Last week, I had cause to look at my perceived poor collaborations among Nigerian female entertainers. In the said essay, I expressed worries over the sad development, noting that one of its resultant effects is that it’d reduce the output of the women in the game, blur their shine and send some home too early. Reflecting on that essay now, I thought deeper to behold, to my astonishment, that what I predicted has already been happening, only that we didn’t see my point as one of the reasons.
It is true that Nigerian entertainment industry is operating on a very high velocity. It is also true that the industry is speeding on a fast lane where the weak is pushed down to crawl on the sidewalks. But I am certain that on that fast lane, there are handrails for those with weaker spirits to cling on. I mean, in that speeding train, there are places for the feeble minded to cling on, only that the culture of sisterhood hasn’t been made manifest like that of brotherhood, because as there are weak female musicians who need pushing to go forward, there are even more weaker male musicians who we don’t see their weaknesses because they have brothers watching their backs. The ladies, sadly, hardly ever watch one another’s backs, even when I agree that the industry is male dominated and have a masculine face; yet, it hasn’t stopped any woman artiste from climbing to the pinnacle where the men are.
So, in the light of the above stated concerns, I’d love to ask; where are the likes of Kel, who wowed us with “Waa Wa Alright”, where is Mo chedah of Knighthouse Entertainment, Stormrex of Penthauze (whom we thought would take over the industry with Phyno behind her), Splash with her krunk raps that had us all looking towards a sustained hip hop career, Emma Nyra of the Triple MG fame, the controversial Cynthia Morgan, Ruby Gyang of Loopy Records/ Chocolate City fame, etc. These ladies left music in their prime, with either just one album or few singles and we never really heard from them again.
Omawunmi and Waje are managing to sustain their presence with their friendship which is paying off, slowly, and of course we know that Weird MC, Blaise and Bouqui also left too early, even though they may be classified under the women legendary category, judging from the time they came and left, however, we may exclude Blaise from whom we neither got an album nor sustained couple of singles.
The likes of Chidinma, Aramide and Mz Kiss are just there, like, just there. Chidinma recently got a break to reinvent herself with the 40 Years EP, a joint effort with Flavour, on whom she clung. The other ladies are just underdogs whereas they are not supposed to. Seyi Shay is gradually joining this list as she hasn’t been on her remarkable best lately.
With just the exception of Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Simi, Niniola and Teni, Nigerian music industry could as well pass for an all male affair, judging from the number of men in the business. Whereas others may blame any structure or factor they wish to, I remain consistent in calling out our sisters in the industry to do more for themselves, they should emulate their Nollywood and Literature counterparts who are moving mountains due to collaborations.
So, like Chidinma has done with Flavour, I am looking forward to a joint EP from Aramide and Mz Kiss, a collaboration from Tiwa and Yemi and yes, we would love to hear the Apata sisters on one song.
While we crave to have more women in the music scene, we must always remember to encourage the ones there already to sustain the movement. Where are our women, our divas?
This article was written by Ifesinachi Nwadike