Some weeks back, social media users went haywire when a video of Tekno with some unclad girls twerking in a glass-enclosed truck went viral. The video was posted on Instablog9ja’s platform (on Instagram) and it quickly made its way to Twitter. In the video, Tekno was spraying money as the girls danced salaciously. Opinions were thrown around like hoops and Tekno saw himself at the end of heavy censure. The moral policemen and women on Twitter stated that the act was obnoxious and that Tekno was without scruples. Like clockwork, many people didn’t hesitate to say that the world was soon to come to an end.
After Instablog posted the video, some people who had an idea what happened exactly came online to change the narrative that naked girls weren’t being transported as a lot of folks were made to believe. The story turned out to be that Tekno, who had only come back to Nigeria a few hours prior to the attention-grabbing incident, was shooting a music video for a song he planned to release with Zlatan Ibile. Tekno himself made it known on his social media that the video had to be shot that night because he wanted to drop the single Agege alongside the video and that they encountered some difficulties in the process. He said, “We were shooting a music video, and we had a shortage of vehicles to convey people to the next location because some of the cars broke down in between the shoot.”
Art is a form of expression. Music is a form of art that has been (and will be) used as a tool for expression. Artists have various ways in which they express themselves. Agege is a street pop song and Tekno was ostensibly trying to convey a message in the music video. It shouldn’t cause mayhem on social media (and amongst Nigerians) that women were twerking on a stripper pole for the purpose of a music video. But this is Nigeria, and everybody is looking for something or someone to let out all their anger on, even without enough information to make any judgment. And unfortunately for Tekno, he served himself up as the sacrificial lamb.
As if being battered by random people on social media wasn’t enough, the Police involved itself. According to the Police, Tekno violated some laws. Officers from the Lagos State Police Command claimed that the Duro crooner breached public decency laws by advertising semi-nude women in public. He was arrested and thoroughly questioned for several hours at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) in Panti, Yaba. He was later released on administrative bail because of his health challenges.
Tekno wasn’t the only person implicated. Stellar music video director, TG Omori, also got his fair share of criticism. The Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) also suspended the advertising firm, Pro-Vision Media Systems Limited, although the firm claimed that the vehicle that was used to convey the girls had been sold since last year hence it refused to take any liability. The Federal Government went ahead to throw its support behind the Police. Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture, a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Segun Runsewe, said;
“The Lekki public show negates the beauty of the Nigerian culture and way of life. It is unacceptable, ‘Jezebelistic’ and sins against the Nigerian culture, and must be condemned, ridiculed and rejected by Nigerians.
“The Lekki debacle must be used as an example to officially clamp down on promoters and influencers of strange entertainment from the pit of hell. Nigeria will never succumb to an imported cultural pastime or to blackmail tailored to destroy centuries-old and rich Nigerian culture.
“This dizzying madness cannot and will not be allowed to turn Nigeria into a destination for sex and illegal drugs tourism. Enough is enough, and for God’s sake, where is this coming from?”
I won’t disclaim that the laws truly hold and that the music video could have been easily misconstrued for an advert of lewd girls. What doesn’t make sense to me, however, is how the Police (and the government) is reluctant to accept that it was truly a video shoot and there’s absolutely no reason why it should cause any brouhaha. Over the past few weeks, there’s been a lot of back and forth over this issue. The Police has continued to investigate the situation and according to the Police spokesman Bala Elkana, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), the two girls were also arrested. He also said that should anyone be found culpable, they’ll be charged to court.
I’m curious, on the scale of priority of the Nigerian Police, is Tekno‘s music video shoot a bigger threat to the country than Boko Haram or kidnappers? I think it’s safe to say that the Federal Government has misplaced priorities. Nigerians are being massacred in South Africa and nothing significant has been done neither has the government addressed it. How long are we going to continue paying attention to the unimportant things and start tackling the major problems we face? It’s honestly baffling that in 2019 we are still made to believe that nakedness isn’t a part of our culture. Personally, I believe that the music video shoot is rather inconsequential and the federal government is looking to distract Nigerians from the real issues we are battling.