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Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians - Celebrities - Nairaland

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Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by AdolfHitlerxXx: 11:50pm On Jan 11
Before Tobi Ibitoye arrived in Romania from Nigeria as a 15-year-old, it had never occurred to him he - and his skin colour - might stand out in some way.

A few days in Bucharest were all it took to make him realise just how wrong he was.

"It can be very unnerving to have people stare at you like some spectacle," Ibitoye told the BBC.

All eyes on me


"I had never heard of Romania prior, but read about the country when we got news of my dad's posting".

Eight years later, things could not be more different: backed by scores of Romanian fans, the musician has just signed his first record deal.

Now the stares are from people trying to work out if he really is the Tobi Ibitoye who shot to fame, coming third on The Voice of Romania talent show in 2015.

Singer Tobi Ibitoye went from being the odd black teenager everybody stared at to a pop star


Nothing had prepared Ibitoye for what he encountered when he arrived in 2009. His father had just got a job with the Nigerian embassy, and the entire family relocated.

But Romania only has a very small African community, as most of those leaving the continent tend to head to Western European countries - generally to those with a colonial link.

It is estimated that over 90% of Nigerians living in Romania are university students, many of whom have come to study medicine, computer engineering or maritime engineering.

So, an older generation of Romanians is not used to the concept of diversity, according to Ana Craciun, of Equality Community Development Association, a campaign group based in the second-largest city, Iasi.

"They are attached to the strong Romanian traditions and want things to be as they were," she said.

At first, Ibitoye had to get used to being visibly different.

"If you walk the streets of Iasi or any other small city in Romania as a black person, you are bound to get a stare. It ranges from curiosity to astonishment, depending on how you react," he said.

Is Romania changing?


But the generation who grew up after the Communist Party was toppled in 1989 lives in an internet age and as part of the European Union, so attitudes are becoming more tolerant, analysts say.

Ibitoye's success is not an isolated case, as another Nigerian went a step further last month by coming second place at the Voice of Romania.

Attitudes are changing but less so in rural communities

Meriam Jane Nduibusi went to Romania from Italy, where she lives, with the sole purpose of getting on the show.

She shared her experience in what she described as an incredible journey.

"People cross the road to meet me, they would hug me and tell me they love me," she told the BBC.

Although she did not win, Nduibusi said she received a lot of love from the Romanian public, with people walking across to her in public and saying: "We want you to win."

Mayaya, who is partly of Congolese descent, then found more success when she got a part in a Romanian TV show, which at the time was unprecedented.

'It's not racism'

But does Ibitoye think people were voting for him precisely because he was different - the "token black guy" syndrome - or because of his talent?

"I would say a bit of both; it's interwoven and not mutually exclusive.

"I was just riding the wave of support because it was overwhelming and the more I progressed, the more I realised that what I actually deemed as a hobby was actually a talent and I think they saw that too."


Most Nigerians in Romania are students

Cosmin Vieriu, a Romanian who lives in Bucharest and works for the UN's cultural organisation Unesco, says attitudes are changing, but not so much in rural communities.

"It's not racism, but people don't have much contact with the outsiders. They're like families in these communities, so they're closed."

But not everyone agrees that Romania is opening up, or becoming more diverse as the stories of thriving Nigerians seem to suggest.

"The biggest diversity is represented only by Hungarians and Roma communities. Anything else is really low," says Andreaa Tudorache of Attitude Reality Transformation, a Bucharest-based group.

She says the experiences of a few Nigerians does not necessarily reflect Romanian society at large.

But if Ibitoye is to be believed, it might not be too long before you find Jollof rice and pounded yam on sale alongside the more traditional tripe soup and cabbage rolls on the streets of Bucharest.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-42439405

8 Likes 1 Share

Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by AdolfHitlerxXx: 11:53pm On Jan 11
Let us showcase positives about Nigeria. It doesn't always have to be negative news

Let us work hand in hand to make Nigeria a better place.

America was not built in a day, their citizens went through dark periods, they didn't flee.

They stood, fought to make things better and never stopped believing in themselves

You hear Americans say "God bless America!" while our folks say "No be Nigeria? Na scam"

India is the Rape and Open Defecation capital of the world, but you would never see it in the Bollywood movies

Let us change our mentality and try to individually do the "right thing"


52 Likes 4 Shares

Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by Nobody: 12:03am On Jan 12
Our music may just turn out to be our best "industrial grade" foreign earner soon especially with Ali baba corroborating the story that davido's 500 million naira profit from a single show may be true.

6 Likes 1 Share

Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by Nutase: 5:00am On Jan 12
cool

1 Like

Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by favourmic(m): 10:04am On Jan 12
by now some secondary school couples are planning to study in the university, finish togther, get jobs and marry hmmmm...... angry cool cool should we tell them the truth? foolish children grin grin grin grin grin if the girl no fail math, the guy go fail English cool even waec go separate you both before the ancestor do grin grin

18 Likes

Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by AreaFada2: 10:05am On Jan 12
Good one.
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by iAudio: 10:05am On Jan 12
Ok
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by IamPatriotic(m): 10:05am On Jan 12
grin
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by midehi2(f): 10:05am On Jan 12
nice one cute boy
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by YINKS89(m): 10:06am On Jan 12
Really ND one Ghanaian gurl os telling Africans to boycott Naija music... Dey re so joking

4 Likes

Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by judemmesoma(m): 10:06am On Jan 12
up naija
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by bjayx: 10:06am On Jan 12
Music is life!
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by TechPanda(m): 10:06am On Jan 12
wink
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by Eastatlantaniqqa(m): 10:07am On Jan 12
hmmmmm
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by psychologist(m): 10:08am On Jan 12
When you guys say nigeria music, does it include wizkid, Davido and olamide's music? undecided
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by Damfostopper(m): 10:08am On Jan 12
Dats not even my problem now... My own question is why did we write junior WAEC??

16 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by kennosklint(m): 10:09am On Jan 12
I nor understand
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by slawomir: 10:09am On Jan 12
ok
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by Virgohills(m): 10:11am On Jan 12
Na wa ooo
Check my signature if you are interested.
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by loomer: 10:11am On Jan 12
Good better best
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by stevecantrell: 10:14am On Jan 12
This how freeze and t-boss were concieved.
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by franklingud(m): 10:15am On Jan 12
Ok nice.
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by MrRhymes101(m): 10:15am On Jan 12
We are breaking grounds everywhere... funny MC
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by Nenejeje(f): 10:15am On Jan 12
YINKS89:
Really ND one Ghanaian gurl os telling Africans to boycott Naija music... Dey re so joking


which ghanaian girl?
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by Mille: 10:16am On Jan 12
Romania, the best European country.

I hold that country dear, as well as the City of Cluj-Napoca. Spent a good 5 months of my life there before moving to the depressing France and Germany.

3 Likes 1 Share

Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by charliboy654(m): 10:16am On Jan 12
YINKS89:
Really ND one Ghanaian gurl os telling Africans to boycott Naija music... Dey re so joking
Na Kenya girl not ghana.

1 Like

Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by LegendaryArnold(m): 10:17am On Jan 12
Does that mean we can now travel to Romania without any issues?
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by benzics(m): 10:17am On Jan 12
so he is nyashing all dz fine fine chicks shocked

1 Like

Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by tribalistseun: 10:20am On Jan 12
Where is that madd dog from Gayna, and that ugly rat from Kenya
Re: Tobi Ibitoye: Nigerian Singer In Romania' Winning Hearts Of Romanians by yanshDoctor: 10:21am On Jan 12
AdolfHitlerxXx:


India is the rape and defecation capital in the world, but you would never see it in the Bollywood movies

who told you that. india firm use to be the reality of india and the poor region. it only now the young generation of bollywood is modernising their firm targeting internationa market. the india populies are complaining of this their latest form. majority want the previous back. they claim their movies don't make sense anymore and the artiest now over bleached and as well using a lighting camera too.

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