A stage knockout

Call him KO-C meaning “Knockout Christian,” a nickname he earned. Njang Mengu Collins’ (real name) punches are not deadly, but he is unbeatable when it comes to rap and freestyle. His songs including “Balancé” ft Tenor, “Bollo c’est Bollo” and “Sango” are a knockout in leisure outfits, Trace Africa and other social media outlets. With exposure, his fan base has expanded rapidly, recognitions and awards have also been pouring in only two years of professional music. KO-C, 26, plans to do more, with the release of his debut album, announced in May 2019. The product of BIG Dreams label was born and bred in Kumba, but hails from Bafut in the North West Region. Read more on the “knockout” singer in this portrait.

Njang Mengu Collins (real name), 26, is not a boxer, but he knocks out his adversaries. He does this not with fists, not with gloves and not in a boxing ring. His voice, a microphone and dance styles are his knockout weapons while his playground is a music stage. Many youngsters have been victims of his knockouts during rap and freestyle competitions.

This fetched him the nickname “Knockout Christian” (acronym of artist name “KO-C”) while a gospel singer. With hit Singles- “Balancé,” “Bollo c’est Bollo,” “Caro,” “Sango,” “I love you,” “Appreciate” and seven audio freestyles released on youtube, KO-C has, in no small way, pushed the Cameroon music industry forward.

The quality of his songs, didactic messages conveyed in both English and French languages, it is said, account for his fan base that is growing at a geometric rate. No doubt, his followers scramble to be part of his performances. At Las Vegas, popular leisure outfit in Douala, where he was to perform mid-January 2019, for example, all the seats were booked by 6pm. Unfortunately, the anxiety to watch KO-C’s “knockout” outing was dashed as government shut Las Vegas at 10pm for reasons unknown to the singer.

RECOGNITIONS

The Bafut boy’s songs, amongst them “Bollo c’est Bollo,” (translation: “a job is a job”) have imparted many lives. His contribution to projecting Cameroon’s presence on the music map is paying off. Recognitions and awards, at home and abroad, are trickling in only two years of professional music.

KO-C, signed artist under BIG Dreams, is winner of the Urban Jams Award for best upcoming artist; RMA Award for best Revelation; Best Collaboration with Tenor for the song “Balancé”; and Best most Downloaded Song in 2018. On the international scene, the rapper, who has shared the same stage with renowned Ivorian music duo, Magic System, was nominated at the 2018 AFRIMMA Award.

He is working to remain in the limelight. In an exclusive interview granted to “Nyanga Maga zine” recently, KO-C announced his debut album will hit the market in May 2019. “Stay focus, be positive in whatever thing you do and never give up on your dreams. Pray hard because prayers work. And one day you will be telling your own success story.” That’s KO-C’s advice to his peers.

HIS ROOTS

KO-C hails from Bafut, North West Region but was born (18 November 1992) and raised in Kumba, South West. He is the last of ten children. Njang Lucas (his father), a retired mechanical engineer with the erstwhile Marketing Board and a former commercial taxi businessman, was a polygamist with three wives. KO-C’s mother, Njang Sirri Deborah, a nurse, is the third and only surviving wife.

He is the last of his mum’s two kids and lone artist in the family. It was at Victory Nursery and Primary School Mbonge Road, Kumba that the soft-spoken guy learned how to read and write. He attended GBHS and then CCAST Kumba, where he obtained the GCE ‘A’ Level certificate. His thirst for university studies took him to the Higher Institute of Management Studies (HIMS) Molyko in Buea, where he bagged a First Degree in Management.

He shelved his childhood dream of becoming a manager and embraced his passion, music. “Sarkodie is the reason why I started music,” he said. To avoid being a carbon copy of his Ghanaian hip-hop idol, KO-C blended English and French languages in his songs. However, traces of his model are still visible in his haircut and dress style, notably the wearing of dark goggles.

EVERY LADY’S DREAM

Young, handsome and intelligent, the rising star is every young girl’s dream. They hover around him on and off the stage like bees do with honey. KO-C is already in a love relationship and says marriage is not a priority now. Establishing a solid music career is his main goal. However, his wife to-be should know that KO-C is not very romantic, that “fufu and eru” is his favourite meal, and that he likes to be respected at all times. Good luck ladies!


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