Lack of love and corruption affect Nigeria's development
Stereoman aka Ekwe, a young Nigerian musician is committed not only to make his fans dance but also to seriously think about the poor people’s living conditions.
He in fact rose to fame after recording a song that narrated in a detailed manner, the struggles and living conditions of people of Nigeria’s oil rich region, the Niger Delta.
Stereoman describes his music as ragamuffin with Nigerian flavour.
In an exclusive interview with The Africa News, he reveals that he is currently working on a new album to be released in October.
Stereoman mainly sings about social life, things beyond human understanding, appeals for peace, sings against drugs and over-drinking. “I also encourage people to know Christ because I’m a Christian,” he says.
He also has a message to help stop the spread of HIV/Aids. “All of us know that Aids is real, so if somebody must play, please play wisely, use a condom, be very careful and avoid anything which can bring infections,” he says.
Stereoman says that Nigerian musicians are facing so many problems. “Piracy is one of them. Another problem is lack of serious promoters. We have promoters who don’t know how to promote music; they wait for music to sell itself. In Nigeria, as a musician, you don’t have to wait for your promoter to do the work; you have to do it yourself because if you sit down, the music also sits down.”
Stereoman is sad at the fact that most of his CDs being sold in Europe are pirated copies. He is in fact disappointed with the Nigerian body supposed to fight piracy. “They are not doing anything,” he says.
He is currently establishing contacts with distributors in Europe to be supplying his original CDs.
Stereoman is quite critical of the current political situation in Nigeria. “The situation is not encouraging at all. Things are getting worse, there is no progress at all,” he says.
“They say that Nigeria is the giant of Africa, but there is no electricity, no good roads, there are no jobs.” He holds that the Nigerian Government doesn’t care about the ordinary people.
Stereoman is convinced that as a musician, he has a key role to play in making leaders aware of the issues affecting ordinary people. “We always preach to the leaders and to the ordinary people through music,” he says. “Music reaches people more easily than newspapers, people enjoy listening to music everywhere,” he says.
Asked what message he constantly tries to convey to Nigerians and their leaders, he says: “We should love and understand each other. Currently there is no love in the country. We should think about how to make Nigeria grow.”
He says that corruption is seriously affecting the country’s development. Public officials steal public funds while companies are given contracts but they hardly complete their assignments in time, he says.
“During campaigns, politicians promise they’ll do great things, but once elected, they don’t do them,” he adds.
Stereoman is convinced that Nigeria is ruled by Godfathers, those powerful people, most of the time unknown, who sponsor politicians and do everything possible to ensure they get to key positions. Godfathers manipulate Nigerian leaders, he says.
He holds that Nigerian leaders know what can be done to help the country develop, but they don’t love the country so they don’t do it.
Commenting on the conflict in the Niger Delta Region, he says he will never stop preaching against violence. “We should stop fighting ourselves, we are brothers and sisters, we can easily destroy today what will take us so many years to rebuild. We should love ourselves,” he says.
He observes that Niger Delta needs investors but without peace, “nobody can come here to invest his money.”
By Stephen Ogongo