Pop star, Davido’s song, Fem is undoubtedly one of the most played songs at the protests that have spiralled across the country. Although the song does not have any political message, ‘fem’ is a Yoruba word that means ‘shut up’ and it has been used as a symbolic word to shut up anybody the youths don’t want to listen to. For example, while Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu initially attempted to address protesting youths in Alausa, Ikeja, the disc jockey on ground played the song, interrupting him. It wasn’t until Sanwo-Olu cajoled the frustrated youths before they eventually allowed him to address them.
Ajebo Hustlers— Barawo remix ft Davido
With its catchy hook, ‘This country na wa’, the remix of Port Harcourt-based duo, Ajebo Hustlers’ song Barawo has been played countless times in many of the protest grounds. The song addresses jungle justice, extrajudicial killings and police brutality. Produced by 1da Banton, the track also features Davido.
African China— Crisis and Mr President
Chinagorom Onuoha, popularly known as African China, is one artiste that has a lot of socially conscious songs in his repertoire. Two of such songs, Crisis and Mr President have been a favourite of many of the protesters. Both songs talk about the ill-treatment usually meted out to Nigerians by the government.
Fela— Shuffering and Shmiling’ and Sorrow, Tears and Blood
Iconic Afrobeat originator, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s, was a scourge of successive Nigerian governments in his lifetime as he constantly lampooned them over their corruption and ineffectual leadership. Some of his songs including Shuffering and Shmiling’ and Sorrow, Tears and Blood have been played repeatedly at many of the protest grounds.
Co-incidentally, Thursday, October 15, 2020, was the eighty-second posthumous birthday of Fela and his son, Femi, has been visible at the protests in Ikeja, the Lagos State capital.
Idris Abdulkareem— Jaga Jaga
Veteran rapper, Idris Abdulkareem’s hit song, Jaga Jaga, is another track that reflects the hardship and confusion in the country. The youths enthusiastically sing along whenever the song is played at scenes of the protest. The song which was released in 2002 was banned by the then-President Olusegun Obasanjo led government. ‘Jaga Jaga’ is a slang which means ‘scattered’ or ‘out of place’.
Femi Kuti— Sorry Sorry
A scion of the legendary Fela, it is not surprising that Femi Kuti has been vehement in his criticisms against bad governance. His song, Sorry Sorry, which expresses sympathy for the country, has enjoyed a lot of airplay at protest grounds.
Stereoman Ekwe— E dey Pain Me
Singer, Sunday Osakuni, aka Stereoman Ekwe’s song, E dey Pain Me, which made waves many years ago ‘resurrected’ at several of the protest grounds. The song, which expresses the displeasure the artiste felt towards the country, was enjoyed by many protesters.