We pay our money, but we don’t own our Nigerian artistes - Wizkid
Even though we support our artistes with our money and emotions, we don't own the creaors of our music and concert.
From Wizkid to Davido and D’banj, a number of show cancellations and concert postponements will get fans begin to consider what we as fans owe artistes beyond our money.
Wizkid is Africa’s biggest, that’s why everything he does stimulates an outpour of articles and reports from every corner of the globe. All by himself, it appears that Wizkid has kept many entertainment journalists around the world employed and so, with this his latest decision to cancel all of his tour dates due to health reasons, we can be sure to get more updates about the star.
Just like Kanye West, Wizkid, has cancelled all of his remaining tour dates and concerts between what’s left of 2016, and January 2017. That’s roughly over two months of entertainment for fans and revenue to him, his team and promoters going down the drain. One of the biggest of the century, the star is a concert and money magnet.
Wizkid announced via social media that medical advice has requested that he rests his body from touring and performing, something that he has done all of his life. The star, who is a father of one, and a son to his mother, intends to follow the Doctor’s words, take care of himself, and save his life. Last week, the Nigerian pop star also cancelled his Uganda concert scheduled to take place at Lugogo Cricket Oval in Kampala over unavoidable circumstances.
This is rare in Nigerian entertainment. We are products of a competitive and materialistic culture, where getting the money is usually placed above everything else. Your health is failing? Eat shit, get that money! After all, better be a dead rich man, than a poor living, breathing, walking, eating soul.
Get rich or die trying!
“I hate this, but my doctors have advised me to cancel the rest of my dates for this year and January 2017.” Wizkid wrote in a personal message shared with his fans across the world.
And then he apologized. Getting a Wizkid apology for anything is rare. The last time Wizkid publicly took up an apologetic stance, was the case with Linda Ikeji. Even then, he stole the show with his photo with the Lagos State Police Commisioner, who was his ‘friend’, and added a bit of assholery.
Wizkid’s cancellation affects his money. It’s December, the height of all parties and a season of supreme turn up. Wizkid’s unavailability will mean taking a cut atbhis fiances,. And losing out on as much money as possible.
Of course, there’s outrage towards this, and so there’s support. But a general consensus of fans will have it that many would want Wizkid to go on. To keep performing for the fans. To not listen to his doctors, and put his life on the line. To die, not for his art, but to satisfy the cravings of the fans.
This inspires the question: Do we own the artistes? We pay for their music, and attend their concerts but do we own these artistes?
Just like everything else that involves a transaction, as soon as our money goes towards a product, we feel like we own a part of it. In the case of concerts, after the money has been deposited, the dates have been fixed, the calendars have been cleared, and everyone is set for a good time, the connection between Wizkid and his fans become commercial. Just like fans in Uganda would have felt, once you pay for the product, the artiste is under obligation to deliver for you.
But another view which considers the power of music exists. The musical experience cannot be simplified to just another commercial transaction. It is emotional. Whether it is the pop razzmatazz of Wizkid or the ethereal sensory intercourse of Asa, the performance is something experiential and essentially intangible.
The problem happens when the artiste fails to deliver due to illnesses, or when it is below par of the artiste doesn’t play to the script and leaves fans dissatisfied, it does feel more like a betrayal, a sacred promise broken, and a cosmic law which has been flouted. It feels painful.
Attending the best concerts, you feel like a higher level of trust has been established in the hall, with the audience and the artiste feeding off each other to lift themselves. When this is broken, there is no worse feeling.
But as members of this partnership, this promise, we should also learn to have faith in our stars and show compassion when they fail us, regardless of the cause of it. Wizkid is seek now, and the only way we can actively do our part to help him recover is to not require anything from him until he gets the green to become our idol again. These artistes give meaning and texture to our existence on earth, helping to make the wait between now and our death more fun.
This doesn’t mean everyone should be let off when they come up with irresponsible behaviour, but it means abstaining from harassing an artiste for a new concert or album on social media. It means allowing them to practice healthy behaviours, so that they can exist also for their immediate family, and stop giving us performances before they slump and die, or become too exhausted to carry on as humans. We don’t own these artistes. They are walking, breathing, humans too.
And for them, they do have the responsibility to make timeless music, and create concerts that is worth the time of fans and everyone who is parting with their money. Because it is worth creates the relationship and the bond that artistes share with their fans. Let’s all ensure we all fulfil our part of it. pulse