By Augustine Ogwo
“Comparison is the death of joy.”
? Mark Twain
Just recently Music TV network, MTV Africa released a list which best defines the adjective, CONTROVERSIAL. No surprises though, it appears that was their aim; to spark a controversy and discussion among Nigerian music lovers.
NewsWireNGR’s Augustine examines the list of ‘top 20 Nigerian songs of all time’ released days back by MTV Africa. The outline no doubt at first glance is very laughable and subsequently, it looks quite disgusting. We must note that putting together a list of the top Nigerian songs OF ALL TIME is definitely a herculean task which should demand a good level of research and consultations. Such a list will always ignite controversies but should at least look a bit credible. Well, the list by MTV appears to be a jest of the Nigerian music industry practitioners especially the veterans.
Looking critically at that list, there is only one song which would definitely be a popular choice to be listed as one of Nigeria’s greatest songs ever and that is 2face Idibia’s ‘African Queen’. The other nineteen songs are no doubt great songs but could be overlooked any day and anytime for a list of that caliber. MTV appears to have committed a huge blunder by composing such a list which lacked depth and looks like what half-a-dozen Nigerian teenagers doing the ‘shoki’ dance will hurriedly put together.
The list is no doubt disrespectful to Nigerian greats like the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Ras Kimono, Evi Edna Ogholi, Sunny Okosun, Late Chief Osita Osadebay, Sunny Ade, Femi Kuti and Onyeka Onwenu. These legends made timeless music which till this day still gets loud ovations and gets audiences going wild in excitement. The only song on that list which has stood the test of time is 2face’s African Queen; a song which unlocked the door of success and international recognition for the new generation of Nigerian musicians.
It wouldn’t hurt MTV if they came up with a list of the top Nigerian songs over the past decade or a designated time frame. Instead, they chose proving to us that they are entertainers by entertaining us with such a list that gets you laughing, giggling and sometimes, yawning. Even Idris Abdulkareem’s Jaga Jaga will be a better choice than most songs on that list. A big brand like MTV which has done a lot for Nigerian music should know better than stoop so low as to creating such a list.
Dear MTV Africa, we forgive you for that atrocious list filled with blunders but you have got to appease the legends (dead and living). Here’s your penance:
i) Retract that list and issue a public apology (for publishing such a list) in a popular national daily
ii) Dedicate few days or a week to playing just the songs of these legends (You know them)
iii) Never write such a funny list again
Dear MTV, we appreciate all you have done for the music industry in our dear nation but we advise that you don’t destroy what you helped build. We wish you all the best and we DON’T hope to get a reply from you, just do the penance.