by Hauwa Gambo
Legendary American entertainer MC Hammer has taken a very keen interest in the #OccupyNigeria rallies that have taken over the nation in opposition to fuel subsidy removal. Unlike other observers like economist Jeffrey Sachs and CNN star Jim Clancy who have only briefly touched on the subject, Hammer has taken time over a period of one week to speak about and support the protests to his over 2,400,000 followers – as well as interact with Nigerians.
In his latest Tweets, the singer of Let’s Get It Started, Feel My Power and Too Legit To Quit, said “Post links to video !!! Video everything !!! Visibility is key to minimizing ABUSE of the occupiers !!! #occupyNigeria”, as well as “Folllow▬▬▶ @SarhanNews 4 Live coverage on фNigeria Protests today. THANKS.”
He also Retweeted the prayer of a young Nigerian, @edwinagili, “ur father and our God we bless your holy name for the gift of life today. We thank you for the victory we will have in #occupynigeria!!!”, as well as another Nigerian, @LonaQatarnow99 who recalled his music: “Watching @MCHammer ‘s we got to pray on BET here in Nigeria. Old memories flooding my mind, those were the days.”
“Even the legendary @mchammer is supporting the movement,” tweeted @RullzJagger. “We must HAMMER sense enter GEJ’s dull brain,” added @Tweetoracle. At about 2pm on Monday, the first day of the mass Labour-led protests, @MCHammer began to Trend in Lagos on the social network.
Born Stanley Kirk Burrell, Hammer has also been an actor and a preacher, in addition to being an entrepreneur. “He had his greatest commercial success and popularity from the late 1980s until the mid-1990s. He is mostly remembered for a string of hit records, his famous dance style, global fame and ultimately a quick crash during which he lost his fortune – despite selling over 50 million records worldwide.
His social media savvy on the Nigerian protests are not surprising as he is a well known new media enthusiast: he has co-founded Internet businesses including DanceJam, has been recipient of the Gravity Summit Social Media Marketer of the Year Award, and has since 2009, MC Hammer has been working on a search engine called WireDoo, which is currently in pre-beta.
For a Nigerian protest that needs all the support it can get, especially from a global media audience, it is no surprise that hammer’s tweets have gotten thousands of retweets, especially from grateful Nigerians.