Minister hails Nigerian artistes, calls for rich content in music
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has hailed Nigerian musicians for putting the country’s name on the global map, urging them to pay more attention to the need for socially-relevant messages in their music.
The Minister gave the commendation in his keynote speech at the Business Roundtable of the 2016 African Music Awards (AFRIMA) in Lagos on Friday.
“The whole country is listening, dancing and sending via all forms of social media, our music and videos, and our artists clearly have more influence and reach than our law enforcement agencies. As 9ice and 2Baba boasted, they are the ones with ‘Street Credibility,’’’ he said.
Alhaji Mohammed, who spoke on the topic: ‘Championing Social Justice And Advocacy Through Music,’ observed that for music to achieve the desired objective, it must have the right content, saying the works of foremost musicians in Africa, including Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Rex Lawson, Sonny Okosun, Victor Uwaifo, Dan Maraya Jos, Mamman Shatta, IK. Dairo and Ebenezer Obey continue to reverberate because of the messages they contain.
He noted that the legendary musicians used music to fight social injustice or for advocacy, listing examples such as, Fela’s Unknown Soldier; Okosun’s Fire In Soweto, Veno Marioghae’s Nigeria Go Survive among others.
The Minister described music as a powerful tool of communication, adding that the Federal Government will leverage on its power to promote the National Re-orientation Campaign tagged, ‘Change Begins With Me,’ launched on Sept. 8, 2016.
‘’Because this campaign is about returning to those moral values that stood our country in good stead, a lot of that can be done through music. In order words, music is a powerful tool of advocacy. Good music has no tribe, no gender, no section, no religion,’’ he said.
Alhaji Mohammed hailed AFRIMA organisers for promoting, celebrating and elevating creativity in the area of music.