Celebrities Behaving Badly, Music Business

Migos: Ignorant American hip-hop band says Nigerians can’t speak English


In December 2016, the very ignorant American hip-hop band Migos were invited to perform by one of the leading radio stations in Nigeria. In recent times, ESPN interviewed the band about their experience. Their response was that very annoying long-standing myopic view Americans in general have of Africans and Africa. They felt pity for the poor Nigerians they met in third world country Nigeria who couldn’t speak English yet knew all of their lyrics, word for word.

How did Nigerians react? It’s the digital age and Nigerians refused to let Migos take control of their narrative. They trolled and dragged the band all over social media. English is the official language of Nigeria, a country unfortunately colonized by the British. Also, if you know anything about Nigerians, it has to be that they pride themselves on speaking English, and not just any type, the QUEEN’S English. So, I’ll be honest, when I saw this, I just laughed so hard because I knew Nigerians were coming for the band’s head.

American artists, labels and industry professionals reading this, it is highly embarrassing and unacceptable that in the 21st century, many of you refuse to educate yourselves about the world, especially Africa. It is fine if you choose to stay ignorant. But please avoid going on national or global television and making a fool of yourselves. Get the requisite media training to know how to deal with discussing people and countries you know nothing of.

It was enough for Migos to say they had a great time in Nigeria and how wonderful their Nigerian fans were. If they felt moved about the plight of the poor they saw, then rather than take money from the same poor Nigerians who couldn’t speak English, they could have donated their performance fees to a charity of their choice to help the poor Nigerians.

-Ms. Uduak

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at https://msuduak.com.

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