Ezigbo Nwata Nwanyi: The Mix Tape

If you grew up in the 90s/early 2000s you should be familiar with cassette tapes. Specifically, the art of dubbing.

You know, when you heard that song on the radio that you loved and you’d quickly get a new or used cassette tape, put it into the slot for the recordable cassette tape and then hit record?

If you were lucky, the radio DJ would not put some annoying sound byte in the middle of the song like “Suuuuuuuuuuuun FM!” or “DJ fire power on the mix” so that when you are playing it for your crew, it would look like you got the original.

For those of you that mistakenly (or purposely) used your siblings or parents’ cassette tapes only to be dealt with later, a moment of silence for the scars on your bum…

Other than looking like a complete badass to your homies, another purpose that the mix tapes served was wooing. Dub some love songs onto a tape and deliver it to a girl, and she would be eating out of the palm of your hands.

I witnessed cousins who dubbed mixtapes for girls. I loved music so I was always around for such things but I never thought I would get my own and one day, I did.

The tape came and it had three songs on it:
Boys II Men’s “On Bended Knees” – shege! I couldn’t believe it. This song that got mimed in secondary school to the prettiest girls, someone dubbed for me!
Celine Dion’s “Dreamin’ of You” – one of my favourite Celine Dion songs. The young man was paying attention.
Celine Dion’s “I love you” – This was the one that killed me. I spent many moons waiting for a guy to woo me and when it rained, it poured.

People say scents can be linked to memories, so can music. Till this day, whenever I hear Celine Dion’s “I love you”, I think of the guy who sent me that mix tape. I don’t know where he is or what he is doing, but I will never forget how that song made me feel.


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