Nollywood stars and their misguided musical careers

All over the world, true entertainers are considered to be those that have the ‘triple threat.’ Meaning they can sing, dance and act. When such an entertainer has these 3 traits, he or she is considered to be well rounded in the industry.
We’ve seen many musicians delve into the acting world. It is easy for them because they already do some form of acting in their music videos. But for actors who want to become musicians, the transition is not that easy.
The misguided musical careers of the celebrities listed below are a testament to this fact.
Saint Obi
This veteran Nollywood actor is the latest to seek out a career in music. He recently established a record label ‘Agwhyte music’ and released 3 singles You & I, Imagine and Sarakute. I’ve been very hesitant about listening to his songs primarily because I do not want to be disappointed. The record his colleagues from Nollywood have when it comes to music is not encouraging me to listen to any of his stuff.

Genevieve Nnaji
Genny puts the B in beautiful. A talented actress and a force to reckon with in Nollywood, it came as a surprise when she dropped a song titled ‘No more.’ We tried to like the song and in all fairness it carried a strong message of women empowerment but the delivery and by this, I mean the person singing the song was not impressive at all. And since Nigerians don’t forget easily I’m sure she still gets shaded for partaking in that ‘stunt.’ Even though she claimed she got paid by a brand to release the song and its accompanying video. Publicity or not, that’s a stunt she should never partake in again.

Jim Iyke
AKA ‘The bad boy of Nollywood.’ Jim has a repertoire of very aggressive love roles under his belt, Naturally one is forced to wander why someone with that kind of reputation would delve into music. This question remains unanswered even as I write this article. His debut single ‘Who am I’ which featured 2face never really captured who he was. The song was more of a rhetorical question and God bless 2face’s heart for jumping on that track but even with all his clout in the musical world, 2baba couldn’t save the 5min long track.

Omotola Jalade
Delectable mother of 4, impeccable actress and humanitarian. Omo Sexy’s list of accolades is plenty but unfortunately, musician is not one of them. She even released an album and her most successful single off the album in my opinion was Naija Lo Wa which was a feel good jam but then that was it. Every other attempt was easily forgettable. In her reality series Omotola: The Real Me, we see her going to some big music studios in USA and also meeting with music execs but none of that has translated into another single. This may not be such a bad thing.

Desmond Elliot
I don’t know why he even considered it. Talk more of actualizing it. The current Honourable representing Surulere in the Lagos House of Assembly once released a gospel song. I even feel he lip synced in the video but I won’t add to his grief about it because he was ‘publicly shamed’ by AY the comedian at a comedy show so I rest my case.
Tonto Dike
The only thing the music business got her was the fact that it made her Nigeria’s most controversial celebrity (term is used loosely) so I guess she doesn’t need a fantastic octave to achieve that feat.

The connection between Halloween,Friday the 13th and Black Friday

What is the connection between Halloween, Friday the 13th and Black Friday?
Should I tell you what all of these things have in common (let’s pretend you don’t know)?

Well, they aren’t in any way connected to Nigerian holidays or superstitions; but guess what, Nigerians celebrate them all the same. So the main question is why?
‘Been Tos’ another name for those who have travelled abroad, irrespective of how long, could be for 6 months or 6 weeks course abroad, or to visit their cousin’s neighbour best friend for 2 days in SAwould come back to Nigeria not only with a brand new accent, but with oyinbo ‘celebrations.’

Seeing that some of us don’t understand the concept of these things, I will be very kind as to explain.

Halloween. according to, is a holiday celebrated every year on the night of October 31. The word Halloween is a shortening of All Hallows’ Evening, also known as Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve. Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century including Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain. The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crop

How all this grammar concern us? Yet, some of our brethren join in the celebrations.
Halloween parties are now held in Nigeria – which is not bad in its entirety; but it’ll do us good to infuse our Nigerianness in the celebrations. Instead of getting a Superman costume or going online and spending exorbitantly on a superhero costume, buy 7 yards of red material from your nearest market, go to the beach pick up sea shells,(if you don’t find, which I doubt) go to Isale Eko, buy cowries stick them in your hair. Borrow or buy eyeliner, apply them on your eyes, pick a stick on your way to the Halloween party and guess what? You will be the cynosure of all eyes as you will be dressed as the revered Yoruba god of thunder Sango. See how easily your Nigerian costume blended into the Halloween spirit?


Friday the 13th
I recently saw a post of a Nigerian that read, “omg I can’t believe today is Friday the 13th” and it got me thinking. What meaning does Friday the 13th hold for the average Nigerian?

Many believe Friday the 13th is the unluckiest day of the year and there are many superstitions and myths surrounding the day in the western world. In Nigeria we have plenty superstitions, off the top of my head these 3 stand out:

1) You hit your last toe against a surface (something bad will happen)
2) You have strand/strands of grey hair when young (this you being rich in future)
3) You have itchy palms? (Don’t worry money is coming your way)
But Friday the 13th? The whole nonsense with Jason and Freddy? Haba! Like we don’t have ‘serious’ superstitions to focus on.


Black Friday
Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving, and it’s one of the major shopping days of the year in the United States – falling anywhere between November 23 and 29. While it’s not recognized as an official US holiday, many employees have the day off – except those working in retail.

The term “Black Friday” was coined in the 1960s to mark the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. “Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” back when accounting records were kept by hand, and red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit.

All of a sudden we Nigerians started the Black Friday ritual without celebrating Thanksgiving. Online stores go wild, some even try to give it a more Nigerian feeling by changing the name from Black Friday sales to ‘yakata’. Very soon we’ll soon join the Americans to celebrate 4th of July – even though we do not know what it means.

All I’m saying is before we become United States of America (Nigerian branch) let’s all not just do follow follow and copy the western culture blindly.
Let’s infuse a little bit of Nigerian in it or not copy at all. No be by force.

Meanwhile, I’m off to the online stores to participate in the black market sales. If you can’t beat them, at least benefit from them.

Image result for black friday+african americans




8 Lessons Nigerian Musicians Can Learn From Adele


Adele’s success as a musician has many important lessons for others in her line of work. Here are some of them

Be comfortable in your own skin

When you hear the name Adele, what comes to your mind? Her weight? Of course not! Adele’s weight has never been an issue for her. In fact, she has always maintained that she is happy with her weight and would only change if it affected her health or sex life.  In a 2009 interview, Adele stated: “I like looking nice, but I always put comfort over fashion. I don’t find thin girls attractive; be happy and healthy. I’ve never had a problem with the way I look. I’d rather have lunch with my friends than go to a gym.” This stance of hers has gained her more respect and fans from around the world. Even when the likes of Karl Lagerfield and the late Joan Rivers criticised her, Adele always maintains that she is happy. This does not mean you should gorge yourself on everything edible while claiming to be healthy. If you do not like your weight, work on reducing it. If you are okay with your appearance, do not let words or people’s actions affect you.

Get the right team                             

Most Nigerian musicians are guilty of this. Just because you and Segun grew up in the hood doesn’t mean he should become your manager or publicist. Every right thinking musician should recognise the need to have the right people handling their career. Adele was discovered after a friend of hers posted a demo of her music on Myspace. Did she in return make that friend her manager? No! Instead with the help of her record label she realised that as a newcomer, only someone with experience could help her attain the heights she and her music aimed for. Coming closer to home, Wizkid has also had his own share of managerial problems. But like everyone in the know will attest, joining forces with the experienced and highly respected Sunday Are has done more good than harm for his career.

Keep your private life PRIVATE!

Being a celebrity automatically means that every facet of your life will be under scrutiny.  We get that.  But at the same time, not everyone needs to know what you and your wife or vice versa had for breakfast. Or where you guys will be spending your vacation, or the sex of your child before he/she is born.  When Adele got engaged to her current boyfriend Simon Konecki, who is the father of her son, that was all we knew about them: the fact that they were a couple. The next we heard about them was when their son Angelo was born. Adele and Simon even sued a UK photo agency for publishing photos of their son without their permission. If you must reveal details from your private life, let it be from you or your publicist.  Bottom line, be the source of information about your life. It’s a shame that some of our musicians even go as far as faking their own deaths to put themselves out there (I no mention name o).

Be in control

The way the music industry is structured sometimes does not allow the artiste to have full control over his or her song-making process. This is understandable. But at the same time, make conscious efforts not to be the only voice in your own career. Learn every aspect of the business, from song writing to producing and even distribution. While making 25, her soon to be released album, Adele was in charge of everything. She chose the producers she wanted to work with, the video directors, song writers, instrumentalists and even the studio she recorded in.

Talent, sometimes, is everything

Most musicians in this part of the world go into music because they are attracted to the fame and trappings they think music offers, without realising that before anyone can succeed in the music world, your talent should not be in question. Yes, some musicians are successful not because they are the best singers, but because they know how to take advantage of the opportunities that come their way. Therein lies their true talent.  Talent is the fodder for a successful career even if your first two or three songs are hits. Nothing guarantees a long and fulfilling career more than talent.  Musicians have come and gone, and while some say it is the harsh environment that led to the demise of their career, the truth remains that they found it hard to cope with the changing times; a trivial thing if they were talented. Adele’s talent has never been in doubt, even after her long break from music.

Timing is important

It has been four years since Adele last released an album. Four years! It seems unbelievable. In that time, she did not release any song or video (except the James Bond sound track) and she made very few press appearances. All this worked in her favour when her latest single Hello hit the airwaves. Everyone remembered with nostalgia the feelings her songs gave them, so when the news broke that she was set to release a new record, everyone, including her non-fans, all bought her music. While I’m not advising our acts to go on a long hiatus, it’ll do you good if you plan your career well.

Once you recognise a winning formula, stick with it

Ever since Adele’s first album came out with almost all emotional songs, all her other musical efforts have toed the same line, even in an age where techno/dance songs have become the norm. Moral of the story: once you find that winning style or genre, stick with it, versatility be damned. Although a move like this may backfire, it is up to you to read the handwriting on the wall and do the right thing.

Collaborations may not be your best option

The news recently broke that Beyonce – the Almighty Beyonce, had asked Adele to duet on a song with her but she refused.  Jay Z also allegedly chased Sade Adu for years before she agreed to collaborate with him. Since no one knows why these two musicians refused to collaborate with Bey and Jay, it is safe to assume that they did not need the star power and added attention a collaboration with Beyonce or Jigga would offer them. They could blow their own trumpet and still get the world to dance. Yet examples abound of Nigerian musicians who have done more harm than good to their career because of ill-advised remixes or collabos with so called ‘stars.’


This article was written by ‘Bisola Alawode. ‘Bisola is a journalist and PR consultant. He can be reached via his email address


In one word Dope is Dope.
Written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa and starring Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Kimberly Elise, Chanel Iman, Tyga, Blake Anderson, Zoë Kravitz, and A$AP Rocky. The film was produced by Forest Whitaker, executive produced by Pharrell Williams, and co-executive produced by Sean Combs.
Dope is a movie about a brilliant boy Malcom Adekanbi and his 2 geek sidekicks, who stays in a rough side of town with his single mother who is a bus driver. Malcom and his 2 best friends are stuck in the 90s which is an irony because they are millennial kids. Malcom’s story gets interesting when he stops to talk to one of the ‘bad boys’ in the neighbourhood, in the bid to outrun a cliq of bullies, they strike a conversation about his 90’s dress sense and love for 90’s pop culture and everything goes slippery slope(you have to watch the movie to kinda understand the term as it was used more than twice ) from there.

Impressive Characters
Malcom is someone who is smart but then he feels he is too smart and that could have easily been his downfall. When he finally does something out of character he doesn’t feel remorse, if anything, he only felt fear. Malcom’s character shows that we all have a choices and good or bad, we must own them.
Dom: I didn’t have an inkling that ASAP Rocky could act which is a welcome surprise, his scenes weren’t much. It was enough to have him seen but not enough for him to get over whelmed and get the character all tangled up. his character also an intelligent dope dealer if I may add. He started the slippery slope
Stacey: the school guard who turns a blind eye to the metal detector reacting to Malcom’s bag, he’ld rather believe the machine is broken than check ‘’innocent ’Malcom. He is also seen talking to the head of the bullies who was trying to steal from Malcom saying ‘’i’m from the hood,grew up with your daddy’’ this character basically gives hope, although been a security guard in a school isn’t particularly on top of the food chain but has gone on to make a honest living for himself.

Movie Analysis.
What the director did was brilliant, casting new faces at least not so popular faces, showing that a boy from the hood could dream big of getting into Harvard and also working hard for it, Trying to get a girl that is way out of his league.The story line involved Malcom having a dead beat father who is Nigerian, I was almost mad at that until I thought to myself, dead beat fathers come from all races,and socio economic class, I feel the Director was just trying to pay homage to his Nigerian roots and I definitely cant be mad at that. Its better than being an internet fraudstar I guess. His subtle hints about Nigeria from Malcom’s surname to his pendent at school which had a Nigerian Flag’s colour endeared me to the movie and thankfully no one was required to speak ‘Nigerian’’.
The use of a popular face like that of Kimberly Elise ( from For coloured girls and Dairy of a Mad black woman) could have easily overshadowed the newbies but No, she was just a single mother who’s role was to attend to her son the main character and she did just that. Rick Fox also made an appearance as councilman and I can call that scene ‘Half scene’.
One of my favourite part of the movie has to be when Malcom had to point a gun at the cliq of bullies you could feel the fear of what he was about to do, and the fact that he was holding a piece for the first time was also evident.
My best part of the movie was when he changed his thesis. Faced the camera and practically summed his life story in 3 minutes or less. Shows its such a bad thing not to fit into what society expects.
Only thing I didn’t like about the directing was in Malcom’s costume. The hair looked like a hairpiece infact I think I saw it move more than once.
Dope  is a really good movie with a great cast and a fantastic director.

Funke Akindele and the Dearth of the Jenifa Character

Anyone who doesn’t like Funke Akindele should please gerrrraoutta here as in all the way ourra this post. I love her versatility. Have you seen her in Tunde Kelani’s Maami? When you compare her performance in that film to her performance in Jenifa, you have no choice than to come to the conclusion that Funke can act.
Her other roles worthy of mention include having to play juxtaposing characters in Omo Ghetto, and her first recognized role in the TV series I Need To Know As where she appeared as a naive secondary school student just figuring out her path in life. These all show how far she has come.
However, the movie that took Funke’s career to stratospheric heights was The Adventures of Jenifa part 1 and 2. Her antics in those films would make you fall off your chair in laughter. Her ‘I must belong’ adventures in them are second to none. Not that people haven’t attempted telling that same story, it was Funke’s delivery of the title character Jenifa that made it impeccable.
Jenifa 3 came out to the usual fanfare that now heralded the Jenifa films. People came out en-mass to watch it at the cinemas and even though some commented that it wasn’t as good as the previous parts, fans still showed their support.
All this changed when Funke and her production company announced plans to air a TV series focused on the Jenifa character. It seemed fans had had enough of Jenifa.
Despite this backlash, the series Jenifa’s Diary started airing on TV. The series in its simplest form is basically more adventures of Jenifa in series form. So from episode to episode, you follow her life while she’s trying to navigate her way in a world where she clearly doesn’t fit in. There are also so many celebrity cameos in every episode, the question is, why isn’t it catching on?
The obvious answer would be that she is over doing it. Yes, the Jenifa movies were fun to watch but now, the cow that is the Jenifa character is now dry. Its surprising Funke hasn’t seen this yet. I get that she wants to continue the Jenifa franchise, but there are other ways with which she could have achieved this. She could have given the character itself a break and focused on other characters interesting characters in the Jenifa world. Characters like Shakki, Izoduwa and Peju with the right script have the ability to carry their own series. Jenifa doesn’t have to be the central character. She could just add credence to the series by making well timed appearances.
Mispronounced Grammar, a horrible dress sense and exaggerated acting can only take you so far.
Do you agree with this article? Do you think Jenifa’s Diaries is okay as it is? Let us know in the comment section.

5 Lessons Lagos Public Transport Will Teach You

danfo2This is no handbook or manual, instead these are just facts on how to survive while taking public transport in Lagos.
Lagos is pretty small but the distance from the island to Mainland is allegedly the same distance from Lagos to Benin (no jokes). I once heard a story where a dude went to drop his friend who was travelling to South Africa at the airport and was still on 3rd mainland bridge when the friend called to say he had landed in SA #TrueStory.
I’m sure people who work on the Island and stay on the Mainland can relate to this article.

We often see JJCs (Johnny Just Come) who are visiting Lagos for the first time think this commute is a piece of cake. But when they experience it once or twice, they begin to sing a new tune.

Leaving your Mainland abode by 4:30am and getting to work by 9am is the easy part. Finding your way back to the Mainland is the hard part. So all you wannabe Lagosians, please pay close attention to the following life lessons from using the public transport system in Lagos.

Know Your Route
Like everything in life, you need to know what you want. In this case, know where you are headed. When you get to the bus stop, shout it loud and clear that you are going to Lekki phase 1 bus stop. Not Lekki Phase 2, Lekki Estate and definitely not “Somewhere in Lekki.” You need to know the exact bus to enter so you don’t get lost and then go through the stress of tracing your steps back. Ask your neighbours, ask relatives. This will go a long way in helping you locate your intended destination. I once entered the wrong bus and o boy it was not a funny experience. This happened because I had stayed too long at the bus stop and all I wanted to do was just get home by hook or crook. So, I suggest you are calm, calculative and alert when you find yourself at any bus stop because in Lagos, Rush hour is war hour.

Recognition Is Key
Some people won’t recognise what they want even if it slaps them in the face. This kind of attitude would not work in ‘Gidi. I pride myself on being able to recognise at least 5 of the many danfo buses and even the BRT ones that ply my route daily. So whenever I see or even hear them, I prepare myself mentally, emotionally and physically. Familiarise yourself with the type, colour and even the make of buses going your route. It’s not as hard as it sounds trust me. It’s pretty easy. In fact take a week to observe so you get conversant with it and not miss it.

The saying ”Only the strong survive”, best sums up the Lagos transport system. Even though things have gotten easier with the introduction of BRT buses and private cab services, people like us who still have to use danfos and Okadas have to be cut throat. Nothing in life is going to be handed to you; you have to take it by force. Out of the 1million people at the bus stop, there is a chance that 50% of them are going your route and it’s just a 14 seater bus in sight and you’ve been waiting at that bus stop for at least 1h30mins. This moment cannot pass you by. It is shove or be shoved. At the same time, please keep your bag and valuables close to avoid stories that touch.

Be Street Smart
I’m yet to meet someone who will successfully define what being street smart means. But if i was to give it a go, I’d say being street smart is being street smart. You can’t always play by the textbook. When on the street, you have to be extra perceptive. You should know when to run, when to hide, when to walk, when to talk and when to just keep your mouth shut. Tap into your inner agbero. Hell, this is Lagos. You need to learn how to enter into a vehicle in motion, and also protect your valuables all at the same time. It’s easy, oyinbo people call it called multitasking.

‘Forming’ Won’t Get You Anywhere
If you are prone to ‘forming’, the Lagos public transport system is not for you. Examples abound of guys while forming for girls, passed their intended destination because they could not scream out OWA! when the vehicle approached the bus stop. Or of girls who in the act of forming could not do the same because they didn’t want the other passengers to hear their strong tribal accents. So if you feel the bus conductor would strain himself trying to hear you speak, or mind that you and that fine girl have been maintaining eye contact since you boarded, then you are on your own.

Congratulations, JJC. Having assimilated these tips you are now on your merry way home. All you have to do is contend with the 4 hour traffic, don’t worry you’ll be fine, no one ever died from too much go slow. WELCOME TO LAGOS.

An Account of Happiness: My Amazing Afropolitan Vibes Experience

Afropolitan vibes---PICTURE

On my way to Freedom Park, I looked over my shoulders to see my friends shouting on the top of their lungs to Burna Boy’s Like to party. As the turnt generation, we’ve learnt to put ourselves in the ‘party mood’ even before we get to the party. My mind then drifted to how we got here in the 1st place.
I had a long day at work and to relax, I gingered my friends to go see/witness Afropolitan vibes. I had seen an ad for Afropolitan vibes while surfing the internet earlier in the week and I just figured it was the world trying to tell me something, so why not give it a try. Didn’t have anything to lose so my friends and I started our journey to Freedom Park.
It was my first time there and I was amazed at the amount of cars parked by the road and every available space, trust Lagos ‘hustlers’ making use of every available office car park to park guests and make a little more for themselves as per ‘happy weekend’ .
Maybe it was because it was Felabration night which was in honour of Fela and also Thomas Sankara, but there was a very long queue towards the gate and surprisingly it was moving quite fast. We purchased our tickets and in my true form first thing I observed was the ‘Africaness’ of the people in attendance. Even though some of them had oyinbo accents, most people had natural hair or some form of African print on. I saw a crowd gathered close to the stage and I quickly joined in, no place to sit in site so the only option was to stand.

Afropolitan crowd
Ade Bantu was belting out the song Listen Attentively with his amazing live band and backup singers. After he was done, He introduced the first guest of the night Yinka Davis. Who in my opinion is the most energetic female performer in Nigeria. With her incredible voice, she got people moving and I especially liked her rendition of Owo ( the song which was featured in Tunde Kelani’s hit film Maami) and it was exceptional. Before she got off the stage, she gave Ade Bantu props for his hard work and stagemanship. Stating she couldn’t match his stage dexterity.

Yinka Davis
Adekunle Gold then took to the stage heralded by screams. He had an expression of shock because everyone sang along to his hit songs Orente and Sade including the adlibs and also instrumentals, yea we were in deep.

The crowd at Freedom Park if handpicked wouldn’t have done any better, because when the Ghanaian Gyedu – Blay Ambolle came on stage despite not knowing any of his songs, the crowd was quick to catch on, move to his afro beat and hip life tunes (I’m still looking for where to buy his songs)

What kind of gathering would Afropolitan vibes(Felabration special) be without any of Fela’s original songs? Showboy knew exactly what the crowd wanted and did justice to Fela’s Shakara and added his own sass to it which wowed all those present.

Burna Boy finally took the stage. , even though his set was affected by a faulty microphone, that didn’t deter the crowd. Note that at this point, everywhere was quite stuffy and people were already sweaty. They didn’t seem to mind as we all kept yelling his song word for word. I must give kudos to the technical team at the show as they fixed the sound problem in less than three minutes. This was met by a thunderous applause from the crowd.

Burna Boy Afropolitan
Going further, Burna was so carried away by the crowd, he started removing every piece of clothing he had on save for his trousers although some people wanted that off too. He then performed a freestyle that had the crowd going wild, a conscious tune that spoke about the ills of the society in true Fela fashion.
And with that, we came to the end of my first ever Afropolitan Vibes happiness. I had a permanent smile of my face till I got home.

Things observed.
• People felt at home, even going on stage to dance which was a wonderful sight to behold.
• The song Lagos Jump is a JAMMMMM! When Ade Bantu performed it, I haven’t seen so many people jump at the same time, like we were all under hypnosis.
• There should be a platform where CDs of the night’s show is sold or can be downloaded or bought online.
• Afropolitan vibes doesn’t have a sponsor which is too sad to be true. What are all this corporate bodies looking at? This is a great way to advertise your brand!!!

Note to self:
Next month I’m wearing sneakers, getting ready to stand for another eventful 4 hours,.

About Afropolitan vibes
Afropolitan Vibes is a monthly live music concert in Nigeria which exists as a platform for alternative music. Contemporary singer/songwriters and musicians perform mostly original works that are firmly rooted in African musical origins of Afrobeat, Afrofunk, Afro-hiphop, Afro-pop, and Highlife. All acts perform with the 12 piece Bantu collective.
A host of talented artists gather each month to rehearse and then perform with Bantu/Crew on stage at freedom park. The show is held every third Friday of each month. No miming is allowed at the shows.

Photo Credits:Afropolitan vibes Facebook page 

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