Seun Kuti, Afrobeat singer, has claimed that bloggers are Nigeria’s third-biggest problem after politicians and insecurity.
There were reports in some quarters of the media that Seun downplayed Wizkid’s Grammy award win — which was premised on the singer’s participation in Beyonce’s ‘Brown Skin Girl’ music video.
But in a chat with Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, on ‘Rubbin’ Minds’, the Afrobeat star blamed the reports on the media which he accused of “creating conflict where there is none”.
“I didn’t bring [the Wizkid argument] up. The media did. After politicians; kidnappers and bandits, Nigeria’s third-biggest problem are bloggers. The media creating conflict where there is none for their personal benefit,” he said.
“It’s sinister. Even when we look at the disunity in Nigeria, the southerners who control the media in this country have been able to convince the young people that the problem is not their excesses but that of the northerners.
“They bring the divisive narrative into every aspect of our lives, from friendships to the personal and professional relationships between colleagues, artistes, communities. You have to applaud them if that’s how they want to eat in Africa.”
Seun, who is the son of Fela Kuti, the late Afrobeat legend, also claimed that the media “misrepresent my dad for 58 years.”
“Wizkid is a Grammy winner, nothing changes that for his music video. I was talking about music, like only four musicians have had their music nominated. No amount of Buhari’s children’s wailing can change that,” he added.
“I have a friend who won a Grammy 20 years ago. He engineered a big hip-hop album and he’s a Nigerian.
“The Grammys is so wide. I was talking music and everyone wanted to [come at me]. Maybe, in their mind, they wanted to shade Wizkid and wanted to use me to achieve it. We can’t allow their negative narrative to flourish.
“I saw the media misrepresent my dad for 58 years. If Nigeria’s media got to the extent that they know they had a big interest in Nigeria’s stability and the consciousness of young people, a lot of things happening will not happen.”
Making a distinction between Afrobeat and Afrobeats while clarifying the reach of the latter, Kuti claimed Afrobeats thrived more in Nigeria because the elites spend more on entertainment than they’re willing to on education.
“Afrobeats isn’t just Nigerian; it’s African pop music. Ghanaians play it. Nigerians are the biggest proponents. We’re the major people putting it on the map. But let’s not let our heads swell as Nigerian artistes,” he said.
“We think we’re doing something special. It’s special but we were only able to accomplish it because the Nigerian elites are the only elites I know that spend more on entertainment than they do on education. It’s not a joke.
“In Lagos alone, it’s N5 billion every week spent for wedding parties. With this come event planners tailors, MCs, musicians. It’s an amazingly booming sector, But UNILAG is still looking for a two billion Naira endowment.
“I don’t know if they found it. I saw the advert some months ago. You people should help UNILAG before your next party. Havard alone has a $65 billion endowment fund. It doesn’t have to seek government aid to run grants.
“Elites there knowing that perpetuating their own ideology is what secures their future. So they sponsor grants to shape the narrative. But, in Nigeria, our elites allow their narrative to be shaped by outsiders while they party.”
Seun also talked about his political party chairmanship bid.
“I’m happy restrictions are out of the way. I’m about to do my new records, whatever comes next comes. Politically, we’re working on MOP (Movement of the People), a political party. We need 24 reps in the states,” he added.
“We’ve raised 14. We have 1,500 volunteers now. It’s growing faster than I thought. I’m the chairman of the party. Chairman Seun. Now, I’m pro tem. As soon as we have our convention, I can win the primaries and be confirmed.
“I’m not running for office. The problem with Nigeria is that everybody wants to be in office. The real politics is party politics. That’s where the policies and ideologies are developed and protected.”