From Yoruba people with love: Fela, D’banj and Wizkid

If there is an ethnic group in Nigeria that needs to count her blessings for her exploits in the music industry, it is the Yoruba people. Whatever has been responsible for her breakthroughs and successes in that creative industry has reflected itself perfectly in the music of Fela, D’banj and Wizkid.

They would say in America that ‘Rosa Parks sat so that Martin Luther could walk to get Barack Obama flying’ in the determination to obtain equal rights for the black race and other races of the world from the hands of white supremacists. The same can be said about the artistic trajectories of these three; one laying the foundation for the other in order to have a free society.

Music gives voice to movements and aids in the evolution of sociopolitical culture. Fela embraced this attribute. He fought constantly with the then military government with music while also entertaining us with meticulous stagecraft that held audiences spellbound. He opposed their tyrannical tendencies and to his credits were evergreen hits like ‘Vagabonds in Power’ and ‘Coffin for Head of State’. He made satires out of corrupt practices involving government and business personalities thereby fanning the consciousness of the masses. The freedom of expression latter generation of artistes now enjoy were fought for by the likes of Fela.

Then enter Dapo Oyebanjo, popularly know by his stage name ‘D’banj‘, the highly prolific and ‘swaggalicious’ Afropop artiste who came to provide some spectacle to cool us down from our ‘tensioned’ military days. His music blazed through Nigerian and international airwaves winning awards locally and internationally. He has a slightly built body, stage command and energy; all almost like Fela had too. If D’banj is not stripping himself to towel during stage performances, he is exploiting ‘artistically’ God’s blessings in ladies.

Ayodeji ‘Wizkid‘ Balogun is arguably the hottest artiste in Africa at the moment. He came building on the foundations of predecessors like Fela. He has worn that same belly-tightening trouser holding crowd spellbound with his style. Wizkid continues to contribute his own quota to the development of African music at an undiminishing rate at that. He murders collaborations with local and international superstars with protean wisdom.

These trio have undoubtedly nourished the history of African music and they are all of Yoruba roots, a gift to the world from Yoruba people with love.

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