Poco Lee has narrated how poverty and his father’s death drove him to pursue dancing as a career.
The dancer and music hypeman was speaking about his formative years in an interview with BBC Igbo.
Lee, born Odinaka Iweh, said his father died when he was about 10 years old, leaving his mum to fend for five kids.
“I suffered. The story of how I got to where I’m today as a dancer is that of suffering. Do you know how many dancers we have in Nigeria? I started with dancing at birthday parties as a kid, whether solicited or not,” he said.
“I used to dance in beach shows. As a man from a humble background, I had to strive so we all could eat. My dad died when I was very young. It’s been like 15 years now. My mum was left to fend for five children by herself.”
Poco Lee further recounted how relatives from whom they expected aid “abandoned” them in their hard times.
“The family members abandoned us. My mum suffered. Those things drove me. I couldn’t keep doing something that wasn’t paying. I had to double my hustle. I started going to plazas. At Alaba market, they know me,” he said.
“December 15/16, we would go and dance at year-end parties. I’d call my cousins and some friends and teach them one or two choreographies so we could perform. We get paid and we share the funds. I also worked as a hype man.
“My father was a popular and lively person before his death too. I still don’t think I’ve arrived yet but I’ll get there.
“If I didn’t go into dancing, I would have opted to become a presenter or host at events, things like that. Whatever you’re doing as a profession, make sure to put in the work. You never know when it would all come together.”
Poco Lee, beyond dancing, made a name for himself as an A&R executive credited for discovering thriving talents.
The dancer is credited to have kickstarted the singer Portable’s music career after introducing him to Olamide.
The 25-year-old also linked Black Sherif with Burna Boy, the Afrofusion star, and aided Bella Shmurda’s big break.
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