Ahead of Nigeria’s Independence Day celebration, top musicians Burna Boy and Wizkid have expressed some disappointment at the country’s leadership. The stars have also called on the youth to strive to succeed.
The pair sat down for an exclusive interview with Arise News on the eve of Independence Day and a huge commemoration produced by the THISDAY ARISE Group. They’re both due to perform at the six-hour virtual event, along with a slew of other Nigerian stars such as Tiwa Savage, Davido, Yemi ALade, 2Baba, Lola Rae and Flavour.
Burna, who recently became the first Nigerian musician with a silver certified album in the UK, urged the country’s young people to strive for success in spite of the many pitfalls they may encounter.
“So many people have gone and come back to try and change something because the leaders that are appointed to try do this are just not cutting it at this point.
“The youths right now are focused on one thing and one thing only, and that’s how to get money and buy things that don’t matter. Obviously I’m guilty as well because this is the environment we’ve come up in…where our priorities have been so misplaced and we’ve been so blinded from the things that are really going on,” Burna said.
The Grammy-nominated star, who is often compared to Afrobeats legend and activist, Fela Kuti, called for Nigerian talent to be utilized for the good of the country.
“In order for us to tap into our talent…there must be an environment that’s conducive for it, not an environment that is so confused at this point. Everyone knows what the problem is. It’s almost like Fela said: we suffer and smile. But there’s a reason why we suffer and cry because that’s what we were taught since we were kids.”
Pop star Wizkid echoed Burna Boy’s comments, and proposed youth empowerment as a possible solution.
“We can talk about how crazy and good the country is from A-Z and that’s not going to change anything,” Wizkid said in an interview with Arise News. “The most amazing thing you can do is really empower the youths. I came from Ojuelegba, I went through years of immense hard work and I’m here now. I would love for the young people in Nigeria to see that nothing is impossible.”
Both artists have been the recipients of numerous accolades just this year alone, but Wizkid is eager to see Nigeria’s newer, younger pop stars prosper.
“We’re just scratching the surface,” Wizkid said, referring to the trio of himself, Burna and Davido.
“The next generation is really going to take it to the next level. Keep showing the youth that anything is possible.”
By Rita Osakwe