Leadership (Abuja)

14 July 2013

Nigeria: The Luxurious Life of Nigerian Musicians

analysis

Living one's life to the fullest and living one's life extravagantly is a different ball game altogether. Extravagance is something that one's spirit 'thinks' is a necessity, but this could be wrong. OLUSOLA OLUJIDE AYODELE x-rays the luxurious lifestyle of Nigerian actors

It is opined that extravagance is the luxury of the rich; penury is the luxury of the poor. This statement is apt in the lives of several Nigerian artistes who tend to show off their 'wealth' in a bid to constantly remain on the public eye for as long as possible. It has also been said that all decent people live beyond their incomes nowadays, and those who aren't respectable live beyond other people. A few gifted individuals manage to do both.

It is a good thing obviously to enjoy the works of your hand, however with moderation. Recently, the media, blogs, websites, etc. have been eroded with stories, articles, news centered on some activities of some artistes, though in different dimensions. We had D'banj 'suit of money'; Wizkid purchasing a new Porsche; Don Jazzy feeling cool with the most expensive wine ever; OJB having kidney issues, etc.

It's a good thing to enjoy your money especially after working so hard to earn them but there is certainly what is called simplicity. But just as Coco Chanel opined "Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance."

International superstar, entertainer and Oliver Twist crooner, Dapo Oyebanjo popularly known as D'banj is never far away from making huge statements and breaking new grounds in terms of how he appears. He is a disciple of the popular saying that "you are addressed the way you are dressed". He takes particular interest in how he looks and this obviously was an important factor in his decision to dress expensively.

In a recent newspaper interview, he confirmed he wears the same wristwatch as American rapper Jay-Z, valued at $50,000. D'banj has continued to rise in stardom despite his split from erstwhile partner and friend, Don Jazzy. He has continued to command huge sums of money in endorsements, appearances and performances thus still making him the highest earning Nigerian artiste of all time. D'banj is by no mean standard a classy entertainer, always on point, dapper and smoking hot! His sense of fashion in the Nigeria entertainment industry is almost second to none and doesn't disappoint.

His much talked about DKM concert held recently at the Eko Hotel & Suites was the perfect avenue to show the world his latest fashion sense. He showed off his much talked about "Suit of Money". It was designed by the famous Okunoren Twins. It was made of actual $100 bills and cost a whopping $25,000. You can convert that on your own!

It was entirely sewn by hand in London but was then taken to Italy for the specialised Milanese buttonholes to be done at the same factory used by Tom Ford. His new song titled, "Blame it on the Money", featuring Snoop Lion and fellow Good Music act Big Sean goes further to emphasise his wealth where he states he is unapologetic for being rich.

In the words of a world renowned economist, John Maynard Keynes "There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which no single person in a million can diagnose." D'banj has simply debased the American dollar. He should have used the Naira instead but must have felt that the Naira won't project his image well.

The thinking is that, it's not proper to debase a currency the way Eja Nla did with the dollar notes, even with a Nigerian Naira. Agreed, he can spend his money the way he wants, he worked hard for it, but by being simple and modest, the dressing will be well appreciated.

The world most powerful president, Barack Obama, in all his presidential elegance would never ridicule the dollar note the way D'banj did. D'banj should be more objective, do good music, and leave all the idle propaganda for the less successful artistes in the industry. Nice suit, anyway!

Wizkid is a talented young artiste and he is the golden boy of the music industry alongside Davido. He recently crashed his N15million Porsche Panamera and within two weeks, replaced the car with another Porsche Panamera. He said he had no means of transportation except with cabs and of course, it is his money and he can do as he wished. No doubt about that but he should show modesty and simplicity. He is still very young and has a very bright future ahead of him. He should use this golden opportunity he has right now to invest in profitable business to secure his future. He probably won't sing for life and will have to fall back on something for survival. A miser grows rich by seeming poor; an extravagant man grows poor by seeming rich.

It's no longer news that the most expensive champagne 'Goût de Diamants' in the entire universe was created by a Nigerian, a luxury designer, Alexander Amosu. It's worth a whopping N248m. Commenting on the design, Alexander Amosu said, "The bottle already has a distinctive look with its natural design; all I had to do is bring it to the next level of ultimate luxury." The Goût de Diamants (Taste of Diamonds) everyday bottles are hand-finished by a single craftsman with over 40 years' experience. The Bottles for each of the four vintages come with a hand-applied pure pewter engraved label set with a brilliant cut Swarovski Crystal (The Rosé crystal is appropriately pink and the Brut, blue). It was designed to create a masterpiece for private wealthy clients. Maybe, Don Jazzy has been a 'coded' client over the years.

Mr Amosu hand crafted the packaging from 18ct solid white gold weighing approximately 48gsm of solid gold centered by a single flawless deep cut white diamond weighing 19cts. The label is also handmade in 18ct solid gold and weighs approximately 36gsm, handcrafted and engraved with the client's name. The question on most people's lips is whether the wine will wash away years of sins of the drinker. Will the drinker ever thirst again?

There are millions of hungry children out there in the wilderness looking for succour. With the grace of God who has made these artistes very successful, should learn to plough back to the society that made them. Sponsoring indigent students in schools; empowering the youths will go a very long way to eradicate the poverty in Nigeria. The amount spent on these luxuries is more than enough to cater for so many helpless children. It could be recalled that the social media was eroded with the calls for OJB kidney transplant. Fans were shocked at the nonchalant attitude of music stars that were expected to rise up in unison and help raise cash. Some did after so much pressure from fans while a host of them didn't. This is not to say OJB didn't plan for himself. He had spent so much on treating himself while his musical career suffered.

If it were to buy the latest cars, clothes, travel around the world, party heavily, they wouldn't hesitate to spend money, but to assist a fellow in need always takes time. There is the need for our stars to have a change of mind and always be willing to help people genuinely. Yes, they are making the money now, are they planning for the dry seasons? Many people believe that the life of a famous musician is all champagne, Lear jets and a steady flow of royalty payments to pay for it all.

This is certainly true for some, but there are also those who have reached the upper echelons of mega stardom, only to lose it all in the blink of an eye. Some managed their money badly. Some lost everything to the managers and promoters who were supposed to be looking after their affairs. And some spent all their money on lavish mansions, expensive cars and various addictions. They can learn from the world's richest men who dedicate a percentage of their wealth to the needy. They aren't getting poorer.

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