What’s with this “mugu” house boy persona like thing D’Banj does when it comes to his dealings with American media, celebrities and brands in the USA? D’Banj has had so many opportunities in his dealings with globally recognized American brands/celebs to fully and intelligently articulate his brand message to the American masses but he always misses these amazing opportunities.
I am noticing a pattern. I am unsure if it is a loss of confidence, temporary confusion or just being star struck. From Kanye West, ABC News, Bob Shriver, to Apple, it’s like D’Banj forgets his worth, his brand value and just takes on this weird persona and role that has him unable to talk any real sense.
Yet another new example. D’banj recently signed an endorsement deal with Apple as its brand ambassador for Beats by Dre in Africa. This is an absolute big deal and quite the accomplishment. However, from the announcement of that deal to its marketing and promotions, it’s been disappointing to watch how D’banj and his team have handled it. (In Pidgin/Ebonics & English) Dem soak the headphones for gold. Tell you say dem don customize am finish for you. Now u wan do ‘Yes sah?’ What’s good son?
Didn’t D’Banj get the memo that he is from a continent of Kings and Queens? Doesn’t he know his value? Didn’t he get the memo that his own country houses twenty-three billionaires out of fifty-five on the continent? Doesn’t he know that despite Ebola, AIDS, poverty and everything else we’ve heard before, every Western brand that is in the know wants to do business in Africa, and especially Nigeria?
What’s with the full on “mugu” house boy like persona gear D’banj wears when he deals with American brands, celebrities and media in the USA?
As an African youth ambassador, business man and so much more, he needs to know how to occupy his space when he shows up on American soil. Stop with the house boy like persona and the absolutely not funny “we ain’t seen this in Africa” implicit and explicit references. It’s an insult to fellow Africans like myself who are very proud to be Africans and make no apologies.
You are an artist-entrepreneur who just signed a major deal with an American brand to represent them across the entire continent of Africa. They did not sign the deal with you because you sing great or you are handsome or whatever floats your boat. They did it because you’ve got something they really want (your major brand reach) and for a small amount of money they are paying you, they expect to get a HUGE monetary return on investments.
Accordingly, why haven’t you called a press conference the whole time you have been in Los Angeles, or when you made it up North (Silicon Valley) to the Apple headquarters to communicate your brand message by discussing the significance/impact of your signing for US-Africa relationships, especially on the entertainment front?
Aren’t we past the childish jokes of “jen lo kpe mommy and daddy” (let me go call my mommy and daddy) at this stage and with your repeated exposure to the American media, brands, celebs etc. Isn’t it time to talk directly to the American masses? Are you here for music business or to hobnob with the celebs and famous personalities? How many years now of doing that before we start penetrating the US in a real sense of the word?
Somehow, every Nigerian artist always does a great job of having American artist or corporate brands keep them in Africa. They just can’t seem to close the deal here, and of course we all know why. If you don’t, then subscribe to the AML Newsletter and be the first to know when my book publishes.
By the way, why isn’t Jimmy and Dre by D’Banj’s side in an official press conference acknowledging the impact of Apple signing D’Banj and the weight of the 800million people on the continent he carries? Why is D’Banj receiving a very luke warm non-chalante reception and treatment from non-executive staff members of Apple?
It feels like I am watching MOBO Awards or BET Awards where the African acts show up but get handed their awards backstage. Only this time, the main stage is available and open but the African acts don’t see their value so they ask for the award back stage and stay there.
D’banj needs to step it up in the USA if he will purport to speak for Africa and African youths. He needs to start with a press conference here in the USA and be clear on his role in bridging US-Africa relations via the entertainment industry. Since early October he signed this deal, what has he done beyond a few tweets and now this ridiculous video to articulate his brand message?
AML artists, please don’t “wanna just come to Amerika” and be famous. Have a clear agenda, work with the best in the game which should include your own people who are in the industry here and believe in you. DO NOT work with your own who have the mentality that Africans should take the back of the bus seats and be grateful for what they are handed out. That’s so 2000 and “dark ages.” Work with Africans and non-Africans who believe you have a rightful place on every major boardroom, media house, or what have you and are committed to making sure that happens, not accepting “nos.”
Be about that business of entertainment.
And that’s all I got to say about this.
View the video below. What’s your take?
D’Banj Beats by Dre
- AML142: The Business of Music in North Africa
- AML 141: Meet Camille Storm, Founder of C&C Distro, a Kenyan Music Distribution Company
- AML 140: Abiola Oke & Richelieu Dennis Sexual Harassment Claims: Lessons for Employers & Executives
- AML 139: Beyonce’s ‘Black is King’: Merch & Music Royalties for the African Artist
- @NYPost Please Correct your Misleading Headline Stating a “Beyonce-Endorsed Burna Boy Makes Afrobeat go International”