Politics and the Music Video in Nigeria

Authored by: Femi Eromosele

Routledge Handbook of African Popular Culture

Print publication date:  May  2022
Online publication date:  May  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367483869
eBook ISBN: 9781003080855
Adobe ISBN:


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As a multimedia combination of sound and moving image, the music video is often aligned with either a musical tradition or a filmic one. In Nigeria, both kinds of association generate different views about the form’s capacity for political and social consciousness. Identified with the movie industry (Nollywood), the music video bears the burden of charges that filmic productions in the country are unreflective and uncritical. Aligned with a musical tradition, its political iterations are traced to the influence of activist-musicians like Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The objective of this chapter is twofold: first, it seeks to establish the music video as a critical and socially conscious form; second, it argues that while drawing on both visual and sonic traditions of the Nigerian media, the form’s capacity for political engagement is irreducible to either. Against the backdrop of censorship regimes, the chapter examines aesthetic cues in the political music video since the revitalisation of the music industry in the mid-1990s, using examples like Eedris Abdulkareem’s Jaga jaga and Falz the Bahd Guy’s This is Nigeria and Talk.

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