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.
Some of the reactions
- 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”