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Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: Pangolo Music Remains Eternal

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It’s Monday morning, and the clouds are grey with streaks of blue highlights. The rain, doing its usual South West Wales routine, pouring down in intermittent bursts of heavy and drizzling. Feet in socks, legs under blanket, and a cup of cinnamon and lemon infused green tea within my reach, I have nothing to write about today. It is in moments like this that I miss Lagos.

Lagos: the home of my ever-present muse. Lagos of bustling traffic in 37 degrees heat, yet we trudge on against all odds. You come home, at the end of a 40-hour work week, to the loud symphonies of generators. Someone has parked in such ridiculous manner that you can barely squeeze past to get to your door. Still, there’s a story in there somewhere. A testimony to share about how you MADE it where others broke down.

Over here, there’s nothing. No sweet gist. Nothing – but talk about the weather. So I headed on to Twitter to scour for gist. Scrolling down through my timeline, with iTunes making everything better, I saw a tweet where someone was complaining about the ‘Pangolo’ music flooding our air waves.  Ah! This thing about our apparent quest for more substantive music.

Over the years, I have found that there’s a wide divergence between what we say we want, and what we ACTUALLY want. It is in every facet of our lives as Nigerians – from our leaders, to what we read online and even our music.

We say that we want have leaders who have purpose and clear goals for running; yet we put aside all of that when we’re going to the polls, focusing on ethnicity, and religion.

We say that we want motivating, educating and inspiring content online – something to inspire the next generation, but we migrate towards the fluffy. Goodbye Financial Times. Hello Daily Mail.

We say that we want the deep, soul stirring and uplifting lyrics from our music artistes; but we don’t buy their albums, we don’t pay to go to their concerts and we don’t ask our favourite OAPs to play them on radio.

As the adage says, the sky is wide enough for all birds to fly. There is an audience for Miley Cyrus’ music, and there’s an audience for Aretha Franklin. Also, it is important to understand that different moods determine the desire for different products. It is not every time you feel like wearing proper court shoes and a stuffy shirt. Sometimes, you just want to let loose in your linen pants and cotton t-shirt. The fact that one likes Timaya’s ‘Ukwu’ doesn’t necessarily mean one cannot enjoy Bez’ ‘Super Sun’.

While there’s a place for divergent opinions and desires, there should also be a clear understanding of the effect of demand and supply. If there’s no market for Pangolo music, the suppliers would have run out of business by now. If there are no gullible people, charlatans would have been completely phased out of our society. Suppliers are in the business of giving what the consumers want.

The question then remains, if we’re all saying we don’t want corrupt people in power, who is voting them in? We also have to consider the large percentage of unheard voices. The online crowd is a very small percentage of the Nigerian populace. In fact, we’re but a microcosm of the entire populace. The online crowd helps bring the voice of the people to a global audience but does it go beyond the talk?

At the end of the day, it’s about putting your money where your mouth is.

How strongly do you believe in a cause and how much effort are you putting in to making it become mainstream?  Or are we just talking and not walking the talk?

Have a beautiful week ahead. Brighten the corner where you are. Remember to be true to who you are, and make a conscious to beat the blues!

Peace, love & cupcakes.

Toodles!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Sam74100

 

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website atoke.com for more information.

26 Comments

  1. Abby

    October 20, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Smooth and easy read. Very on point

  2. Neo

    October 20, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    TeamAtoke for life. I am currently in a sleep deprived state so most of the word floated past me but i just say make i hail…..Areaaaaaa!

  3. TA

    October 20, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Atoke Mi,long may thou liveth and may thy pen never run dry Lol.
    Now on to Pangolo music, growing up ,I heard a lot of Danmaraya Jos,Jim Reeves,Dolly Parton,Morocco Maduka,Bongos Ikue,Victor Uwaifo and all the other orisirisi courtesy of my parents and I thought a good number of their songs sounded like pangolo tinkering. Nothing fun about it. Ha! My parents would have none of that ‘nonsense’ from us ’80s kids who thought Michael Jackson,Whitney Houston,Bobby Brown and all played cool music while Danmaraya Jos and co were pangolo. Lol! Now that am older and wiser I see the art and talent behind some of the music I once considered Pangolo stuff. My 14 year old niece loves ,Taylor swift’s music but rolls her eyes when we discuss the legends of the 80s Its arguable but maybe older ones have refined or better tastes in music. I don’t know but maybe that explains why I still don’t like the Miley Cyrus music no matter my mood. Lol! But I can be caught nodding to Taylor Swift. 🙂
    PS: Yes to green tea and lemon.
    Have a good week y”all

  4. Que

    October 20, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    O we carry first on this matter…. we are the ‘elenu’ nation…. full of lip service and little action….I know d issue is much bigger but I’m choosing to focus on a lighter aspect only cos I encounter it daily…

    My first thought was yup, this is exactly same as every ‘stylist and fashionista’ claiming they love ‘unique’ things, and hate things that are common (or hate things others have) and yet wiil prefer two boxes full of the usual suspects from primark to topshop, and even outright fakes; rather than a few creative quality pieces from brands less well known, but worth every dime…. I’m talking of even when the disposable income permits it….. Ooooor u want unique and your only style reference is what’s dished in the magazines…… ever wonder why our tailors stock all those mags with ‘ladies stepping out…’ for customers to copy…. (I know there are many sides to this arguement, but thats for another day). The Demand is REAL!

    For me, the issue isnt necessarily what they choose to buy (even if I disagree with it); its more about people just OWNING up to their commonality (or razness, or whatever else they believe is implied by claiming they love ‘pangolo’ things)….and quit sounding silly. Nothing looks more foolish than falsely claiming to be a lover or connoisseur of a particular thing, and then ruining what could’ve been a great conversation…I’ve watched in pain, an acquaintance claim love for ‘poker and gambling’ in a bid to be cool, and then try to analyse/share her experience based solely on what she saw in casino royale….imagine d looks on the guys’ faces….
    Its simple, tastes and preferences will differ, no need to feel inadequate cos of what you would rather put your money on… as long as it isn’t damaging yourself and/or society…. (like d election rigging issue, now that’s just stupid)

    On that note, to pangolo music, #PleaseMakeitStop! As a fan of ‘ukwu’ we have enough for the next decade.

    • Miss Anonymous

      October 20, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      Your comment about reminded of one guy I was forming for a couple of years ago. He was quite fit physically, nice abs etc and used to work out a lot. Not wanting to feel left out, na so I tell am say ” yeah I go to the gym too, twice a week infact”. Guy was like “Really?! What equipment do you like to work out with?”. I cracked my brain o! All I could come up with was “err….the treadmill”.

    • D

      October 20, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      Thank you!!!! Thank You on the fashionista deal. Thank you. The LV, Coaches, MK, Gucci, I hate argghh I hate them brands. I hate them because every tom, dick and harry has them (insert BMWs here) and I hate them because they have the G’s, LVss and Cs all over most of them. First you making a ton of money off of me by buying your product and then I “gots” to do free advertisement for you by just carrying your brand, that is, I am paying you to advertise for you. I have had this argument with friends and family alike.
      I agree to each his/her own but don’t try to play fashionista, talking about unique pieces when all you are doing is keeping up with the joneses and smiths, in words commonality. And I know I go chop mouth flogging here on top them names.

  5. Iya

    October 20, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    *sigh* I think ‘Morning’ should officially be removed from the title of this feature (i.e. it should now be called ‘Atoke’s Monday Banter’) so we know that when we do not see the feature in the ‘mornings!’ our hearts won’t be broken.

    • Atoke

      October 20, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      I’m sorry. 🙁 I promise to fix this next week. I’m really sorry. 🙁

    • Asgrl

      October 20, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Erm nothing to fix, I see it, during my morning , in my time zone. As long as it’s not delivered on Tuesday, o wa pa 😀

    • Tosin

      October 20, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      May I recommend One Day I Will Write About This Place, by Binyavanga Wainaina. In one passage, he describes some contemporary African music, I think it’s in Congo, street music, and the environment in which it’s played, and how the sounds of the workday relate to the clashing of the music, and…Bing/Biny is just amazing in that book. If you’re the book type, do it do it. (If you’re not internal/introverted/reflective or literary at all, don’t bother with this book, you’ll say it’s boring.)

    • Atoke

      October 20, 2014 at 8:54 pm

      Hahaha I bought the book, I was going to start reading till I found that Binyanvanga tweets ‘am’. I was pained! The book is languishing somewhere in my Kindle. Pfftt!! Will give it a try now that you have recommended it. Thanks.

    • omoobanta

      October 28, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      lol should be Atoke’s Monday Morning (Nigerian Time) Banter

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      October 20, 2014 at 5:31 pm

      Awwww, ‘Toks. You can just use “Monday Morning Banter” on the days you post in the morning and “Monday Afternoon Banter” on the days you decide to post later. We’re an easy going readership (as long as it doesn’t come on Tuesday, Asgirl gently clarified below). 🙂

  6. Asabe

    October 20, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Well said Atoke. Though I am yet to put a name to the attitude of Nigerians cos it defies logic most times… or is there any description for the one who demands and then blames the supplier for providing exactly the good he/she demands, or someone who sees the other person in terms of religion or ethnic affiliations and expects to see an objective action from his/her subjective eyes?or is there supposed to be a positive correlation between growth in religious institutions/awareness and crime rate in a society?. the list is endless….
    I think, at the end of the day, its really about one’s money where one’s mouth is…if you want a better world, start by investing efforts in improving your surroundings. if you want better governance, decide to vote and keep sentiments how of things when you are voting, if you want better songs, support artists with substance.
    Heavens still help those who help themselves!!!

  7. TANTRA

    October 20, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    No more cucumbers? Okay, I will enjoy the cupcakes. Nice article, by the way.

  8. Asabe

    October 20, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Well said Atoke. Though I am yet to put a name to the attitude of Nigerians cos it defies logic most times… or is there any description for the one who demands and then blames the supplier for providing exactly the good he/she demands, or someone who sees the other person in terms of religion or ethnic affiliations and expects to see an objective action from his/her subjective eyes?or is there supposed to be a positive correlation between growth in religious institutions/awareness and crime rate in a society?. the list is endless….
    I think, at the end of the day, its really about one’s money where one’s mouth is…if you want a better world, start by investing efforts in improving your surroundings. if you want better governance, decide to vote and keep sentiments out of things when you are voting, if you want better songs, support artists with substance.
    Heavens still help those who help themselves!!!

  9. Lizzie

    October 20, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I definitely agree with you Atoke, we are either the bandwagon generation or the “i must have an opinion” generation. Nothing wrong with having an opinion but also realise that as you are entitled to yours every other individual is entitled to his/hers no need forcing yours down anyone else’s throat.

    This is to hoping we get it right someday. *avoids rant*

  10. www.idolorsdomain.wordpress.com

    October 20, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    That’s why we only hail Asa’s music and get down plenty with Terry G’s…
    We think one thing (have really good intentions towards it) but actually engage in another totally different one. Ah…humans. Pretty much like the Apostle Paul who wanted to live godly but found his body counteracting his will.

  11. Loulou

    October 20, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    On point, Atoke!

  12. DIG

    October 20, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    yay!!!! ‘cupcakes’ is back!
    Nice article! Been thinking about stuff like this for a while now.

  13. D

    October 20, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Ok, I know people are dissing pangolo music but I shall be very honest. I like my pangolo music. There are times I want to be deep and can listen to the Asa’s of this world and there are times when you just want a beat going, after a long stressful day at work and I don’t need anything deep just a nice tune and beat then I can let the “Pangolo music” of this world take me away or when I am cooking especially trying a new recipe . We all know what makes the music sell is the mad beats that come with them they are addictive and if we are all honest those are the songs we whine our waist to at parties who dey play Asa for party???? My brain is already focused on what I am doing but I love to have a good tune going. Thank God for Spotify and Pandora you have different stations cater to your needs at different types.
    I know there is a lot more to this article but when I read it at first I was like this is too deep for me for Monday morning as in I gots alots of deep things going on but I came back and chose to focus on the pangolo aspect of things.

  14. nero

    October 20, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    *cupcakes*☺

  15. Emma

    October 20, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    i cheated all throughout the weekend(Sharwama, pizza, ice-cream, blame it on Aunt flo) so please bring back the cucumbers o. Thanks. hehehehe
    In btw, some pangolo music dey good for body workout sha.

  16. babygiwa

    October 21, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Nice piece. I don’t even know what to say to this and that’s because I find myself jamming to pangolo music even though I always complain about our artistes’ lack of depth and soul. And to the other issues you talked about, nah nah nah. When I make up my mind about something, I make sure I act according to my convictions. Sweet popcorn and coke and chocolates! Toodles! 🙂

  17. liflblog.WordPress.com

    October 23, 2014 at 8:48 am

    gimme coldplay anyday but I do have my Duncan mighty moods too.

  18. Ife

    October 31, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    I enjoyed reading this even though my attention was kinda divided. It’s so true, there is wide divergence between what we say we want and what we actually want. As for me i like listening to good music with soulful lyrics that won’t kill my brain cells (Lol). That doesn’t mean i don’t have one or two pangolo songs on my playlist because of their danceable beats. I will forever love old skul music tho.

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