start up small scale business from Winning Jah, as a professional Djembe teacher, he has established over 150 free workshops for women and children as a second job opportunity, by empowering young willing people to buy musical or fabricated instruments after discovering creativity in them.
In 2008, he registered a global Non governmental organization “Amc1d Projects International Onlus” after several years of running beneficiary programs, going by the acronym of (A.M.C.1.D) “Association of Music and Culture 1 Dread” registered with the ministry of Finance in Italy. to become an umbrella body of over 100 local Ngo’s globally. In 2014. thousands of volunteers with majority of musicians, Doctors, entrepreneurs, Lawyers and other professional workers.
A physically blind person could lead Africa without mistakes but a technically, spiritually and intellectually blind man, powered by egocentrism attitude could turn Africa, a drowning continent .
- Big Man (1990) [Debut Album]
- Nouveau Business (2016)
- Africa Inside Me (2017)
- Message (2018)
- Djembejazz (2014)
- To Whom It May Concern (2015)
- C KRIT(2016)
- Now I KNOW (Made In Africa version feat. Stephen Marley (2017))
- Rude Boy (2017)
- Chibok School Girls kidnapping (2017)
- EndTime (2018) ~ Paola Dondona (Editor)
Winning jah has performed both international and national important music tours, stealing reggae concerts , wehere listing roasters with co renowned artists like, “Jahcoustix” “RAPHAEL”, (S) Luciano Messenjah, Ky Mani Marley (s) “Baba Sissoko” (S) and many other mainstreams showcased alongside on main stages and also featured some in studio recordings. In 2008, he opened stage for blessed memory african music icon ” Miriam Makeba”, below is a short list of few artists he has worked with and collaborated with;