I like Wizkid. I love his art and I have spent endless days wondering what it would be like to have him perform all day to me, while I sit and forget about what everything going around me. I want that, and I want it every day. Nigerians search for the most porn on the internet, at a rate that even beats the world’s most horny country, the USA. One in four shocking stories you will read is about sexual abuse. I have never been sexually abused, but I have seen victims. Wizkid needs to come closer and call his band members. He needs to do a sound check, and make a list of songs to perform for me, forever. I need that performance.
Unemployment is rising in Nigeria every year. Many of my young friends have no job. I once read the news of some people who took N7,000 to kill a person. They chased him, caught him, struck hit bunt force until it died. The voodoo priests aren’t left out of it. Baddo gang attack victims and smash their heads with a stone, to access their brain and convert it into money by some cosmic force. People are desperate to survive, to eat, to stay alive.
I picture me and Wizkid at the Shrine. There are other people around, but he is there because of me. He gives me a nod and talks to his band members. He sees me, acknowledges that he is there for me. The guitarist strikes a note, a bad note. Wizkid moves slowly to him and whispers with seriousness on his face. The drummer gets his breaks right, at least someone is doing their job. Everyone else follows his lead, as they create a pre-show synergy that is needed to give me an eternal performance. We need that performance. Nigeria is burning, and we would soon be ashes.
In Benue there is flooding. Lives and property worth millions were destroyed. Parents lost children, children lost parents. Somewhere in Suleja, they have announced a death toll after water washed them away. Nature is angry at Nigeria, and we are paying for it. We don’t produce much other than oil, but we are killing our environment faster than the generations before us. If we discover oil in a new place, we say goodbye to life.
Wizkid begins to talk to his band members, and present songs to play. It’s the smallest performance of his career, but the most interesting one he will ever have. Please play ‘Ojuelegba’. I want to hear you sing about Lagos and its ghetto stories. I want to get lost in the music and think of humanity commoditized into stories. I want to drown in the music that life eventually becomes. I want Starboy in my ear and his voice in my soul. I want him all.
The other day they killed the Igbos for wanting their own country. Before the Igbos, it was the Shiites, who followed God and sought his face. The military shot them down, to the death in the thousands. Somewhere on the edge of the North-East, a man named Shekau feeds on blood and Chibok girls. He rains down terror from our borders into Chad, Niger and Cameroon. When the IDPs flee to Rann, the Federal Airforce drops bombs on them, and all I can hear are the wailings of poor people, who are stuck in this Nigeria. Please start the performance. Choose a song, any song, your song, sing it. Let me get disappear into ‘No lele’.
Start Wizkid, start. Perform the “Superstar” album. I want you to croon about ‘Gidi Girls’ and tell me to ‘Holla at your boy’. Sing to me like your music is my oxygen, and without it, Nigeria gets too toxic for me. I want to eat a plate of ‘Don’t dull’, and dance in the rushing waves of ‘Tease me’. Let’s pretend that we are in a bubble, and your music is all that matters. For me, it is all that matters.
Sing to me as they sign those deals under the tables at Aso Rock. As Diezani is prosecuted and Babachir Lawal gets away with cutting grass at IDP camps for N270 million. I don’t want to hear the sound of stolen monies in my sleep. I don’t want to hear political thugs attack citizens. I want your music to cover me, protect me, and lull me to sleep. Monkey Pox is around the corner, hide me behind ‘Come Closer’. Ebola left a mark, shield me from its aftermath. Lassa Fever is roaming the streets, waiting to infect our blood and kill us all. Don’t stop performing, dear Wizkid. Let’s dance and cry as you sing to us with your breath, your voice. And when you stop, may we all be in heaven.
We have earned it.