YNaija Editorial: There’s something D’banj needs to understand

D'banj

D'banj

Judging by the fact that the transcript of D’banj interview with SaharaReporters TV is still one of the most-read stories on this platform even one week after it happened, this continues to be a hot button topic for thousands of young Nigerians – as it should be.

(See the interview transcript HERE.)

No one – no matter how many bodyguards he has or how many hit albums to his credit – should be above being interrogated by his or her compatriots over the state of the common enterprise called Nigeria.

Now, there are those who have reacted with visceral, even uncommon, anger over what they refer to as Dbanj’s insensitivity and a seeming discontent with the Nigerian reality. And there is the visibly minority view, which insists that D’banj is only an entertainer and should be left alone.

Yes, it is a bit of a stretch to criticise D’banj for not joining the rallies in Lagos or London, or to insist that he must oppose the fuel subsidy removal policy. It is after all his fundamental right as a citizen to hold an opinion, even if – perhaps especially when – it is not the popular one.

But that is hardly the point. What D’banj did was essentially tell his interviewer that he had no concern on the subjects of poverty, fuel subsidy removal and the way the affairs of the country are managed – and in the most dismissive sense.

This is wrong for many reasons.

For one, the artiste has referred to himself as a youth ambassador. Of course, as people try to position themselves and their careers, titles like this are strategic to that advancement. However, they must also be ready for the responsibility that comes with that priviledge.

Even more to the point, there is an ironic contraction to D’banj’s latest stance that severely undermines his personal credibility. The singer has always been in his legal and moral rights to produce a song for any politician for a fee – as a business person, this is proper practice. However, in D’banj’s case, he has insisted that this was an endorsement based on belief and not a commercial venture.

This is where it gets tricky. How do you endorse a man out of concern for your nation a year ago and then suddenly be too busy to care about the most important matter concerning your nation, and brought about by that man, a year after?

For those who insist that D’banj is an entertainer and thus should not be burdened with these issues, that is the crux of the matter. He put himself out there.

Perhaps more disappointing than this lack of consistency, is the transparent arrogance in a young man whose success is created by the public, disdainful of the issues on the top of that public’s mind. It is impractical to expect Dban’j to have a Seun Kuti-like grasp of the complexities of cost of governance and fuel subsidy removal, but it is by no means out of order to expect him to show an awareness and sensitivity to those issues, at whatever level he understands them.

It is important for the famous and the influential to understand that patriotism and concern for one’s country is intrinsically linked to the entire concept of citizenship – active or not. You cannot be arrogantly disinterested in your country and still hope to profit from its progress.

D’banj is a talented young man with a superior grasp of his business and his musical brand. If anything, this is apparent from the sold out concert in New York immediately following the disastrous interview. But we certainly hope this is not an attitude he intends to keep up, just because the concert crowds are large, the music awards continue to stream in and the bank account is deservedly fat.

If that is in fact the case, then he would be sorely mistaken. There are many examples of high-wattage celebrity that eventually find themselves done in by a misguided sense of their own immortality.

The day eventually comes that they find themselves on stage and there are no cheering crowds. Then, it will dawn on them. But by then it will be too late.

 


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Comments

  • O dear. O dear. D’banj needs to read this – This killed it!It is impractical to expect Dban’j to have a Seun Kuti-like grasp of the complexities of cost of governance and fuel subsidy removal, but it is by no means out of order to expect him to show an awareness and sensitivity to those issues, at whatever level he understands them.

    Chai!

    Cheche February 25, 2012 3:20 pm
    • Do u no i hav been repeating this article words so just to use them DEEMM i wish i can speak like that…..

      yusuf September 4, 2012 8:08 pm
  • This will be way over his head trust me.

    Adeterx February 25, 2012 3:39 pm
    • hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

      oj February 26, 2012 9:21 pm
  • Pls evry1 shld gv him a brk, if he blvs in jonathan its no crime jst cos its unpopular @dis point
    Evry1 must nt join d protest

    duwabo wills February 25, 2012 5:45 pm
  • It is absurd and profoundly stupid for this type of article to even circulate the web.
    Emphasis are been thrown on the damn wrong things. Who cares if D Banj has a view on the deregulation of the downstream sector or not.. Where is yor NLC president on this issue? What was the final resolution?
    Truth be told 69% of the populace in Nigeria don’t even understand d subsidy payment to oil independents and majors yet they sit around and criticise them. If you think Oil companies are thieved then shut all of them down and your economy would be whose than that of Rwanda in the blink of an eye.
    For anyone informed enough to read and respond to my post, answer me these questions:
    1. What do U stand to gain if D’Banj agrees to it or not
    2. I know for a fact there’s going to be an increase in the demand of PMS yet the 2012 PPPRA import list isn’t out. Why?
    3.The greater population of the working economy falls between the ages of 25- 40, yet we are controlled majorly by politicians in their 60’s. I’ld have thought seasoned old school musiciand like Sunny Ade and Obe would even be in a better position to appeal to them. Why didn’t anyone say anything about them either?

    Muyiwa February 25, 2012 5:57 pm
    • “…I’ld have thought seasoned old school musiciand like Sunny Ade and Obe would even be in a better position to appeal to them. Why didn’t anyone say anything about them either?”

      I dey laugh o! You want King Sunny Ade and Obe to ‘lose market’. They sing for those big men in their parties and other gatherings, how do you expect them to be to ‘appeal’ to them.

      Vast February 26, 2012 12:33 pm
  • Muyiwa…. The point is D’banj is the Youth Ambassador and as such he should be able to dicuss indepth into issues that affects us. It is not about him, its about the people he is supposed to represent. I think you should read his interview piece again

    chioma February 25, 2012 8:40 pm
  • While we may all hold our varying opinions, we should also learn to respect the rights of others! Why Should D’banj be sacrificed for holding an opinion,Evryone has a right to approach national issues from the angle they understand. Half of the so called ‘occupiers’ who marched on the streets didn’t even understand what was really going on. Emphasis should be on harmonizing and appreciating the different angles to national development and not making someone a scape goat simply for holding divergent views. We must also understand that not every young person disagreed with GEJ! Focus must b on more important issues and not d’banj’s opinion.

    1neka February 25, 2012 10:27 pm
  • 1Neka – did u read this at all before your rant? The article made it clear he has a right to not support the protests.

    Olar February 25, 2012 10:58 pm
  • The point isn’t whether Dbanj supports the Fuel Subsidy removal or not! The interview was Sloppy on his part and showed a complete lack of knowledge of issues affecting Nigeria and more importantly the Youth, who he is supposedly representing as a “Youth Ambassador”! Does he even understand what that means, his responsibility’s as such? If he had made an informed argument about how subsidy removal will improve the lot of the Nigerian Youth, no one would fault him, but he sounded stupid, clueless and frankly as if he didn’t care! So who is he representing as Ambassador? Himself? He should be stripped of the Title immediately! Let us know he is Ambassador for D’banj! As I asked who did they ask before making him Ambassador for the Youth? Obviously not “The Youth”!

    Patricia February 26, 2012 4:29 am
    • yes o real misic…..i dusted one wasiu cd and i steienld to it and i was like his is real music…*sings*..”ololufe mi o, ololufe mi o,otutu n mumi bowale o, ololufe mi,ololufe, ara mi wa lona bowale ololufe mi.go on oun TE….MO N GBADUN TASTE E.

      Marcysia March 26, 2012 8:37 am
  • normally, anything dbanj pisses me off. left 2 me, he wont sell a single copy of his stupid, lyrically-bankrupt music. and for those supporting, i shld have tot u guys will have a lick of common sense. like the writer rightfully said, since he made himself ur youth ambassador, (definitely not mine), he shld live up 2 d responsibilty. i neva knew pple will actually take sides with d scapegoat. mscheeew! ynaija, thank u for making my read worthwhile. this is one of d few pieces of write-up coming 4rm u dt i enjoyed. dbanj, plz go hug a transformer ok. i spit on d ground at u.

    emelie February 26, 2012 5:48 am
  • normally, anything dbanj pisses me off. left 2 me, he wont sell a single copy of his stupid, lyrically-bankrupt music. and for those supporting, i shld have tot u guys will have a lick of common sense. like the writer rightfully said, since he made himself ur youth ambassador, (definitely not mine), he shld live up 2 d responsibilty. i neva knew pple will actually take sides with d scapegoat. mscheeew! ynaija, thank u for making my read worthwhile. this is one of d few pieces of write-up coming 4rm u dt i enjoyed. dbanj, plz go hug a transformer ok. i spit on d ground for u.

    emelie February 26, 2012 5:49 am
  • Anyways D banj has always been my favourite Musician and I love his brand of Music so much. But this interview really has shown who D banj his, it shows he knows no Damn thing about the situation of things in the country. Thou he refers himself the Youth Ambassador but now its obvious he his only a Music ambassador who is intrested in only singing Materials. For the Muyiwa Bros you have big mistake writing a stuff like that, You just threw a away the efforts and sweat of People who gave you the Oppurtunity to buy fuel at a filling station for 97 Naira. I was part of the protest but initially I dint get its purpose untill we were enlightened about it, Am telling you it waas really what becuz we now understand that the Government capitalise their rein on Crudeoil and deprive us all benefits and rites to other resouces so we dnt complain and we also see them as our Messiah.

    Itee February 26, 2012 6:46 am
  • The issue here is that D’banj is a youth ambassador so it’s not wrong for him to be crucified for not partaking in the protest. He’s not the only artist that didn’t protest but the only reason why we youths re mad @him is becus of his position as a UN Youth Ambassador.

    mac February 26, 2012 8:48 am
  • A major problem we have in this country is that a lot of people do not reason logically, a lot of people base their actions on emotions or one sectional bias or the other, be it religion, tribe, friendship or “my person”, etc. This is why the country keeps going round and round in circles on all issues from the serious to the unserious.

    When I first saw the tweets that Dbanj messed up in an interview, I assumed it to be true even though I hadn’t seen the interview, because I have always seen through Dbanj as a very proud and relatively ignorant person on topical issues.

    However early last week I decided to check out the interview, and honestly after viewing it, I felt that Dbanj acquitted himself nicely. He made it clear that he is an entertainer and so his focus is entertainment and not politics or even topical issues not affecting entertainment directly. So I felt the barrage of comments against Dbanj were misplaced this time, and the guy is ok to assume the type of person he wants to be just like any other person pursuing his business. After all we have businessmen and other professionals who even though they understood the issues, did not make a single public contribution for or against even though they have their opinions. You want me to list some; Dangote, Adenuga, etc, and they have not been vilified.

    But the article above has unwrapped two points to me which are very valid and which I didn’t know or consider ab initio, one of which is that Dbanj by his own admission says he is the Youth Ambassador. We all know that the protests were youth-driven, but Dbanj, the self-proclaimed Youth Ambassador, did not want to speak out. Is he not the ambassador for the two youth camps, both those in favor and those against, and as an ambassador does he not need to speak out for the people he represents? Will the Nigerian ambassador to the UK be silent if Nigeria and the UK are having an argument? This is grossly inconsistent and he is a joker to say the least. To have the peace he desires from such issues, he should indicate that he can no longer be the youth ambassador so he can focus on Entertainment, and he can become the Entertainment Ambassador which fits what he wants to be. Youths are not just about Entertainment alone.

    The other point raised by the article is that Dbanj endorses politicians and collects money from them for election praise-singing not just for the commercial value, but because he believes in them. So if this is true, it means he asked the youth to vote for Jonathan because he believed he will deliver. The same youths (or specifically a much larger part of them) are now crying out that they are not ok with what Jonathan is doing, and this same Dbanj says he has no role to play and can no longer speak about the leadership he endorsed! This is VERY inconsistent, and shows he is either very insincere, or very foolish.

    On a general note I wish many more Nigerians would take time to analyze issues before jumping into conclusions and comments. Same thing in happening in government, where nothing is decided based on logical reviews and considerations, but rofo rofo arguments. They should check out how James Cameron, Nick Clegg, and other MPs, marshall out points on any issue in the British parliament, and these are always reasonable points both for and against from both sides, until the superior argument wins.

    Pardon typos as I am typing this from my phone.

    Izu February 26, 2012 9:57 am
  • i am sorry but this is bullshit , D,banj has his rights an can choose not to be interrogated, most of our parents sat at home wtf , its anybodys choice to decide if they wanted to partake in the fuel subsidy protest, please stop picking on d’banj we all hve our problems to deal with, the real problem is with our government, D’banj doesnt hve the authority to reduce fuel subsidy price!,what difference would it have made!

    dami February 26, 2012 10:46 am
  • D’banj is the definition of who a Nigerian Youth is. Mere reading some of the comments here, you can tell he (D’banj) defines the Nigerian Youth. D’banj who claims to be mentored by Fela’s attitude, dress sense and music has forgotten that path so easy that money now drives him. Well, to me he does music with contents that we can’t take away with us but leave them where we heard them: which is the dancefloor! Same with Terry G and the rest of other artistes. But we look highly of them and bring them into serious issues which we ought not to. You can’t bring Snoop Dogg, Souljah boy, Vybz Cartel, Movado to talk about the going on of their government. They will never say things that will please the people; because to them it’s none of their business. The ills are everywhere!!! They are ambassadors true! We all are but in different sect. Why give Aki and Pawpaw a national recognition? I believe despite what Micheal Jackson did and the lives he influenced and touched worldwide… He got a national recognition on his wake ceremony. Nigeria is a total joke!!! From the Head to the Mallams begging on the street… So for me D’banj like everyother Nigerian Youth is a joke! If u think otherwise: What have you done for Nigeria??? That everybody did see??? Not what you said and didn’t act on???

    Azuka February 26, 2012 12:15 pm
  • Who is D’banj? He is a Nigerian Entertainer,undoubtablely the best performer out of Africa.Signed unto Kanye West’s G.O.O.D.Music,was featured on Vibe Magazine late last year,had a successful New york Debut,Which was on the Headline of New York times,and Mtv Uk,Mtv Rapfix,Mtviggy all reported it,No Nigerian singer has been reported by all these Magazines and Music Stations,First Nigerian based Artiste to appear on Billboard,Shared the Stage with Kanye West,Ciara,kelly Rowland,beyonce,Wyclef and Co,Did a remix with Snoop Dogg, next album to feature to feature Rihanna,bigsean,kanye west,pusha T,kid cudi and Co,putting Nigeria on the Music World map,UN ambassador for youth.D’banj has the right to or not support #Occupy Nigeria. D’banj Campaigned for Gej so did other A list Artistes. We all Voted Gej.Tell any International Act that have been interviewed about his govermemt policies? D’banj is an Entertainer and not a politician.Cut him some slack.
    Dbanj (Dapo Daniel Oyebanji) is
    an international artiste who is
    using his talent to export our
    cultural values positively to
    other countries of the world.
    Having said that i believe being
    a public figure should not rob
    him of his right to
    ideas,opinions and affiliations.
    We should not cast him into a
    mould of our prescription. The
    united nations (UN) recognized
    the positivity from Dbanj (Dapo
    Daniel Oyebanji) and therefore
    made him the youth
    ambassador to the rest of the
    world. He, in all his interviews
    always makes known the fact
    that he represents Africa. He in
    all his videos,ways tries to
    portray Nigeria even Africa as
    a good country/continent and
    also co-equal to any in the
    world.
    Dbanj is a celebrity and public
    figure criticism both negative
    and positive trail them every
    moment. But in order not to
    destroy the wave making
    figure,let’s cut down on the
    rate at which we criticize him
    and support him even when he
    makes mistakes so at make him
    create the bridge from africa to
    the world in the entertainment
    industry perfectly. Even though
    the interview went wrong as he
    was under much pressure,we
    should show that we care and
    support him. The interviewer
    asked about Fuel subsidy, a
    topic that he (Dbanj) has
    always taken a neutral ground
    on,the interviewer also asked
    about the poverty rate in
    Nigeria,Dbanj jas many
    foundations that supports
    people with varying challenges.
    He fights poverty in Nigeria
    within his own ability. Dbanj is
    a brilliant and a worthy
    ambassador. So File! Let him
    be! He is the KOKO!
    @YNaija What is
    Wrong with you?
    Trying to make a
    name for your site by
    publishing crap bout
    d’banj.@YNaija What bout
    Adams Oshomole and
    Other Governor that
    Supported removal of
    subsidy? 2face,Banky
    and Co also
    Campaigned for Gej!@YNaija All i see is
    that you are Hating
    on D’banj and that
    won’t take u
    anywhere atleast give
    him a lil space. @YNaija D’banj is
    performing at BBC
    Hackney Weekend,had
    a successful New York
    Debut,to perform at
    wireless festival with alot of international artistes and no other african on the line up,u
    didnt report these.Y ???

    welovedbanj February 26, 2012 2:51 pm
  • Honestly I think it’s wrong for anybody to critisize d’banj whether he’s a youth ambassador or not. Nigerians never hold their govt officials responsible house of rep members and senators are busy collecting N15million per month for doing nothing even the local govt chairmen and other local govt officials take home huge sums of money no you won’t fight them but instead you fight a man that does not spend d citizens tax on himself, you fight a man that his not being paid whether by govt or UN for the failure of govt official it is wrong. U didn’t fight d labour leaders that betrayed us. I think we should direct our anger at those peole that failed to do what they are suppose to do because they are paid to make life bearable for us not to make life unbearable for us,

    kunle February 26, 2012 5:00 pm
  • @emelie anythin dbanj will always pisses u bcos u can never be like him is kind of music will never be ur type bcos u are filled wit jealousy bcos d guy is doing well and ur generation to come can neva be like him u are here spiting on d ground for him while dbanj is out dere makin a livin for himself wat have u done for ur country nigeria it doesn’t mean u must attain a position in ur country b4 u can do somethin so get a life and stop hatin on dbanj most of u would even do worst than him

    mariam February 26, 2012 7:58 pm
  • During the Occupy Nigeria protests, I expected D’banj as a youth ambassador to step forward and say something, but he kept mute. That interview was the first official statement made by D’banj. And it was a failure.
    As a communications consultant, I believe he should have gone on that interview prepared to answer any question asked and not act like an unintelligent person who kept on ranting. He claimed he did not know what was going on in the country at that time. All he could offer was a minute silence for the souls that were lost during the protests. That just goes to show the kind of person he is.
    I never liked his style of music and seeing that interview just made me dislike him the more. This editorial just hit the nail on the head. There will come a time when D’banj will become unpopular among his own people.

    Toluwalope February 27, 2012 2:46 pm
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  • That girl is smart jare! She and I will hit it off perfectly. I can’t stand the hip/hop and R&B ispeirnd foolishness coming out of naija these days. If it ain’t Lagbaja, Asa, Femi kuti, seun kuti or other oldies like KSA. I don’t want to hear it.

    Inha March 26, 2012 5:21 am
  • Chika’s interview was designed to spoil D’banj’s image. I see no reasons why it becomes essential to force anyone to speak on a topic he desires not to. Personally, I didn’t join the protest for personal reasons and I believe D’banj has his rights too. Nigerians are just angry people not knowing where to focus their angers. For those who said He (D’banj) isn’t intelligent and doesn’t know how to answer questions, should first climb the ladder of success and then accept an interview that is aimed at destroying you, and let us see how well your responses are. Some questions have no right answers and those questions were one of them.
    For God’s sake let’s leave this our Nigerian problem of hating on successful people. God has lifted D’banj and whosoever has a problem with that will know no good in his life. Who God blesses, no man can curse. I stand by the side of reasoning, D’banj is human and has his free-will to decide on issues he wishes to dialogue on. All said, I wish D’banj a successful carreer with no potholes.

    michael-calmwaters October 30, 2012 10:50 pm
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