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9 Nov 2016
Do you know that there’s a Donald Trump in every Nigerian artiste?
By: Joey Akan
We have a new leader of the free world, Donald Trump, and trust me he is just like every Nigerian artiste.
Call this article a ‘reaching’ think piece, but yes, there’s a Donald Trump in all of these artistes. Donald Trump’s campaign has been a very cunning, smart and effective one. The shrewd businessman and celebrity who is worth over $3 billion, and with zero political experience and clout, is now the 45 President of The United States of America.
And how did he do it? By identifying the fears of the white majority, and playing to them. He fed them racist fears, exposed their deep paranoia, and supported discrimination against the minorities. He dug deep into the minds of traditional white working class Americans. He offered them hope and a way to ‘get out of their situation’ by doing something that benefits his cause: electing him as a President.
Look how well that turned out!
Well, let’s draw parallels with the Nigerian music industry. Trump is a lot like the pop stars giving people the music that they need. Nigeria is such a stressful place for many people to live in. Our country is placed 156 out of 187 countries in a new UN study, which ranks countries on their education, income and life expectancy.
So yes we are in a situation, and the artistes, preach the message of happiness via the most basest of lyrics. While the opposition keeps screaming that they ‘want good music’, and we should boycott every artiste with a pop mentality, the pop artistes keep appealing to our need for respite and escapism, by providing us with a way which benefits them.
That’s classic Trump. He saw a latent need, stoked the flames and got out alright with the most prized position in the free world. Nigerian artistes do just exactly the same. That’s why ‘bum bum’ and ‘yeyeyeyeye’ music can thrive, because certain people have discovered that we have a craving for this, and they are working that need for profit.
How many times have we watched artistes with the ‘good’ message and lyrics fall flat and lose at life and their careers? How many times have we chosen to vote for that turn up party banger, than chase the artiste who provide that great vocals, lyrics, and a ‘great’ message?
These artistes that we love, respect, cherish and celebrate are all loud, walking, talking Donald Trumps, feeding us on their medicine that isn’t exactly the best and objectively sound product they can offer. What they do is stoke our need to be happy and escape from the stress, and bang! They have a good position, and our money.
They are Trumps, everyone of them, and we are the people who ensure that they get into power every day.