Muna (rapper)

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Muna
Born Munachi Gail Teresa Abii Nwankwo
(1987-11-05) 5 November 1987 (age 27)
Port Harcourt, Rivers State Nigeria
Occupation Rap/hip hop recording artiste, songwriter, tv presenter, model
Years active 2005-2015
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Title Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) 2007

Munachi Abii (born Munachi Gail Teresa Abii Nwankwo, 5 November 1987) is a Nigerian rap / hip-hop artist, songwriter, pageant winner, television presenter and model who performs under the name Muna.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born and raised in Port Harcourt, Owerri-native Muna was encouraged by her family to pursue her passion for music and arts. After obtaining her O'Level qualifications from Federal Government Girls College Abuloma, she studied International relations and Diplomacy at the Benson Idahosa University.[2] She has since graduated, and served as a youth corper in Rivers State.

Pageants[edit]

Muna celebrating her birthday at Miss World 2007 in China

During her second year at University in 2007, Muna won the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant.[3] Her platform as reigning queen was Polio and Sickle cell Awareness,[4] and she represented Nigeria at Miss World in China later that year.[5] In 2009, Muna worked with MBGN 2000 winner Matilda Kerry on a project to raise awareness on cervical cancer.[6]

Music career[edit]

Prior to winning MBGN, Muna had performed as part of Port Harcourt-based rap group The Specimen A,[7] and collaborated with Terry da Rapman on the critically acclaimed My PH Girl. Contrary to popular belief, Muna did not start her music career with rap group Ijaw Boyz, although she did perform with them as a guest artist.[8] As a solo rapper, she performed as Babyrella before changing her stage name to Muna,[6] and as a songwriter, she has written songs for artistes such as J Martins and Waje, and has also appeared in several music videos, most notably in P Square's "Ifunanya".[8]

In June 2010, after years of collaborating with various artistes, Muna signed a multi-year management contract with Ayo Shonaiya's RMG company[9] and started working on her debut album The Goddess, The Hustler,[10][11] which will include the singles I Feel Real, and Killer Queen.[12][13] Muna continues to collaborate with other hip hop artistes; in early 2011, she wrote the lyrics and featured on Waje's hit single So Inspired[citation needed] and also appeared in rapper Suspect's video for I No Send You.[14]

Muna was one of the female rappers to feature and represent Nigeria on the globally televised BET Cypher[15] for the BET Awards in 2011, and in April 2012, Muna released two singles Here To Stay and Down Down Low.[16]

Feud with Mode 9[edit]

In April 2012, Muna was involved in a war of words controversy with veteran Nigerian rapper Mode 9 when, as the host of the Nokia-sponsored rap competition Don't Break the Beat, she disagreed with judge Mode 9's comments. This sparked off a major argument which resulted in Muna snapping at him to "Pass the mic", a phrase that has since become associated with both artistes'. The incident became a national topic of discussion when the video[17] of the exchange went viral on YouTube and the majority of the country took to Twitter, blogs and social media sites to berate Muna. Calls for her to publicly apologise to Mode 9 rang out while she was apparently on a flight to Dubai and was not in contact with anyone. This led to many people thinking there was going to be a public beef and diss tracks coming from both artistes. Instead, a press release was released to the public by Muna's business manager and label boss Ayo Shonaiya which infuriated the public more by attacking the people throwing insults and sending death threats to Muna on Twitter, calling them "gossip junkies".[18] The letter also quickly moved to kill any thought of diss tracks and war between Muna and Mode 9, but continued to infuriate the public more for its seemingly condescending tone.

Muna, after eventually connecting online in Dubai called Mode 9 on the phone and also Tweeted an apology to him publicly. On 31 May 2012, at the popular Lagos midweek concert event "Industry Nite" (which was celebrating Muna's two new rap singles), and with Mode 9 and Ayo Shonaiya standing side by side in the crowd, Muna called up Mode 9 and both rappers hugged and performed a freestyle version of Notorious B.I.G.'s "Juicy".[19]

Other work[edit]

In 2011, Muna signed an endorsement deal with Unilever as a model for Lux and currently features in commercials for the brand, following in the footsteps of Patti Boulaye and Genevieve Nnaji.[20]

In April 2011, after shooting the video for her feature on Michael Word's Pop Sugar, she co-presented the television series Malta Guinness Street Dance Africa.[citation needed] Muna also presented the Mr Nigeria Pageant and in 2012, The Nokia Don't Break The Beat[21] multi-city Rap Battle contest.

References[edit]

External links[edit]