BEVERLY HILLS, December 18, (THEWILL) – The arrest of fast-rising musician, Omah Stanley Didia aka Omah Lay and Temilade Openiyi, known as Tems, in Uganda last week was surprising to many. According to police authorities, both singers were charged to court for flouting COVID-19 rules and regulations for performing in an “authorised concert”. However, what rankled many people was that the Ugandan police were responsible for providing security for the event that was tagged “unauthorised”. The arrest of the musicians sparked outrage both from fellow Nigerian musicians and other Nigerians. Eventually, the charges against the musicians were dropped and the singers are now home.
During their two-day stay in police custody, it was reported that popular Ugandan musician, Bebe Cool, had taken to his Twitter handle earlier, warning against holding the event which will feature the two Nigerians as he stated that it was “disrespectful” to Ugandan artistes who are “broke and struggling with their careers”.
According to Bebe Cool, Ugandan artistes should be considered for the concert and not foreigners. Although Bebe Cool deleted this tweet but another Ugandan singer, Cinderella Sanyu, was to emphasize the message of her colleague – Bebe Cool as she called Omah Lay an “idiot” for performing in a crowded concert in Ugandan while many of her colleagues were starving.
So, it appears that the reason why Omay Lay was “treated like a criminal” as he narrated his ordeal after he got home was not because he flouted COVID-19 rules but because he had a show that was supposed to profit a Ugandan musician.
Ugandan musician turned politician, Bobbi Wine, could testify that the musician was not arrested for Covid-19 regulations as he got a boarding pass from the Ugandan government.
However, just like the treatment Omah Lay and Tems received in Uganda, many Nigerian musicians have suffered the same treatment – the attack of fellow African musicians and the first on the list is former Mavins First Lady, Tiwa Savage. Arguably, Tiwa leads the pack when it comes to who is number one in the women category until she got married, gave birth and Yemi Alade packed her “Ferrari”. She has since gone back to her spot as “Africa’s number one bad girl” but that position is a position that comes with lots of envy. Many entertainment enthusiasts will vividly remember Kiss Daniel’s “F..ck you” challenge. Every musician did the challenge from different points of view. Popular musician and activist, Ruggedman, used the challenge to talk about police brutality and extra-judicial killings. This was even before the conception of the #EndSARS protest. However, for Kenya musician, Victoria Kimani, instead of using the avenue for discussing other issues, she used it to attack Tiwa Savage by calling her a whore. She deviated from the script.
Many will not easily forget the fight between two-times Grammy award nominee, Burna-Boy and South African rapper, AKA. During the last AFCON between Nigeria and South Africa which Nigeria won by 2 goals to 1. South African rapper AKA, had taken to his Twitter handle lamenting the loss saying that if the South Africans had lost to some other teams it could have been better but not to Nigeria, It was not too long before South Africans started attacking Nigerians living in South Africa but this was not to say that the tweet of the South African rapper spurred the xenophobic attack. However, Burna Boy and AKA could draw their swords over the issue as the Nigerian singer vowed never to come to South Africa again due to the attack and the South African gave him the middle finger.
Let’s not even forget that the killers of Lucky Dube allegedly killed him because they thought he was a Nigerian.
The recent visit of American rapper, Cardi B, to both Nigeria and Ghana put the West African continent on the edge as it almost became a competition on which African country the American rapper will adopt. At the end of the day, what was supposed to be a friendly visit became sour as some Ghanaian creatives accused Cardi B of ignoring their meet and greet. This made Nigeria to “carry the day” as Nigerian creatives had a nice time with the rapper but again, many Ghanaians were never satisfied with this “victory”.
Despite the many travails that some Nigerian musicians have faced, they have continued to soar higher than their peers in other African countries as many of them will always like to feature Nigerian artistes to make their songs gain more popularity and acceptance among music-loving Nigerians. Kenyan music group, Sauti Sol, has featured music stars like 2Baba, Yemi Alade, Tiwa Savage and Patoranking in their songs. Tanzanian musician, Diamond Platnumz, has also done the same thing. Even legendary Awilo Longomba featured Tiwa Savage in his music. The list is endless.
This explains why other African artistes will love to hate Nigerian creatives as a country that has an array of music stars like 2Baba, Dbanj. Don Jazzy, Whizkid, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Burna Boy, Patoranking, the list is endless. This is not so in many other countries and although many would like to envy, one can’t deny that these arrays of music stars have put the country on a global map making Nigeria part of the global tribe. This is the reason why their influence aided the just ended #EndSARS protest and their call for the release of their colleagues detained in Uganda. Three gbosas for Nigerian musicians.