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Peculiar Okafor: My Milestone Songs



I believe you can tell a lot about a person by their playlist – at least their current real or perceived emotional state.   As teenage girls, we were apt to listen to certain types of songs while reading a Mills and Boon/Harlequin novel and imagining a future with the crush at the time. It usually graduated to songs you listened to when suffering a heartbreak; hugging a pillow, refusing to take a shower and crying ( I wonder why we always refused to have our baths) and then came the songs of defiance ‘ I’m a survivor’, ‘what’s love got to do with it?’ We always looked at those babes with side eye. ‘No vex, you’ll find true love‘.

I had a good time with friends over the weekend listening to old songs and we started talking about songs that just remind you of certain times in your life; first heartbreak, friends, weddings, death of a parent or loved ones . I call them ‘Milestone songs’. I’ll share a  few of mine with you:

  • The entire ‘Coast to Coast’ album (Westlife) – Reminds me so much of secondary school; the friends I made there especially SS2 where I won the ‘special girl prize for debate’.
  • Danfo Driver (Mad Melon & Mountain Black) – I know I might sound razz, but in SS3, my friends and I liked this song; maybe it was the ‘I want to go to Unilag for nuff education…..’ line, this song just reminds me of WASSCE, UME, SAT and TOEFL.
  • Don’t love you no more (Craig David); I played this song in first year when I left my boyfriend at the time. He was such a good guy but I was bored. Several experiences later, this is a reminder not to let a good guy go and that while excitement and romance are important, you don’t jump out when it looks boring, you work together to ignite a spark.
  • One Night ( The Corrs)  This inspired my first ****** experience
  • Have you ever (Brandy)  My first unrequited love. I liked this guy, he liked me back but he started foot-dragging. I would play this song and cry myself to sleep.
  • As you see me so (2face) – This song reminds me of the Miss UNN pageant. I had never worn heels before the pageant and this song was what I used to practice my catwalk leading up to the pageant.
  • Absolutely not (Deborah Cox) – this song gave me the strength to leave an emotionally draining relationship.
  • Jesus you’re beautiful (Cece Winans) – There was a time when the very essence of who I was seemed shaken. This song was a reminder that I was made in God’s image and so I’m beautiful.
  • The prayer of Jabez (Donald Lawrence); This song was a prayer when I finished my NYSC. I was unsure of the next step to take so this song was a prayer to God to just ‘BLESS ME!’.
  • My God is awesome (Charles Jenkins); This song was the song I listened to the period I lost my dad. A reminder to me that my family and I had an awesome God on our side and he has indeed been awesome.
  • A heart like yours ( Cece Winans); this has been the song on my mind of late. It’s my prayer and hope.

So dears, you have 10 of my milestone songs. If you want to ask the songs that came pre secondary school, they were the Colby’s, Kid’s praises, Mother Goose gospel and Mary Rice Hopkins of this world. While we’re on that, two songs stand out:

  • I cast all my cares upon you; Anytime I’m confused, I find a quiet place and if words fail me, I sing this song confident that it will be fine.
  • One Step at a time (Kid’s Praise 5); When it looks like everything I hoped for is failing or I think it’s just too tough, the words to this song help me especially verse 2:

‘Even though you might grow weary, Don’t be discouraged, in your weakness God is strong. Remember this, he’ll never leave you, he won’t forsake you, he’s your strength and he’s your song. So sing and start to say I’m climbing my mountain step by step…
Have a lovely day dears and please do share your milestone songs with the House.

PS: (The Mase’s, Brandy’s Monica’s, Tony Braxton, Puff Daddy ( he was Puff Daddy then), Boyz 2 men, Notorious B.I.G, Myas, Celine Dion’s, TLCs etc.) weren’t forgotten. Good memories

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Pablo Hidalgo 

Peculiar is a Marketing communications personnel, she believes that one can have a full life without being bitchy and she wants it all 'A good career, love, laughter, wealth, you name it. She blogs at Follow her on Instagram @daworkdiva and Facebook ''


  1. frank teacher

    May 2, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Peculiar, Peculiar, we are from same time
    i like where you are now; gospel songs ringing…
    good for you!

  2. chifire

    May 2, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Yeah, I can totally relate

  3. nira

    May 2, 2015 at 10:31 am

    OMG, I have been a music lover since I was many fun memories of miming and dancing to those classic hits…but even presently, old school still does it for me, I mean there’s nothing like the good old school music of those days. From chakademous and pliers with songs like “murder she wrote “and” wata bam bam” to baba fryo’s “dem go dey pose”album, to daddy showkey. Notorious BIG and puff daddy, Awilo logomba, shaggy, brandy and monica, west life( If I had paid attention to my books the ways I listened to all of westlife’s songs, I would have passed my first jamb den). There was also these african american group called the Arrested Development, mehn, those guys can rap for days. The Fugees with ready or not and other hits, heavy D with dont be afraid,craig david, the first destiny’s child album, not forgetting the remedies with “mi o shako mo”, plantation boys, Busta rhymes’ dangerous, DMX, Ja rule and Ashanti with their hits, Deborah Cox, Mary j Blige, Da brat, Mc lyte, Queen pan, Missy Elliot of those days. Oh how can I forget the good old Patra ( Queen of the park), snow(informer), Boys to men, paul play dairo(eleda mi month di e mu) , the maintain boys with ( catch cold and others), father u turn, daddy fresh, blackky, ……the list is so endless. I just used to enjoy all those classics and go with the flow back then,. Nothing like Old School Music I tell u.

    • mt

      May 3, 2015 at 5:12 am

      Nira… you’re too on point. Mehn sweet memories

  4. Ima

    May 2, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Jesus take the wheel by Carrie Underwood for when I’m feeling down, Titanium by Sia for encouragement…those are the two most played songs for me right now.

  5. Abby

    May 2, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Oh my, Kids Praise 5!!! Brings back memories 🙂

  6. D

    May 2, 2015 at 11:33 am

    lmso…omg…I am laughing sooo hard. I saw the first song and rolled laughing…West life…ok i still have West life on my playlist but yes i made my now hubby get the CD then (he listened to nothing but gospel prior to that what love did to him and yes I started dating young with my parents consent too).
    When i saw the pre-secondary school ones, Lawdddd i just bursted out laughing. I will have to look for those videos when i have my kids, i would think they would have made them digital by now.
    I only started having milestones song after college and i believe God placed them in my heart to get me through those times the first one i had was during the 2008 recession and i lost my job “He’s Able” by Detrick Haddon but sang by Darwin Hobbs was the one God gave me for that time, then i got a job (for the experience) right after that but the pay sucked I knew i would have to do that but i told God 1 year is all i wanted to do at that job and my song for that time when money was tight was “Our God” by Chris Tomlin. After that it was “Nobody greater” by Vashawn Mitchell when i was praying for job growth. When we lost my sister God took me old school “Through it all” by Andrae crouch that was the song God gave me because I have to say nothing had (and still has) come close to shaking my faith and my entire being so thoroughly.When you cannot sleep and life just seems like a sham. I believe it was just God’s way of reminding me that I have to learn to trust in Him through not just the ups and downs of losing a job or finding a job or health scares but more importantly through this as well. Those are just a few songs that have helped me through some milestones. Thank God for songs though. I remember singing Kurt Carr’s ” I am the one” after God had answered a particular prayer of mine.

  7. Tosin

    May 2, 2015 at 11:40 am

    the first that came to my mind, from one very short season in the 90s in which i was a student in a Naija university: ‘sittin’ by my window, all day thinking of you, watching the daaaays gooo by, I started to cry. now they weren’t tears of sadness, they only meant i love you, …’ Babyface (Seven Seas). seems cheesy now. too many fine boys in those engineering classes, too many crushes 🙂

    my second huge song from that season: ‘don’t push me ‘cos i’m close to the edge…can’t nobody take my pride, can’t nobody hold me down’ because it was so hard – all the hiking, the interminable paperwork – sign this, pay that, the stress, i was like constantly singing/reciting this.

    that was also the season of ‘i believe i can fly…’ but i was more about the defiant ‘can’t nobody hold me down’ i guess.

    Today now now, my music is Kendrick ‘i got a bone to pick! i don’t want you monkey-mouth expletive expletives sitting near my th’one again! … expletive where were you when i was walking? now i run the game got the whole world talkin’ , King Kunta everybody wanna cut the legs off him… black man taking no losses … ‘

    but also Naija music all over my brain. Jesse. SDC. rap. weird. i never used to listen to that stuff. thought it was for losers, as per akata music.

  8. Le moi

    May 2, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Honestly music is the best thing you should do when you feeling down. I don’t know if am alone in this one but whenever i daydream about me going skydiving,hiking or viewing the serenity of the brazilian vegetation… “Enya” is ma 1 time hit song

  9. chu

    May 2, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Fond memories, remember The Corrs, sigh, good ol 90s.

  10. Strit Kredibity

    May 2, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    “No.2 – Danfo Driver (Mad Melon & Mountain Black) – I know I might sound razz…, but in SS3, my friends and I liked this song; maybe it was the ‘I want to go to Unilag for nuff education…..’ line, this song just reminds me of WASSCE, UME, SAT and TOEFL….”

    The reason above is why I dont take writers like this seriously. Always trying put their own down to appear urbane. What does razz even mean. What is the difference between a thug in Nigeria and the ruffian in America we glorify musically. The reality in Nigeria is that it is still largely a very poor country lacking in the basics of acceptable standards of living despite our uptown, upmarket, tipatipa-wanabe-america-in-nigeria posturings.

    Danfo Driver, Pasuma wonder, local rappers, Ajegunle galala goons are all our reality. We grew up interacting, listening to them, we love them, they are part and parcel of our social-cultural, artistic narrative. Any attempt to undermine or try to make them undeserving of a worthy mention through unfair language shall be resisted with military might (in Nigerian army parlance).

    Ms Peculiar, this is not peculiar to you, we sense it every time of BN. Trying to knock our hustle yet still forming Nigerian bona fide. I read Chimamanda the other day, talking about how all these exclusive schools in Nigeria use foreign curriculum and school calendar to teach in `Nigeria, how the pupils are far removed from the realities of their immediate country, all of them knowing more of the Queen of England than the Oniru of Oniru.

    Shior kelebe, nonsense and ingrejent. The future belongs to the streetwise, igboro-rized, knuckle-chopping, smart, well-informed, things-doing, public school going, ajekpako-undenying people. On a final note, i was nurtured on a wide range of literature and music offerings and no one made me feel distilled or razz or whatever. Please love yourself

    • Strit Kredibility

      May 2, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      NB. Strit Kredibility reporting for Area 4 news

    • tunmi

      May 2, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      Chop knuckle. It wasn’t until lately that I saw others refer to these things as razz. Who didn’t do the Daddy Showkey galala dance. Even fashola did it at some presentation 2 years ago.

    • Tosin

      May 3, 2015 at 9:30 am

      not everybody grew up the same o. i was definitely sheltered, no playing with ‘bad children’ outside, not to mention after being an omo-Jesu Catholic for a few years I became super born-again and banned worldly music in my life and I was a book-book anyway AND I was in boarding school with no boys, so many of those songs you mention eh, not sure i heard them except second-hand from schoolmates.

      but i second your motion or whatever. razz is beautiful. i’m WITH you. pidgin is the language. street is the shi8. etc.
      and i would never knock your hustle tho’ I agree lots of ppl esp our chics love to form like that.

    • Joey oshare

      May 3, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      Abeg help me tell all this BN people , they wan use forming kill dem selves . What is wrong in having an eclectic taste in music ? What is wrong in listening to a bit of everything ? Jazz , soul , hip hop , classical , high life . Including your what you term as razz music . Abegi .

  11. Hashva

    May 2, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Wow…..a lot of these songs listed though,we must be from the same era. I still remember listening to west life and shedding a tear, oh boy that was my all time “crushsong” can’t believe how emo I used to be….funny thing is I still sing “I cast all my cares upon you” it’s such a deep song for me and seems to come to me at my most difficult hour. I wonder where I can get the kiddies praise video now….I would love my kids to have it. Good one Pri,I smiled through reading this article (beautiful and embarrassing memories it called up)?

  12. Avuedoya

    May 2, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Nice, interesting how you matured in to gospel songs…………

  13. Ifeoma

    May 2, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    In Ss3 I fell in love with radio and I grew fond of Asa, 360, Bibanke and Fire on the mountain were my favorite songs and Alicia Keys No one.
    In 200 level, after failing woefully, and knowing who my dad was, I found solace in the Glee cast’s version of I look to you.
    I fell in love with Justin Timberlake’s Mirrors when I met my first boyfriend.
    Before NYSC, I discovered Femi Naija’s B’aiye mola.
    Youth service comes to an end this July, I am loving Oceans by Hillsong, Brother and Human being by M.I. Brother makes me understand the awesomeness of family and friends.

  14. Swizzey

    May 3, 2015 at 2:53 am

    As a pre-teen, I soooo loved Majek Fashek and all his songs cos it reminded me of when the times were happy and free of bullshit.
    In my teens..”Ghetto Superstar” by Praz was my ginger song
    then Unilag came…..which was a blur, got my first kiss in 200Level , till this day, whenever I hear Musiq Soulchild -“Nothing at all” reminds me of the girl and that night.
    And then in my final year I got my heart broken..shredded into a million pieces. How did I cope?…I never thought I would in my wildest dreams be listening to Psquare -“Omoge mi” in the middle of night. almost in tears..over a babe!!
    And then when depression was about to set in after NYSC with no nothing to look forward to… Deitrick Haddon – “He’s able” was the musical tonic for that episode..

  15. Tobi

    May 5, 2015 at 7:32 am

    My Dear, I still listen to “one step at a time” from Kids Praise. It’s comforting and brings memories of childhood. The song makes more sense to me now at almost 30. Bless you.

  16. Simply me

    May 5, 2015 at 9:20 am

    God! From my p square”s music obsessions to Taylor swift’s albums and finally RAP music

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