Burna Boy has chosen his own kind of revolution, but is he to blame for being called out?

Our celebrities are everything. They give us things to talk about, create trends for us to follow, and arguably, influence the decision of many of their fans. Being a celebrity comes with its perks as well as its downsides. For the most, Nigerian celebrities thrive on the support of their fans and take that away from them, you would be left with nothing but a person trying to stay relevant in their field of art.

On social media today, the impact of Grammy-nominee, Burna Boy is being debated over some tweets that challenged him to join a brewing protest against bad governance.

Former presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore had called out Burna Boy in line with the vivid local and international recognition he has gotten from his music. Sowore reiterated Burna’s achievement and the idea that he has branded himself as a revolutionary musician, the ‘Fela’ of his generation, requesting that he uses his voice and platform to join in the #RevolutionNow protest scheduled for October 1st.

Burna Boy, however, shared that he isn’t the only supporter of Fela and his distrust for Nigerian politicians does not exempt Sowore. As expected, the higgle between the two created a trend on social media with many taking sides.

READ ALSO – All the reasons why Nigerians should be part of the #RevolutionNow protest

The key argument: Over the years, Burna Boy has branded himself as the new Fela. Burna claims that Fela’s blood flows in his veins and he hates Nigerian politicians. We have heard him say so a million times, in interviews and in his songs. While that creates a certain identity for him, many have shared how troubling it is that Burna only takes on this identity for heavy playtime numbers on streaming services and for international recognition.

The counter-argument: Fela will continue to remain an icon for many Nigerians and a headache for many politicians. Many Nigerian youths praise the afro-music legend and share how much like him, they have grown to hate politicians. Everyone is a Fela fan. However, as much as there are a million and one Fela fans out there, branding one man (Burna Boy) to tap into the Fela spirit also becomes worrisome – if you consider that celebrities are also human beings and should be allowed to use their platform however they like.

The reactions:

 

Is Burna Boy to blame?

Like many Nigerian celebrities, Burna Boy is a social media activist. The singer may have claimed to be like Fela, but it doesn’t go beyond his songs and certain performances where he strips down to his underwear. For the most, where he speaks against politicians and social injustices, nothing is done to follow up his lashing out. In a line from one of his songs, the singer lashed at Nigerian youths for being cowards and afraid to stand for their rights. On the question of joining a protest that seeks an end to injustice and calls for better governance, he has chosen to stay away – it’s a classic case of if the shoe fits.

Burna Boy may be the target today. But many Nigerian celebrities fall under this category of wildly speaking out but doing nothing – But then again, our celebrities are not under any law to use their platform and voice to fight for us. If for anything, we should all channel our individual energy and voices to call out bad governance.

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