Musicis the Weapon
Musicis the Weapon
In“, the Fela documentary”, Fela asserts thatNigeria is the worst country in Africa. The statement is contradictswith Nigeria’s reputation in the last half of the twentiethcentury. Western nations such as the United States rated the countryamong the best states in Africa. Allegedly, it had a stablegovernment, vast resources, including crude oil that generatedbillions of dollars. Furthermore, the west asserts that Nigeria is ananti-apartheid nation (Tenaille, 2002).
However,Fela denounces the western assertions as incorrect because many evilthings known to the public occurs in the country. For example, Felanotes that the crude oil industry earns billions of dollars yearly,but the resources pass through the pockets of a few wealthy andinfluential people such as former and current politicians and wargenerals (Tenaille, 2002).
Inmy view, Fela’s statement that Nigeria is the worst country isaccurate. He had a dream for vying for the presidency. In 1983, heformed the Movement of the People (MOP), which he intended to use forcompeting for the position. However, Nigeria had implemented a newpolicy that sought to restrict the country with only two parties,which Fela describes as suppression of democracy (Tenaille, 2002).His great understanding of the problems affecting the black people inNigeria gives him a desire to run for the presidency post so that hecould change the administration structure.
Felawent to school in London, and he lived in the United States for tenmonths. Nevertheless, he strongly opposes western culture. He is aPan Africanist that emphasized on adopting African culture andeducation system instead of embracing western values. He views thewestern influence as the primary cause of the Nigerian problems aspolitical leaders engage in supremacy war intended to gain controlover vast natural resources found in Nigeria (Tenaille, 2002).
Everymusician targets a given market when singing. In any cases, singerscompose music that would suit the local society. One of thestrategies artists applies to ensure that the music content fits thegiven class include singing in the local language. For example,Reggie Rockstone, who is a successful Ghanaian musician raps in bothEnglish and Twi. Twi is an Akan language that is spoken by over 58%of the population in Ghana and approximately 30% of the people inIvory Coast. The inclusion of a local language in the rap musicpopularizes the music as persons who speak the language feelsconnected by virtue of language.
Similarly,musicians can create music that addresses local concerns. Forinstance, Fela Ikuti sang several songs that criticized corruption,poor governance and civil war in Nigeria. His songs containedpolitical messages that he intended to use in educating the public(Tenaille, 2002). He advocated good governance through composingmusic based on then present political environment.
Onthe other hand, music artists make their music relevant to theinternational community to addressing general issues such as love. Inaddition, local artists often collaborate with renowned musician fromother countries in creating music. For example, Reggie Rockstone hasproduced music with international artists such as Shaggy and BeenieMan – the dancehall king in Jamaica. Since the artists arewell-known in both their countries of origin, they enable upcomingartistes to acquire international recognition. The international famebreaks an artist’s performance restriction within a single state orlocal city since they can quickly obtain international contracts(Rojek, 2011).
Finally,a musician can choose to be either local or global depending on themusic genre and its content. Besides, the language an artist uses canrestrict the music locally. For example, artists that sing withlittle known local dialects cannot sell internationally becausepeople cannot relate to the content. Besides, artists that focus oncreating music for a niche market also tend to remain restrictedwithin the local market (Rojek, 2011).
Tenaille,F. (2002). Musicis the weapon of the future: Fifty years of African popular music.Chicago, Ill: Lawrence Hill Books.
Rojek,C. (2011). Popmusic, pop culture.Cambridge [u.a.: Polity Press.