Nigeria: Simi Channels Kalakuta Spirit in 'Woman'

22 October 2021

Before the release of the visual to Simi's latest single 'Woman' on Friday, October 15, the soul singer -- born Simisola Bolatito -- championed the #NobodyLikeWoman challenge that highlights the nuanced inequalities and prejudices faced by the female gender in society.

The social media challenge had actor Adesua Etomi, Tonto Dikeh, and Temi Otedola; dancer Kaffy; and reality television star Mercy Eke partake in it. In bold text graphically inscribed on their skin or background, they relayed the stigma they had or are still experiencing.

Lyrically, 'Woman' covers most of these sensitive topics succinctly. The lyrics which touch on marriage, motherhood, independence, and submission, conveys clearly what Simi set out to achieve -- empowering women and educating society on the importance of building women to rise above objectification.

Adopting the will and tenacity that marks legendary Afrobeat originator Fela Kuti's musical career, Simi interpolates instrumentation, and emphatic lyricism of the classic yet charismatic pieces, 'Shuffering and Shmiling' and 'Water No Get Enemy'.

Although the impact of the lyrics is felt through the use of nostalgia and activism, it is the visuals that help animate the words. Thriving on Kalakuta-esque fashion, she launches in a fierce manner that's unlike anything she's done in the past. Adorned with fineries that have roots in different African cultures, Simi is seen in full commando mood, charging on with an army of tribal dancers who exhibit an almost perfect choreography.

Famed for her love songs or those that tend to tilt toward relationships, Simi seemingly is breaking new grounds using her songs as a mouthpiece for society's underdogs. A mother herself, the concept of 'Woman' and the accompanying campaign was well thought through to not only showcase her strengths and passion as an artist but will now serve towards building a repertoire needed to establish her legacy through activism.

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