Nigerian stars have always succeeded in putting smiles on the faces of their audience despite the hardship that bites hard in the country.
However, there are some entertainers who use their platforms to discuss societal ills.
Here are the highlights of some Nigerian stars who have become social crusaders.
Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti, also called Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, composer, political activist, and Pan-Africanist.
During his time, he was known to be a freedom fighter, spending most of his music career as an activist.
Fela Kuti was engaged in political activism from the year 1970, not just in Nigeria, but in the whole of Africa. This music icon is popularly known to be the son of the famous Nigerian activist, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti.
Fela Kuti, being the pioneer of Afrobeat, positioned his music in the political structure of Nigeria with a series of releases like Zombie, Sorrow Tears, Blood, Demonstration of Craze, and many others.
During the latter part of his career, Fela declared his political ambition but later died of heart failure caused by AIDS in 1997.
Aside from being just a singer, Olanrewaju Fasasi, popularly recognized as Sound Sultan, was known by many to be a Nigerian legend and an activist.
This star has shown lots of concern for Nigeria through his music. He released his first single “Jagbajantis” in 2000. The song spoke about how Nigerians try so hard to leave the country looking for greener pastures. Part of the lyrics read, “The answer you get na wetin dey make people dey Jah, commot for Naija…na wetin dey make people dey sleep for the embassy for visa…na wetin dey make people dey sell them property for a ticket.”
In 2012, the United Nations (UN) named him an Ambassador for Peace for his flawless lifestyle and career. Sound Sultan also received several awards, among which was the 2018 city people music special recognition. Unfortunately, the music icon passed away in August 2021.
Folarin Falana, popularly known as Falz, is a rapper, actor, songwriter, lawyer, and unapologetic activist.
He is the son of the well-known and respected Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana.
Falz has decided to use his music to tackle crookedness in the Nigerian Government. The entertainer has released several hit songs, some of which were compiled in his Moral instructions album. The album is recognized as a tool for social activism, with the primary aim of addressing societal issues such as corruption, corrupt politicians, bad governance, police brutality, prostitution, social injustice, and internet fraud.
Falz was also one of the celebrities who kicked off the October 2020 #EndSARS protest.
Adebowale David Ibrahim Adebayo, known by his stage name Mr. Macaroni, is a Nigerian comic skit maker, actor, and activist.
Mr Macaroni is known to be politically active. Being an activist, he was among several celebrities who led the procession during the #EndSars protest.
During an interview with Hip TV, the popular skit maker explained that his aspirations for a change and the feeling of anger from oppressions had charged his political activeness.
He said, “I’m a Nigerian, I’m a Lagosian. I want things to be better. I’m tired and frustrated. Things have to change. If you want things to change, you must come out. Nobody should stay back. If you have to talk from the back for things to change, do you think the oppressors would listen? No! They’ll continue to do things to frustrate and oppress you if you don’t use your voice to speak out. So, we must come out and show that we are ready.”
The Grammy award winner is known to always express his displeasure with the bad governance of Nigeria and police brutality.
The artist is well known for his Fela-like personality, even though he doesn’t involve himself in any political activity.
Burna Boy has released several songs to reach out to Nigerians to stand for their right and also communicate to the corrupt politicians in Nigeria, explaining how they have led the country astray. Several songs include Another Story, Spiritual, Collateral Damage and many more.
In October 2020, the self-acclaimed African Giant released a song titled 20:10:20 influenced by the Lekki massacre in Lagos during the #EndSars protest.
Femi & Seun Kuti
Fighting for a change and advocating good governance is not new to the Kuti family. Being children and grandchildren of activists, the two musical artistes have decided to take up their family’s legacy.
Both artists who were brought up by their father, Fela Kuti, have undoubtedly learned a lot from their father before he passed on.
Femi and Seun Kuti have carried their father’s legacy in music, enlightening citizens and speaking against the bad governance in Nigeria. They have always shown their true concerns in grave matters arising in the country, conveying their displeasure through music.
Eedris Abdul Kareem, who is known to be a veteran in music, has shown displeasure in the bad governance of Nigeria and also the immoral attitudes of some citizens through his music.
In 2004, the legendary artist released a song titled “Jaga Jaga”, meaning shambles. The song aimed to describe the corruption, hardship, and bad politics in Nigeria. Several songs also include Country Hard, Say No To Southern Kaduna Killings, Nigeria Jaga Jaga, Say No To Rape, and many more.
In 2005, the iconic singer released his fourth album “Letter to Mr. President”. The songs in the album were targeted at ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo for criticizing his hit song “Jaga Jaga” and the consistent lack of due diligence of the Nigerian government.
Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy, is one of Nigeria’s disputable entertainers, best known for his uncommon lifestyle and political views.
Charly Boy has been the mouthpiece for the masses as he has fought for the weak and the average Nigerians on several occasions. He has also been tortured by the Nigeria Police and the military for standing up to the Nigerian government.
In 2017, he led a protest called OUR MUMU DON DO MOVEMENT, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to resume office or resign after the President had spent months outside the country due to health issues.
Also, in the course of the recent jungle justice killings in Nigeria, Charly Boy led a protest condemning the killings and asked the government to take several measures to stop such acts.
He said, “We can’t pretend that our sensibilities have not been assaulted by so much bloodletting happening all over our country. If poverty, hopelessness, hunger and the indiscriminate killings of our sons and daughter cannot unite us, what will?”