Talented Nigerian artistes namely Wizkid, D’banj, Tiwa Savage, Femi Kuti and his son, Made Kuti performed yesterday at the Mandela 100 Global citizen festival, yesterday, 2nd of December and while we are excited that our African artistes including Cassper Nyovest, Ma Shodzi got to share this great stage with world-class artistes such as Pharell Williams, Ed Sheeran, Cold Play, Usher Raymond, Beyonce and Jazy-Z, we’d like to know from you if you think Nigerian artistes including our proclaimed best artistes, Wizkid and Tiwa Savage gave the best they could’ve given on such a platform.
This post is to question rather than to attack because WE DO NOT DO THAT HERE, hence if you take the questions and opinion here as an attack, that’s on you.
Let’s start with the performance of Wizkid who performed tracks such as ‘Ojuelegba’, ‘Soweto Baby’, ‘Daddy Yo’, ‘Soco’, D’banj gave us Oliver Twist and other hits while Tiwa Savage gave us tracks like Malo and Codeine Diet. We know these songs are our Naija bangers and hit songs but common guys, some could’ve been performed better. We understand your songs may not address the theme of the event but your performance could’ve at least tried a little bit to encourage people to be their best self by putting an effort in your performance because that’s one way to end poverty and we didn’t see that extra effort Wizkid and Tiwa Savage.
The performance from these Nigerian artistes, if we’re being truthful to ourselves, were not the performance a Nigerian artiste we refer to as “best” should give, it’s not a performance any artiste should give, but some of us won’t see it because we are so much in love. Not a bad thing to love them, but if we can for once keep our sentiments aside and be objective with our opinions, we would realize that these performances were mediocre and these artistes can and should do better.
Tiwa Savage and Wizkid DID NOT perform like the BEST ARTISTES IN AFRICA with their DJ/LIP SYNCING performances. Let’s understand something here, performance is an art, and art takes thinking and strategic execution. As informal as art might seem, it can be a very structured and formal piece, especially with performance. People have paid for you to give them a show, the best you can do is do that. Nobody should feel they’d rather be listening to you on the radio rather than watching you perform. Why play the songs from any device when the artiste who sang it is on stage? What’s the use of instrumentals if they cannot recreate your sounds and you give your fans a fresh feel of those songs you have done through your performance? Why do you need a DJ to be on the stage with you if you’re a performing artiste?
Wizkid sang his songs while they blast off from the speakers, same with Tiwa and I’m wondering why not a show where the DJ just come to play these songs? Why are the artistes there if they cannot just perform their songs without the presence of a DJ? These are the questions we need answers to because while we are not attacking our artistes, we really do want them to do better.
Some of you might say, they’re Nigerian artistes, what do you expect? Well so is Falz the Bahd guy and he gave one of the best performances in 2018, if not the best. It was so good that the show even went up to the cinema was paid viewing. Same with Adekunle Gold who also gave a magical performance in his 2017 concert, so did Simi and recently Waje during her album listening party.
Mandela 100 Global Citizen Festival was not just like any other festival, it was a platform with a purpose to raise awareness about poverty but if all we do on a stage like this is sing about bumbum, recklessly spend money and drinking codeine, then I don’t think these artistes should’ve bothered accepting the job. The best we could’ve done is put effort and give fans a show even the hit songs, make it feel different from what they’ve seen, be creative, perform for Christ sake! Own the stage and ensure we see art during your performance. Let’s see the effort you’ve put in to ensure we have a good time instead of doing minimal and expecting the great applause.
Sometimes I don’t blame these artistes because we’ve made it obvious that we don’t expect much than what they give us. We made them feel like this is enough only for our hype to take them to an international stage and we are faced with the reality of what they’re truly giving us and we realize it’s not even close to being enough.
We saw Beyonce and Jay-Z’s performance, we saw Ed Sheeran changing guitars because he wanted to give the crowd a good show and didn’t want to be delayed. We saw Femi Kuti and D’banj gave great performance and these our local artistes don’t get the attention we give Wizkid and Tiwa Savage.
Preparation shows you respect the people that booked you and you perform for their people like you’ve been asked to and lack of preparation is just a sign that you don’t care what you’ll do because no matter what, you have already blown hence they should accept whatever you give. That might not be their intention but that’s what lack of preparation says and that makes us so confused because according to reports, these are supposedly some of the most hardworking artistes in the Nigerian music industry.
So we ask again, do you think that our Nigerian artistes gave their best? Did your favourite artiste look prepared from their costume to their stage delivery? Would you say they killed the show if you’re objectively speaking or they killed the show just because they are your favourite?
Again I say this, this post isn’t to attack but sometimes we have to look away from the hype and call it quit on mediocrity because that won’t take us far. Such attitude to our craft won’t take us away from Africa, it’ll 0nly keep us here and what is worse is that it’ll not just keep us, it’ll also encourage untalented people into thinking they don’t require the necessary talent to be successful, after all, there’s autotune, beat and money to push the song.
It’s about time we demand more from our artistes and encourage them to create songs with global appeal, not because of the language, but because of the content. And no, when we say song, we don’t mean just beat, let the lyrics surpass the beat. Let’s encourage our artistes to create classics rather than going on a global stage that is trying to eradicate poverty and encourage the use of a lethal drug like codeine that’ll eventually make you poor and we’re enjoying this because of what? It makes us dance? Who are we?
Although negative reviews didn’t make it to social media where these performances were concerned, even people like Don Jazzy commended Ed Sheeran for his skills and professionalism that in the Mavin boss’ opinion can be compared to none. D’banj was also hailed for still being one of the best performer and entertainer in the Nigerian music industry but the people we call our bests and stew givers couldn’t even give us that on stage.
So let’s ask ourselves again, did our artistes really give us the best they could because I think they can do more. Fort hem to be referred to as the best artistes we have, they’re supposed to be more talented than what they gave us on the stage of Mandela 100 Global Citizen Festival 2018 in South Africa on the 2nd of December 2018.