Law & Policy, Music Business

Dammy Krane ‘My Dear’ by Clarence Peters, Spinlet – What’s With the Oversexualization of the Nigerian Woman in Music Videos?

The Nigerian woman, prior to the advent of contemporary music videos as we know it, has been limited to fighting a serious and ongoing battle with violence against her person, domestic violence, poverty, rape, employment discrimination, sexual harassment and other sexual assaults and violence.

Since the advent of music videos as we know it, the Nigerian woman also now has to contend with the objectification and over-sexualization of her image and essence, and it gets worse by the moment.

This is highly disturbing to me and should be to you too, especially if you are a woman. The Dammy Krane ‘My Dear’ video shot by Clarence Peters underscores the worsening of this situation. If we are here now, imagine what the next five years will bring.

Ghana’s Becca is Accidentally Edited into this Video?
First, it appears Clarence Peters and his team made a mistake in the editing of this video. If they did NOT, I definitely stand corrected. The mistake, to me, are clips of Ghana’s songstress Becca which appear in this video. I have taken screen shots. Becca has never been about what is displayed here i.e. the devaluing, objectification and over-sexualization of the Nigerian woman and African women in general. Her songs are purposeful and she is careful who she associates her brand with. So, this has got to be a mistake.

There is no connection both from her personal brand perspective; and from the song and its lyrical content that would warrant a Becca appearance in this video. I’d suggest Peters look into this situation. If Becca meant to represent and endorse this video with her appearance, then I am speechless. I certainly would like to hear her openly speak about why she thought it prudent to associate her brand with this video.

On to the video and its objectification and Over-sexualization of the Nigerian woman.

1. As a creative community, we have a responsibility with what we put out there. We really do. There is art and then there is nonsense, especially where it is a cookie cutter copying of the tried and tested Western formula of music videos that degrade the Black woman.

I say often that Nigerians are great at copying what the Western world does (with no idea and contextual background for why the West does what it does). The problem is we do not have a strong judiciary that can protect us from the negative consequences of such “copy, copy.”  It would not silence the voices of those that oppose the “copy, copy” if we had a strong judiciary; but at least our women would be better protected.

In the USA, for example, men might see all the over-sexualization of women on music videos. But, they know there are severe sanctions and possible lifetime imprisonment sentences (especially where sexual violent crimes are committed), if they do not keep their hands to themselves. Contrast it with Nigerian and African society in general and the difference is clear.

Indeed the lack of protection for women has and continues to lend  itself to sexual abuse, rape and victimization of our women in alarming rates. I read almost daily, in the news, stories of women that are sexually abused and it gets a shrug and people move on. Worse, some of these victims are told and will continue to be told that the way they danced or dressed is what got them raped. Music videos like the one below further compound this problem and more like these are created daily.

Conceptually, this video gets an F in my book. Okay, Peters shoots great picture quality but Nigeria’s music industry does not have a point to prove on that anymore. What does that have to do with the story line here? Worse, Dammy Krane with his various offensive hand gestures towards and in between the private parts of our women, albeit these women are dressed, etc. is highly disturbing.

2. Spinlet, it is one thing to attempt to aggressively try to gain a market share in Nigeria as a digital distributor. It is another thing to be so indifferent to the ethos of your brand and its social responsibility to add value not devalue our women. Eric Idiahi, why is Dammy Krane permitted to wear such obnoxious ad placement of Spinlet for an equally obnoxious video that degrades, devalues and disrespects our women? Is this what Spinlet stands for?

I need to stop. This video is very vexing. The artist is signed with TuFace’s Hypertek and I seriously do not know how TuFace goes from his so called “African Queen” “One Love” brand to endorsing and releasing this.

What are your thoughts on the objectification and over-sexualization of our women in Nigerian music videos? Black women here in the USA have waged this war for a long time. Is this where Nigerian women are headed? Millions around the world will come to see the Nigerian woman in the negative light the way the Black man here in America has successfully branded the black woman globally with music videos?

What is the responsibility of the Nigerian man and/or the Nigerian men in the creative industries who direct these videos?

-Uduak
@uduaklaw

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email (africamusiclaw@gmail.com). Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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3 Comments

  1. Franklin Jamieson Camacho says:

    Hi,

    I think you have tried to purposely find fault in what is otherwise a creative gesture in the opinion of Clarence Peters and in the Artist Dammy Krane. The point of the video is not to objectify or oversexualize women but simply to artistically express an idea – fun, Dance and so on. Its music, its a video and its simply non offensive. Its a form of escapism.

    What would you have African video directors do? Not evolve in any shape or form. Why is copying such a bad thing? (I will address this later)

    There is nothing wrong in criticizing objectively, but there is something wrong in trying to find a reason to forcefully find fault in a simple expression of creativity. Your comments on oversexualisation is misplaced and should have been saved for a more pertinent violation of such.

    As for the accusation of obnoxious ad placement, again I think this is misdirected. If Dammy Krane the artists decides to wear a spinlet t-shirt for whatever reason, I think thats ok. More importantly I think its more an expression of his knowledge that spinlet represents for him an opportunity to have his music available to a potential audience beyond Nigeria. So perhaps he is simply celebrating that fact and he’s happy about that – being afforded an opportunity that was once unavailable to him and many other artists across the continent. Will you ask Kanye West to forego mentioning or rapping about Lamborghini, or US artists of yesteryear displaying what you may call a grotesque over use of Hennessy in their music and videos???

    Finally madam, I know you are simply striking up a debate and I think thats commendable but lets not complicate matters by sending out misdirected information or accusations or questions. Remember, plagiarism has ignited some of the most creative opportunities in the world. Lets not crucify talented individuals in Africa simply because some of their creative juice comes from expression they have seen elsewhere – because we know that from scorsese to McG to Spielberg and so on, they have at some point in their career taken inspiration from someone else’s work. It is the natural progression of creativity. So lets not make it a bad thing simply because its coming from an African.

    Lets commend work where its needed. In my opinion, Clarence Peters shows once again he is streets ahead of some of his compatriots and continues to set the standard. The same can be said of artists on the continent who are working harder than ever to create an ecosystem of creative success and opportunity by showing that we as Africans are very capable. As for organizations such as Spinlet, they in my opinion, are simply showing us that there is a better way to distribute music and ensure that the Artist is the winner.

    I commend you on your work thus far and encourage you to continue to strike up debate.

    Thanks

    FJC

    1. **Franklin, see my answer in bold.

      Hi,

      Uduak: Hello Franklin.

      I think you have tried to purposely find fault in what is otherwise a creative gesture in the opinion of Clarence Peters and in the Artist Dammy Krane.

      Uduak: Really? So you can comfortably call your view of the video a “creative gesture” without expecting to be labeled as “purposefully finding fault.” But, when I say my view which strongly disagrees with yours, it is supposedly “purposely finding fault?” Let’s keep it intellectually honest and make room for opinions that conflict with yours, shall we?
      ****
      The point of the video is not to objectify or oversexualize women but simply to artistically express an idea – fun, Dance and so on. Its music, its a video and its simply non offensive. Its a form of escapism.

      Uduak: As a woman viewing this, among others, I see objectification and oversexualization especially in the latter part. As a man, you disagree. How exactly do you stand in my shoes to tell me what may or may not be offensive to me?

      *****
      What would you have African video directors do? Not evolve in any shape or form. Why is copying such a bad thing? (I will address this later)

      Uduak: I want Nigerian video directors like Clarence Peters to be creative, accountable and not put out junk that further harm the reputation of the Nigerian woman and puts her in harm’s way. I guess I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of our women being sold as sex slaves and shipped to Italy, I am sick of our young University girls being offered for lunch at board meetings across the country, I am sick of reading news about sexual harassment, rapes, sexual molestation and the list goes on with never any legal ramifications. I am sick of lazy video directing that lack a well developed story line. I am sick of a few in the industry that are ready to pimp the Nigerian woman for a quick cash and Western recognition. As one who has Nigerian blood running through my veins and a woman, I have a problem with it. So, excuse me when I see Dammy Krane’s hands going through a young girls private parts (albeit she is dressed); or his head emerging from her private parts as she gyrates over it and I say, “I am so not on that P.”

      ****
      There is nothing wrong in criticizing objectively, but there is something wrong in trying to find a reason to forcefully find fault in a simple expression of creativity.

      Uduak: For the argument to be true, it must mean you have entered my mind and concluded that I am NOT criticizing objectively etc. “Forcefully find fault?” You are a guy telling me you are okay with this devaluing and oversexualization of our women and when I reject your position then you label me. Your act in and of itself, is “forcefully” “finding fault” with my position. You can disagree with me but to say I am “forcefully finding fault.” Why? Does Peters pay my bills or compensate me for the time I spend sharing my hard earned timeless knowledge with the industry? Have I even met the guy? What’s my motive? Bottom line, I reject this devaluing of the Nigerian woman and do not expect it from a seasoned veteran in showbiz. Beyond the deteriorated global image of the Nigerian i.e. 419, drug pushers, sex workers/prostitutes in Italy etc. I simply don’t want yet another stereotype perpetuated by the music industry.

      ****

      Your comments on oversexualisation is misplaced and should have been saved for a more pertinent violation of such.

      Uduak: Clearly we disagree. If I were you, I’d take your own advice and save your disagreements on other posts it may be better suited for.

      *****
      As for the accusation of obnoxious ad placement, again I think this is misdirected. If Dammy Krane the artists decides to wear a spinlet t-shirt for whatever reason, I think thats ok.

      Uduak: The problem here is “you think its ok.” First, your argument is “misplaced” and “misdirected.” Who cares about the artist here and his action specific to Spinlet? Why do I care? The artist is told what to do. He does not call the shots. I focus on those who call the shots. They are the decision makers, they negotiate the deals, sign the contracts and make sure it is executed. I addressed those persons. Please stay on topic.

      Businesses DO HAVE a social responsibility to and in the communities where they do business, including in Africa. It includes the likes of Spinlet. If Spinlet will advertise, it MUST be responsible on the message it sends. Sending a message that it is okay with the objectification and oversexualization of the Nigerian woman is a bad business move. It is also not a good note to start on, especially in the social media age, as they try to beef up their promotions and marketing in Nigeria.

      ****

      More importantly I think its more an expression of his knowledge that spinlet represents for him an opportunity to have his music available to a potential audience beyond Nigeria. So perhaps he is simply celebrating that fact and he’s happy about that – being afforded an opportunity that was once unavailable to him and many other artists across the continent. Will you ask Kanye West to forego mentioning or rapping about Lamborghini, or US artists of yesteryear displaying what you may call a grotesque over use of Hennessy in their music and videos???

      Uduak: Clearly, you make way too much speculations and irrelevant points that do not address the point raised in the article. What’s the artist got to do with my discussion on Spinlet? As for your Kanye West comments, even Kanye’s team will tell you when I take on things Kanye does that I oppose, among others, I could care less his popularity or the size of his wallet. Please reference http://www.fashionentlaw.com to have a little taste. Spinlet has a responsibility to Nigerian women on how they portray us through what they endorse and the message they send. They get it. They will make the adjustments because they know they do not want Nigerian women now or in future to think that is what their brand stands for. They are not exonerated because they are Spinlet. In the final anaylsis, their brand reputation matters.

      ****

      Finally madam, I know you are simply striking up a debate and I think thats commendable but lets not complicate matters by sending out misdirected information or accusations or questions.

      Uduak: Sir, I dislike, and I am sure you can tell from my tone, your conclusory statements about my intent when I wrote this article. How DO YOU “KNOW” I am “simply striking up a debate.” Issues affecting women such as rape, sexual harassment, violence, objectification and oversexualization, violence against women in general is NOT one I “simply strike” up a debate about. These are real issues that affect real women. A few men, for now, in the creative community are single-handedly undermining the Nigerian woman’s image locally and globally through such videos. I have a major problem with it.

      ****

      Remember, plagiarism has ignited some of the most creative opportunities in the world. Lets not crucify talented individuals in Africa simply because some of their creative juice comes from expression they have seen elsewhere – because we know that from scorsese to McG to Spielberg and so on, they have at some point in their career taken inspiration from someone else’s work. It is the natural progression of creativity. So lets not make it a bad thing simply because its coming from an African.

      Uduak: I am talking about the objectification and oversexualization of our women. I fail to understand why you discuss and focus on “plagiarism.” You did everything but really take on this point. Why?

      ****

      Lets commend work where its needed. In my opinion, Clarence Peters shows once again he is streets ahead of some of his compatriots and continues to set the standard. The same can be said of artists on the continent who are working harder than ever to create an ecosystem of creative success and opportunity by showing that we as Africans are very capable.

      Uduak: “We as Africans are very capable of what?” What’s with this identity complex? So what have we proved now? We are capable of portraying our women as badly as the West portrays the Black American woman in music videos? Were our African mothers, aunties, female cousins, sisters seen in videos that objectified and sexualized them? Did they let our fathers, uncles, brothers call them anything less than they were? Is the African culture lost just because we want to make music and take our music global?

      Further, type Clarence Peters in Google or AML search box and you should see my praises of his work and other music video directors, long before other blogs even began profiling him. In future, can you at least check before you say “let’s commend work where its needed?” A pet peeve of mine is when people comment without a clue of the extensive history of support I have contributed to the creative industry, both African and non-African creative industries. Please do your research.

      ****

      As for organizations such as Spinlet, they in my opinion, are simply showing us that there is a better way to distribute music and ensure that the Artist is the winner.

      Uduak: What’s the issue of distribution got to do with the topic at hand? Spinlet’s advertising and endorsement of a video, that in my opinion oversexualizes and objectifies women, has nothing to do with Spinlet showing us a “better way to distribute music,” as you put it.

      ******

      I commend you on your work thus far and encourage you to continue to strike up debate.

      Uduak: Thanks but no thanks on the “commend(ation)”. I’ll pass. This is not a “strike up a debate” post. This stuff is real. Our women are raped, molested and abused daily. They are sold into sex slavery and abandoned in foreign lands. There are global statistics that now allege that our women are one of the most unfaithful in the world. There are statistics and imagery that now portray our women as drug pushers in numerous countries across the world. Music is global, travels fast and is very powerful. Music imagery is even more powerful. Our industry cannot afford to pimp the Nigerian woman and her image for quick cash and Western recognition. While it has not become a crisis yet, it is certainly something worth insisting and demanding that those who should know better not sell us, all over again, for the sake of money.

      Thanks

      Uduak: You are welcome.

      FJC

  2. My point of view?
    This is a nice video when it boils down to the picture quality
    and cinematography.
    Nevertheless,without sounding like am taking sides,i beg to say
    that Ms. Uduok has really laid down a salient point here:

    “…video that degrades, devalues and disrespects our women.”

    Is this the Nigerian music industry we are building for the future?
    Haven’t our women suffered enough disgrace and molestation already?

    We beat our women to the point of trauma and then call them mad women.
    Now this! And who are all those ladies who agree to all this nonsense
    in the name of modelling in music videos? Are they really Naija girls or they are imported.

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