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|Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by aahmed112: 10:13am On Jun 23, 2009|
Thumbs up to Banky W for his very articulate reply. Reuben did raise some points but his poor research gave him away, he was K.O'ed on this one.
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by silsane(f): 11:04am On Jun 23, 2009|
A Nation's Identity Crisis
By Reuben Abati
You may not have noticed it: Nigeria is suffering from an identity crisis imposed on it in part by an emergent generation of irreverent and creative young Nigerians who are revising old norms and patterns. And for me nothing demonstrates this more frontally than the gradual change of the name of the country. When Flora Shaw, Lord Lugard's consort came up with the name, Nigeria in 1914, she meant to define the new country by the strategic importance of the Niger River. And indeed, River Niger used to be as important to this country as the Nile was/is to Egypt. We grew up as school children imagining stories about how Lugard in one special romantic moment, asked his mistress to have the honour of naming a new country in Africa. Something like: "Hello, sweetheart, what name would you rather give the new country that I am creating?"
"Let me give it a thought? , Awright, how about Ni-ge-ria darling?"
"That would do. That would do. How thoughtful, my fair lady? You are forever so dependable"
And the name stuck and it has become our history and identity. But these days, the name Nigeria is gradually being replaced by so many variants, that I am afraid a new set of Nigerians may in the immediate future not even know the correct spelling of the name of their country. For these Nigerians whose lives revolve mostly around the internet and the blogosphere, the name Nigeria has been thrown out of the window. Our dear country is now "naija" or "nija". What happened to the "-eria" that Ms Shaw must have thoughtfully included? The new referents for Nigeria are now creeping into writings, conversations, and internet discourse. I am beaten flat by the increasing re-writing of the country's name not only as naija or nija, but consider this: "9ja". Or this other name for Nigeria: "gidi". There is even a television programme that is titled "Nigerzie". In addiiton, Etisalat, a telecom company has since adopted a marketing platform that is titled: "0809ja." Such mainstreaming of these new labels is alarming.
This obviously is the age of abbreviations. The emerging young generation lacks the discipline or the patience to write complete sentences or think through a subject to its logical end. It is a generation in a hurry, it feels the constraints of space so much, it has to reduce everything to manageable, cryptic forms. This is what the e-mail and text message culture has done to the popular consciousness. Older generations of Nigerians brought up on a culture of correctness and compeleteness may never get used to the re-writing of Nigeria as "9ja". Language is mutatory, but referring to the motherland or the fatherland in slang terms may point to a certain meaninglessness or alienation. What's in a name? In Africa, names are utilitarian constructs not merely labels. Even among the Ijaw where people bear such unique names as University, Conference, FEDECO, Manager, Heineken, Education, Polo, Boyloaf, Bread, College, Summit, Aeroplane, Bicycle, Internet - there is a much deeper sense to the names. But the name Nigeria means nothing to many young Nigerians. They have no reason to respect the sanctity of the name. They don't know Flora Shaw or Lord Lugard, and even if they do, they are likely to say as Ogaga Ifowodo does in an unforgettable poem: "God Punish you, Lord Lugard." Eedris Abdulakarim summarises the concern of young Nigerians in one of his songs when he declared: "Nigeria jagajaga, everything scata, scata"
The post-modernist, deconstructive temper of emergent youth culture is even more manifest in the cynical stripping to the bones character of today's Nigerian hip-hop. It is marked by a Grunge character that shouts: non-meaning and alienation. On my way to Rutam House the other day, I listened at mid-day to a continuous stream of old musical numbers from 93.7 Radio FM. Soulful, meaningful tunes of Felix Lebarty, Chris Okotie (as he then was), Mandy Ojugbana, Christy Essien-Igbokwe, Onyeka Onwenu, Sony Okosun, Alex O, Ras Kimono, Majek Fashek, Evi Edna-Ogoli, Bongos Ikwue, Veno Marioghae, Uche Ibeto, Dora Ifudu, Mike Okri, Dizzy K. Falola, and Tina Onwudiwe. Onyeka Onwenu sang; "One love, keep us together". Veno Marioghae sang: "Nigeria Go Survive". Even in the romantic offerings like Chris Okotie's "I need someone, give me your love", or Felix Lebarty's "Ifeoma, Ifeoma, I want to marry you, give me your love" and Stella Monye's "Oko mi ye, duro ti mi o", or Tina Onwudiwe's award-winning "Asiko lo laye". there was so much meaning and polish.
This was in the 80s. That generation which sang music under its real names, not abbreviations or slangs, was continuing, after the fashion of T.S. Eliot's description of "Tradition and the Individual Talent", a pattern of meaning that dates back to traditional African musicians and all the musicians that succeeded them: S. B. Bakare, Victor Olaiya, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Dan Maraya of Jos, Osita Osadebey, Ayinla Omowura, Victor Uwaifo, Geraldo Pino, Rex Lawson, I. K. Dairo, Haruna Ishola, Yusuf Olatunji, Inyang Henshaw, Tunji Oyelana, Bobby Benson, Tunde Nightingale, and even the later ones: Shina Peters, Dele Abiodun, Y.K. Ajao, Ayinde Barrister, Kollington Ayinla, Batile Alake, Sir Warrior, Moroccco Nwa Maduko, Orlando Owoh, Salawa Abeni, KWAM I (Arabambi 1 and please include his disciples- Wasiu Alabi Pasuma et al), Oliver de Coque (Importer and Exporter, ), Ayefele, Atorise , But there has been a terrible crisis in the construction of music. The children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of these ancestors have changed the face and identity of Nigerian music. As a rule, gospel musicians, given the nature of their form, sing meaningful lyrics, but the airwaves these days have been taken over by the children of "gidi","naija", "nija", "nigerzie" and "9ja". I listen to them too, but everyday, I struggle to make meaning out of their lyrics.
Music is about sense, sound, shape and skills. But there is an on-going deficit in all other aspects except sound. So much sound is being produced in Nigeria, but there is very little sense, shape and skills. They call it hip-hop. They try to imitate Western hip pop stars. They even dress like them. The boys don't wear trousers on their waists: the new thing is called "sagging", somewhere below the waist it looks as if the trouser is about to fall off. The women are struggling to expose strategic flesh as Janet Jackson once did. The boys and the girls are cloaked in outlandish jewellery and their prime heroes are Ja-Rule, Lil'Wayne, Fat Joe, P. Diddy, 50 Cents, Ronz Brown, Chris Brown, Sean Kingston, Nas, Juelz Santana, Akon, Young Jeezy, Mike Jones, T-Pain, F.L.O-RIDA, Will.I.am, Beyonce, Rihanna, Ciara, Keri Hilson, Jay-Z, Ace hood, Rick Ross, Birdman, Busta Rhymes, Cassidy, Chamillionaire, Soulja Boy, Young Joc, Kanye West, R. Kelly, Kevin Rudolph, T.I.P-king of the South, Ludacris, Plies-The real goon, The Game, Young Rox, Flow killa, Osmosis (2 sick), Flow-ssik, Raprince, Bionic, Fabulous, Jadakiss, Nas, Swiss Beatz, Dj Khaled, Maze, Yung Buck, Maino, MoBB Deep, Lloyd Banks, Olivia, Lady Gaga, Well, God Almighty, we are in your hands.
And so the most impactful musicians in Nigeria today, the ones who rule the party include the following: D'Banj, MI, Mode Nine, Sauce kid, Naeto C, Sasha, Ikechukwu, 9ice, Bouqui, Mo'cheddah, Teeto, P-square, Don-jazzy, Wande Coal, 2-face, Faze, Black Face, Dr. Sid, D'prince, K-Switch, Timaya, Dj-Zeez, Dj Neptune, Banky w., Big bamo, Art quake, Bigiano, Durella, Eldee, Kelly Hansome, Lord of Ajasa, M.P., Terry tha rapman, Weird MC, Y.Q., Da grin, kel, Roof-top Mcs, Pype, Niga Raw, Ghetto p., Kaka, Kaha, Terry G, Ill Bliss, Zulezoo, Pipe, Dj Jimmy jatt, X-project, Konga, Gino, Morachi, Well, the Lord is God. These are Nigerian children who were given proper names by their parents. Ikechukwu bears his real name. But who are these other ones who have since abandoned their proper names? For example, 9ice's real name is Abolore Akande, (what a fine name!), Tu face (Innocent Idibia), Sauce Kid (Babalola Falemi), D'Banj (Dapo Oyebanjo), Banky w. (Bankole Willington), P-Square (Peter and Paul), MI (Jude Abaga), Timaya (Enetimi Alfred Odom), Sasha (Yetunde Alabi), Weird MC (Adesola Idowu). But why such strange names? They don't sing. They rap. Most of them don't play instruments, they use synthetic piano.
At public functions, they mime. They are not artists, they perform. They are not necessarily composers, they dance. The more terrible ones can't even sing a correct musical note. They talk. And they are all businessmen and women. They are more interested in commerce and self-advertisement, name recognition, brand extension and memory recall! They want a name that sells, not some culturally conditioned name that is tied down to culture and geography. But the strange thing is that they are so successful. Nollywood has projected Nigeria, the next big revelations are in hip hop.
Despite the identity crisis and the moral turpitude that we find in Nigeria's contemporary hip-hop, the truth is that it is a brand of music that sells. Nigeria's hip hop is bringing the country so much international recognition. All those strange names are household names across the African continent, so real is this that the phrase "collabo" is now part of the vocabulary of the new art. It speaks to an extension of frontiers. In Nigeria, it is now possible to hold a party without playing a single foreign musical track, the great grand children of Nigerian music are belting out purely danceable sounds which excites the young at heart. But the output belongs majorly to the age of meaningless and prurience. The lyrics says it all.
Rooftop MC sings for example: "Ori mi wu o, e lagi mo". This is a very popular song. But all it says is: "my head is swollen, please hit it with a log of wood." X-Project sings: "Lori le o di gonbe (2x), e so fun sisi ologe ko ya faya gbe, ko ya faya gbe, file, gbabe, se be, bobo o ti e le, wo bo nse fe sa hale hale niwaju omoge, ha, lori le odi gonbe, , sisi ologe ki lo di saya o, so fun mi ki lofe, o wa on fire o, " Now, what does this mean in real terms? But let's go to Naeto C: "kini big deal, kini big deal, sebi sebi we're on fire", or D'Banj: " my sweet potato, I wanna make you wife, I wanna make you my wife o, see I no understand o, cause I dey see well well, but dey say love is blind, see I never thought I will find someone like you that will capture my heart and there will be nothing I can do, ". Yes, we are in the age of sweet potato. And so Art quake sings: "E be like fire dey burn my body, e je ki n fera, oru lo n mu mi. Open your hand like say you wan fly away. Ju pa, ju se, ka jo ma sere, alanta, alanta."
And here is Zulezoo, another popular Nigerian musical team: "Daddy o, daddy, daddy wen you go for journey, somebody enter for mummy's house, person sit down for mummy bed, person push mummy, mummy push person, mummy fall for bed yakata, daddy, o daddy, the man jus dey do kerewa kerewa, kerewa ke" And Dj-Zeez: "ori e o 4 ka sibe, ori e o 4 ka sibe, 4 ka sibe, 4 ka sibe". And MI: "Anoti, anoti, anoti ti, anoti titi." And Konga: "Baby konga so konga, di konga, ileke konga, ju pa pa, ju pa, konga, ju pa pa, ju pa, sibe", And 9ice: "gongo a so, kutupu a wu, eni a de ee, aji se bi oyo laari; oyo o se bi baba enikan, kan, i be double now, aye n lo, a mi to o, gongo a so, oti so o, e wo le e wo enu oko, " Or Tony Tetuila: "U don hit my car, oyinbo repete, u don hit my car o". Or Weird MC: "Sola lo ni jo, lyrics lori gangan, awa lo ni jo". Sheer drivel. So much sound, little sense. Is this the future? Maybe not.
Most of the music being produced now will not be listenable in another five years and this perhaps is the certain fate of commercial art that is driven by branding, show and cash. But we should be grateful all the same for the music, coming out of Nigeria also at this time in the soul, gospel, hip, hop genre: the music that is of Femi Anikulapo-Kuti, Lagbaja, Asa (there is fire on the mountain/and no one seems to be on the run/ there is fire on the mountain now, ", Ara, Sam Okposo, Dare, Sunny Neji, Infinity (now a broken up team), African China, Alariwo of Afrika, We suffer nonetheless in music as in the national nomenclature, an identity crisis. A country's character is indexed into its arts and culture, eternal purveyors of tones and modes. Nigerian youths now sing of broken heads, raw sex, uselessness and raw, aspirational emotionalism. A sign of the times? Yes, I guess.
I find further justification in the national anthem, many versions of which now exist. I grew up in this same country knowing only one way of singing the national anthem: from "Nigeria we hail thee" to "Arise o Compatriots". The singing of the national anthem is supposed to be a solemn moment. Arms clasped by the side, a straight posture, and the mind strictly focussed on the ideals of patriotism and nationalism. Stillness. Nobody moves. And the national song is rendered in an unchanging format. But not so any longer. There are so many versions of the Nigerian national anthem these days. Same lyrics but different musical rhythms. I have heard the national anthem sung in juju, in fuji, in hip hop, in Ishan's igbagbolemini, in acapella mode, even reggae. I attended an ocassion once, the rendition of the national music was so enthralling, people started dancing. Even the photographers and cameramen danced with their cameras. For me that was the ultimate expression of the people's cynicism. The prevalent mood is as expressed by Dj-Zeez: "ori e 4 ka sibe, 4 ka sibe": an epigrammatic, onomatopoeic, market-driven diminution of language as vehicle and sign. What kind of people are we? A dancing nation? Dancing and writing away our frustrations and caring little about sense, in this country that is now known as "naija", "nija", "9ja", "nigerzie," "gidi"?
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by silsane(f): 11:05am On Jun 23, 2009|
My response to the recent Guardian Newspaper Article by Mr Reuben Abati
This is my response to the article entitled "A Nation's Identity Crisis" that recently ran in The Guardian Newspapers. It was written by Dr Reuben Abati, a well respected name in Nigerian Journalism. His original article can be found here: http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/editorial_opinion/article02//indexn2_html?pdate=210609&ptitle=A%20Nation
Please try and read the original article before commenting on my response. As Dr Abati has stated his opinion, I felt it neccessary to state mine. If anything I'm sure both pieces are at least food for thought.
In the immortal words attributed to P.T. Barnum, "I don't care what the newspapers say about me, at least spell my name right." My name IS Banky W, full name being Olubankole Wellington. Not Willington, as you stated in your article entitled "A Nation's Identity Crisis". I read the piece repeatedly, and found that misspelling my name wasn’t the only error. At it's worst, the article seemed like an attempt to discredit and slander an entire generation of artistes and consumers, and at best it came across as having some valid points but being grossly misinformed, prejudiced, and hypocritical; definitely not what we would expect of a highly regarded publication as The Guardian, or from a person in Mr Abati's position.
In the very least, the article warrants a well-informed response. I have little doubt in my mind that it will generate a slew of responses, positive and negative, and as one of the many subjects that was mentioned in the write-up, I feel compelled to voice my opinion (with all due respect) on some of the issues that were raised in your piece. What I'm going to attempt to do is to directly address issues that stood out and resonated most with me.
The writer asked "What's in a name?" and went on to honor a ", generation which sang music under its real names, not abbreviations or slangs"; this would have been a valid point if he had not himself mentioned Greats like King Sunny Ade (real name: Sunday Adeniyi), I.K. Dairo (Isaiah Kehinde Dairo), and Ebenezer Obey (Real name: Ebenezer Remilekun Aremu Olasupo Fabiyi- Wow!!!). We could also point out other legends like Ras Kimono and Majek Fashek as others who, for creative or other reasons, saw it fit to have stage names that happen to differ from what's on their passports. Shortening of full names and/or the crafting of stage names is not something new from our generation of artistes that "lack the discipline or the patience to write complete sentences" as you said; rather, it's the creative right of an artiste to go by whatever moniker he sees fit. And if we want to talk about the names of today, we can highlight a few: Eldee - actually L.D. which stands for Lanre Dabiri, similar to Isaiah Kehinde Dairo's transition to I.K. Dairo. Naeto C and Banky W are simply short forms of their full names. In my case, my father's nickname among his friends is actually Banky as well.
Furthermore, on the topic of Names and abbreviations let's set a few things straight. Nigerzie is actually spelt Nigezie and is not an abbreviation for Nigeria. It's a TV Show, much like Soundcity or Hip TV, except they choose to incorporate "representing Nigeria" in their name. It's like the "United Colors of Bennetton", or DKNY, both companies that choose to represent their locations or origins in their name. Also, for the record, Gidi doesn't mean Nigeria either. It's a term for Lagos, coined from "Las Gidi". And as far as the popular term "Naija" goes, who remembers Shina Peters singing "♫ Naija lo wa yi o o o, wa jo, afro juju lo gb'ode ♫" I hate to point out that our generation did not come up with that term, the "golden age" that you long for did.
As an editorial head of a National Newspaper, you owe it to your public to at least do proper and accurate research before printing an article. The risk in not doing so, is you might unknowingly mislead your readers, and you might actually come across as being ignorant or out of touch. A quick look at all the reference names of artistes and songs mentioned in the article goes to show that the author was sadly way off base in his accusations and examples. For instance, to make a point on how today’s Nigerian artistes lyrics are meaningless and prurient, he referenced the Rooftop MC's song "La Gi Mo". What he failed to realize or crosscheck, is that the said song is probably one of the most meaningful and important songs that have been released in the last few years on the Nigerian Music Scene. The Rooftop MC's are actually a Rap Group that leans to the Gospel or at least Socially Conscious side of music, and their songs always have a positive message. That song itself talks about the errors we make by trying to take God's glory for our success, getting caught up in the limelight and asking God to bring you back to reality to know that HE deserves the praise for where you are.
The author mentioned other songs like D'banj's "Fall in Love", and doesn't realize how hypocritical he sounds by attempting to ridicule some of our most popular love songs. Felix Liberty sang "Ifeoma, ifeoma, I want to marry you", D'banj sang "Omo U don make me fall in love" and Banky W sang "Till my dying day, I'll love you". Barring a difference in musical styling, are these songs not cut from the same cloth? Why can't someone in Mr Abati's position be proud of the fact that at Nigerian and African Weddings nowadays, couples are choosing these songs to mark their first dances instead of previous choices like “Endless Love”? Why can't we appreciate that the days of going to Nigerian Parties and clubs and celebrating to foreign music “all night long” are long gone? Despite these facts, you still see International festivals and concerts being held in Nigeria where the foreign acts are paid 30 to 40 times what some of our biggest stars are allowed to charge.
I have to disagree with the author's views. We are not all one and the same, but we ARE artistes. We may sing, rap, dance, mime, perform, play instruments or whatever else; but we are artistes. And Composers. And musicians. We may not all play the piano or the guitar, but neither does Michael Jackson, arguably the world's greatest artiste/entertainer. That's why he teamed up with producer Quincy Jones to create some of the best music anyone had ever heard. We have our own producers that have shaped Nigerian sound, people like Cobhams Asuquo, Don Jazzy, I.D. Cabasa, Dr Frabz, Tee-Y mix, Eldee, Terry G etc. That list goes on. These music minds are no less credible than those of Mr Abati's time, like the great Laolu Akins.
Far be it from us to claim that we are perfect and flawless in our art, we know that we are still growing and have lots of areas to improve, but the truth of the matter is we have worked very hard to create the industry we have now, and some people choose to criticize and lambaste most of us, instead of helping and teaching us. That is unfair. Yes, some artistes sag their jeans, however, a glance at the pages of THISDAY style or the recently concluded awards shows will show you very clearly that others wear three-piece suits and traditional attires just as proudly, myself included. This music industry that you have very clearly disapproved of has partnered with and given rise to the fashion industry in Nigeria as well. Just ask Designers like Mai, Babs Familusi (Exclamations Couture), the Okunorens, Muyiwa Osindero and countless others. Everything from the t-shirts and jeans rappers wear, to the shoes and suits are made by young Nigerians, where in previous years people preferred to shop in London. The youth-driven industries in Entertainment and Fashion have teamed up to thrust Nigeria into the world's positive spotlight, when for many years our dear country was mostly known for corruption, lack of infrastructure, and security issues.
Our country has not yet given us steady electricity, adequate education, safety from armed robbers or standard healthcare, yet artistes have risen like the Roses that grow from Concrete, and these very artistes love and represent their country proudly on a global stage. This music industry has given hope, jobs and income to countless youth of today. We are Rappers, Singers, Producers, Sound Engineers, Managers, Promoters, Marketing Consultants, Record Label Owners and we will not apologize for making the best of our circumstances; and all this in spite of the fact that we have Marketers that exploit but refuse to pay for our Musical pieces, Royalties and Publishing income that hitherto has been non-existent, a Government that is just now very slowly starting to enforce anti-piracy laws, and Event Organizers that would rather pay 50 Cent One Million US Dollars than give D'banj or P-Square 5 Million Naira.
You were right on some counts. We ARE businessmen and women, and we ARE interested in extending name recognition and brand extension. You were also right in that we look up to people like Jay-Z, who took their music and created multimillion-dollar empires. Since when did ambition and desire to succeed against all odds count against a person’s moral character? Shouldn’t we be encouraged to pay more attention to the business side of “Show Business”? Shouldn’t we want this music industry to provide for our future and the futures of our children?
We know we have a moral responsibility when it comes to our Creative works. Some of us pay more attention to it than others, and there is lots of ground to cover up. But how about a little appreciation and help, instead of trying to tear us down and discredit us? Time will tell whose music will last and become evergreen, but it is not in anyone's place to judge; and for the record, can we just accept that fact that hip hop music is an artform that is probably here to stay, I mean for goodness sake the Grammy's has!! Instead of fighting the change, we should learn to embrace it. I thank God for people like the great Adewale Ayuba that have reached across to our generation to collaborate with, bridge the gap, and help us improve.
We want to learn but your generation has to teach. We want to read but the Government must provide libraries. We want to go to school but the lecturers keep going on strike. We want to travel but previous generations messed up so they won’t give out visas. Most of prefer having our own live bands but the income needed to support that is not forthcoming.
You speak of meaninglessness and prurience, identity crisis and moral turpitude. You praise Legends like Fela Anikulakpo-Kuti and you ridicule us. 9ice does not drink or smoke. eLDee is married to one wife. Olu Maintain does not drink. Naeto C is currently obtaining his Masters’ degree in England. The ironic thing is, we look up to and praise your generation too. You seem to forget that Baba Fela had 27 wives, smoked marijuana in public, was himself half Unclad at shows (as well as the women around him) and allegedly died of HIV. However we look past what some may consider shortcomings and respect and emulate the immense contributions he made to our history. We are in awe of him despite personal choices that some may or may not agree with. All we are asking for is to be appreciated and afforded similar tolerances.
You danced to Shina Peters. Let us dance to our music. And for the record: for every "Anoti" by MI, he has a "Crowd Mentality" or a "Talk about it". For a Naeto C's "Ki Ni Big Deal", he has a "The Devil is a Liar". Just because an artiste uses a particular song to promote his album for commercial reasons, doesn't mean they should be judged on that alone. Anyone that is familiar with the cost of promoting an album (videos, press, etc) would know that you end up making hard decisions in terms of what you have to push and promote, for your best chance at success. I suggest that you buy whole albums and look at the body of work. Listen to the entire CD’s. I think you'll find that more often than not, Nigerian artistes are doing a pretty good job of representing this great Country of Nigeria. Naija Till We Die. Yes Boss.
~ Banky W.
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by silsane(f): 11:07am On Jun 23, 2009|
Dude got tolddddddddddddd He had a few valid points but he didn't set them out in the right way, he keep shooting himself in the foot.
Can't believe he is so proud dat Nigeria was named out of romance, na wah o
9ja 4 life
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by aahmed112: 11:24am On Jun 23, 2009|
tell me about it! How about Banky telling him where the word 'naija' came from. . .there's no coming back from that one!
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by ofokasibe: 1:10pm On Jun 23, 2009|
with due respect mr reuben should sharap there !
is it not their generation that cannot provide ordinary electricity .?
is it not their generation that cant provide jobs for unemployed youths?
it is clear he has no knowledge of what he is even saying !
big ups to banky w for airing him out nicely
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by silsane(f): 1:16pm On Jun 23, 2009|
Here’s Eldee’s response
First off, the only reason I have chosen to address this is because it would be wrong to sit and watch a journalist of supposed repute and the power to maneuver public opinion, openly kick against change and development.
At first when I read the article, I tried to humor myself that perhaps he had one or two salient points but upon further analysis, I discovered that the article is just a shameless rant from a man who obviously has no understanding of modernism and how to deal with it.
I see the article as a threat to the much needed change and development that Nigeria needs, and we must kick against this mindset. This is the general mentality of the generation that mismanaged this country due to selfishness, greed, incompetence, lack of exposure and an overall lack of integrity. The generation that kicks against innovation and development as long as it does not agree with their selfish plots. The generation that has little or no vision for “Nigeria.”
He titles his article “A nation’s identity crisis” and starts off by glorifying the use of a name that was given to us by “Mistress” to Lugard Flora Shaw! in 1914. Why should we attempt to change such a beautiful name? He even says…”Our dear country is now “naija” or “nija”. What happened to the “-eria” that Ms Shaw must have thoughtfully included? ……” The “oyinbo knows best” colonial mentality, as though Mistress Shaw is superior to all of us.
What does it matter if Nigeria is called “Naija”. It has been called Naija since the 70’s. Why pin it on this generation?….oh,, I know why, it’s because this is the generation that finally gave Nigeria a worthy reason of mention on the international scene. The generation that is fighting the ugly image of corruption and underdevelopment (which they created) with exportable entertainment. The generation that has created millions of jobs with an industry that was left to rot in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The generation Mr Abati himself acknowledges are very successful at what they do. Now that we are worthy of mention, we shouldn’t misinform the rest of the world about the spelling of Nigeria…like anyone will one day decide Nigeria is spelt N-A-I-J-A. By the way, “Gidi” is not Nigeria but Lagos. It’s short for “Las gidi”, yet another term which was created in the 80’s. You could have asked the young guy sitting in your office for clarification on that one…Sir.
Then he goes on to speak on original names and the use of abbreviations, blah blah. Mr “misinformed journalist” Abati, just so you know, King Sunny Ade is not his real name, neither is Dizzy K Falola, Majek Fashek, Kollington Ayinla, Ebenezer Obey, Dan Maraya of Jos, Ayinde Barrister, Ras Kimono, Alex O nor the very obvious KWAM 1, so was there really a need to criticize the stage names of the our generation’s artists? besides what is anyones business what a man or woman decides to call him or herself?
Then he proceeds to talk about music making sense and all that random blab and has the nerve to quote “Ifeoma, Ifeoma, i want to marry you” as a more sensible song than “Fall in love”??!! This man obviously knows nothing about music. “Fall in love” is not only a great song but as Nigerian…oops I mean as “Naija” as it gets. Every generation has its not-so-great artists who make limelight. Don’t make me mention names.
He talks about the new generation imitating western hip hop stars. How about the imitation of Jamaica that befell Nigeria in the early 80’s, producing much of the boring local reggae music that we had to endure for almost 2 decades?? One would almost think the Nigerian flag was red, yellow and green in the 80’s/early 90’s. Do you see any of us wearing red, blue and white outfits in this generation or using the american flag in our videos?? Yes, the pants sag, yes the girls show more skin. It’s the same as the pants and mini skirts you all wore in the 70’s, yes, the bell bottoms and open-chested shirts. The jewelry is the same as you wore then as well, only now we can afford real jewelry. Stop and think for a second, really?!!!?.
“…most of them don’t play instruments, they use a synthetic piano”…Yeah, same way most of them don’t use typewriters, they use computers. Oh wait,…I didn’t realize the piano is no longer an instrument.
“…They are more interested in commerce and self-advertisement, name recognition, brand extension and memory recall!”…Yes, exactly what the older generation didn’t do well. The reason why the new generation are more successful. It’s a new day Mr Abati, if we don’t learn from their mistakes, what’s the point?
You talk about identity crisis and you discredit songs like “ori mi wu o…”, “u don hit my car”, etc. What identity is it that you’re speaking of? oh,, the one Mistress Shaw and Lord Lugard left us with abi? I keep hearing people talk about how Nigerian artists imitate foreign musicians, yet the one’s that have the most “Nigerian” content in their music are your targets. What a shame!
There may be a few Nigerians who share Mr Abati’s sentiments and I will blame that on a lack of exposure, lack of wisdom or the need for enlightenment. This cannot be tolerated especially when it is being voiced by a journalist who holds such a crucial position in our media.
There has never been a time in Nigeria’s history when Nigerians have been more patriotic. A time when it has become cool to be Naija! A time when we wear ankara with pride, listen religiously to Nigerian music, watch Nigerian movies and look forward to a more progressive Nigeria. Mr Abati, your generation failed us and we have learned from you guys how not to fail the next generation. Thank God the whole of Nigeria is not as backward thinking as you have displayed……Sir.
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by asha80(m): 1:23pm On Jun 23, 2009|
E don be for Ruben Abati.
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by mbulela: 1:45pm On Jun 23, 2009|
9ice does not drink or smoke. igbo no follow??
eLDee is married to one wife. how many im for marry?
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by mbulela: 1:49pm On Jun 23, 2009|
this reuben abati na bad guy. see as im just take style sabi all the lyrics. i sure say im get all the CDs wey im dey criticize.
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by eldee(m): 2:19pm On Jun 23, 2009|
Is it me or is this Mr Abati just representing the exact problem with his generation??
Eldee Da Don:
As Eldee rightly pointed out, this entertainment industry is our only escape from the bad name his 'golden age' has given us.
They talk of us having Jay-Z as our role models, who should we place there?? Fela . . . or maybe the artistes of their time that openly came out to praise thieves in power.
You try to read about Nigerian history and all you see is one bloody coup leading to another . . . what's wrong if our Wikipedia page has a piece on Nollywood or Timaya??
Why have they decided to make us folk devils in this unecessary moral panic??
The simple answer is the WAR AGAINST CHANGE concept . . . and you'll wonder why the world's epitome of CHANGE would rather go to Ghana
This is worse than XENOPHOBIA, it's pure stagnation . . .
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by tosinaded(m): 3:08pm On Jun 23, 2009|
Eldee thank u for hitting the nail on the head!!!!
there generation has failed us, we ve learnt from that and making corrections so we dont fail the coming generation!!!!!!!
but i must admit Eldee was kinda rude,but he was only expressing his feelings.
he had to defend the new generation!!!!
Reuben abati should retire and get his pension!!!
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by ofokasibe: 3:18pm On Jun 23, 2009|
TOSIN ELDEE WASNT RUDE IN ANY REGARD ,.REUBEN CANT TELL US NOTHING!
REUBENS GENERATION IS A HUGE FAILURE
REUBENS GENERATION CANNOT PROVIDE US WITH ORDINARY ELECTRICITY
REUBENS GENERATION CANNOT PROVIDE JOBS FOR QUALIFIED YOUTH
REUBENS GENERATION KILLED INNOCENT PEOPLE BECAUSE OF POWER AND GREED
REUBEN HIMSELF IS A BIG FAILURE
AND ONE LAST WORD , REUBEN IF YOU ARE READING THIS .YOU AND YOUR GENERATION ''CANT TELL ME NOTHING !
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by Sauron1: 3:19pm On Jun 23, 2009|
I actually see Reuben Abati as one of the most brilliant journalists in Nigeria but he got this awfully WRONG!!!
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by eldee(m): 3:19pm On Jun 23, 2009|
If anyone launches a no-holds-barred attack at my career or infact anything I spent so much time and effort building, I'll probably react the same way.
Eldee just highlighted the man's incompetence with an artistic use of sarcasm . . . proving that we're not full of wanna-bes as Mr Abati tried to portray
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by obinna5000(m): 3:20pm On Jun 23, 2009|
@Banky W & eLDee Da Don
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by busygirl(f): 3:29pm On Jun 23, 2009|
lmao @ 9ICE doesn't drink nor smoke. Banky is jokes.lol
As much as I agree with most of what banky said, i think Abati has few right points. I really don't watch channel 204 (HItv) bUT the few times i watched it, i feel quite disgusted because of some videos and how it potrays the generation of nigerian youths. Anyway that's my opinion. I'm definately not gonna judge anyone. Different strokes for different folks. Although, i'm not too good in yoruba,. But, i don't think fakasibe is a nice word, so "orie fakasibe" is like saying your head should split to pieces. I really don't see any sense in that. I'm not saying everyone should agree with me. But obviously some of these artistes should please learn some decency. But above all, I have the right to choose the kind of music i want to listen to, so does everyone else!
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by Sauron1: 3:29pm On Jun 23, 2009|
So you agree some of us are wannabes?
Mr Abati should have articulated himself in a better way instead of going gung ho and dropping names.
Kids of this generation won't take such lightly. . . . . . .
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by eldee(m): 3:49pm On Jun 23, 2009|
We re not wannabes, we just grew up in an era of Globalisation . . . cultural boundaries are getting blurred every minute
The good thing that's come out of that is that the Nigerian youth, with his creativity has created a new identity from this.
They've emphasized their Nigerianess better than any other generation since 1914 . . . they've 'made it cool' to be Nigerian
Nowadays, Nigerian youths don't have to wear the 'white mask' any more . . . and most definitely not the 'Jamaican mask' like Raskimono and Majek Fashek.
I think he's just scared of change . . .c'est fini
P.S If it's not obvious already that this write-up is a failed attempt at yellow jornalism . . . I'll like to point out that Rooftop MCs' Ori Mi Wu is just a copy-paste version of popular Yoruba childhood folklore . . . and has he tried listening to thir lyrics??
BTW . . . Ja-rule?? Role model . . . Nah Sir
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by Sauron1: 3:56pm On Jun 23, 2009|
I agree with this. . . . . .
U cannot compare Reuben Abati's 4 figure table to Eldee's Mac-book.
There's a universe of difference between the 2.
I understand where he's coming from but he didn't have to rubbish the sweats of em artistes to drive his points home.
Reuben Abati will not be the first to lament about the state of the music industry. Nas told us Hip-Hop is DEAD!!!
Even before then Common wanted "Ressurrection" in 1994 and Public Enemy spoke about it on "There's A Poison Going On".
Personally, i think P.Diddy killed Hip-Hop finally in 97.
Once people saw Diddy rapping, they were like. . . . . . .I can do better than that and they all went back to their notepads to start writing.
Gone are the days when there were more Rap fans than Rappers. . . . .these days, there are more Rappers than Rap fans.
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by ofokasibe: 4:00pm On Jun 23, 2009|
GURL YOU ARE MENTIOnING MY NAME GURL!
busygurl has reubens abati's mentality , i guess you are part of those that ran away from nigeria thinking you are safe in uk !
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by eldee(m): 4:17pm On Jun 23, 2009|
Exactly . . .he grew up in an era where Shakespeare was the only link to the outside world
Right now, Iran is only a click away . . . he should deal with it, we're more exposed and therefore more innovative.
Infact, I'm calling him out for an open debate with Banky W . . . u'll see proof that exposure spits on O.A.U degrees
~Sauron~:Nah . . . he needs to stick to editorials on the non-existent Nigerian democracy
That's his stronghold . . .
Other countries are tapping into the creativity and energy of the younger generation and he's attacking them
Obama brought politics to the youths and see what happened . . . Iran's younger generation is about to win them a democracy
Just think of what woulda happened is we collectively went head-on against Babangida and them lot??
The average Nigerian youth feels left out . . . the generation gap is far too wide, this editorial is not helping either.
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by tosinaded(m): 4:23pm On Jun 23, 2009|
reuben abati just made a fool of himself, he just wrecked the career he has built over the years, all because he wanted to air his selfish,uninformed and myopic opinion!!!!!!
the most annoying part is the lagimo song
wtf did he really sit down to listen to the song did he hear the verses did he listen to cohbams part
how come an educated man with such repute cant understand that lagimo in that context doesnt mean the literary meaning?
sir shina peters one and only hit is as dirty as anytn and yet he dint point that out
wtf is ssp are those his full names
wth is ksa
he shld just retire with shame!!!!!
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by tosinaded(m): 4:28pm On Jun 23, 2009|
this should make the front page abeg
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by ofokasibe: 4:29pm On Jun 23, 2009|
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by kaypumpin2(m): 4:38pm On Jun 23, 2009|
Reuben goofed on this one.The highlight was this:
Rooftop MC sings for example: "Ori mi wu o, e lagi mo". This is a very popular song. But all it says is: "my head is swollen, please hit it with a log of wood."
Who doesn't know Rooftop were pleading the Lord to cut their larger life ego to size.This is just a case of cutting the nose to spite the face.
And yet more:
And 9ice: "gongo a so, kutupu a wu, eni a de ee, aji se bi oyo laari; oyo o se bi baba enikan, kan, i be double now, aye n lo, a mi to o, gongo a so, oti so o, e wo le e wo enu oko
If anyone has been praised for elevating naija(bite me Reuben) and indeed Yoruba culture,it is 9ice.Must this old generation always throw the bath water away with the baby to score cheap points.I mean what in 9ice's song is inimical to cultural ethos proliferation?
And BTW Reuben,gidi meant Lagos and not Nigeria.
Finally,what's your take about the older generation that uses a pen to write N-I-G-E-R-I-A and uses the same pen to change 100,000 naira worth of contract to 1,000,000,000?
Lord save us
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by obinna5000(m): 4:58pm On Jun 23, 2009|
The first time I read that Reuben Abati article, I was like he's part of the older generation that is afraid of change. Its clear he did not do proper research work before writing the article.
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by frijos(m): 5:01pm On Jun 23, 2009|
Na wah this Mr Reuben must be smoking crack!
and na wah for this thread self i can't even post again cos everytime i try it says new replies have been posted!
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by Sauron1: 5:02pm On Jun 23, 2009|
He needs to see a SHRINK.
Reuben Abati is a brilliant chap. . . . . .What was he doing analysing Hip-Hop?
Is he tired of talking about MEND, Saro-Wiwa, Fuel Price and the Naija Constitution?
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by Bamsyle(m): 5:08pm On Jun 23, 2009|
This is what happens when, as they say, "one half of the world does not know what the other half is thinking" . . .
It's obvious the gap between that generation and this is as wide as the divide between Heaven and Hell . . .
Is Abati's generation immediately before ours?? Erm . . . what's a generation again?? Cos what I just read seems like an exchange between two divides that are 20,000 years apart from each other.
I mean - this generation is advancing at a geometric rate . . . even the so-called global village might soon become a global apartment . . . new milestones are being covered in Science/Tech and all-what-not . . . each millisecond . . . and out of the blues springs a prophet from the Medieval Era . . . wearing robes and preaching his sermon from a scroll . . .
I'm appalled . . . how can a journalist of Reuben Abati's status write like this?? It'll be bad enough for even a run-of-the-mill journalist to pen such a write-up . . . but not Abati . . . that write-up was not well thought out or researched . . . it attempts to make some good points (of course a large percentage of naija hip hop is crap) . . . but it's in bad taste.
And to place Nigeria's problems at the feet of Hip Hop?? No way . . . they're way too heavy to be borne by even Music . . . let alone Hip Hop.
Even the proponents of the so-called 'rebranded Nigeria' openly enlist the help of these artistes to do that.
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by frijos(m): 5:13pm On Jun 23, 2009|
Mr Abati shud just stay the Bleep out our business. Him time don pass abeg. Just like the saying "if u don't have anything to say keep your mouth shut" i'll tell him "if u don't have anything to write about keep your hands cuffed" Werrin dey worrin d guy sef? hand dey scrash am ni? We are the generation that answers why? with why not? we're unstoppable, we're the generation starting the change. This old people shud just go and sleep never to wake up cos as far as i'm concerned they're slowing us down. This one na very long thing sha!
|Re: Reuben Abati Vs Banky W: A Must Read! by tosinaded(m): 5:20pm On Jun 23, 2009|
for once we have a generation that is not scared of change and so it shall be
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