We didn’t have the three wise men riding camels in Lagos. There was no Eastern star which we would have followed. All the virgins were at home sleeping, with no divine conception and census dragging them to the smell of horses in a manger. But down here in Nigeria, love came down at Christmas, and it was all because of Wizkid.
How could you explain the happiness, the good cheer, the laughter, the screams of delight, the wave of pleasure that washed over us at Eko Convention Center, if it wasn’t what Christmas ought to be about? How can we all feel so good on Jesus’ birthday, when Wizzy wasn’t the reason for the season? It feels surreal that on Christmas Day, I will be writing about Wizkid and all the good works of his concert, but boy, it was worth it.
Wizkid: The Concert’ wasn’t just a show. It was a symbolic gathering of Nigerians who love music. People who were hopeful of miracles in their lives, and simply just wanted to get away from the gloom and sourness of fuel queues which littered the entire city. I saw people walk into this concert with long faces. They had suffered and paid through their noses to afford transportation to this place. They deserved something, anything, a good thing.
“Bros, how you use get fuel take come this concert?” And an old friend asked.
“Baba, na God oh,” I gave the standard Nigerian scam reply. He left me alone. Me and my God.
Wizkid came on stage 3 hours after he was billed to start. The singer promised and promoted a show to begin at 9 pm. But it wasn’t until a few minutes past 12 that Wizkid came onstage. Prior to that, Bovi had come on with his charm and apology to plead with everyone about the late start. And as he walked off stage after sharing a really funny joke, everyone applauded. The anger had vanished, and in its place, the band showed up playing ‘Manya’.
The first thing Wizkid did was upset the arrangement of the hall. The seating arrangement of the hall focused mainly on the occupants of the tables. These people had paid a million naira to be able to afford the luxury of watching a Wizkid performance. But they were in for a surprise.
Spotting a sequined shirt, dark shades, and an abundance of energy, Wizkid did the unthinkable: Upset societal stratification.
“I want make all my people come stage. All of una in regular and VIP make una come front. Security no block my people allow them to come forward,” he commanded. It was his night. He was the leader of this hall, we were all passengers, and no one had an option but to obey ‘Baba nla’.
The commotion was instant. People jumped barricades, invaded the luxury area and occupied the tables. Interestingly, these regulars didn’t seat at the tables. They dragged the chairs closer and stood on them. It was a mini-stampede, a music gold rush for the best spots.
As for the chairmen at the tables, you have to feel sorry for them. Imagine paying a million naira for a concert expecting top-shelf treatment, only to have someone that paid N5,000 stand on your table with their feet. Nigeria’s Honourable Minister of Information Lai Mohammed arrived at his place of honour with his wife, but he had 5 people standing on his chair. Thanks to Wizkid, the great social leveller. You could see the faces of the bosses. They were angry.
While it was a great move to increase the energy and create a magical bond, it was a wrong business move. People paid good money to not have people stand on their chairs. Wizkid knew he had done something wrong. He had ruined the experience for some very influential people.
“Before I do any more song, I want to apologize to people that bought tables,” Starboy said midway through his set. “I brought my Omo Wobe to you. So guys while you dance, don’t trip their own table, don’t slap them, let’s all enjoy the show.”
We all enjoyed the show. Turns out Wizkid didn’t come to give a concert. It was a reunion and get-together of Nigeria’s most elite performers. Mix that in with emotional moments that melted many hearts, and you have the complete story.
First, he shared some stories. Backed by DJ Tunez, after performing three songs off his debut album, “Superstar,” he gave a brought on Samklef, the producer who created the entire project, and shared a little backstory. “When I made that album I was 19 years old. I am not the most talented artist, if not for God and my fans, there will be no easy.”
Wizkid isn’t 19 anymore. He is a 27-year-old man who has three kids. The first of them, Boluwatife, a 6-year-old boy was brought on to the stage. “Let me embarrass him small. He doesn’t like crowds,” Wizkid said. Bolu was guided on to the stage, where he kept smiling, and attempted high-fives with some fans who wanted to touch ‘Wizkid’s son’.
“He’s so cute, I can feel my ovaries somersaulting,” a friend giggled.
Next up was a young kid named Ahmed. The small boy was singing along to Wizkid when the star stopped the show.
“Why you never sleep, come on stage,” Wizkid reached out to him. Further questioning revealed that coincidentally, he is from Ijebu Ode, Wizkid’s hometown in Ogun State. A Trap beat was supplied by DJ Tunez, and young Ahmed, seizing the window of opportunity, dropped some of the best bars of the night. Everyone was turnt. Wizkid, surprised by the events, made some promise.
“I will sign you to Starboy, from today you are my artist. I will first give you N10 million to start off and clean up, and we will record,” he said to a crowd who were sharing in the joy of young Ahmed.
“This isn’t me blessing the young man, it’s him blessing me. I have been asking God for a young talent to sign, so this is the answer to my prayers,” Wizkid said.
And then the get-together and reconciliation started. Tekno, who was an extension of Wizkid’s beef with Davido, came through with a performance of ‘Mama’. Wizkid in July had called Tekno the hilarious name ‘Duck Face’. But onstage in December, he wasn’t quacking. The beef was no more. Wizkid called him ‘brother’. Tiwa Savage and Wizkid shared a length hug, after he tagged her ‘My sister’. They performed ‘Ma lo’. LAX came through with ‘Run away’, Maleek Berry was brought on for ‘The Matter’, Mr Eazi gave us ‘Skin tight’, Phyno paid a tribute to big butts with ‘Bombay’, and Wande Coal brought his magic on ‘For me’.
And then there was Davido. While rumors circulated that Wizkid and Davido were best friends offline, no one was ready for the confirmation. The arch-rivals have shared a healthy beef for years and divided their fan base into warring factions. The effect of these is that social media became a battlefield, where rival fans take ugly shots at each other, demeaning the art with their negativity.
Davido came on stage with the hit song ‘FIA’. The crowd lost it. Eko Hotel foundations have never been so shaken like they did. Wizkid and Davido hugged, laughed, and sang along to, “Shukura kilokosi o, shuku shaker, Aya shoemaker…”
It wasn’t only a beautiful sight, it was a gift. On Christmas morning, Wizkid and Davido, Africa’s most prominent and loved musicians, publicly ended their beef. Christmas turkey has never tasted so delicious. Mayorkun came after his boss exited, with ‘Che che’ and ‘Mama’. DMW and Starboy were completely in bed now and the orgasm was explosive.
2face Idibia and Olamide rounded off the night with performances, before Wizkid brought the show to a full cycle, with a cathartic performance of ‘Manya’.
This was Wizkid’s best performance of his life, and Lagos had witnessed it. Life at Christmas has been a challenge for inhabitants of the city due to the scarcity of petrol, but who cares about mobility when Wizkid calls. He effectively ended a major beef, united different factions, and put on a show that will be remembered as an iconic moment in Nigeria’s music history.
In the end, there were no chairmen, regulars and VIPs. The art had united everyone once again, giving us an experience of live music via Wizkid. Starboy has done it again, and now 2018 looks brighter than the year that we are currently in.
Merry Christmas to Wizkid, Davido, Lai Mohammed, the table-buyers, regulars, and you too. May happiness find you, as you celebrate the holiday.