Teacher, Journalist, Standup Comedian
Boma Tom Erekosima Alias “Country-Man” was an iconic Niger Delta humorist best known for his sensational African proverbs on radio air waves during the late 1980s and 1990s.
Boma Tom Erekosima (1949-1996) widely known as Country Man was an awarding-winning journalist and comedian from Buguma City in Asari Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State. He was one of Radio’s Finest Voices in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria during the 1980s and 1990s. His humors African proverbs spoken in Pidgin English was a sensation on radio. In 1995 thereabout, he made the meanie Military Dictator and Head of State, General Sani Abacha to laugh profusely on one of his official visits to Rivers State. He died on 25 February 1996.
Family and Early Life
Boma Tom Erekosima was born June 24, 1949, in Eku, Mid-West Nigeria (now Delta State). He had a middle-class upbringing; his father Mr. Tom W. Erekosima was a professional schools teacher while his mother Mrs. Jemine Erekosima was an adventurous and industrious woman from Buguma in Asari Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Boma Tom Erekosima attended different schools at various places due to exigencies of his father’s job as a professional teacher. He was at Pilgrim Baptist School, Umunede Delta State from 1956 to 1961; subsequently, he attended Pilgrim Baptist Modern School, Ougie-otah Delta State between 1962 and 1963; he was also at Pilgrim Baptist Grammar School, Enohem. Afterwards, he was at the prestigious Kalabari National College (KNC), Buguma from 1965 to 1967; he schooled also at Academy Grammar School, Sapele, now called Okotie Eboh Grammar School from 1967 to 1968. He finally got his higher school certificate in 1970 at the famous Hussy College, Warri. Furthermore, his quest for higher education took him to the University Of Lagos Akoki where he bagged a Diploma in Mass Communication in 1979.
His Career life
Boma Erekosima started his working career as an English language teacher at St. Scholarstica Girl’s school, Bakana. He taught English so well and endeared himself to many that he was nick-named “Oxymoron” by the students.
He joined the defunct Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) as a Senior Sub-Editor from 1973 to 1977. Afterwards, in 1978 Nigeria Tide Newspaper Corporation got him employed as News Editor (Daily). Subsequently, he was tide’s Lagos city editor and a substantive Editor of the Newspaper from 1982 to 1987. Incidentally, Boma Erekosima transferred his service to the Rivers State Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Rivers) as Journalist, Ace Broadcaster and Comedian par excellent.
Pidgin English on Radio Rivers shot late Isikima Harry and Boma Erekosima to stardom. It is pertinent to observe that before then, the innovation of Pidgin English was not in official use on any radio station in Nigeria. It was Boma’s journalistic prowess and captivating voice that enhanced radio and television programs presented in Pidgin English, and he was a melody on the air waves with his African proverbs. He was popularly referred to as the ‘King of Talk Radio’ at station Radio Rivers 2fm Stereo in the early 1990s.
Country Man as fondly known was as an achiever and excelled in all the fields he found himself. His dedication to duty and humorous disposition attracted public acclaim within and outside the state. He became a sought after as standup comedian for most government and private functions in old Rivers State.
Boma Tom Erekosima had a stint on television media. His first television programme titled “MAN MOUTH”, which addressed the moral values of the society, was an instant hit. This was followed by another debut “DUO”, a programme aired in all NTA stations and later “WETIN DEY HAPIN”.
His Literary Works
His literary works include the “AFRICAN PROVERBS”, a collection of his home grown proverbs; the audio masterpiece cassette titled “COUNTRY MAN BOMA EREKOSIMA IN CONCERT VOL I” and however, “VOL II COUNTRY MAN BOMA EREKOSIMA IN CONCERT” was ready for launch before he passed on. In 1979, compiled his initial works for posterity into an album tagged “AKIRIKA CITY OF PORACOT”
His Wife and Children
He was married to Mrs. Fabiawari Erekosima, and the couple went on to have seven children together.
Boma Tom Erekosima’s Quotes
- Monkey smart monkey smart na because tree near tree.
- You go fit tell blind man say oil no dei for soup but no be pepper.
- Na situation make crayfish bend.
- Fly wei no dei hear word na im dei follow dead body enter grave.
- Craze man say craze dei sweet but the problem be say treking too much.
- No matter how teeth and tongue quarrel dei must settle because them dei leave for the same house and them need each other.
- Weather say him tier for human being. Rain fall den complain say cold too much, sun shine den say heat too much. Which one you want.
- My people, Advice no be curse o!
- Ear wey dey hear somtin e no need big like house
- Even though na water wey kill your brother, when you cry finish, na the same water wey you go take wash off the tears from your face”
- Bird say, anywhere wey fruit ripe, na there him dey go
- Okporoko and egusi, no be brothers, but when dem meet inside soup, dem De understand each other
When Did He Died?
Boma Erekosima was reported ill from an unknown ailment that got him admitted in Seaside Clinic No 89 Victoria Street, Port Harcourt on 25 February 1996 and he died afterwards. He was age 47.