Nigerian violinist, Jennifer Rebecca Obaze is on her way to stardom. The actress who just came off her first huge project this year playing alongside Alicia Keys and other notable instrumentalists on the set of the widely successful Bridgerton series: Queen Charlotte, is well on the road to achieving her vision of becoming Nigeria’s best violinist.
Speaking of the challenges she encountered on her journey so far, Obaze listed traditional and biological roles of women in society in a third world country as one of the obstacles deployed by society to discourage women from reaching the pinnacle of their chosen careers.
Becoming a great violinist, she said is her way to break such negative stereotypes about women instrumentalists and professionals in Nigeria, and to show that their aspirations are valid.
Obaze first contact with the violin was at age 13. She fell in love with the instrument and largely taught herself to play the instrument throughout her formative years. Enrolling later with the Muson School of Music, she graduated with a diploma in 2015, nabbing an all expenses paid scholarship from the British Council Nigeria, as part of cultural exchange project to perform On Mass Roundhouse in Camden Town, at the EFG London Jazz Festival.
During this period, she not only played the violin but sang Nigerian folk songs, whilst connecting with artistes from several parts of the globe. The life changing experience was the professional boost she desired.
“Through this art, I have travelled to South Africa, Italy, and the United Kingdom for music. Although my formative years were primarily self-taught, I have managed to attract the attention of renowned violinists like Dele Olutade, Ademola Adejayan, Pa Godfrey Amoah, Melissa Mcguiles, Frank Stadler and others,” said Obaze.
Besides performing on the set of Bridgerton, the violinist has performed with the East London School of Music at Hackney County’s Coronation Concert in honour of King Charles III, and at Mayor Philip Glanville inauguration ceremony as the mayor of Hackney London Borough Council in London, England.