Late Irikefee Esosa Aka Kefee: Life and Times Of The Gospel Singer

She was born Irikefee Obareke to the family of Deacon and Mrs. Andrew Obareki in Sapele, Delta State. She began her journey in music at the early age of 8 in the children choir and afterwards joined the adult choir at age 15, three years later, she was made the Choir Director.

The Choir under Kefee’s headship released a couple of albums which Kefee led the vocals.
Unknown to many, the songbird, whom we all now know as Kefee is a graduate of Public Administration from the prestigious University of Benin, Edo State; but before her admission, she had written more than 20 songs ready for promotion.

A prolific song writer, a skilled dancer and a passionate singer, Kefee alongside her close friend released their first album titled TRIP in the year 2000 which was a success and eventually earned them top shows where they shared stage with the then reigning artistes like, Tony Tetuila, Plantation boizs and a host of others.

The album gained recognition in outside campus as the videos where the talk of the town in Benin, being the first female group to break off from the usual approach, but the two friends parted after school, Kefee did not give up in her first love, music. In December 2003 she signed on with Alec Music owned by Alec Godwin who eventually became her husband and released her first solo album as a female artiste.

Kefee’s “BRANAMA” sold nine thousand audio cassettes in just three weeks of the album release and over two million copies of CDs/VCDs in a month. She became the hottest Nigerian female artiste and won a number of awards. Kefee’s fan base increased all over Africa and also on the international scene, she was invited to perform in London and other parts of Europe and America.

Kefee’s first album was a huge success which had her fans eagerly anticipating for her second album titled “BRANAMA 2″.Her sophomore album was just as terrific as her first and also got her the respect of other well known Nigerian Artiste who worked with her in the album. Ever since, Kefee had been trailblazing in her chosen career.

She is the founder, CEO of BRANAMA AFRIQUE. An entertainment outfit known for excellent production, established in 2007. The company is responsible for the production, promotion and the entire packaging of Kefee’s works. In all, one thing stood Kefee out amongst other female musicians aside her talent; she concentrated solemnly on Gospel music and helped redefine the industry which can boast of several practitioners today.


Unknown to many, growing up, Kefee was surrounded with controversies. One of the biggest controversy that trailed her was her illicit affair with her Choir mate and Choir Master, Alec Godwin. At that early age, she became a major topic for discussion among her peers and fellow youths. The youths in the Church were said to have gossiped about her alleged rough lifestyle even as the daughter of a Deacon.

Her relationship with Godwin allegedly resulted into an early pregnancy which we heard was later aborted.


Like a Phoenix, Kefee stood out among her contemporaries but not without some challenges as well. Her first marriage to Alec Godwin, a Choir Master during her days as a Choir Mistress in the Church can simply be described as ‘gallopy’. The marriage was shrouded in allegations of infidelity and battery. After several attempts to save the marriage, it eventually ended amidst controversy.


Before the end of her first marriage, her ex-husband, Alec Godwin had accused her of cheating on him with her friends and shortly after her first marriage crumbled, Kefee without any heart feelings entered into a relationship with her ex-husband’s friend, Teddy Esosa Don Momoh. 

The rumour was being discussed in hush tones until it became a reality when they both wedded secretly in 2012. Kefee seemed happy with Teddy that she sang his praises amongst her friends and opened up to them that she was indeed enjoying her second marriage. Even in death Teddy stood by and she reportedly breathed her last in his arms.


The soul lifting singer reportedly fell into a coma inside a flight to Chicago in the United States of America, where she was making videos amongst other things. The plane was reportedly forced to make an emergency landing and she was eventually rushed into the Intensive Care Unit of an hospital in Los Angeles. For 15 days, Kefee battled with death. An eye witness account states that she struggled to live but bowed out in death at the early hours of Friday, June 13, 2014 at Desert Springs Hospital in Las Vegas NV, when her heartbeat stopped naturally.


The news of Kefee’s death was first announced to the Nigerian community in Las Vegas, by the president of the Nigerian Association, Mr. Festus Ebonka.

He appealed to all well meaning Nigerians to help the family take the remains of the Kokoroko crooner back home as at that time, her Husband was said to be devastated and not ready to speak.

Shortly after social media went on fire with outpour of condolences from friends, colleagues and her fans.


Kefee, according to her mother, Mrs. Obareki, at a celebrity show organised for mothers in 2012, reportedly went into coma when she was a child and did not wake up until after six days. 

In her recollection of the trials and tribulations of the past, which combined to make Kefee a strong personality and a musical force, the older Obareki recalled that she went through a lot raising the late singer and her other siblings.

“Kefee almost lost her life years back while growing up. As a devout Christian, the family was to fast every Friday. Then, one day, Kefee slumped and was unconscious for six days,” she recalled.

Considering the fact that she had lost a child before, Mrs. Obareki could not bear the pain of losing another one, and definitely not Kefee. 

“I would roll on the ground, crying and praying that God should restore my child to good health,” Mrs. Obareki told Supermom Celebrity Show.


Kefee and Teddy had previously obtained diplomas in filmmaking from the U.S. and had started off on some projects together. No doubt, one of her biggest dreams which she would have seen come to pass was to develop her career in film making. According to a friend of hers, “Kefee would have loved to live her dream of becoming a film maker and cinematographer but for her untimely death”.

Kefee who got married to Teddy in 2012 was yet to bear a child, she would have loved to bear children for her husband whom she countless of times described as “beautiful”.

Her Branama Kitchen at Maryland, Lagos was still a new project, she would have also loved to see Branama Kitchen taking over from other quick service restaurants in town.

While away, Kefee was said to be working on her next album after the release of her newest single, “Dem GO Talk”, she would have also loved to witness the release of her next album which would have probably superseded her previous efforts. Those were among the unfulfilled dreams Kefee took to her early grave.


Contrary to reports in the media that she went into coma with six months pregnancy, a statement from her United Kingdom manager, Adeline Adelicious Adebayo reads, ““On behalf of the family, It is with a great sadness but grateful hearts that we announce the passing to glory due to lungs failure this morning of our God’s mouth piece, chorus leader, daughter, wife, sister, friend, Kefee, Branama Queen … 

May her beautiful, gentle and precious soul rest in perfect peace. AMEN!!! PS: In contrast to all earlier rumours and stories in circulation, I do state that Kefee wasn’t 6 months pregnant and neither did she have Pre-Eclampsia.” Take note of the corrections PLS.

Going by the statement from Adeline, it is accurate to say that Kefee wasn’t pregnant as rumoured.


Micro blogging, social media platform, twitter was on fire. Eulogies poured in endlessly from left right and center from colleagues, lovers, fans and well wishers.

As you may know, it takes a lot to trend on the twitter platform, but few minutes after the news of her death broke on social media, Kefee began to trend on twitter. But for the World Cup, it would have probably trended for the whole day.

Culled from Icon Weekly Magazine