About 2 years ago there was a Big hiphop event held in Abuja , I believe DMX and Ashanti were performing at the recently finished Abuja stadium .
Unlike many events it was better publicised on the radio so come the day of the concert Abuja stadium was packed with hip hop fans, young and old rich and poor.
US based hip hop artists are always amazed at the number of fans they have in Nigeria when ever they come to perform here ---( One of the outcomes of PIRACY)
How come I never see any sales from Nigeria ? they always ask.
Anyway DMX came up on stage and the whole crowd surged forward towards the stage.
chanting and singing along to one of his popular anthems at the time.
There were also alot of "Area Boys " (locals from Abuja's surrounding Shanty towns)
and soon it was becoming a very volatile situation the crowds were pushing forward and the Nigerian Police force, present at the time, started to move into crowd control faze "Nigerian style"
Whipping the crowd with "KOBOKO " or Bulala (local whips made out of dried animal skin) pushing people back
about 20 officers descended on some fans near the front of the stage and started whipping these fans mercilessly .
It looked like a scene from the apartheid era in South Africa or America during the race riots in the 60's.
DMX was appalled ! (Urban Hiphop rebel had Just witnessed Black on Black violence Nigerian Police style) we could all see it in the brothers face but then he did something that impressed me to this day , He shouted stop! stop! to the police , threw the Mic into the crowd and refused to sing again until the police stopped brutalising people in the name of crowd control.
20 Min's later the crowd had moved back police stopped the brutality and the Microphone had been stolen by one of the area boys in the crowd, they found a replacement mic and the concert continued, everyone had a great time.
Now I believe DMX had a certain perception of Nigeria in his mind when he was coming here but nothing prepared him for the on the ground reality. His perception was probably formed by watching CNN reading about africa etc.
In the same way I marvel at what has happened to the youth in Nigeria today , In my part of the country channel 'O" /MTV Africa and GSM have taken over
Kids used to wear all kinds of Beautiful local prints in their clothes today everyone wears baggy/Sexy jeans and trainers just like in Channel "0"
They want to drive Hummers and they talk like the people on MTV rap .
I always Joke with my friends how in parts of Nigeria they sell Hummer and Escalade by the roadside
gathering dust like everything else. ( you never find a repair shop but they sell it )
You see when things got so bad in the past the kids had nothing else to look at but the luxury portrayed on TV .
It was very easy because in reality , all around were images of poverty and gnashing of teeth.
We should somehow start to teach the younger generations the difference between those fabricated realities portrayed on TV and Reality .
Improve and make people proud again of what made us unique maybe we can start with NTA.