As a music lover and a person with a critical view of things, I’ve always believed that one’s love for an artist should not be an impediment when they must be objective about the artist or his music. Some people might argue that fanatics stick with their artists during good and bad times. But that should not stop you, a fan, from shying away from the truth. Was it right for Wizkid’s fans to beat Shoki Shitta?
Apparently, offering an opposing opinion about Nigerian artists like Wizkid, Davido, Olamide, Burna Boy, is like walking on eggshells. It is even more dangerous when the artist has a loyal following that is volatile. An artist drops a song and you don’t find the song appealing or interesting so you take to your social media to express your opinion. Stan culture has become very popular in recent times and fans of a certain artist can troop into your mentions in large numbers to drag and call you all sorts of names.
It’s okay to be obsessed with your favorite artist. There’s no crime in finding no fault with their art. However, should you ever resort to violence all in the name of fandom? At what point do you draw the line when the obsession is driving you mad?
Before I delve into this, I want to be sure to let you know that Shoki Shitta is not a true fan. He is only committed to any cause that benefits him and his pockets. No true fan is easily swayed by financial reward, albeit it’s not unusual. Also, his statements about Wizkid not being a Shitta-bred artist is out of place, to say the least. None of his actions, nevertheless, warranted the assault that was inflicted on him.
Wizkid emerged from Surulere. He grew up and nurtured his talent there before he became a global star. His ties to Surulere/Ojuelegba is evidenced on songs like No Lele, Ojuelegba, and more. He sings about Shitta and Small London, neighborhoods that are quite popular for being home to low-income earners and struggling working class. Wizkid commands a large following in these environments because it’s his first home and the fans live vicariously through him.
I wonder what kind of bravery drove Shoki Shitta to pay a visit to Wizkid’s sister’s house because the Starboy was there. How do you openly declare that you don’t appreciate an artist and his music then scurry to make demands at his abode? But that’s not the bone of contention. Shoki Shitta was a victim of unjust violence. His affiliation to Davido (or any artist, as a matter of fact) is not enough reason to attack him as savagely as Wizkid’s goons did.
But this is not a new thing. Artists have, in one way or the other, encouraged violence in their fans. That’s what happens when these artists can’t take criticism. It would be expected that artists would caution their fans against violence. Remember when Osagz criticized Wizkid on the Loose Talk podcasts and Wizkid stans turned up at Pulse HQ?
Regardless of what the situation is, violence is never the answer. It’s not unlikely that you’ll get disrespected as an artist, but there are better ways to handle such issues. Nigerian artists really need to endeavor to be open toward differing opinions.