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By Ehi Braimah
(Braimah is a public relations and marketing strategist based in Lagos)
VANGUARD Nigeria. Saturday, March 23, 2019
Nigeria's music culture ignites fire from Lagos to Accra, Nairobi, Dubai,
Johannesburg, Cape Town, London, Toronto, Houston and Atlanta
On election day for governors in 29 States and State Houses of Assembly seats on Saturday March 9, 2019, my family and I were having a late breakfast at about noon and Trace Naija, the popular music channel on DSTV, was on and featuring songs by top Nigerian artistes.
Then I popped this question to no one in particular: who is your favourite Nigerian music artiste and why? My daughter, a keen music follower with her eyes on media arts as a possible future vocation, answered me and announced Wizkid and Davido because of the lyrics, beat, tempo and rhythms of their songs. Wow, I exclaimed! She explained further that their songs are popular and relate well with a youthful audience.
From Lagos to Accra, Nairobi, Dubai, Johannesburg, Cape Town, London, Toronto, Houston and Atlanta, just to name a few places, Nigerian music, sometimes branded as Naija music, has created a new culture of entertainment, excitement and enjoyment as popular dance hall music in those places. Be it a bar, nightclub, lounge or restaurant, music lovers gyrate to the beat coming out of the sound monitors that are recognised and celebrated as Nigerian music.
Two years ago in Nairobi, my host Uche and I visited Club 40/40, Kiza Lounge and Black Diamond where 'Naija' pop music is played steadily. I had the same experience in Atlanta, USA, last October when Ernest, Ralph and I visited Sage restaurant, Little Lagos restaurant, Buckhead Loft, Whiskey Mistress and Regent Lounge.
I'm told that new lounges and restaurants such as Blue Lagoon and Ace also celebrate Nigerian music by Wizkid, Davido, Run Town, Olamide, Tekno, Burna Boy and so on. The effect is usually spontaneous – you just get up and begin to shake your body without any prompting to the unmistakable beats in the songs. The beats give the songs a unique Nigerian identity - a product exported from Nigeria.
When Dr. Reuben Abati interrogated this subject about 10 years ago in the Guardian as the newspaper's editorial board chair and columnist, he wrote that the lyrics in the music by most Nigerian artistes were meaningless and disgusting. The reactions from different quarters, especially the music industry, were swift and defiant and the matter became highly controversial at the time.
The artistes and their promoters fought back vehemently, challenging Dr Abati to a dwell in the court of public opinion and he had to publish countless rejoinders on the matter. Between then and now, the successes of our pop music stars have been remarkable and their achievements profound, thereby earning recognition globally.
Even if you do not agree with content and messaging strategy of the lyrics, the fact remains that the music produced is very popular, enjoyable and hilarious to the music consumer, and very danceable, too. There was a gap our artistes identified which they filled and the result was the big bang effect - they suddenly became popular and began to make waves, and they have never looked back since then.
Popularity and celebrity status varies among the music stars. Fame, which usually comes with a price, may come too early for some of our rising and well established stars, and when there is no consistency in their respective musical repertoire or when the successes achieved are not properly managed, it could spell trouble and declining fortunes may set in.
Stardom means experiencing a new world of bling bling, living in luxurious homes, making significant fashion statements, driving exotic cars and hiring private jets. For the male folks, women are never in short supply; being super stars actually means living life to the fullest. As the discussions continued over the late breakfast, my daughter revealed a Vanguard newspaper story where Mark Dayton, governor of Minnesota in the United States of America, declared October 6 every year as Wizkid Day. That's truly a big deal. It is remarkable.
~Vanguard Nigeria. Friday, December 2, 2016.
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who is set to stand down next year after 38 years in power, is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.
The continent is home to many men who have held office for two decades or more, and dos Santos is currently second overall, just a month behind Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea.
Here is a rundown:
– African leaders for more than 30 years –
– In tiny, oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, President Obiang is Africa’s longest-serving leader, at 37 years.
Obiang came to power in a coup on August 3, 1979, ousting his own uncle, Francisco Macias Nguema, who was shot by a firing squad.
– Dos Santos is next in Angola, having taken up his post on September 21, 1979.
– Robert Mugabe, 92, rounds out the podium at number three, having run Zimbabwe since its independence in April 1980.
Mugabe is the only leader to have ruled since independence, and has now been either prime minister or president (since 1987) for more than 36 years.
– In Cameroon, Paul Biya has 34 years under his belt. He became president on November 6, 1982 after serving seven years as prime minister.
– Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso has spent 32 years in office, but not in one go. He first served from 1979 to 1992 and then came back to run the country in 1997 at the end of a civil war.
Sassou Nguesso was re-elected in March 2016 and could run again when the current term expires.
– In Uganda, Yoweri Museveni has been in power for more than 30 years. He took office in January 1986 after winning the war that ousted Idi Amin Dada, with help from neighbouring Tanzania.
He was elected to a fifth term in February 2016 amid allegations of fraud.
– King Mswati III of Swaziland is Africa’s last absolute monarch. He acceded to the throne of the tiny southern kingdom in April 1986.
– In power for more than 20 years –
– In Sudan, Omar al-Bashir has ruled for 27 years since he staged a successful coup in June 1989.
– Chad’s leader Idriss Deby took over the north-central African nation in December 1990, giving him 26 years in power. Deby won a disputed fifth term in April 2016.
– Eritrea’s head of state Issayas Afewerki has been around since 1993.
– Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh has ruled for 22 years since he staged a coup in July 1994. However, he was defeated by opposition leader Adama Barrow, failing to get a fifth five-year term in Thursday’s election.
My name is Harriet
Namayengo, I’m 40 years old and I come from Lugazi, Uganda.
I’m a married
lady but with no children. I've written
this letter to fans of this page to share with you my pain that I’ve
always lived with. It’s pain of childlessness that was inflicted upon
me by my heartless co-wife. It all happened 12 years ago. I had just
completed my Nursing course and I was working in one of the missionary
hospitals in Uganda.
While still at school, I
fell in love with James, a medical officer in Eastern Uganda. James
was such a nice man that he always visited me at school and showered me
with so many presents. This honestly convinced me that he was
single as he had told me. While in my last year at the Nursing school, I
got pregnant and so James arranged for our wedding, I had already been
assured a job at the hospital, he decided to put me in his house
The shock of my life
however came shortly after I gave birth to my baby gal. It was then that
James disclosed to me that he was so excited coz I had finally given
him a baby gal since he had 5 sons. I was surprised and when I told him
to repeat what he had said; he apologized and said it was a
mistake. I could see it in his eyes that he was hiding something
from me so I probed him further. This is when he told me that he was
actually married and had a wife with 5 sons. I was disappointed
but confused since I loved James so much.