by Caleb Olorunmaiye
Listening to Tonto’s songs made me sad on so many levels. She could have done better.
You would think that being a very successful actress in Nigeria and living the dream of 30 million girls would be enough for one person. Well, you know what they say about human nature. If a crowd has ever shouted your name whilst you waltzed on stage, and delivered the lyrics to your song word for word in a frenzy that pumped the adrenaline out of you, you would understand that simply making millions on screen might not exactly be the dream. You’ve seen the way those little girls scream for Wizkid yea?
Tonto Dike won’t be the first Nollywood actress to crossover to the vocal booth. We have witnessed our beloved Genevieve and Omotola of the heavenly hips dabble into singing careers, not forgetting gangsterly Jim Iyke’s attempt at rapping. At first I had a theory, that these actors turned musicians were simply bored. And since they had money to buy studio time, they were really just indulging themselves. Then I thought, maybe it wasn’t that, maybe it was the allure of headlining music shows and having sweating, screaming crowds show them love from the pier below. But now, I’m not so sure.
Listening to Tonto’s songs made me sad on so many levels. She could have done better. But our culture of churning rubbish and mediocrity for an audience that would love you as much as they hate you means that she isn’t bothered. She has the money. If she wanted to fulfill a life time ambition of performing songs on stage there certainly are other means she could have fulfilled this dream, long and tasking as they may be, it would have boded well for her and the industry. Songwriters abound everywhere, mainstream and underground, she could have engaged one or two, a team even, throw out crap they present and task them till they come up with something mind blowing. Meanwhile, she could have gone for voice training during the time her songwriters tore sheets away. 3 months. Just 3 months and Cohbams could have brought out the best in her voice, and unlike the rest of us, she could have been able to afford it. The best producers in the country would not have said NO to Tonto. Why settle for such a shallow producer and bony beat? Why? Why? Why?
Standards are really low within the industry so she doesn’t care really, never did, never will. She is probably just scratching a itch. We might see an album, we might not. But Tonto’s obsession would soon pass and we would forgive her like we did Genny and Omo Sexy. And don’t we just have too many ass kissers as gate keepers. That’s why she would get airplay, and get her songs on all the music blogs, while creative and better sounding upcoming artistes get locked out.
But its all good though. Wantanamena! When you see Tonto, don’t be shy, just raise your hands to the sky and say HIGH!
Caleb Olorunmaiye is an undergraduate at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, studying Political Science. His interests are reading, movies, sports, with entrepreneurial interests in media and advertising and, yes agriculture. He blogs at www.queuebehindceefour.wordpress.com and tweets from @_Ceefour
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.