by Kikiowo Ileowo
In loving memory of those who died during the Occupy Nigeria protest between the 2nd and 13th of January 2012.
Unlike many others, the aim of this write-up is not to analyse D’Banj’s singing prowess, neither is it to debate his somewhat nose-diving music career recently resuscitated by the much-hyped Koko Concert 2012.
I have followed D’Banj’s music career from its rise till date. Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo, popularly known as D’Banj, had a humble beginning. He moved from one Nigerian military barrack to the other before relocating to England, failing to follow in his father’s footstep as a military man.
Fate shot him into limelight, shortly after leaving 419 & JJC squad to form the now-defunct Mo’Hits record label with erstwhile business partner, Micheal Collins, popularly known as Don Jazzy.
D’Banj, in collaboration with Don Jazzy, released hit songs from their first album, No Long Thing in 2005, which had the hit track, Tongolo, on it. They subsequently released Run Down in 2006, which had hit tracks such as Funk U Up, Why Me, Tongolo Remix. In the years 2007 and 2008, he released Curriculum Vitae and The Entertainer respectively. Oh, who could forget those melodious tunes like Gbono Feli Feli, Olorun Maje, Kimon, and the others?
D’Banj is an entertainer, a good, one with lots of energy, but he is a typical example of everything wrong with Nigeria.
Hold it; don’t haul your stones yet. I was once a fan like you; in fact a loyal one, but now, you can remove the prefix ‘loyal’. I think too much money and stardom got into the Koko master’s head and regrettably, he lost it completely.
His journey into the abyss started when he turned himself to Jonathan’s scapegoat, and went ahead to remix that beautiful tune ‘Scapegoat’ in support of the same.
Having seen the Dr’s cluelessness in office for about one year before the 2011 elections, I knew without an iota of doubt that nothing could come out of Jonathan’s ‘Nazareth’. During D’Banj’s ill-fated interview with the ‘PhD’ holder, he failed to ask why he wouldn’t hold a live televised debate with other candidates. He simply played the script so well, an action which, as some rumoured, fetched him an oil well.
As pardonable as that goof was, D’Banj iced his cake with idiocy by standing aloof during the Occupy Nigeria protest. Anyway, he couldn’t have voiced his support for the oppressed because his tent was and is pitched with the oppressors. He wines and dines with the sons of Allison-Madueke, the corrupt ‘witch’ overseeing the oil industry. It’s commendable that he has made millions in the entertainment industry, but by taking sides with those flying in jets all over the world, using Nigeria’s commonwealth which they stole, he lost me as a fan.
During the protest, He claimed he was tucked away in London, working on his new song; I am sure the song he was working on is the flopped ‘Oyato’. “D’Banj, how come you were so unattached to the suffering of your fellow citizens? Anyway, we all know that was a lie you concocted to save face.”
In a somewhat surprising move though, D’Banj’s erstwhile partner, Don Jazzy, tweeted quoting he regrets supporting Otedollar’s friend for the presidency, but D’Banj kept mute, and went ahead to insult the collective psyche of his remaining fans on Thursday, 27th December, 2012, at his Koko Concert by asking them to apologise to the rich because they ‘sponsored’ the show… I must confess, it is a rare talent you have; insulting your fans, yet smiling to the bank at the same time (apologies to Omojuwa).
My cross with D’Banj is the oppressive mentality he possesses, considering his humble beginning at the military barracks he grew up. He has simply shown, through his remarks at the Koko Concert, that he is one and the same as his mentors like Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Allison-Madueke, Otedollar, and others who daily inflict torture on Nigerians, they simply loot them dry, and then say “I don’t give a damn.”
Can Mr Oyebanjo tell us one thing his Koko Foundation for Youth and Peace Development has achieved? D’Banj is only a UN Youth Ambassador for Peace for publicity sake. All the same, it is not his fault; I only blame some Nigerians who celebrate mediocrity daily. It is the fault of every sycophant around him who has decided to side with the idiocy he represents.
The only way out of this quagmire is for D’Banj to change all he symbolises, and start using his ‘stardom’ positively, else he would end up where he began.
D’Banj can start by stepping up the activities of his foundation, and also start conducting himself like a peace ambassador he was selected to be.
In the same vein, all entertaining artistes who owe their ‘stardom’ to the Nigerian masses should come out and identify with them like many did during the Occupy Nigeria protest, or else they would have no guaranteed place in the New Nigeria.
*Ileowo tweets @ileowo4ever
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