The 29th of April was a beautiful day for the media, as all eyes were watching Catherine and Williams’s royal wedding in West Minister Abbey, London. This also translated to one thing, that new media along with all other media outlets such as traditional news broadcast stations would be having an outright buzz. I knew that for certain so I made a trip to some of my good old websites and blogs. There was a lot of coverage on the new royal weds, and Bella Naija wasn’t left out of the excitement but on this same day there was a plea, an explanation, a call to action and the announcement of a petition/campaign which had been set up in honour of Ukeoma AikFavour and Obinna Okpokiri who lost their lives, along with other Nigerian Youth Corp members in the wake of another brutal post-election violence in some northern states in Nigeria.
‘...The government has promised compensation for the families of those like but this is not enough. Their deaths should not be in vain – it should lead a fundamental change in the way that the youth corps scheme is implemented… please read the rest of this call HERE
In as little words as possible, this is a heart wrenching story of southern ‘coppers’ who had been killed in the wake of the northern crisis that erupted as a northern favourite presidential candidate Buhari lost the elections. You can get all the full gist of this very sad story here, here and here.
After reading this story I thought to myself to continue having a look around the website, and this brought me to Dare Alade’s new video, below:
This was posted just the day before but I was just getting to see it. I looked through the comments section of the post and there was the general feeling that some people liked it and others didn’t but one comment struck a nerve in my body:
Faith: “not feeling it at alll….with wat is happenin in d north now….anyway great video with yee song….”
As light hearted as this person tried to sound it was a painful but brutally honest wake up call to the frailty of our southerner and northern Nigerian unity. It mirrors a sentiment expressed by the Igbos’ from eastern Nigeria about sentiments of northern Nigeria pre-the 1970’s Nigerian civil war. And now again we have an unknown, possibly Nigerian, person (faith) echoing how the language and outfit in a pop song reignited a sadness now associated with an entire geo- political zone. To get a fairer perspective there were others who on this same blog responded with the exact opposite sentiments that ‘faith’ expressed, however I am not concerned about these lot in this piece of writing, I am worried about the hundreds and thousands of ‘faith’ who are out there harbouring such underlining feelings.
I cannot avoid writing about the release of Darey’s music video for Ba Ni Kidi, during this sensitive period when southerners have been murdered in a crisis that was tied to location been the Islamic north, with the common language spoken there been Hausa. I do not know if I will be taking it a step too far when I say that Darey’s video was released at a very wrong time, at least to ‘southerns’ who haven’t healed from the news of such brutal deaths.
I do not claim to understand the sentiment of what that person was trying to say about the connection with the language of Darey’s video and their own hurting feelings but I can see a pattern breeding, one that Nigeria needs to stop now before it leads to another crisis. The pattern is hatred and it’s on my face book, different blogs and social network sites where people are not even hiding the fact that they dislike an entire region of their country. I’m sorry Dare if your video arouses a sentiment of dislike amongst some individuals but your PR team should have been more vigilant before the release.
When the American movie Confessions of a Shopaholic was released in 2009 during the height of the global recession, it wasn’t your box office success story. Not because it wasn’t a good scripted movie but the timing was just wrong and people refused to identify with the trailer let alone watch the movie. Several asked why the movie producers were insensitive to the financial difficulties for families and individuals at the time of this movie coming out.
It is not my intention to flaw Darey’s creativity in his new video, it is my intention to explain why certain individuals will feel hurt enough to state that Darey’s use of the Hausa language, his insinuations and parts of his outfit in his new video was very offensive at a time where people are been butchered in the region that Darey choose to represent in this video.
I hope in future the Nigeria music scene will be more sensitive to the atmosphere in which it appeals to and we all realise that as the industry grows the arts and social issues will always cross parts and this may not always be the friendliest meeting.
Finally and most importantly my pray goes out to the families of all who lost a love one in the crisis or were displaced or injured as a result of the violence.