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A Nation’s Identity Crisis by Reuben Abati | Response by Banky W

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This is created huge buzz and inspiring heated debates both online and offline! Both are a long read but well worth it! What do you think?
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A Nation’s Identity Crisis by Reuben Abati
You may not have noticed it: Nigeria is suffering from an identity crisis imposed on it in part by an emergent generation of irreverent and creative young Nigerians who are revising old norms and patterns. And for me nothing demonstrates this more frontally than the gradual change of the name of the country. When Flora Shaw, Lord Lugard’s consort came up with the name, Nigeria in 1914, she meant to define the new country by the strategic importance of the Niger River. And indeed, River Niger used to be as important to this country as the Nile was/is to Egypt. We grew up as school children imagining stories about how Lugard in one special romantic moment, asked his mistress to have the honour of naming a new country in Africa. Something like: “Hello, sweetheart, what name would you rather give the new country that I am creating?”

“Let me give it a thought? ….Awright, how about Ni-ge-ria darling?”

“That would do. That would do. How thoughtful, my fair lady? You are forever so dependable”

And the name stuck and it has become our history and identity. But these days, the name Nigeria is gradually being replaced by so many variants, that I am afraid a new set of Nigerians may in the immediate future not even know the correct spelling of the name of their country. For these Nigerians whose lives revolve mostly around the internet and the blogosphere, the name Nigeria has been thrown out of the window. Our dear country is now “naija” or “nija”. What happened to the “-eria” that Ms Shaw must have thoughtfully included? The new referents for Nigeria are now creeping into writings, conversations, and internet discourse. I am beaten flat by the increasing re-writing of the country’s name not only as naija or nija, but consider this: “9ja”. Or this other name for Nigeria: “gidi”. There is even a television programme that is titled “Nigerzie”. In addiiton, Etisalat, a telecom company has since adopted a marketing platform that is titled: “0809ja.” Such mainstreaming of these new labels is alarming.

This obviously is the age of abbreviations. The emerging young generation lacks the discipline or the patience to write complete sentences or think through a subject to its logical end. It is a generation in a hurry, it feels the constraints of space so much, it has to reduce everything to manageable, cryptic forms. This is what the e-mail and text message culture has done to the popular consciousness. Older generations of Nigerians brought up on a culture of correctness and compeleteness may never get used to the re-writing of Nigeria as “9ja”. Language is mutatory, but referring to the motherland or the fatherland in slang terms may point to a certain meaninglessness or alienation. What’s in a name? In Africa, names are utilitarian constructs not merely labels. Even among the Ijaw where people bear such unique names as University, Conference, FEDECO, Manager, Heineken, Education, Polo, Boyloaf, Bread, College, Summit, Aeroplane, Bicycle, Internet – there is a much deeper sense to the names. But the name Nigeria means nothing to many young Nigerians. They have no reason to respect the sanctity of the name. They don’t know Flora Shaw or Lord Lugard, and even if they do, they are likely to say as Ogaga Ifowodo does in an unforgettable poem: “God Punish you, Lord Lugard.” Eedris Abdulakarim summarises the concern of young Nigerians in one of his songs when he declared: “Nigeria jagajaga, everything scata, scata”

The post-modernist, deconstructive temper of emergent youth culture is even more manifest in the cynical stripping to the bones character of today’s Nigerian hip-hop. It is marked by a Grunge character that shouts: non-meaning and alienation. On my way to Rutam House the other day, I listened at mid-day to a continuous stream of old musical numbers from 93.7 Radio FM. Soulful, meaningful tunes of Felix Lebarty, Chris Okotie (as he then was), Mandy Ojugbana, Christy Essien-Igbokwe, Onyeka Onwenu, Sony Okosun, Alex O, Ras Kimono, Majek Fashek, Evi Edna-Ogoli, Bongos Ikwue, Veno Marioghae, Uche Ibeto, Dora Ifudu, Mike Okri, Dizzy K. Falola, and Tina Onwudiwe. Onyeka Onwenu sang; “One love, keep us together”. Veno Marioghae sang: “Nigeria Go Survive”. Even in the romantic offerings like Chris Okotie’s “I need someone, give me your love”, or Felix Lebarty’s “Ifeoma, Ifeoma, I want to marry you, give me your love” and Stella Monye’s “Oko mi ye, duro ti mi o”, or Tina Onwudiwe’s award-winning “Asiko lo laye”. there was so much meaning and polish.

This was in the 80s. That generation which sang music under its real names, not abbreviations or slangs, was continuing, after the fashion of T.S. Eliot’s description of “Tradition and the Individual Talent”, a pattern of meaning that dates back to traditional African musicians and all the musicians that succeeded them: S. B. Bakare, Victor Olaiya, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Dan Maraya of Jos, Osita Osadebey, Ayinla Omowura, Victor Uwaifo, Geraldo Pino, Rex Lawson, I. K. Dairo, Haruna Ishola, Yusuf Olatunji, Inyang Henshaw, Tunji Oyelana, Bobby Benson, Tunde Nightingale, and even the later ones: Shina Peters, Dele Abiodun, Y.K. Ajao, Ayinde Barrister, Kollington Ayinla, Batile Alake, Sir Warrior, Moroccco Nwa Maduko, Orlando Owoh, Salawa Abeni, KWAM I (Arabambi 1 and please include his disciples- Wasiu Alabi Pasuma et al), Oliver de Coque (Importer and Exporter…), Ayefele, Atorise …. But there has been a terrible crisis in the construction of music. The children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of these ancestors have changed the face and identity of Nigerian music. As a rule, gospel musicians, given the nature of their form, sing meaningful lyrics, but the airwaves these days have been taken over by the children of “gidi”,”naija”, “nija”, “nigerzie” and “9ja”. I listen to them too, but everyday, I struggle to make meaning out of their lyrics.

Music is about sense, sound, shape and skills. But there is an on-going deficit in all other aspects except sound. So much sound is being produced in Nigeria, but there is very little sense, shape and skills. They call it hip-hop. They try to imitate Western hip pop stars. They even dress like them. The boys don’t wear trousers on their waists: the new thing is called “sagging”, somewhere below the waist it looks as if the trouser is about to fall off. The women are struggling to expose strategic flesh as Janet Jackson once did. The boys and the girls are cloaked in outlandish jewellery and their prime heroes are Ja-Rule, Lil’Wayne, Fat Joe, P. Diddy, 50 Cents, Ronz Brown, Chris Brown, Sean Kingston, Nas, Juelz Santana, Akon, Young Jeezy, Mike Jones, T-Pain, F.L.O-RIDA, Will.I.am, Beyonce, Rihanna, Ciara, Keri Hilson, Jay-Z, Ace hood, Rick Ross, Birdman, Busta Rhymes, Cassidy, Chamillionaire, Soulja Boy, Young Joc, Kanye West, R. Kelly, Kevin Rudolph, T.I.P-king of the South, Ludacris, Plies-The real goon, The Game, Young Rox, Flow killa, Osmosis (2 sick), Flow-ssik, Raprince, Bionic, Fabulous, Jadakiss, Nas, Swiss Beatz, Dj Khaled, Maze, Yung Buck, Maino, MoBB Deep, Lloyd Banks, Olivia, Lady Gaga… Well, God Almighty, we are in your hands.

And so the most impactful musicians in Nigeria today, the ones who rule the party include the following: D’Banj, MI, Mode Nine, Sauce kid, Naeto C, Sasha, Ikechukwu, 9ice, Bouqui, Mo’cheddah, Teeto, P-square, Don-jazzy, Wande Coal, 2-face, Faze, Black Face, Dr. Sid, D’prince, K-Switch, Timaya, Dj-Zeez, Dj Neptune, Banky w., Big bamo, Art quake, Bigiano, Durella, Eldee, Kelly Hansome, Lord of Ajasa, M.P., Terry tha rapman, Weird MC, Y.Q., Da grin, kel, Roof-top Mcs, Pype, Niga Raw, Ghetto p., Kaka, Kaha, Terry G, Ill Bliss, Zulezoo, Pipe, Dj Jimmy jatt, X-project, Konga, Gino, Morachi… Well, the Lord is God. These are Nigerian children who were given proper names by their parents. Ikechukwu bears his real name. But who are these other ones who have since abandoned their proper names? For example, 9ice’s real name is Abolore Akande, (what a fine name!), Tu face (Innocent Idibia), Sauce Kid (Babalola Falemi), D’Banj (Dapo Oyebanjo), Banky w. (Bankole Willington), P-Square (Peter and Paul), MI (Jude Abaga), Timaya (Enetimi Alfred Odom), Sasha (Yetunde Alabi), Weird MC (Adesola Idowu). But why such strange names? They don’t sing. They rap. Most of them don’t play instruments, they use synthetic piano.

At public functions, they mime. They are not artists, they perform. They are not necessarily composers, they dance. The more terrible ones can’t even sing a correct musical note. They talk. And they are all businessmen and women. They are more interested in commerce and self-advertisement, name recognition, brand extension and memory recall! They want a name that sells, not some culturally conditioned name that is tied down to culture and geography. But the strange thing is that they are so successful. Nollywood has projected Nigeria, the next big revelations are in hip hop.

Despite the identity crisis and the moral turpitude that we find in Nigeria’s contemporary hip-hop, the truth is that it is a brand of music that sells. Nigeria’s hip hop is bringing the country so much international recognition. All those strange names are household names across the African continent, so real is this that the phrase “collabo” is now part of the vocabulary of the new art. It speaks to an extension of frontiers. In Nigeria, it is now possible to hold a party without playing a single foreign musical track, the great grand children of Nigerian music are belting out purely danceable sounds which excites the young at heart. But the output belongs majorly to the age of meaningless and prurience. The lyrics says it all.

Rooftop MC sings for example: “Ori mi wu o, e lagi mo”. This is a very popular song. But all it says is: “my head is swollen, please hit it with a log of wood.” X-Project sings: “Lori le o di gonbe (2x), e so fun sisi ologe ko ya faya gbe, ko ya faya gbe, file, gbabe, se be, bobo o ti e le, wo bo nse fe sa hale hale niwaju omoge, ha, lori le odi gonbe, …..sisi ologe ki lo di saya o, so fun mi ki lofe, o wa on fire o….” Now, what does this mean in real terms? But let’s go to Naeto C: “kini big deal, kini big deal, sebi sebi we’re on fire”, or D’Banj: ” my sweet potato, I wanna make you wife, I wanna make you my wife o, see I no understand o, cause I dey see well well, but dey say love is blind, see I never thought I will find someone like you that will capture my heart and there will be nothing I can do….”. Yes, we are in the age of sweet potato. And so Art quake sings: “E be like fire dey burn my body, e je ki n fera, oru lo n mu mi. Open your hand like say you wan fly away. Ju pa, ju se, ka jo ma sere, alanta, alanta.”

And here is Zulezoo, another popular Nigerian musical team: “Daddy o, daddy, daddy wen you go for journey, somebody enter for mummy’s house, person sit down for mummy bed, person push mummy, mummy push person, mummy fall for bed yakata, daddy, o daddy, the man jus dey do kerewa kerewa…kerewa ke” And Dj-Zeez: “ori e o 4 ka sibe, ori e o 4 ka sibe, 4 ka sibe, 4 ka sibe”. And MI: “Anoti, anoti, anoti ti, anoti titi.” And Konga: “Baby konga so konga, di konga, ileke konga, ju pa pa, ju pa, konga, ju pa pa, ju pa, sibe”.. And 9ice: “gongo a so, kutupu a wu, eni a de ee, aji se bi oyo laari; oyo o se bi baba enikan, kan, i be double now, aye n lo, a mi to o, gongo a so, oti so o, e wo le e wo enu oko…” Or Tony Tetuila: “U don hit my car, oyinbo repete, u don hit my car o”. Or Weird MC: “Sola lo ni jo, lyrics lori gangan, awa lo ni jo”. Sheer drivel. So much sound, little sense. Is this the future? Maybe not.

Most of the music being produced now will not be listenable in another five years and this perhaps is the certain fate of commercial art that is driven by branding, show and cash. But we should be grateful all the same for the music, coming out of Nigeria also at this time in the soul, gospel, hip, hop genre: the music that is of Femi Anikulapo-Kuti, Lagbaja, Asa (there is fire on the mountain/and no one seems to be on the run/ there is fire on the mountain now…”), Ara, Sam Okposo, Dare, Sunny Neji, Infinity (now a broken up team), African China, Alariwo of Afrika…. We suffer nonetheless in music as in the national nomenclature, an identity crisis. A country’s character is indexed into its arts and culture, eternal purveyors of tones and modes. Nigerian youths now sing of broken heads, raw sex, uselessness and raw, aspirational emotionalism. A sign of the times? Yes, I guess.

I find further justification in the national anthem, many versions of which now exist. I grew up in this same country knowing only one way of singing the national anthem: from “Nigeria we hail thee” to “Arise o Compatriots”. The singing of the national anthem is supposed to be a solemn moment. Arms clasped by the side, a straight posture, and the mind strictly focussed on the ideals of patriotism and nationalism. Stillness. Nobody moves. And the national song is rendered in an unchanging format. But not so any longer. There are so many versions of the Nigerian national anthem these days. Same lyrics but different musical rhythms. I have heard the national anthem sung in juju, in fuji, in hip hop, in Ishan’s igbagbolemini, in acapella mode, even reggae. I attended an ocassion once, the rendition of the national music was so enthralling, people started dancing. Even the photographers and cameramen danced with their cameras. For me that was the ultimate expression of the people’s cynicism. The prevalent mood is as expressed by Dj-Zeez: “ori e 4 ka sibe, 4 ka sibe”: an epigrammatic, onomatopoeic, market-driven diminution of language as vehicle and sign. What kind of people are we? A dancing nation? Dancing and writing away our frustrations and caring little about sense, in this country that is now known as “naija”, “nija”, “9ja”, “nigerzie,” “gidi”?
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Response to Mr Reuben Abati’s article in the Guardian Newspapers entitled “A Nation’s Identity Crisis” by Banky W

Dear Sir,

In the immortal words attributed to P.T. Barnum, “I don’t care what the newspapers say about me, at least spell my name right.” My name IS Banky W, full name being Olubankole Wellington. Not Willington, as you stated in your article entitled “A Nation’s Identity Crisis”. I read the piece repeatedly, and found that misspelling my name wasn’t the only error. At it’s worst, the article seemed like an attempt to discredit and slander an entire generation of artistes and consumers, and at best it came across as having some valid points but being grossly misinformed, prejudiced, and hypocritical; definitely not what we would expect of a highly regarded publication as The Guardian, or from a person in Mr Abati’s position.

In the very least, the article warrants a well-informed response. I have little doubt in my mind that it will generate a slew of responses, positive and negative, and as one of the many subjects that was mentioned in the write-up, I feel compelled to voice my opinion (with all due respect) on some of the issues that were raised in your piece. What I’m going to attempt to do is to directly address issues that stood out and resonated most with me.

The writer asked “What’s in a name?” and went on to honor a “…generation which sang music under its real names, not abbreviations or slangs”; this would have been a valid point if he had not himself mentioned Greats like King Sunny Ade (real name: Sunday Adeniyi), I.K. Dairo (Isaiah Kehinde Dairo), and Ebenezer Obey (Real name: Ebenezer Remilekun Aremu Olasupo Fabiyi- Wow!!!). We could also point out other legends like Ras Kimono and Majek Fashek as others who, for creative or other reasons, saw it fit to have stage names that happen to differ from what’s on their passports. Shortening of full names and/or the crafting of stage names is not something new from our generation of artistes that “lack the discipline or the patience to write complete sentences” as you said; rather, it’s the creative right of an artiste to go by whatever moniker he sees fit. And if we want to talk about the names of today, we can highlight a few: Eldee – actually L.D. which stands for Lanre Dabiri, similar to Isaiah Kehinde Dairo’s transition to I.K. Dairo. Naeto C and Banky W are simply short forms of their full names. In my case, my father’s nickname among his friends is actually Banky as well.

Furthermore, on the topic of Names and abbreviations let’s set a few things straight. Nigerzie is actually spelt Nigezie and is not an abbreviation for Nigeria. It’s a TV Show, much like Soundcity or Hip TV, except they choose to incorporate “representing Nigeria” in their name. It’s like the “United Colors of Bennetton”, or DKNY, both companies that choose to represent their locations or origins in their name. Also, for the record, Gidi doesn’t mean Nigeria either. It’s a term for Lagos… coined from “Las Gidi”. And as far as the popular term “Naija” goes, who remembers Shina Peters singing “♫ Naija lo wa yi o o o, wa jo, afro juju lo gb’ode ♫” I hate to point out that our generation did not come up with that term… the “golden age” that you long for did.

As an editorial head of a National Newspaper, you owe it to your public to at least do proper and accurate research before printing an article. The risk in not doing so, is you might unknowingly mislead your readers, and you might actually come across as being ignorant or out of touch. A quick look at all the reference names of artistes and songs mentioned in the article goes to show that the author was sadly way off base in his accusations and examples. For instance, to make a point on how today’s Nigerian artistes lyrics are meaningless and prurient, he referenced the Rooftop MC’s song “La Gi Mo”. What he failed to realize or crosscheck, is that the said song is probably one of the most meaningful and important songs that have been released in the last few years on the Nigerian Music Scene. The Rooftop MC’s are actually a Rap Group that leans to the Gospel or at least Socially Conscious side of music, and their songs always have a positive message. That song itself talks about the errors we make by trying to take God’s glory for our success… getting caught up in the limelight and asking God to bring you back to reality to know that HE deserves the praise for where you are.

The author mentioned other songs like D’banj’s “Fall in Love”, and doesn’t realize how hypocritical he sounds by attempting to ridicule some of our most popular love songs. Felix Liberty sang “Ifeoma, ifeoma, I want to marry you”, D’banj sang “Omo U don make me fall in love” and Banky W sang “Till my dying day, I’ll love you”. Barring a difference in musical styling, are these songs not cut from the same cloth? Why can’t someone in Mr Abati’s position be proud of the fact that at Nigerian and African Weddings nowadays, couples are choosing these songs to mark their first dances instead of previous choices like “Endless Love”? Why can’t we appreciate that the days of going to Nigerian Parties and clubs and celebrating to foreign music “all night long” are long gone? Despite these facts, you still see International festivals and concerts being held in Nigeria where the foreign acts are paid 30 to 40 times what some of our biggest stars are allowed to charge.

I have to disagree with the author’s views. We are not all one and the same, but we ARE artistes. We may sing, rap, dance, mime, perform, play instruments or whatever else; but we are artistes. And Composers. And musicians. We may not all play the piano or the guitar, but neither does Michael Jackson, arguably the world’s greatest artiste/entertainer. That’s why he teamed up with producer Quincy Jones to create some of the best music anyone had ever heard. We have our own producers that have shaped Nigerian sound…people like Cobhams Asuquo, Don Jazzy, I.D. Cabasa, Dr Frabz, Tee-Y mix, Eldee, Terry G etc. That list goes on. These music minds are no less credible than those of Mr Abati’s time, like the great Laolu Akins.

Far be it from us to claim that we are perfect and flawless in our art… we know that we are still growing and have lots of areas to improve, but the truth of the matter is we have worked very hard to create the industry we have now, and some people choose to criticize and lambaste most of us, instead of helping and teaching us. That is unfair. Yes, some artistes sag their jeans… however, a glance at the pages of THISDAY style or the recently concluded awards shows will show you very clearly that others wear three-piece suits and traditional attires just as proudly, myself included. This music industry that you have very clearly disapproved of has partnered with and given rise to the fashion industry in Nigeria as well. Just ask Designers like Mai, Babs Familusi (Exclamations Couture), the Okunorens, Muyiwa Osindero and countless others. Everything from the t-shirts and jeans rappers wear, to the shoes and suits are made by young Nigerians, where in previous years people preferred to shop in London. The youth-driven industries in Entertainment and Fashion have teamed up to thrust Nigeria into the world’s positive spotlight, when for many years our dear country was mostly known for corruption, lack of infrastructure, and security issues.

Our country has not yet given us steady electricity, adequate education, safety from armed robbers or standard healthcare, yet artistes have risen like the Roses that grow from Concrete… and these very artistes love and represent their country proudly on a global stage. This music industry has given hope, jobs and income to countless youth of today. We are Rappers, Singers, Producers, Sound Engineers, Managers, Promoters, Marketing Consultants, Record Label Owners and we will not apologize for making the best of our circumstances; and all this in spite of the fact that we have Marketers that exploit but refuse to pay for our Musical pieces, Royalties and Publishing income that hitherto has been non-existent, a Government that is just now very slowly starting to enforce anti-piracy laws, and Event Organizers that would rather pay 50 Cent One Million US Dollars than give D’banj or P-Square 5 Million Naira.

You were right on some counts. We ARE businessmen and women, and we ARE interested in extending name recognition and brand extension. You were also right in that we look up to people like Jay-Z, who took their music and created multimillion-dollar empires. Since when did ambition and desire to succeed against all odds count against a person’s moral character? Shouldn’t we be encouraged to pay more attention to the business side of “Show Business”? Shouldn’t we want this music industry to provide for our future and the futures of our children?

We know we have a moral responsibility when it comes to our Creative works. Some of us pay more attention to it than others, and there is lots of ground to cover up. But how about a little appreciation and help, instead of trying to tear us down and discredit us? Time will tell whose music will last and become evergreen, but it is not in anyone’s place to judge; and for the record, can we just accept that fact that hip hop music is an artform that is probably here to stay… I mean for goodness sake the Grammy’s has!! Instead of fighting the change, we should learn to embrace it. I thank God for people like the great Adewale Ayuba that have reached across to our generation to collaborate with, bridge the gap, and help us improve.

We want to learn but your generation has to teach. We want to read but the Government must provide libraries. We want to go to school but the lecturers keep going on strike. We want to travel but previous generations messed up so they won’t give out visas. Most of prefer having our own live bands but the income needed to support that is not forthcoming.

You speak of meaninglessness and prurience, identity crisis and moral turpitude. You praise Legends like Fela Anikulakpo-Kuti and you ridicule us. 9ice does not drink or smoke. eLDee is married to one wife. Olu Maintain does not drink. Naeto C is currently obtaining his Masters’ degree in England. The ironic thing is, we look up to and praise your generation too. You seem to forget that Baba Fela had 27 wives, smoked marijuana in public, was himself half naked at shows (as well as the women around him) and allegedly died of HIV. However we look past what some may consider shortcomings and respect and emulate the immense contributions he made to our history. We are in awe of him despite personal choices that some may or may not agree with. All we are asking for is to be appreciated and afforded similar tolerances.

You danced to Shina Peters. Let us dance to our music. And for the record: for every “Anoti” by MI, he has a “Crowd Mentality” or a “Talk about it”. For a Naeto C’s “Ki Ni Big Deal”, he has a “The Devil is a Liar”. Just because an artiste uses a particular song to promote his album for commercial reasons, doesn’t mean they should be judged on that alone. Anyone that is familiar with the cost of promoting an album (videos, press, etc) would know that you end up making hard decisions in terms of what you have to push and promote, for your best chance at success. I suggest that you buy whole albums and look at the body of work. Listen to the entire CD’s. I think you’ll find that more often than not, Nigerian artistes are doing a pretty good job of representing this great Country of Nigeria. Naija Till We Die. Yes Boss.

Sincerely,
~ Banky W.

78 Comments

  1. yarinya

    June 24, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    bella you are very early in posting this o!!

  2. melon O

    June 24, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Good Job Banky W. Good response to Mr. Abati’s reckless article. Banky W maybe you should consider journalism, your thought was organized and well delivered. I wonder what this does to Abati’s already questionable credibility (remember the land scandal). We should embrace and encourage our youths as they struggle to excel, against all odds. All these old fags that have chopped money belle full should shut up and clear out for the new generation. It is this young naija generation that will give 9ja it’s re-birth.

  3. faribaby:D

    June 24, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    awwwwwwww…………….im soooooooo proud of banky-w. im proud that he stood up for himself and his colleagues. he definately has gained a lot of people’s respect. i agree with everything he had to say. i am truly proud of him. AND ..OMG……..LMAO…banky is a clown mehn, at the end of erething he naw said “naija till we die…yes boss” …asin dat was a big blow to that abati guy. GOOD LOOKING OUT BANKY..XX

  4. Nneka

    June 24, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    I read this earlier on Linda Ikeji’s blog. Well thank God for democracy. I can’t imagine where Banky W would have gotten the guts to publicly respond to Mr Abati’s artcile if not for the freedom of speech that now untraditionally (in Nigeria) cuts across all age brackets.

    Some solid points made. Both generations have good and bad show biz examples.
    Numerous great examples from both generation compared to the opposite side.
    For me, Fela = Future Tuface Idibia with more than panties on
    …….if he doesn’t caution his sexual habits that is. Pikin wey no dey hear word…….

  5. LordLugard

    June 24, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Very well written, the points made are clear and concise. Back in da day was Mr Abati’s time… this is our time.. Let’s GO

  6. nandos

    June 24, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Right from the beginning, I have always been very sceptical of Mr. Abati’s articles…they were always one-sided, biased and highly hypocritcial (anyone remember his article on expatriate children)…for goodness sake what is wrong with “naija”? its not like its on the map now is it? The guy should take a chill pill and stop getting his panties all up in a bunch for nothing…Banky W’s article was well written and counterargued his points like fire…najia for life!!!!!

    • Jonas

      October 22, 2011 at 11:10 am

      What’s the beef? How far? Did he move your cheese? Abeg jo! The man is more brilliant and respectable than all these modern day hip-hop superhero-wannabes and he should be respected. The contributions of people like Dr. Abati has made Nigeria a better place, unlike your tin-can heroes

  7. lentini

    June 24, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    with due respect to mr Abati, please shut the heck up! your generation has failed our’s, your generation has almost ruined everything for us with corruption and what not and those musicians of yester years that u are praising, sang the glory of those thieves your generation produced with the exception of Fela Anukulapo Kuti which your generation also treated like an outcast because he spoke the truth.
    today i am more proud to be a naija man and a lot of friends i met in America who has not been to naija since they were kids, or want to have anything to do with the word Nigeria, are now claiming to be “naija for life”. who are some of the people making this happen? Mr Abati if you dont know, i will tell you. it’s the Eldee’s, Bank w,Dbanj,femi kuti,neato c,ikechukwu,M I, Olu maintain, D1, kenny Ogungbe, and so many nigerians in diaspora and those at home in my generation who grew up in Las gidi, IB, pheri, waffi, baffi (b-side) Kd, and many more places i can not mention.
    please leave our generation alone to correct what your corrupt generation had messed up.
    Thanks!
    naija until i die!
    Lentini.

  8. miss me

    June 24, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    yes boss indeed. banky you deserve a pat on the back jo. infact 10 pats. all these old cargos wont let us be. yes i said it. old cargos indeed. they have ruined our political landscape and now they want to tear down our entertainment industry? as banky writes and naeto sings, ‘the devil is a liar’, a terrible one at that.
    please let us be. kudos banky W. xxxX

  9. yves la rock**

    June 24, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Banky’s write up got me teary eyed esp:

    “We want to learn but your generation has to teach. We want to read but the Government must provide libraries. We want to go to school but the lecturers keep going on strike. We want to travel but previous generations messed up so they won’t give out visas. Most of prefer having our own live bands but the income needed to support that is not forthcoming.”

  10. ajiri

    June 24, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    its funny how every generation grows up and forgets that they were once considered irresponsible. during Ruben’s time they were accused of being a wayward generation, as my generation was and now it is the turn of a new generation. nevermind, with time this generation too will grow up and conform like every other generation since the begining of time and it will be Banky’s turn to accuse the coming generation
    what suprises me however, is that the editor of such an important publication can be so out of touch with human psychology. what does he expect. was he too not once a young man. he needs to get with the program before he alienates a whole generation, not just in his personal capacity but also for his business. so what if they are immature (by his standard).
    as for Banky, i really never cared for the guy but i must say, i’m impressed.

  11. Gbo Gbo Bigz Girls

    June 24, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Looks like Mr. Abati bit a bit more than he could chew. Sometimes it is best only to speak about what you know. Go Banky!! Thanks for standing up for all of us. I too was irritated by that article. As if he too won’t sing ‘jaga-jaga’ if they give him your Etisalat Money and Dbanj’s Glo/Oceanic money. Shoooo!!! Lol. Mr. Abati needs to recant and apologize to everyone he insulted in his rubbish excuse of an article.

    Gidi Bigz Girlz

  12. sanchos

    June 25, 2009 at 1:27 am

    i doff my hat for Mr Wellington. Bravo. You certainly changed my impression of U with that masterpiece.
    You should write more opinion pieces.

    But in all honesty Mr Abati just missed his way temporarily. He doesn’t deserve too much opprobrium. He has paid his dues as well.

    cheers

  13. mama dee

    June 25, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Banky, I think you have may have over pushed the issue with Mr Abati.
    as a matter of fact, i think it’s not really Mr Abati’s fault but that of the said generation accountable for paragraph 11 (Banky’s reply)
    this is what happened;
    Editor – Reuben i need an article from you by close of work to replace the un-used page from Etisalat.
    Mr Abati- At your service sir!
    “Having no article or topic to write about, he decides to write about the last word of the master”
    Editor – i hope you have completed your task Reuben
    Mr Abati thinks to himself – Those ‘small boys’ think they can do better than some of us….. after we have paid so much dues…….. THEY ARE IN TROUBLE!
    That is the story of how Mr Abati abandoned several articles bordering on corruption, theft etc from his generation and pounced on the generation of business men and women!

  14. KK

    June 25, 2009 at 2:19 am

    i never took Banky serious but his response was measured, cultured and relevant content wise (same cannot be said of Eldee’s response).bros, take a bow. there is a lot wrong with the Nigerian music scene (i am tired of talking about the lack of real talent and the dominance of mediocrity.it’s been a long while i heard a good vocalist.you can count on your right hands those on the scene, not to talk of the computerization of everything that is making live music a forgotten genre) but there is enough good in it not to indulge the nonsensical write up of Dr. Abati. he needs to do a proper research and make a coherent argument.besides, most of what is wrong with the music scene is a universal malaise, although some of it na home based issues.

  15. KK

    June 25, 2009 at 2:23 am

    leave 2 face alone in this discourse. there are people doing worse than he can ever do. the problem is just that he is in the public eye. i am not condoning his ways but there is no need for unnecessary hypocrisy. some of us on this blog are worse than the guy and that is a very small sample of the population.

  16. missus

    June 25, 2009 at 2:52 am

    culdnt have been written better.i am impressed, i wasnt a fan but now i am… u’ve definately won my respect banky and many others im sure. as for Mr Abati… thanks to people like you naija is still the way it is.

  17. labalaba

    June 25, 2009 at 3:16 am

    I have a new found respect for Banky W. well written.

  18. Nneka

    June 25, 2009 at 4:20 am

    ‘Unhypocritical’ KK: It’s my opinion. Hold on to yours. Whoever said Tuface was the worst ever by the way???? Duh. Please learn to take an extra minute to process other people’s comments before launching unwarranted responses that go wayyy off track.
    *ear-popping hisses*

  19. Lost at the End

    June 25, 2009 at 4:32 am

    Why is Flora Shaw’s “Nigeria” better or somehow more authentic than Naija? These old Nigerians. I no even fit vex for the article sef. Their time done pass jare.

  20. omo........

    June 25, 2009 at 5:56 am

    wow…………. i cannot believe i read this whole article…. but it was worth my time…
    i think the problem with mr reuben abati is that he cannot see the good coming from our generation…….
    am very gland one of the artist replyed him… and his reply was… in your face…. GOOD…
    also most of this songs he mentioned that do not make sense actually do make sense like one of my fovourite artist and album…. gongo aso by 9ice … but as banky said he did not do his research well.
    But nice one Banky W…. bella pls can u upload other ppl comment like those that supported mr abati… will like to read what they had to say….thanks
    Naija for life…… lol

  21. omo........

    June 25, 2009 at 5:59 am

    you r rite la rock…. wat he said in that statement was the plain truth…. but the likes of mr abati would not see that aspect…. i know our generation would make nigeria a better place it just a matter of time….

  22. omo........

    June 25, 2009 at 6:15 am

    what happened to Infinity that they are no longer a group….. am not happy about the news….. i hope its not true coz did not hear any news about that….

  23. Nneka

    June 25, 2009 at 7:03 am

    there are some good arguments in support of Mr Abati on lindaikeji.blogspot.com. As expected you’ll find more pro-Banky views there too. The arguments there for the former are worth the read.

  24. Nancy

    June 25, 2009 at 9:12 am

    I’m impressed with Banky W. He has shown that our generation still has hope, some of us are well read and well spoken. Not only did Banky do his research, it was based on facts and not sentiments.
    Standing ovation to you Bank.

  25. Tess

    June 25, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Banky W… wow, I didn’t know you had this in you. Mr. Abati . . . that is in your face, sir! This well structured, intelligent, fact filled and respectful response by you Banky has really raised you so many notches above where I had you. Which just goes to push your points further home on how easy it is to judge people without even knowing them. Banky W. Well done. Or should I say – Well said.

  26. Oludascribe

    June 25, 2009 at 10:37 am

    It’s understandable where Mr Abati is coming from , truly some of the music this generation(like any other) is truly cringe worthy. A lot of it is senseless, and artistically lacking. However , for every “Baby Konga” , there is a lyrically powerful “Asa”. For every Zule Zoo, there is an “Infinity”.

    The irony of the Nigerian music scene, is that those that make the effort to be deep, and sing note worthy songs , are not received widely, they don’t sell as many records or get as many concert booking, at least not within Nigeria.

    Now more than ever, there is a lot of mediocrity in the US music scene, as many of us that were their sold out fans in the 90’s can no longer bear to listen to what is being currently produced by the new young, pretty , but average performers, that cover their lack of talent by prancing half naked across the stage and overtly sexual lyrics.

    Monikers and Stage names are nothing new. Previous generations have used it, and future generations will do so too, so there is not point there ,whatsoever.

    I guess it was just a bad day Mr Abati was having , maybe some kid played some music too loud in the neighborhood or something and that got the synapses firing.

  27. mary

    June 25, 2009 at 11:06 am

    hahahhahahahaahha

  28. mary

    June 25, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I totally agree with your first paragraph!

  29. mary

    June 25, 2009 at 11:23 am

    I agree with Abati

  30. mary

    June 25, 2009 at 11:44 am

    and Banky both have very valid points ,please dont just ignore what Abati is saying there are lessons to be learnt even Banky noted these

  31. femi

    June 25, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    The same way the Iranian govt messed with the wrong citizens………………………. Mr Abati just messed with the wrong crowd

  32. nono

    June 25, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    the guardian newspaper guy was from a old school generation and could not figure out that there is a new generation. All said and done all i can say is that every generation is different and i think the newspaper article writer have to realize that

  33. olukoya olugbenga

    June 28, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    wao! I have been waiting for this moment for a long time, change! is in the often I know Dr abati as a lecture of repute but on this he totally got it all wrong. if there is anything they call investigative journalism or research all gone wrong this is one of it ,so happy with banky w(sorry olubankole wellinton) you are really mr capable. please all the youths of nigeria wake up from the cloak of fear and lets take our destiny in our hands its’ time to take the reigns of power from our fathers, thoughtfully and intelligently. it is well with nija oo sorry “niger area”…ha ha ha……..catch ya.

  34. Bebe

    June 28, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    @ omo: this is the link for Banky’s reply…there are comments for and against him listed there

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4187655&id=659955017&comments#/note.php?note_id=207156985647&id=17506231&ref=mf

    or u can just search for Banky W. and read his note. U dont have to be his friend to view it.

  35. mobola

    June 28, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    lol at the abati fellow, all these do as i say old fathers… big ups to Banky, I’ve never even herad of you but for a Nigerian artiste you’ve proved to be smarter than abati (whose articles I used to read when i was in nij but I will possibly never read again after this piece of baloney)

  36. yarinya

    June 29, 2009 at 12:52 am

    i totally agree with you

  37. Ova sabi

    June 29, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Maybe we should be editing the grammar on this site, spelling, tenses etc

  38. muyiwa

    June 29, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    I totally agree with Banky W, but please let us not summarize everything Mr Abati wrote as blatant rubbish, cos he has some valid points…he just didn’t do his research well, there are some artistes he shouldn’t have touched(e.g Banky, 9ice etc..cos these guys are sincerely creating a positive buzz for themselves in and outta 9ja(sorry Nigeria))….we truly have some 9ja(sorry Nigerian) songs that would make you cringe with disgust when you listen to them, but at the same time we have songs that are so meaningful, you would wonder if they were really done by Nigerians…the issue of Nigeria being called 9ja is a no-no, he shouldn’t have gone there…..

  39. Chioma

    June 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Banky all i can say is YES BOSS back to u u showed him that young people are not clueless at all

  40. saheed tijani

    June 30, 2009 at 9:45 am

    First of all i understand where my ABIATI is coming from, the identity crisis between us Nigerians is probably the worst between us Africans, I am based in London and you see some of the next generations deny their parents roots and origin, as if their culture do not pertain to them, but thats beside the issue the reason why i think ABIATI attacked the artist listed above was due to their Minority influence on the next generation more than the present government. However, the mistake he made was making assumption based on couple of tracks to define this artist view of life. Early music was about fun, dance, rhythm, and overall great atmosphere. Something our great grand fathers took to the western culture during the slavery Era as history showed western music never had. My view about both article are they both great for journalism in Nigeria, They both had valid points but what ABIATI chose to ignore is that our generation are as educated as them even more educated than they are as a result they need to respect our choice and Understand we the leaders of tomorrow and “conformity never leads to innovation” which has been the case for many decades.

  41. momo

    June 30, 2009 at 9:49 am

    am speechless,
    Mr. Abati, u just got served.
    i prefer naija to the nigeria sef.
    banky great job. love it.

  42. Nnebuogo ofunne

    June 30, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Cnt bliv i read all of this. Pls, evry1 knows naija is just a slang n short 4m of NIGERIA. there is no NIGERIAN who cnt spell NIGERIA. Abegi

  43. me!

    June 30, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    uhm sorry, but Mr Abati is like the editor in chief of Guardian. he does not answer to anyone…X

  44. SOC OMOTOYE

    June 30, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    INTELLECTUAL PROSTITUTION, SOCIAL IGNORANCE AND WISDOM POMPOSITY IN RUEBEN ABATIS’ A Nation’s Identity Crisis

    THE FIRST TIME, when I came across Abati’s article and Banky W’s response on Bella naija’s web page ,I had just little time to spend on the internet. But the combo (I could not fathom what issue could join these men who belong to different generation, social stratum and intellectual linage); never the less pricked my curiosity that I quickly had to copy the piece on my flash drive. The gig-saw began to fall into place when I paid a weekend visit my bosom friend and course-mate Joseph Ogundare, a staff of telecomm giant Globacom.

    I immediately opened my flash drive to read the ‘now’ very controversial article, which to me have exposed the level of hypocrisy a venerated and cerebral genius ‘conservative’ Abati and his likes engage in ,especially when they try to rubbish our generation, in their ‘holier than thou’ attitude’.(Agba wa bur ate we o ba se o rii?) More amusing is the fact that Abati has some very valid point in the article, for example issues like ‘sagging’ of pant is not part of our culture, lyrics with little or no sense is not good, we should be mindful of the computer age kids that abound in our country. It gives me grave concern when I see kids dance recklessly and sing and along to some of this lewd songs that have invaded the air waves. In addition it smirks of lack of creativity and artistic intelligence when 98% of these artistes in question would rather mime to a CD rather than perform with a live band. We want artistes that will endure the time, musician who will be ever green like;Micheal Jackson, Bob Marley Sade, and our own King Sunny Ade, Dan Maraya Jos, Abami Eda Fela, Ebenezer Obey, and current hit makers like Lagbaja and Asa whose visionary music is ‘beyond now’. This observation sure hit the bull eye, but the angle through which Dr Abati chose to express his opinion smirks of total ignorance and intellectual prostitution and arrogance.

    In all honesty the Nigerian youths have been short changed in all ramification, this is a nation where nothing seem to work; yet the youths have used their talent and proficiency to berth the globally acclaimed ‘Nollywood’ and the world have today come to appreciate Naija brand of Afro Hip-Hop music. Yet, Nigeria appear to be the only country with the most corrupt leaders, who rubs their selfishness and opulent life style in the face of abject poverty and lack in a land where power is epileptic, where social welfare is a state of comatose, security is zero, Nigeria is the only nation where parents pay through their nose to school their wards at both government and private institutions, yet the huge fund invested does not commiserate with the level of knowledge the students get. When I try to remember the myriad of problems that ‘Abati’s’ generation have vested on the country it brakes my heart. To now add insult upon injury in my opinion is not the corrective means of encouraging my generation. You cannot get the best out of a child by deriding him/her constantly. Every child have positive potentials, it is the place of parents to bring out the best in every child. According to the internet guru and computer genius our own very Emeritus Professor Phillip Emeagwali, he once said “When I was 5 years old, my father recognized that I was slow in Math, he worked with me, pushing me until eventually I could do 100 questions in an hour. His efforts pushed me beyond my comfort zone.” Parents must set higher standards for their children and push them beyond their comfort zone. We must remember that every genius is an ordinary person who did
    extraordinary things.

    Me think, Dr Abati and his ilk, ought to use their position to compel government on the need to protect the intellectual properties of Nigerian army of artistes rather than deriding their person or talents, and help to bring out the best in the Nigerian child.Goverment should build libraries, recreational centers, and invest hugely into the educational sector. The greatest challenge that my generation faces is that the youths have plenty of energies, and our parents, schools, and the government should please help this generation to exercise these energies and passions positively.

    The name in contention ‘Naija’ (I don’t care where or how it emanated!) is not a derogative term, rather it’s a way the youths have used to appreciate a country that has little or nothing to offer them yet, they hold this nation in high esteem and literally, artistically, technologically and in sports my generation have continued to hoist the Nigerian flag proudly by excelling in different field at home and abroad. Dorah Akunyuli need not expend too much fund and resources; I advise her and the government to look towards the youth for answers to the so many nagging problems facing Nigeria. Americans coined the term Yankee, some call America ‘God Own country’, others call America ‘Uncle Sam’ yet no one has ever said that they have insulted their nation’s identity! Why should ours be different?

    About the stage names, I believe that it is a general philosophy that a child is a product of his era. There’s nothing bad in having a name as a brand for ease of identification and uniqueness. For example: every one can easily pronounce 9-ice, but a non Yoruba cannot easily pronounce Abolore Akande, it’s nice that Banky W has pointed out the many contrasts in Dr Abati’s commentary. As a further reference Majek Fasheks’ real name I think is Majekodunmi Fashakin, Ras Kimono cannot be the original name on the reggae artiste international pass-sport. I think Abati should tell us his native name so that we shall hence forth address him by his native name and not ‘Rueben’ ‘Identification Crisis’ indeed!

    On a more serious note, I’m in agreement with the strong points Dr Abati’s article raised; it’s just that the sore points out weights the valid ones; Nigerian artiste ought to emulate good things that can improve their crafts. It’s a not a must that every artiste must know how to play a musical instrument, but it will be more instructive and constructive that our artiste must learn how to perform with a live band , rather than miming to their songs at shows and concerts. By so doing foreign counterparts who share stage with them will appreciate them more, and they can then demand for better pay package to perform at shows and concerts. In addition, music should not be just a medium through which we want to dance away our sorrow, the artistes, should infuse sensible words into their lyrics. They should not continue to edify lewdness (wind your waist), drunkenness (Shayo) and way-wardness that some of their songs and life style portray. Enough said!!!

    Omotoye Solomon. O.C (OBA-9JA 1)
    Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
    PIVOTGEEST magazine.
    [email protected]
    pivotgeest.blogspot.com

  45. Sita Diva

    July 1, 2009 at 12:39 am

    Do i sense a whiff of NEO- COLONIALISM coming through mr Abati’s Article. I have not even read it to the end but thus are my comments so far!!…..Mr Abati We are reclaiming the word Nigeria given to us by foreigners people who do not know us or even love us who do not know our land our Country OUR NAIJA!!!!!! The Nigerian people have re branded the name and made it ours the real true NIGERIAN . Why should a name Given to us be better than the one’s we have claimed for our selves!!!

  46. Sita Diva

    July 1, 2009 at 1:10 am

    Banky W
    What can i say you have hit the nail on the head i could not have said it better myself..

    Mr Abati with all due respect i really do feel you missed the boat on this one.. i have a very long and detailed response for you i really wish i could keep my eyes open longer enough to write it!

    Mr Abati you just do not get it!

  47. Qeema

    July 1, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Banky did a great job – he addressed the issues without being rude or insulting. He did his homework and wrote a well-constructed response. Dr Abati may have had some good points, but the truth is, he failed to make a balanced and clear argument. It comes across as a random, over-emotional polemic without a great deal of substance to it. He could have done better – he’s usually a lot better at putting his points across. Anyway, well done to Banky for his measured response.

  48. Qeema

    July 1, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Well said!

  49. buffy

    July 1, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    plz.mr reuben is jst “over exagerratin”.excuse my word.i may nt b able to quote or sample some old skool’s gig wiv dr names bt mennn dr wre also some senseless **xcuse me, ‘meaningless ‘ songs sang dn, jst bcos dy sang wiv original beatsand instruments.i am rily impressed wiv Banky’s reply note and jst wnt to note dt funkifyn names,using synthetic notes or beats r jst part of advancd technology and wld nt crucify our artistes in using dm.stop hattin

  50. Chukwunwikezarramu Okumephuna

    July 3, 2009 at 4:42 am

    Unfortunately Reuben Abati is one of those fine and educated Nigerians who ended up following the bandwagon despite his enormous intellectual wealth. Abati to be very frank is not a man to be trusted and I do not have a doubt that he has got two colours. He never meant anything he is writing. I think it is a complete nonsense. Reason is because Abati in the article is trying to pose as the good one but it will surprise you that Abati sits on top of one of the greatest injustices in the history of Nigeria. Reuben Abati is on the board and an editor of the Guardian Newspapers of Nigeria and yet most of the staff of the newspapers where he is the editor have not had their employment/appointment confirmed despite working with the paper for over two years and above. Reuben Abati has been to the UK and is well aware that such things could never happen here. Why then is he sitting on top of that injustice? He is part of the problem. His own charity should begin at home! The Anglican Archbishop of Nigeria is also heavily involved in the management of that paper and has pages dedicated to his church every Sunday. Why then is the good Abati and the honourable Akinola pretending while an injustice like this is happening in their own backyard?

  51. Dj V

    July 3, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Definitely i must say Banky W mista capable really got it right. I think mr Abati should’nt have gone beyond the point of identity crisis which to me is understandable rather than discrediting our hardworking 9ja artistes as a whole. Make a clean point and be on advisory position so we can learn if need be. Who says it’s not possible to have a 9ja becoming the presido of this our generation. Agenda 2020 or is it vision? Whatever 9ja till eternity.

  52. deelepsy

    July 3, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    i would never have believed banky was this well read… i see mr.abatis point but what he forgot to do was look at the good sides and even probably listen to the song fully before judging. i sometimes feel some of the songs our generation are really silly but in the present times in nigeria peple need to be able to laugh and if just for a few minutes forget the sorrows that the nation and its leaders are causing. suffering and smiling eh?… weldone to banky w ah sorry o bankole wellington..lol

  53. Asake-Okin

    Qees

    July 4, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Well Done Banky…

    Mr. Abati should have known better to attack the issues and not the people, can he see what is generation (ASUU) is doing to our generation? How many governors from his co called generations are working, most politicians from his generation knows how to embezzle public funds, where is the Electricity, good infrastructure, education that his generation has given us?? Where will Yar’Adua do for us other than going for medical check-ups?
    Some of us have/ had to school in Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana, Kenya ,other African countries or even outside the continent because his so called generation has spoiled the schooling structure, yet we return home and we are still unemployed. Unemployment and Lack of good schools has promoted more social vices like Yahoo Yahoo and 419
    True that some musician sings the wrong song but I thought Mr.Abati’s generation is still in-charge of censors’ board??
    There is nothing wrong with having a stage name; it is means you are able to separate celebrity life and your personal life…
    So what if we change our name to 9ja or even Naija…what if we don’t want to bear the romantic expenditure gift again.
    A good article should highlight the pro and con’s of our generation, it should not be one side; I personally admit that our generation is not perfect however don’t overlook the good things we have done.

  54. Omo

    July 5, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Whoever the hell abati is, he should go and screw himself. What has his generation done for Nigeria but to leave the country in ruins and on the brink of disintegration and he dare open his mouth to talk rubbish without even having his facts. They are responsible for how the country is. I don’t care if he’s a politician or not. Its funny how people in Nigeria (especially the so called elderly) try to impose their opinions as right to everyone. He should go outside the country and see how white people and other Africans appreciate the music. The other day i saw a group of white people singing along to all the Nigerian songs that played in the club, they actually prefer it to their own music and this Abati fella is talkin rubbish condemning the work of hardworking dedicated people. I’m too proud to be a part of this generation that is taking Naija out of this state that this so called older generation has forced us to be in. Even at that, young people are still making the best out of it. Imagine how it would be if things were better. Abeg you guys should keep it going and keep repping NAIJA!!!

  55. Princess

    July 7, 2009 at 3:51 am

    Banky W has written a very respectful and honest response and I couldn’t help but nod my head in agreement while reading his piece.

    If only Abati could see the way Nigerian youths abroad use the term Naija affectionately to refer to their longing for home. It is by no means demeaning just as using yankee or jand is not demeaning. His writeup seemed so bitter and condemning of a generation and culture that he probably doesn’t understand.

    Change is inevitable and the lemonade Naija youths have made from the lemons life has thrown them should be acknowledged and delicious young men like Banky W applauded.

  56. BiafranPrincess

    July 7, 2009 at 5:44 am

    Banky W….Thanks a lot for representing! Ruben! Ruben! Ruben! How many times did I call you? Leave my generation alone o….we are cleaning up the *shite* that you guys saw fit to gift us.
    For the records, whenever someone of this gen says ‘Naija’, it is with solid pride in a sad but potential-rich nation that your group of educated but not wholly enlightened ‘elders’ left for us.

  57. Yewande

    July 7, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Well said Mr. Wellington!!!Teach that old man that we have got brains too…Ah ah!!!what is it??always slandering our generation!!!i think we are doing a fine job living in these present day conditions and still being able to stand proud and tall. We are doing well in school, we have great careers and are working harder at being better people. Things are different from the “good old days” so get with the programme!!!NAIJA UNTIL I DIE!!!Proud of you Banky..xxx

  58. Dozie Okpalaobieri

    July 10, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    I have never been moved to respond to articles by others but Banky W’s response to Mr. Abati is “slap-on-point.” I could not have written a better response. I have been to clubs in Naija! and Ghana and you can go a long while on Naija music before something different comes on. In my car, I play Dbanj, 9ice, Naeto C among others, my kids even love to listen to Timaya! Thinking of Naija of today, I listen repeatedly to MI’s “Talk about it” which has inspired me this year to become involved in the political process for a better Nigeria. I would even move to say that this MI song be the youth anthem for the next election cycle in Nigeria. Go on, listen to that song and form your own opinion.

    I am tempted to say that Mr. Abati’s time is passing, but Banky put it right when he says that he is a tad bit out of touch. An evening listening to any of these artists would set him on the right course, then again, it could be like me listening to my father’s Jim Reeves collection! Kudos to you Banky for your response.

  59. Ali Baba

    July 10, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    I’ve always LOVED the music of this generation but never really got into it like most people of my generation are now until i went to Nigeria after about a minute out of the country… bottom line is if you don’t like what this young boys are doing now, then THERE IS DEFINITELY SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU… Now oyinbo music no dey sweet me again sef.

    These young boys are selling happiness… no matter the gbege wey dey your head, you must roll waist when you hear 9ice or Timaya… No matter how self righteous you are, you must sit along and dance to “MUGUUUUU DON PAY, SHOUT ALLELUYAH!!!! EEEAAAAHHH, EEEAAAHHH!!!”

    Good job to Banky for responding in a respectful manner.. it just shows that even with their pants sagging these kids still know their roots… Hopefully Mr Abati will eat his words when 9ice finally brings home the grammy

  60. Toun

    July 10, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Thank you Banky for this wonderful rebuttal. We come from a culture where the ‘kids are to be seen and not heard’ but it’s about time these ‘kids’ speak loud and clear and educate the older generation.

  61. A9mus ( The Kalifate)

    July 13, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    The article ought to be rightfully titled ” The disillusions of Reuben Abati’s temporal displacement”. Wake up Abati…cos it looks like you went to bed last night only to wake up twenty years too soon in the future. Oh yes, the future, it seems thats what you are so scared to come to terms with. Like Banky mentioned…you had a glimmer of reason hidden somewhere beneath the heap of prejudice. Alas, your miseducation on the subject took you on a wrong fork…( sincerely, I mean wrong turn).

    At the 2008 Nigerian Music Video Awards, Sir Victor Owaifo who also was a distinguished guest of the awards presented the best mainstream hip hop video awards to Roof Top MCs and lauded artistes like PSquare and Dbanj for doing Nigeria proud. If a Legend such as he could declare this…then sir, who in FLINTSONE are you?

    In fact, there is this music store called Evagreen at Onipanu where Nigerian classics these are sold. S. B. Bakare, Victor Olaiya, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Dan Maraya of Jos, Osita Osadebey, Ayinla Omowura, Victor Uwaifo, Geraldo Pino, Rex Lawson, I. K. Dairo, Haruna Ishola, Yusuf Olatunji, Inyang Henshaw, Tunji Oyelana, Bobby Benson, Tunde Nightingale, and even the later ones: Shina Peters, Dele Abiodun, Y.K. Ajao, Ayinde Barrister, Kollington Ayinla, Batile Alake, Sir Warrior, Moroccco Nwa Maduko, Orlando Owoh, We buy them, we treasure them because they are the valued summary of an ethos we can NEVER replace. And so we create our own and regardless of the dysfunctions largely masterminded by the failures of your kind our children will also celebrate our irreplaceable music.

    Lastly…NEVER talk trash about HIP HOP when even you, without knowing it have a Hip which you HOP on, which also keeps you from falling off. More than half of the Nigerian artistes you mentioned do not do HIP HOP MUSIC. HIP HOP is the most misrepresented culture and music genre today thanks to uninformed intellectuals whom you so aptly represent. Nevertheless, a few of none Hip hop music artistes are Hip Hop only because Hip hop is a consciousness/ state of the mind. For Example, Banky W is Hip Hop, even though is genre is R&B, Dbanj for example is POP music but don’t be fooled, Dbanj is just as Hip Hop minded as the next man. So please keep Kanye West , Jay Z, and Nas, Jadakiss out of your atavistic schooling that sorely needs graduation ( I bet some young hip hop buff came up with that list for you). May be I should stop here, going further might just be to futuristic for you to follow.

    So next time you want to criticize, please be sure to research the genres in question and provide actual parameters that these music could be scaled by.

    Yo Banky…keep smiling to the Bank!

    And I’m Audi ( Like d car!)

  62. jbaby

    July 14, 2009 at 3:29 am

    Exactly wat I should have said. On point.

  63. jbaby

    July 14, 2009 at 3:29 am

    Seriously was Mr Abati expecting a pat on his back for this article. I think his own generation might be disappointed as well. This is 100% ignorance, esp from someone so well respected and educated if I may add. What a shame. I have to say he’s article is quite embarrasing.

  64. questionPls

    July 21, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Eldee replied to this article as well and it’s a lot hotter than Banky W’s. I love music. If it sounds good, whether from this generation or previous generations, I’m goin to sing along and dance to it. But u know how the old ones never really understand us.

  65. Silent Observer

    November 23, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Bankole u are too much!!!! You gave him the truth!!! How dare Mr. Abati utter such rubbish!!!

  66. Mojirola

    November 27, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Though i’m disheartened that most of our music now are filled with “so much sound and little sense” and depict low moral values; i found Banky W’s response to be Intelligent,Insightful and very polite; i’m really impressed that we have such intellects in d music industry.

  67. kay

    December 7, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    What surprised me about Mr Abati’s article is his inability to get the dates and periods right. People like tony tetuilla started this afro hip-hop in the 99/00’s, and so should not be included with the recent stream of new artists with catchy and very afro-centric music. 9ice put out an album that is praised for its tone of yoruba culture, and you need to see the crowd at d’banj concert in london, pretty much every nation of earth was represented white, black,yellow and tan were all there, and yet you shoot this talented musicians down. And please next time you compare,Kollington Ayinla, and Barrister are not in the same set as KWAM 1, even Arabambi knows his seniors in the music game.

  68. Ife.

    December 8, 2009 at 7:37 am

    hey where online can I read eLDee’s response to Abati’s article?

  69. PET

    December 11, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Reading the initial article, i had plenty things to say, but after I read Banky W’s reply, i just swallowed. if for anything, its enough that the artistees been criticized had one of their own to stand up for them, im not sure a defence attorney would have done better. Banky was simply brilliant!

    Its surprising and really annoying too that Mr Abati would ridicle these people thaat much, when from all indications he’s an ardent listener, or how do you explain his ability to reel out all the lyrics?

    He talks about failing a generation, pray tell, who is failing who? Like Banky pointed out we are young people trying to survive on the only foundation we’ve known since birth! They say when life throws you lemons make lemonade, what if it throws you maggot invaded agbalumo (cherry) just like Mr Abati’s generation?

    Lyrics making sense…. its neither here nor there…. “if you see mammy water, never, never run away” (Mr. Abati’s generation)….whats the moral lesson? its been there since time immemorial, some artistees thrash political and economic issues, others make party and club tracks, a few deal with matters of the heart, isnt variety the spice of life anymore…ehn?

    Naija! Naija!! Naija!!! its our dear Nigeria, yes, i agree we should stand upright for the anthem I agree, but please, enough about the name already! The Americans are synonymous with “Yankee’, no one ever makes noise about it. Mr Abati, please tell us why it is acceptable, or better still will Naija be acceptable if it were in the dictionary? Perhaps we would include it with many other words, Association of Nigerian English Professors (there’s nothing like that oh!) and Ministry of Education take note!

    If you really want to deal with the issue of National identity, use your position to tell the Supporters club that adopting the VuVuzela horn is not our stlye and that we want our drums back so we can sing ‘ogbona feli feli… we’re hot and they’re not’ when super eagles score at the nations cup.

    By the way, you seem to always fuel controversies http://www.nigeriansinamerica.com/articles/1534/1/Between-Dr-Abati-CNN-Nigerians–Nigeria/Page1.html

    My advice is Mr Abati should stick to Patito’s Gang and discuss politics, environmental degradation and economics, as far as Entertainment is concerned, he’s got no invite and definitely wont be winning an award soon…. nuf said!

  70. Lekan

    December 15, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    My comment may be a little late but I’ll love the opportunity to tell Mr. Reuben Abati to go talk to his generation. He should write books, articles and give hundreds of talks about the damage they have done to this country. He should dedicate the rest of his life to them for they are a curse on us. Need I mention names? His pal Pat Utomi is included. A serious agent of change doesn’t have to rule to effect change. Go sponsor a primary school. There are several in need.

  71. Esther

    April 1, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Banky, you are a real gentle man. I love you for that. Yes you told Mr. Abati the truth but you should also know that he made some good point also. Banky, you are the best!

  72. Kola Adeniyi

    July 22, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    I am glad that somebody like Abati is reacting to this rubbish called music in our dear country today. But, you see, what is the communications commission actually doing? Isn’t there supposed to be a gate keeper on the quality of what is aired on the radio and television in Nigeria? Let the government save the country from this perilious degeneration, before it is too late o.
    In the mean time, God bless Abati real Good.

  73. norian

    September 9, 2010 at 8:47 am

    sorry to disappoint most of you guys.lm studying international relations and culture globalization.apart from that lm a christian and belong to the seventh day Adventist church.what Mr Abati is saying is very true and happening.its only that young people of today you get offended with the truth and by the time you realise that appropriating the american culture in terms of music and dressing is in decent and devilish it will be too late for you.in case you didn’t know we are living in the last days and the hip hop music is one of the greatest agent of the devil to destruct and destroy you.lm not from Nigeria but l know these things coz its affecting all african nations.pliz warning jus dont listen to the bit of ur music but lyrics refere to j zee;s new song Freemasonry and listen to what he says lm sorry god l wldnt have done this without sin.whats that honestly open your eyes people.criticize my contribution but mark my words as long you are stil into hip hop music you are serving the devil and one day u shall reap what u sow.This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 timothy 3vs 4 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

  74. Emeka Amaefunah

    March 19, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Banky, I think you need a part time carrer in journalism, not for the money(I am sure you are making enough), but so you can stick it up to those who think they can use your generation to score cheap points. I must say that I am impressed with the articulate manner you presented your response, your point by point decimation of Abati’s article has left me no choice but to forcibly adopt you as a “younger brother” and also to declare that any new album of yours that is released will have me as one of your unofficial campaigners. Ironically I am in the same generation as Reuben Abati.

  75. Adeoyejak

    September 7, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Dear Dr. Abati, I respect you and I have always done. For emphasis, I do still. You did not get anything in your views wrong too. The tirades against your person that are expressed here are just a sign of the present realities of the Nigeria Project. Everyone seems to be very angry. What with a docile, clueless president whom you serve. A docile police and military that can not tame local bomb throwers… . Dr. Abati, your article came at a wrong time but the message therein is sound. For instance, I will never allow my sons to sag their pants. The music coming out these days are music of these times and much as stereotypical as the contemporaries of Abati may be, they cannot stop them. However, I find many of the responses on this topic very inappropriate. Most of them have aligned with Banky W. and even Mr. Wellington did not insult the person of Dr. Abati while replying. He replied fact by fact like a properly schooled person. Let all of us do same at all times, irrespective of the issue. the only reason that most of us love Banky W’s reply is not because Dr. Abati did not make a good point but because Banky took him up with well constructed and emperical analogies. He held himself in check and did not allow anger to over-shadow reason. Dr. Abati is one of our best and we must respect him. Besides, the gainer in all the discourse so far is Banky himself. I hardly knew him before now, but I see him in anew light now. Simply put! He is educated… that is the only way we can tell our mis-judging parents like Dr. Abati that we are not all noise and no substance. Bless Naija and all.

  76. OLAYINKA AWOFODU

    January 5, 2013 at 7:35 am

    I’m so Proud of You Olubankole Wellington. You did a Great Job analysing Reuben Abati’s “writeup’.

    I really have a hard time sitting down to listen to Reuben Abati because his words/articles are full of criticism and he has an aura of an angry, vindictive man. I also find it difficlut listening to a man who literally exhibits double standards.

    I was privileged to attend the first Rise Youth Interactive forum organized by Toyosi Akerele, which had in attendance many wellknown Nigerians including Reuben Abati. I was really baffled by his opening speech in which he literally condemned the present generation of ‘youths’. Since then, i have really tried to get “constructive” view on his criticisms but its quite difficult. He has demonstrated double standards especially upon taking his present political role in which he has literally developed no regards for the voice of the people.
    I find it difficult to even think that he actually was a human rights activist (supposedly); i also find it difficult that he was once part of the Partito’s gang. Its really quite difficult to find men who act what they say.

    Thanks ‘Bankole Wellington for the Beautiful response to Abati’s ill-famous “writeup’.

  77. Andy

    January 20, 2015 at 11:57 am

    We would rather name a country our selves than let foreigners dictate what our country should be named. In doing so we would be more at peace with our selves.

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