Afrobeats & the Nigerian Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo

The current Nigerian Vice President known as Professor Yemi Osinbajo will likely, in the history of Nigerian politics, be remembered as the most entertaining vice president to have ever occupied the villa.

The hilarious personality of the vice president is not only found in his several bants thrown at different political events across the country, but also in his shocking manner of apprising the public of his cognizance and knowledge of the Nigerian mainstream music industry.

It is therefore no doubts that Yemi Osinbajo, the revered Professor, is, in the realm of politics, the biggest fan of the global African sound proudly named Afrobeats. This is neither because he has been speaking well of the singers’ achievements and their impact at the global front lately nor only because he has begun to cite the records set and broken by the artistes of the infectious genre.

Osinbajo’s support for Afrobeats is first noticeable in the way he sings, at different political events, the hit singles produced by the artistes of the genre. On February 12th, 2022, at the 2022 UBA’s Group Chairman’s Forum, Professor Yemi stood before a crowd comprised of the business mogul known as Tony Elumelu and many others to sing Ruger’s Dior. This first display of the knowledge of Nigerian Afrobeats left many mouths agape.

Professor Yemi Osinbajo

Also on Tuesday, 15th November, 2022, at the United Nations World Tourism Organisation global conference that took place at Iganmu, Lagos State, the Nigerian Vice President sang Asake’s Organise, Burna Boy’s Last Last and Kizz Daniel’s Buga to educate the audience.

Each song was used to teach a lesson revolving around the global belief that music transcends language barrier. The Vice President, speaking on the theme of the conference tagged Linking Tourism, Culture and Creative Industries: Pathways to Recovery & Improving Development, was of the opinion that; one does not need to understand the language with which a song was composed before one can sing it word for word. In his words, he stated:

“Music, as we all know, is a global language. Even those who don’t know the meaning of the words of a song enjoy the rhythm. And some find out the meaning of the lyrics, discovering the cultures and ideas that inspire them.

“But let me just test that theory of mine, that is, that you don’t need to understand the words of any song to enjoy it and to be able to sing it and that music is indeed a very global language.”

The Professor however resorted to using Kizz Daniel’s Buga to lay emphasis to his audience which comprised of people from different parts of the world. The amused audience joined him amidst singing upon a request from him, as they all demonstrated the shoulder movements demanded to dance to the song.

While he sang Burna Boy’s Last Last, he reviewed the song to its most relevant meaning and went on, to the surprise of his audience, to highlight the very first achievement recorded by the song in its first 17 weeks. According to Professor Yemi, the song sold a total of over 500 thousand units. At this point, the audience could only applaud the success of the Nigerian music industry.

Of course, the people at the helm of affairs of the country may have overlooked the efforts of the artistes in the entertainment industry at different turns in the past, Professor Yemi Osinbajo’s sudden awakening founded in his recent acknowledgement of the music industry is a good way to facilitate the end of this disappointing disregard for craftsmen in Nigeria.

Nigeria may be seeing a new turn in this regard, especially when one remembers that Burna Boy, Teni and 2Baba Idibia were respectively honored with different National Honours Award by the federation recently.

Sam George Mac is a music journalist known for the reviews of several music albums and songs. He is a singer and songwriter of Afrobeats, Dancehall, Highlife and RnB with the stage name SGM — a graduate of Mass Communication from The West African Union University, Cotonou.

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