Last week, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission placed a futile ban on Olamide‘s latest video, Wo – which has managed to floor every other “summer song” prediction despite a rather late entry. According to the regulatory body, the music video is not fit to be broadcast.
The ban came shortly after the Ministry of Health announced that the video contains content dangerous to public health and is in violation of the Tobacco Control Act of 2015. This observation was in relation to the less-than-a-minute clip in the video where a young man is seen puffing on a joint.
Now, we can argue whether the clip was truly in violation of the ban on Tobacco advertising, promotion & sponsorship part of the Act and indeed whether the Ministry of Health should have outed itself so despite how full its hands should be with managing meningitis, Lassa Fever and the “unknown” killer disease in Kogi. Olamide as well may have got a lot of support if he chose to join issues with the Ministry and the NBC.
Another thing he could have done is to completely ignore both entities. After all, what use is a ban that does not really have any negative effect considering the fact that the metrics that matter more these days (online streaming) will not be affected by the ban?
But the singer did nothing. He acted smart. He quickly put out what can be considered an apology saying he had “no intentions of promoting tobacco to get people killed. In one tweet, Olamide reaffirmed his love for Nigeria and Nigerians, promoted his song even further (“Oya Wo”) and aligned himself with the Ministry.
He did not hurt himself, did not offend “powers that be” and did not allow a non-issue blow up into one.
But what we are most impressed by is the fact that he’s just kicked the door open for a partnership with the Ministry o Health. Think about it for a second: if the Ministry needed an inluencer to headline a campaign kicking against the use of tobacco on Nigerian streets (and they do), who’d be the perfect fit?
Guess what? Another endorsement deal in the bag or Olamide. That’s without jeopardizing the many others he currently has with the Lagos State Government.