Humans of UK: Dubem Anikamadu overcomes hurdles to pursue music


Travis Fannon

Dubem Anikamadu poses for a portrait on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, at The Gatton Student Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff

Jemi Chew, Reporter

Life took a very different turn for Dubem Anikamadu, a senior majoring in public health, when he tore his Achilles tendon.

Before his injury, Anikamadu had been running since his freshman year of high school. He was doing well in his athletic career and joined UK as a track and field athlete.

“It was always something I loved, because honestly, even though it’s individual and a team sport, my team was winning in high school, and individually, I was having successful years,” Anikamadu said. “And obviously it got me to Kentucky, and I enjoyed my teammates and all those things.”

He described tearing his Achilles as an eye-opening and humbling experience that has led him to his current passion – music.

“Looking back, I really never thought I would be able to walk or work out again or be my normal self,” Anikamadu said. “I’m happy where I’m at now, obviously, because it wouldn’t have gotten me into music again.”

A self-taught musician, Anikamadu started to learn how to write, produce and engineer his own music in his dorm room after tearing his Achilles. Soon, what started as a means to cure boredom became a search for talent, whether it came in the form of singers, rappers, instrumentalists, photographers, digital designers or basically anyone who could contribute to his project: the Creative Collective Club.

He said that since the club was just recently approved, it is still small, boasting 15 students. However, Anikamadu has big plans for the group.

“We’re still building on it, we’re still searching for those people to reach our goal of mostly just having a diverse population,” he said.

To find talent, Anikamadu talks to anyone he sees, even though he said he gets shot down 90 percent of the time. His passion for music and creating music keeps him going. It could have been an individual pursuit, but Anikamadu said he wanted to push himself beyond his comfort zone and have the opportunity to expand his skill set.

“As I’m working on my own music, I’m building the skill set I need to work on other people’s music. So now that I’m expanding further than not just my music, but other people’s music, it allows me to be more versatile and allows me to work with more genres,” Anikamadu said.

Though he is a senior, Anikamadu still plans to continue to be involved with the Creative Collective Club after he graduates and will offer his own personal resources such as recording and studio equipment.

As for right now, graduation is his priority.

“I’m focused on graduation right now. It’s been a rough couple of years in terms of injury and stuff, so I’m just glad I’m graduating,” he said.