For the last three years, there has been a ‘disruptive brand of music’ in Nigeria. Disruptive in a good sense, depending on how you look at it. And this disruptive brand of music was devised by singer, Naira Marley. With his style of music came a wave of overly enthusiastic fans known as Marlians, many of whom see themselves as ‘defiants.’
A man who because of his defiant nature has been compared to the likes of Fela, as since coming into spotlight has been nothing but a voice against the status quo. To put it succintly, if rebellion was a person, it would be Naira Marley. He is not afraid to say what’s on his mind, either in speaking against societal hypocrisy, the government or in speaking of his love for certain pleasures. ‘Naira’ says it as it is. To many, this perhaps is the reason why teenagers, who are predisposed to uncertainty and fear, enjoy someone who encourages them to live free of fear.
His arrest in 2019, increased the perception of his position as the voice against systematic oppression in Nigeria, and since then his music has been a mix of catchy tunes, raunchy lyrics and a rebellious undertone.
– Crowd boogieing down at Naira Marley concert in Abuja last night despite the pandemic.
— Postsubman (@Postsubman) June 14, 2020
So with his style of music, it may be a little amazing to see people shocked that he threw a concert in the middle of a pandemic. In fact, the only question on the minds of many would be: “How come he didn’t do it sooner?”
They thought abuja people were going to gbese inside car at a Naira marley concert, leemaoo ? pic.twitter.com/0jW78f6CBR
— SOUNDSMITH? (@Dj_borsh) June 13, 2020
Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, certain protocols have been put in place to make sure we observe social distancing, one of them being, no social gathering. And for the most part, musicians have adhered to this, cancelling pre-planned shows and putting their concerts on hiatus. Late Saturday however, Marlians said no more and came out in droves to groove with their king in a packed out concert. A move that has sparked conversations on social media:
Why should Naira Marley (who seem to like so much walaha) be arrested again when we watched on TV how several government officials who work with the president flout the lockdown rules and nothing happened to them? The Aisha Buhari issue is also about an SA flying around.
— Dr. Dípò Awójídé (@OgbeniDipo) June 14, 2020
This unfortunate concert by Naira Marley was put together by Play Network Africa, Traffic Bar, El'Carnival and was proudly sponsored by Glenfiddich.
Silverbird Entertainment Centre was the venue while Nairabox and Ariiya sold the tickets.
There, you have your Covidiots! https://t.co/A8K347Vfy8
— Demola Of Lagos (@OmoGbajaBiamila) June 14, 2020
Naira Marley was at Funke Akindele’s house during total lockdown.
He was at Abuja during interstate ban.
He performed at a concert even though it’s prohibited at the moment.
Don’t tell me bullshit, that guy might look like a sickler but he get mind. No mannaz
— Lola Okunrin (@lollypeezle) June 14, 2020
You have the gut even as a lady to risk police arrest / assault in the dead of the night to attend Naira Marley concert in Abuja, but see no reason to carry a placard in the day to protest for good governance.
Ladies and Gents we have no excuse, at the same time in deep shit. pic.twitter.com/ok0xj3Ep9J
— AyeMojubar (@ayemojubar) June 14, 2020
So Naira Marley held a concert in Abuja yesterday in the middle of a pandemic and people were humming body upandan. But if 1/4 of those people go to church/mosque you People’s antena will stand & your critic pen will start overflowing. Issokay.
— Umeh (@UmehWrites) June 14, 2020
Do you think Naira Marley went too far this time, or is this typical of him?
For Chinedu Okafor, its all about making an impact with words, creating a profound impression on the audience with the intended narrative.