This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Memorable Flashbacks of 2013

Shocking news is naturally disturbing. They are the reasons many read the newspapers, tabloids and online media. As the year 2013 ends, let us playback the Nigerian Entertainment scene in our minds and reflect on the bits that forced our mouths open. While some may argue that some of these events were expected, there are circumstantial evidence that lie in wait to prove them shocking.

One of the most shocking news of the year was the untimely death of Kennis Music pop diva, Susan Olubimpe Harvey aka Goldie. She returned from the United States of America where she attended the prestigious 55th Grammy Awards and died a few hours later at a Lagos Hospital. The news was first broken by her close friend, Denrele Edun who was with her at the time of death on the sad Valentine day. Perhaps, more shocking was the appearance of her white husband who had managed to stay away from public view. Controversies trailed the cause of the 31 year old Skibobo crooner. Although, she is buried, her memories will linger with her family members and associates including her former Big Brother Africa's Housemate, Prezzo. Her death raised the question of the ethics of parading funeral pictures on the web. Heated online debate was sparked when some fans made the images of her remains their display and profile pictures on various electronic media. Goldie lived and died with controversies.

But can artistes lead simple lives as they may desire? Not really. Fresh controversies made Chidimma, the Kora Award winner another subject of shocking news in 2013. Music fans woke up in the first week of November to the shock of the viral video of the alleged Chidimma Sex Tape. It was perceived by her fans as a callous attempt to demean womanhood and to destroy a budding music career. While the Kedike vocalist quickly dissociated herself from the absurd video, her music family made up of music producers, video directors, artistes and mentors rallied their kin support for the "last good girl standing" in the industry. While the evil genius behind the video remains faceless, Chidimma will continue to change the face of female pop music in Nigeria with her conservative style and culture-rich sounds of the streets.

Burna boy shocked Nigeria when he showcased his white underpants at the finale of the weeklong Felabration Concert 2013 at the Afrikan Shrine, Ikeja. Weeks later, arguments and counter-arguments erupted on Twitter when the son of Abami Eda, the Eleeniyan, Seun Anikulapo Kuti pointed out in his characteristic logical manner that Fela never wore his underpants to perform on stage, adding that he should have known better as the grandson of Fela's former manager, Benson Idonije. Although the underpants brouhaha didn't last, the 1983 documentary on Fela lasted well enough to show a very minute part where he did perform in his underpants to show the audience the bruises and other injuries sustained when his Kalakuta Republic was besieged by soldiers. Perhaps, Burna boy should earn his bruises before he yanks off his clothes on stage next time. Not long after this, rumours made rounds that he had been banned from the UK for ten years.

Next, Davido was in the news. The video of his hit song, Skelewu had been leaked through an unauthorised source on Youtube on October 15, 2013. The remake of the video was shot in UK by Mr Moe Musa, a crowd video specialist, if not stereotype. Davido claimed that the leaked video was below the standard he expected. Almost immediately, a press statement was issued by the director of the leaked video, Sesan who claimed that the video is official and not leaked. He further described Davido's disclaimant of the video as "irresponsible and immature". Sesan has directed videos for some top shots in the industry including D'banj and had done so consistently for 10years. Davido response was the release of the 'official' video and the controversy only made the song Skelewu more popular.

The Hollywood Sex Symbol, Kim Kardashian paid a "flash visit" to Nigeria as the co-host of Dare Art Alade's Love Like a Movie a special Valentine Event at the Eko Hotel, Victoria Island. Kim needs no introduction as one of the stars of the reality TV series on E! namely, Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Blame it on the pregnancy, a lot of fans were displeased by the brevity of the visit. Kim "hit the road like Jack" after saying "Hi Naija" amidst other accented protocols. The visit was more shocking to some than the news of Goldie's death especially at the realisation that they just blew what could well be someone else's salary to spend few minutes with Kim. Too late for refund. Kim's schedule often demands some "keeping up with".

It was also shocking to see OJB Jezreel's new look following his prolonged battle against kidney failure. The drama began when some unscrupulous fellow started peddling rumours that the public financial donations for the once most sought after music producer were enough. His colleague and friend, No More Loss was not lost in the moment as he quickly refuted the claim and updated the public on the account details for the planned surgery. He also cautioned concerned fans who were calling on individual artistes to support the music producer who is now recuperating after the surgery. Before the intervention of the Rivers state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, the N1,000 per head campaign had gone a long way to raise the hope of the survival of the artiste. Perhaps what is more shocking is the seeming reluctance of successful artistes with mouth-watering multiple endorsement deals to raise funds for the ailing producer. Like the popular Lotto slogan, when it comes to health challenges or even death, "it fit be you". That's the word on marble for all artistes.

Wizkid will most understand this with the fatal accident that wrecked his N10m Porsche Panamera S Car at about 3:30am on June 15, 2013. The unfortunate incident took place shortly after leaving the Nokia Lumia Beat Party which was held at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki. The good news was that there was no casualty and as a 'Jaye Jaye boy', in less than two weeks after the crash, he acquired another brand new Porsche. Just when Nigeria was recovering from the shock of D'banj's departure from MoHits Records, Brymo and Jesse Jegz in a spate of few weeks deserted Chocolate City amidst lots of unanswered questions. With all these shocking entertainment episodes, 2013 was full of news stories for the media and lots of moral lessons for discerning artistes. One little mistake can cost a life or a career. For artistes, career means life. The creeping band-wagon effect of doing the art like everyone else is at variance with the spirit of creativity. The only kind of shock we want to experience next year should be a Nigerian artiste winning at the Grammy Awards.

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