Nigerian artistes are among the best on the continent, and are celebrated by their fans both at home and abroad. It has however been observed that many of them would rather go to other countries, particularly South Africa, to shoot videos for their songs. What is the attraction to South Africa, many of their fans have been asking. ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM writes:
Good song, nice beats, wonderful hooks, danceable tunes, beautiful ladies nice video shot in South Africa and unimpressive dance steps. “How?” You ask.
The dance steps are wacky, because the wrong people are dancing.
Sure, a music video has to be rich in content and all that, but also has to have some home packaging.
Timaya sang ‘Plantain Boy’, a ballad about the life of a child who hawked plantains in a country where it is a delicacy. We all enjoyed the song, but when the video was released, all we could see was a boy who could not even swing right or left and some women who were too rigid or too old to dance. For God’s sake, the setting was a make-shift one constructed in South Africa. That video would have been great, but it was laughable.
Before Timaya’s South African video, dynamic twins P-Square had a go at the South African pie, if we can call it that. They recorded their song Temptation in which they featured Alaye in the rainbow nation.
Enter J-Martins. He shot his video for the song Eva in the country, where he was the only one dancing (if you can call it that). The experience was so good that he went back to shoot the video for the song Cool Temper.
P-Square also took 2Face to the country to shoot the video for the song Impossibility. Good song, nice video, but it was South African and the ‘African queen’ could not dance in any way. All she could do was wave at them. The streets were quiet and cold (one could tell from their dressing) and what would have been a good video became just another video.
Kcee is another artiste who though needs the help of the ‘Godfather’ to do everything, believes that South Africa girls appear better in music videos than those at home. And so, he went for them and used them in his video, in which he was the only noticeable dancer.
EME records boss, Banky W is also one artiste caught up in the South African craze, where he shot the video for his song, Feeling It, in which he featured M.I. Sure, they could argue that they used nowhere-to-be found Djinee and a totally Nigerian cast, but . . . a little Nigerian-ness wouldn’t have done any harm. That video could have been shot anywhere in Nigeria, if we can enjoy the freedom of being frank.
Apparently not wanting to be the odd one out, M.I also shot the video for his song Undisputed Champion in South Africa. The video, though good, wouldn’t have been anything less were it shot in Nigeria. Could it be a lack of cast to feature in the video that made him go all the way South?
Many fans of Nigerian artistes have been wondering why their so loved artistes consider their country not good enough for video shoots just as they say in their opinion, the videos turned out from the country are anything but spectacular.
The question many hof them have been asking is who advises them that the South African option is the best.
Actress cum singer, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde also ran to good, old South Africa to shoot the video for her song Missing You, where a white guy played the role of her lover. Could it be that if a Nigerian had played the part, tongues would have started wagging and got her into trouble with her husband. Who knows?
The South Africa allure was too good for Timaya to resist, that he had to go shoot another video. This time for the song Water Bam Bam. He was playing a serious Nigerian in a South African video. As much as it is laughable, it is sad. The women weaving their hair could only smile for the camera and the other people he met in the deserted streets could only smile, as they could not dance to a song they know nothing about. They may never have listened to the audio, perhaps no station in their country played it so how would they be able to dance to it? If they do dance, would their steps be as creative as desired? These examples are just a few, the list is endless.
When one considers the works of artistes like Olamide, for Eni Duro, Omawumi’s Na Who I Go Ask?, 2Face’s Only Me, Bracket’s Yori Yori re-mix, Harrysong’s Thinking About You and Danny Young’s My Girl, among others, compared to the South African shot videos, there is really no difference.
What are Nigerian artistes scared of? Some artistes have advanced fear of area boys as the reason why they go out of the country to shoot their videos but then, one is tempted to ask if there have been any instances of such attacks by area boys. Did the area boys follow Bracket to Obudu for the Yori Yori video-shoot? Did area boys follow or molest American rapper, Rick Ross who was in Nigeria to shoot a video that until tomorrow, remains top-notch?
Could it be that the South African fever is meant to emphasise superiority?
A cros-section of fans of the artistes were however unanimous when interview by LEADERSHIP Sunday that they would prefer to see Nigerian girls dance to the beats in our music videos, rather than some white girls who cannot really move to the beats.
One of them pointed out that 2Face’s hit song, African Queen, did not win an award for the lyrics or sound, but for the costume and cast that were everything Nigerian.
The fans argue that if Nigerian artistes can respect their wishes, they would love to see more videos shot in Nigeria, pointing out that the country does not lack good locations for such videos but however added that artistes can go out for special locations when such are not readily available in the country, such as the desert scene omn Davido’s The Sound video.
Locations in Nigeria
What happened to the Alpha, Bar, Eleko, Elegushi and Kuramo beaches (all in Lagos), the Snake Island? Do Nigerian artistes even know the states where some of these scenic locations can be found? What happened to the Assop Falls, the Farin Ruwa Falls, Nasarawa State, the Three-sister Rocks, Riyom Rock, Plateau State and Wonderland Abuja, among others? The list is endless.
If they are too embarrassed to showcase nature’s wonders in Nigeria, then with respect for their fans, they can shoot the videos in choice studios within the country.
Could it be that they are doing this to please award panels and demean the home-made ingredient in the videos?
Just in case those bitten by the South African bug do not realise, the seeds they are presently sowing will surely blossom. Then, they would be on-lookers and placing themselves in our shoes, see the erroneous path they have charted, being trod by others, but in that state one can only counsel.