The African continent is well known as the land of many great men who have showcased greatness in countless ways from education to lifestyle and entertainment and so on. Africa’s beats are unlike any other, unique, transcending, elevating and filling in a way that words cannot appraise but the body can attest to as the unmistakably unique beats of Africa sweep through the body and penetrate the soul resulting into an interpretation so deep that leaves all those who witness it speechless.
That is the power of Africa which is represented in the works of many artists and in the very unique genres of music of afrobeat and Afro-reggae. Just as the beats make a difference so do the people behind these beats. People who express their passion, their hopes and desires through their works, and one such is Patric Okorie, popularly known as “Patoranking” an artist who through the power of very unique beats has been able to extend his aspirations to others who need it.
As a Nigerian citizen, first, of five children, he was born and raised in Ilaje, Ebute-Metta in Lagos. He’s an artist of humble beginnings and a homely background who ventured into the world to music as a way out but never forgot his roots nor his dreams. While growing up he was popular for two things, one was his love for music, and the other was selling products locally with his Dad. He began selling these products at the age of 13 but by the time he was 17 he had bigger plans and was ready to follow his dreams.
His dream chase took him to Ghana where his love for music was constantly with him as he not only applied to the University of Cape Coast but he also pursued music at the side.
At the time his application to the University was an uncertainty due to a shortage of funds and he had hoped to get those funds by the time he got enrolled. Unfortunately, his academic pursuit did not pay off due to his shortage of funds and he fell back to his music, now full-time all the way back in Nigeria.
He began small, with small labels as his genre of music Afro-reggae was not so popular amongst many compared to the Afrobeat. His breakthrough moment came when an all-time award-winning artist Timaya featured Patoranking in his song “Alubarika ” which means God’s blessings. The song was his pass way to success as it opened doors to him and Patoranking says: “God really did bless me as that was the turning point for me and my family.”
From there Patoranking has become a name in the entertainment industry that is well-known all around Africa and his works, including his latest album Wilmer, has accumulated over 200 million YouTube views. Wilmer, his latest work, has also debuted at number 5 on the global Billboard Reggae charts.
With the success in his work, Patoranking never forgets his roots, most especially his academic passion. As someone who has the power to influence the lives of many, he has embarked on a journey to help change the lives of many who like him came from areas like Ebuta-Metta with little or no support.
At Youth Connekt Africa last year, Patoranking got to meet the Founder of African Leadership University (“ALU”), Fred Swaniker. A few months later both set up the ALU Patoranking Scholarship, which will provide full scholarships to 10 students starting in the fall September 2020. Patoranking says: “I loved everything ALU represents and strives for, I also attended their Africa Leaders Network in Ghana and it was a fantastic experience, we both believe in the importance of ensuring Africa’s next generation of leaders are educated.”
According to Patoranking, the criteria and the caliber of students that would be eligible for the scholarship would be those that are resilient, driven, innovative, creative, mission-driven and have demonstrated a positive impact in their communities and be from a lower-income background. His belief is that: “exceptional leaders and change-makers can come from anywhere. Financial constraints should not prevent the next great African innovators from gaining the tools, skill sets and networks to bring their ideas to life.” To that end, he has launched the scholarship which will have the applications open till March 17th.
He may be a big and successful man artist now, but he never forgot his roots and his aspirations, and with his resources, he has been able to channel his aspirations and dreams unto others whom he feels need to be given a chance the most and it’s sure that he is not stopping at just giving the first chance.
And so ladies and gentlemen, this is Patoranking.