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Afrobeats Stars Absent from Nigeria Vote Campaigns

Davido, (Left) Burna Boy (Middle) Wizkid (Right) (Photo courtesy: Instagram)
Davido, (Left) Burna Boy (Middle) Wizkid (Right) (Photo courtesy: Instagram)

Experts observing preparations for Nigeria’s February 25 elections noted that Afrobeats stars such as Burnaboy, Wizkid and Davido, previously played an active role in bringing about social justice, have refrained from speaking on the upcoming presidential race.

Nigerian political analysts argue that Afrobeats stars such as Grammy Award winning musician Burna Boy and multi-award-winning musicians Wizkid and Davido, played a crucial role in the mass youth-led #EndSARS protests that raised awareness of police brutality in the West African nation.

Burna Boy purchased giant billboards that had the slogan #EndSars imprinted and later released a song titled “20.10.2020” which has garnered over 737 thousand streams on YouTube and was a reference to the day where the army and police cracked down on peaceful protestors in Lagos.

Davido joined protestors in the streets of Abuja, where he was pictured on his knees in front of police officers.

Wizkid, who was in London at the time, supported the movement by joining protestors in the United Kingdom.

Despite the stars participation in previous social movements, experts argue that they have remained silent ahead of the West African nation’s historic February 25 elections that will witness three prime candidates vying to replace the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari.

Oris Aigbokhaevbolo, a music journalist said the multi-award-winning musicians have more influence on youth in the West African nation than the presidential candidates.

“Afrobeats stars have a huge influence on the youth. The presidential candidates don’t,” said Aigbokhaevbolo.

But he adds, “big stars try their best to avoid politics, especially (in) this presidential election.”

Osikhena Diritsu, the director of programmes at The Beat radio, echoed Aigbokhaevbolo’s sentiments.

“They are not involved,” he said.

While promoting his latest album titled “More Love, Less Ego,” Wizkid sat down with British news agency The Guardian where he briefly touched on the upcoming elections.

“All these old men are going out of power this time,” said Wiz kid.

“They need to go to an old people’s home and chill out,” he added.