There is a difference drawing inspiration from another artist’s work, and straight up plaigarising it for your own benefit. This is a long-standing debate in the creative arts industry, especially in the visual arts where imitation can dilute an artist’s brand and lose them valuable coins. ThankGod Omori, better known by his stage moniker TG Omori, really made his mark on the Nigerian music video industry when he collaborated with Naira Marley on the divisive ‘Am I A Yahoo Boy?’ music video, whose suggestive lyrics and overt visuals in part led to a skirmish between Marley and the EFCC.
Since then TG Omori has been in demand, shooting videos for Fire Boy DML, Olamide and Tekno, and has become the toast of the industry. But if the recent call outs by renowned Nigerian filmmaker Jenn Nkiru, stylist and filmmaker Daniel Obasi and others are anything to go by, TG Omori has been ‘helping’ himself to a little inspiration from other creators with seeking their consent.
if you’re going to bite my work at least execute it + push the vision + culture forward by adding to the cannon + not stealing from it.
also, your “version” is trite af.
— Jenn Nkiru (@NKIRUNKIRU) April 21, 2020
Brought to her attention by visual artists Joshua Kissi, TG Omori’s visual work for Terry G’s ‘Adura’ video bears near identical similarities to Nkiru’s music video for the Neneh Cherry Song (Kong), right down to the shot angles and lighting. It would be one hell of a co-incidence to perfectly mimic another music video’s styling, storytelling and shot angles.
Omori hasn’t responded officially to the allegations, but it does bear the question that at what point does inspiration veer into out right stealing and what structures exist to protect the creative work of artists and allow them collaborate constructively with other artists who find inspiration from their work?