Victor Essiet & The Mandators
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Victor Essiet & The Mandators

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The best kept secret in music


"Reggae Superstar Returns To Baton Rouge"

Carrying the message of One Love, One World, Nigerian reggae sensation, Victor Essiet returns to Baton Rouge.
After seeking political asylum from Nigeria in 1998 the reggae musician moved to Los Angeles wher he released "Power Of The People", a compilation album of his hits throughout Africa. Through Mystic Records Essiet then recorded a second album, "Crucial" which earned him the Best New Entertainer Award in 1999 from the International Reggae and World Music Awards in Atlanta. - By Rebecca Breeden For The Advocate

"Nigerian Reggae Star Records"

Nigerian Reggae superstar, Victor Essiet, recently released his long awaited new studio CD, One Love, One World. It boasts the talents of Jamaican Grammy-winning duo, Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare, whose creative fusion is respected and sought after by artists of every musical genre. The albums 18 tracks include two infectious Marley covers, Dem Belly Full and Mi Friends (Duppy Conqueror), in riveting, respectful and revelatory new versions.
"You have to be really good to cover Marley tracks," said reggae historian Roger Steffens, upon hearing the songs, "and Victor nails them beautifully." Conscious party's bouncy, catchy beat will definitely keep the party rockin, while care reflects the spirituality of the artist. - Jamaican Observer


The much anticipated homecoming of the Mandators, one of the greatest reggae groups ever produced by Nigeria, is now a reality. The group led by sensational singer, Victor Essiet, will touch down in Lagos on November 11th, 2006 and this is authoritative.
The seventeen member entourage departs Los Angeles California on November 10 and will arrive at Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, via Paris. On the entourage will be Mr. Roger Steffans, the acclaimed biographer of the legendary Bob Marley. Also on the team are three international journalists, chronicling the activities of the great reggae singer and philosopher who is flying the flag of Africa renaissance around the world.
The Mandators homecoming is part of the groups "One Love, One World" world tour. The group will continue on to South Africa, Ghana, Europe & Haiti.
The Mandators playing alongside several other Nigerian artistes are billed to thrill Lagos fans with a scintillating performance at the ultra modern Planet One, Maryland on Sunday, November 19, 2006. The show which is expected to be a family extravaganza, will also be used to officially present The Mandators current album, "One Love, One World" produced by the multiple Grammy Award winning duo of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare.
- Vanguard Entertainment

"Thrill, Frills At The Mandators Homecoming"

After 12 years of Musical sojourn in the United States, Mandators' Victor Essiet has proved to his home fans that he a still the "master bubbler."
Last Sunday at Planet One, Maryland, Ikeja, Lagos, Victor was on top of his beat as he thrilled a select audience of music lovers to a scintillating ryythm of reggae vibes. Leading a 17 member band comprising Americans, Chinese and other foreign nationals, Victor performed his old and new numbers in a concert tagged "One Love, One World."
Opening with a reggae version of the national anthem, Victor throughout the show, exuded energy and vigour as he bounced all over the stage crooning and wailing like a possessed soul.
The Madators homecoming show was part the groups "One Love, One World" tour that has taken it to Jamaica, Canada and major cities across America, including Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Florida and New York.
A family extravaganza, the show was also used to officially present the Mandators current album, "One Love, One World" produced by multiple Grammy Award winning duo Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare.
- The Daily Sun November 25, 2006


Sunrise / Imagination / Crisis / Rat Race / Rebel / Storm / Power Of The People@ Heartbeat Records/ Crucial @ Mystic Records USA / One Love, One World @ Mystic Records USA. One Love, One World is the latest from Victor Essiet & The Mandators including hit singles, Conscious Party, Inflation & Get Up, Stand Up


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Mandators, led by the charismatic Victor Essiet, have long been one of Nigeria's best kept secrets. Thrilling stadium crowds of over 80,000 people, their performances are legendary. Add to that, several releases in Africa and the massive LP, "Crisis ," which went platinum for sales beyond half a million, and it is clearly evident that they are poised for success here in the United States.

The name "Mandators" has its origin in the days of Victor's youth. As he explains, "The name Mandators came to me when I was just a boy, through divine inspiration. I didn't understand what it meant at the time. But now I know that Jah was mandating love and justice through music."

Growing up in Africa, Victor's early childhood was no indication of the hardships he would have to face as a young boy on the road to manhood. Prior to the civil war and Victor's birth, his father was very prosperous and though not a musician, he had a great love for and was an active supporter of the arts. He would sponsor local musicians, sending them to school, as was as sponsoring and participating in local dance ceremonies. His father's love extended beyond traditional music and included modern European music and British ballroom dancing as well. Victor's family also participated in daily Christian hymnal singing, led by his mother. It was in the creative surrounding that Victor entered the world.

As the civil war escalated and his father's financial status began to deteriorate, Victor could not directly benefit from his father's support of the arts. Towards the war's end, its repercussions of affliction took its toll on Victor's family, resulting in the death of his uncle and sister, and, due to government policy, the seizing of all his father's assets, leaving the family in financial ruin. In 1972, tragedy struck again when his father became seriously ill, and a car accident took the life of his mother. With the family in total disarray and without anyone to look after him, the need for survival took over and Victor strived to stay alive.

Victor's journeys took him to a variety of odd jobs that didn't allow him the means to survive, so he decided to look for household work. Through talking with a Naval officer in the town of Calabar, Victor was taken to Lagos and began working for a Naval officer there. While working for this officer, Victor asked for permission to take some time off to attend school. The officer agreed and with his small wages, Victor paid his own way to attend school. It was at school, that Victor was able to strengthen his natural music talents and follow his desire to grow as a musician.

Spending his high school years in Lagos, Victor bought a guitar so that he could arrange his own songs exactly the way he heard them in his head. His early influences included Ken Lazarus, Jimmy Cliff and inevitably, Bob Marley. As Victor states; "Bob brought a lot of changes, because when Bob's music came out, the music that came into Africa was the African kind of rhythm, the reggae music that has a lot of African roots. So when it came to Africa, that made a lot of difference."

Victor's dedication and perseverance paid off in 1979, when someone he knew, financially backed him to record the Mandators' first album, "Sunrise." Three years later, the Mandators released "Imagination," an album for which he toured, with a then unknown guitarist named Majek Fashek. After a three year hiatus, the Mandators released "Crisis," which swept the country like wildfire. Released on Polygram/Nigeria label, it was one of the first big commercial hits for African Reggae in Nigeria. Following "Crisis," the Mandators recorded three more records: "Rat Race," "Rebel" and "Storm." It is the highlights from these three albums that comprised their first US release in 1994 (Heartbeat Records), "Power of the People: Nigerian Reggae," which was followed by "Crucial" in 1998 (Mystic Records) the group's first American produced CD and the second U.S. release.