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Buhari, Atiku, Moghalu, others congratulate Burna Boy, Wizkid

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Buhari. Photo: TWITTER/NIGERIAGOV

Say awards is global endorsement for the Afrobeat genre of music

“This is a big win for my generations of Africans all over the world and this should be a lesson to every African right there; because you are a king. Look at me now, Grammy award-winning Burna Boy!” The excited Damini Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, said Sunday night after receiving a Grammy award for his fourth studio album, Twice as Tall.

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This win, which is his maiden Grammy success, is the first Nigerian album to get the awards.

Aside from being a career-redefining moment for Burna Boy, it is an endorsement of the thriving Naija music scene.

Twice as Tall, an eclectic Afro-fusion mélange of diverse sounds has socio-conscious themes such as underdevelopment, poverty, Western imperialism. It is actually an extension of his Pan-African agenda on his 2019 African Giant album.

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It was Burna’s stand-up response to his 2019 Grammy miss for the Grammy Global World Music category, which Angelique Kidjo’s Celia, clinched.

Apart from Burna Boy, Wizkid also became the first Nigerian-based artist to win the prestigious award for his contribution to Beyonce’s Brown Skin Girl music video, which won the award for Best Music Video.

Significantly, Jenn Nkiru, the video director of Nigerian heritage also clinches a win for directing the video. In all, it was a big win for Nigeria and the fruit from her musical loins – Afrobeats.

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President Muhammadu Buhari, while congratulating Burna Boy, said, “he has made notable contributions in the field of music, which have brought glory to Nigerians at home and abroad. We are proud of his path-breaking achievements,” he said.

The President also congratulated Wizkid who emerged as a joint winner of the Grammy Awards in a different category.

President Buhari acknowledged the efforts of forerunners like King Sunny Ade and Femi Kuti, whose creative exertions earned them nominations, paved the way, and brought Nigerian music to global reckoning.

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The President said that the record-breaking musical achievements are recognitions of the Nigerian creative talents and the awards will open doors to other aspiring citizens.

For the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the award is a global endorsement.

Mohammed, in his congratulatory message to the duo, said the award would serve as source of inspiration to others.

In the statement, which was signed by Mr. Segun Adeyemi Special Assistant to the President (Media) Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, the Minister described the much-deserved awards as a fitting reward for the persistent hard work of the duo.

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He said the awards also represented a global endorsement for the Afrobeat genre of music that has propelled Nigeria’s increasing dominance of the music world.

Alhaji Mohammed expressed hope that the clinching of the prestigious awards by the two would not only spur them to greater heights but serve as a source of inspiration for others.

Former presidential candidate, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, also joined others in celebrating Wizkid and Burna Boy for their feat at the Grammy.

Reacting to the news, Moghalu said, “Burna Boy and Wizkid have made Nigeria and Africa proud. This honour shows the level of talent the youth in Nigeria have. I believe others will look at this and draw motivation to strive to be the best in every area of their endeavours.”

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Meanwhile, prominent Nigerians, celebrities and social media influencers have taken to Twitter to congratulate the duo.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar tweeted: “Congrats @BurnaBoy! #Grammys.

“I am delighted and proud as a Nigerian at Wizkid’s Grammy win. Wizkid is the epitome of the talent that abounds in Nigeria. Congrats @wizkidayo.”

Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said: “Congratulations @Burnaboy and @Wizkidayo! #GRAMMYs #NigeriaToTheWorld.”

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Former Senator representing Bayelsa East, Mr Ben Murray-Bruce, tweeted: “Congrats, Burna, on bringing home the #GRAMMYs. Proudly Nigerian. @burnaboy”

Former Kaduna senator, Shehu Sani, also tweeted: “Congratulations to @burnaboy and @wizkidayo for the #GRAMMYs; Africa has come of age #grammys2021!

“The #GRAMMYs awards for @burnaboy and @wizkidayo formally launched Nigerian Born artists on the Advanced global stage. We are proud of them. #grammys2021 #BTSGrammy.

Femi Kuti tweeted: “Congratulations @burnaboy.”

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Over the years, Nigerian artistes have been nominated for awards. But Sade Adu and Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel, known professionally as Seal, were the first to get the endorsement.

In 1984, King Sunny Adé was nominated for his Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording. The song that got the nomination was Syncro System. In 1998, Babatunde Olatunji was nominated for the Best World Music Album. His Love Drum Talk was the nominee. King Sunny Adé got his second nomination in 1999 with his Odu. In 2003,

Femi Kuti’s Fight to Win was nominated in the Best World Music Album category, while in 2010, his Day by Day got the nomination in the Best Contemporary World Music Album category. Kuti was also nominated in 2012 for his Africa for Africa in the Best World Music Album. In 2014, he got his last nomination in the category with his album, No Place for My Dream.

Seun Kuti was nominated in 2018 for his Black Times while Burna Boy’s African Giant got the nod in 2020. His Twice as Tall was, however, the revelation in 2021.

Some other Nigerian artists have won or received nominations for their contributions to foreign work. They include Love Drum Talk by Babatunde Olatunji in 1991, Sikiru Adepoju in 2009 for his Global Drum Project by various artists.

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