Biography: Pericoma Okoye

Chief Pericoma Mezuo Okoye was a Nigerian singer, songwriter and traditionist. His first name ‘Pericoma’ could alternatively be spelled as ‘Pericomo’ ‘Perry-Coma’ and ‘Perry-Koma’. He was predominantly known throughout the Igboland for his style of music and strong belief and practice of the traditional religion of the Igbo people, named Obeah.

Pericoma Okoye
Birth name Pericoma Mesuo Okoye
Also known as “Arusi Makaja 1 of Arondizuogu”,
“Arusi Ndizuogu”, “Lion of Africa”, “Okala-mmuo, Okala-mmadu”, “Oje-na mmuo”, “Oke-arusi izuogu na iheme”
Born 1935[1]
Origin Arondizuogu, Imo, Nigeria
Died February 16, 2017
Genres Traditional music
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter and prime minister

Early life

Okoye was born in Nigeria, specifically in Imo State, an eastern state occupied by the Igbo people of Nigeria. He was born in a community named Arondizuogu, a community that occupies three local government areas: Ideato North, Okigwe, and Onuimo.

Prime minister

Okoye was prime minister of the Arondizogu community in Imo state until his death in 2017.

Music style

His music style could be best described as “oral rendition of the culture, proverbs, as well as the tradition of the Igbo people”.

Acting career

He featured in a movie titled Lion Of Africa alongside Nollywood star, Pete Edochie. The movie, which was in two parts, was a biography of his early life.

Personal life

Okoye was a firm believer and practitioner of the traditional religion of the Igbo people, Obeah.

Traditional religion

Pericoma Okoye whilst alive was as much a famous sorcerer or ‘medicine man’ as he was a musician as described by Nigerian News, PLUSMILA MEDIA. His title ‘Arusi Makaja’ may also portray this, as ‘Arusi’ when translated to English language means ‘deity’ or ‘oracle’. During the Ikeji festival he performed several feats which defied several rules of physics. A good percentage of the people from Arondizuogu, his community, believed he was a little god. Several displays of “supernatural powers” or “sorcery” as it was often tagged, and back-to-back victories in contests, earned him the alias “Lion of Africa”


Okoye was a prominent individual in Nigeria as a traditional prime minister in Imo state. He was instrumental and took notable roles in the development of the Ikeji festival held in his community. This festival which is held every April serves as a source of foreign income for Nigeria, as it attracts tourists from around the world.

Selected discography


On 16 February 2017, he was reported dead.[17]

References: wikipedia

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