I have followed the Headies drama with keen interest; it has to be the most delicious scandal that has occurred in the Nigerian entertainment scene in a long time. It even eclipsed the Davido vs. Sophie drama – for which Davido must be very grateful – and gives us strong reason to suspect that the camaraderie that exists in the industry is simply special effects.
Expectedly, it has raised hot debate in the country. From Jos to Kafanchan to Aba and of course Lagos, we have weighed in on the matter via Facebook, twitter, instagram, comments on gossip blogs and a fist fight or two on the ‘streetz’. Opinions have been polarised with almost everyone holding to their viewpoint with the tenacity of barracudas and refusing to see that of others.
We’ve seen calls for the heads of the two major players in the drama with the ‘he did not mention anybody’s name’ camp calling Don Jazzy a big baby and an agbaya and Don Jazzy’s voltrons who said Don Jazzy had every right to respond in that manner (some of them even praised him for being gentle on Olamide) because in their words ‘you don’t have to wait for a child to call you crazy before you know he insulted you’.
Anyway, this is about Olamide’s outburst- which we can’t even blame Don Jazzy for, seeing that Don Jazzy’s remark was in RESPONSE to Olamide’s drivel.
Now, the next rated category of the Headies has a reputation for being controversial, with artistes storming out of the venue à la Burna Boy. The Headies itself has experienced a scandal or two. Who can forget the year that P-square accused the organisers of being biased towards Yoruba nominees? It was 2008 and P-Square and Jude Engees lost out to Asa and Dj Tee for Best album and Best video respectively. They ranted and raved (not at the venue and they definitely didn’t throw insults and expletives on the stage) and that was the beginning of a six year boycott of the ceremony by the group until the 2014 awards where they were honoured with a ‘special recognition’ award that was introduced for that ceremony.
Olamide by his actions at the 2015 Headies, has set a bar a lot higher for anyone wanting to create their own scandal.
A brand ambassador for a major telecoms company as well as other brands, one would expect him to exercise decorum in public and even in private. As a record label owner/business executive, he had no business exposing his agbero side in public like that. There are better ways to handle grievances and slights, to be brutal and decimate your ‘haterz’ without resorting to four letter expletives. He should go to Don Jazzy for lessons.
Tiger Woods cheated on his wife and when the affairs became public, he lost millions of dollars’ worth of endorsement deals. This wasn’t a public display like Olamide’s but a man conducting his private affairs as he saw fit yet he lost so much, and his career has still not recovered.
We all know Mel Gibson, superstar actor and director, Oscar winner and sex symbol. Mel Gibson was recorded (recorded o, not live TV) spewing anti-Semite sentiments and his career has died a painful death despite his abundance of talents and good looks.
Olamide messed up, this is not about Don Jazzy, after all Don Jazzy did not lead him up there to say the trash that he said. If Olamide had been based in the US, Etisalat would have released a statement on the 2nd of January dissociating itself from Olamide and his actions, his endorsement deal would have ended immediately and we could safely say goodbye to his burgeoning career.
Our artistes dream of conquering the world, of winning Grammys and getting world recognition. If Olamide cannot handle the Headies at this stage of his career, then he’s not ready for primetime. As a huge fan of Olamide – there’s no bigger fan anywhere – I want him to hit stratospheric heights, to be a truly global superstar rapper-entrepreneur in the mould of Jay Z. However if he can behave like this because of Headies, what will he do when he feels that he’s been denied a Grammy?
This is probably time for Egbon Olamide to take a vacation in the Maldives or Zanzibar or anywhere with a beautiful beach and clear blue water (I can accompany him if he likes), to clear his head and strategize on his future. He cannot remain a ‘local rapper’ or ‘voice of the streetz’ forever, he is too talented to. If there’s any Nigerian artiste who will conquer the world on his own terms, it will be Olamide and he has to be ready for that phase. While his music can stay local and gangster if that’s what he wants, Olamide cannot afford to behave like a hood rat at the drop of a hat.
He should get an excellent PR team and surrender his social media handles to them, that twitter rant shows that he CANNOT be allowed to handle the social media account of one of Africa’s biggest music stars. He should also consider going for anger management therapy. We’ve seen careers get flushed down the drain for less; if he wants to play with the big boys then he has to bring his A-game.
Finally and most importantly, he should retire his red cup. That thing is more trouble than it is worth.