Before you sing that song…



Some months back, we were told that Nigeria’s economy has improved tremendously. Facts revealed to the government were that money coming into the country comes from the sale of Nigerian films and music. This means that the world is seriously watching Nigeria through our films and music and if we must promote our culture and life style, then do we have to sell ourselves as a replicate of the American sex driven society? Making and selling sex based films and music video is a quick way of making money. Because people tend to buy video clips with naked dancing girls, Nigerian musicians are using this to their advantage. They do not care about carving a niche for themselves in the music world; instead their aim is to become millionaires by simply parading naked girls while they sing songs that do not make sense. One may not blame them.
Musicians such as Psquare with their recent song “This is my Testimony” exhibits riches acquired by the twins as a result of their singing. Also Chindima, Wizkid, Davido, 2Face, African China, Banky W., and others are making songs that feature music as a quick money making venture. To these musicians, life couldn’t be better without holding a microphone to sing choruses that borders on how to make and enjoy money. What about promoting education, peace, honesty and agriculture (as seen in D’Banj’s “Cocoa na Chocolate”). What about promoting our culture, which Flavor did with his “Ada Ada”?  What about cautioning young men on the evil effect of playing a heartless Casanova as portrayed by Yemi Alade in her funny but sincere hit song “Johnny”?
Before Nigerian musicians sing that song, they should take cognizance of the fact that children, teenagers and young adults are their largest fans and also their market base. With this knowledge, they (Nigerian musicians) should be mindful of what they sing about and at the same time, promote good African values rather than put up acts that would instigate sexual immorality. Secondly, the Nigerian music association should henceforth preview and censor musical clips before they are released out to the public. Unless we do not want “double wahala for dead body…” (sang by late Fela), Nigerians must put a stop to the proliferation of x-rated music videos. Our youths should be re-educated about the values of working hard and getting paid the honest way rather than seeking crude ways of getting rich quick. I would like to see a situation where no one would “…tell me nonsense” (D’ Banj) when I say “my name is Emabong…and I come from Akwa Ibom…” (Emabong).
Other songs with their music dramas that are really unpleasant and outright damaging to Nigeria’s reputation as the giant of Africa. The song that takes the number one spot is that by Timaya collaborated by the American singer Sean Paul. When I first watch the video clip “bum bum”, I was shocked and horrified by the nudity featured in the music. Girls with big bums wore only g-strings, rolling their naked bums to the beat of the music. Their faces were not shown, which is an inclination that the girls were not totally down with the nudity of the video clip. Imagine children watching and singing the lyrics of this song!
There are however other songs that are people centred: D,Banj’s latest song “Cocoa na chocolate” is on everyone’s lips as well as taking the top spot in the African music chart. It is not just a song to sing but one that makes political as well as economic statement. D, Banj’s collaboration with other African musicians to promote agriculture, shows that Africans can do things peacefully, without the intervention of the Whiteman. I applaud this song because it tells us that we can make much money from farming and processing Cocoa instead of relying on revenue from crude oil as well as other mineral resources. Another song which promotes positivity is “Surulere” by Don Jazzy and Dr. Sid. This song with a wonderfully acted video drama, tells the story of a man who has decided to stay with his wife after many years of barrenness. Despite all the schemes carried out by his mother (Funke Akindele), the man would not budge believing only to be patient and to wait for God’s intervention.
These songs are based on realistic happenings in a true African setting and they also let us know that having hope during and after “entering a dark tunnel” can be what we all need to stay focus. Another good music video is that by “Flavour” whose “Black is beautiful” compliments the virtues of the African race. “Aye” by Davido could not escape the eye of Black Entertainment Television; the beauty in filming his video in a rustic village, showing the love of farming amidst loving the king’s fiancee, exemplifies true love, virtues and hope. This video wowed American audience so much that Davido was awarded the best African music act. Of course a gift of a Ferrari car (one of the world’s most expensive cars), would not be refused by a true Naija woman but Davido created a love story that instigates positivity.