Monday, June 22, 2009

My response to the recent Guardian Newspaper Article by Mr Reuben Abati

This is my response to the article entitled "A Nation's Identity Crisis" that recently ran in The Guardian Newspapers. It was written by Dr Reuben Abati, a well respected name in Nigerian Journalism. His original article can be found here: http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/editorial_opinion/article02//indexn2_html?pdate=210609&ptitle=A%20Nation
Please try and read the original article before commenting on my response. As Dr Abati has stated his opinion, I felt it neccessary to state mine. If anything I'm sure both pieces are at least food for thought.


Dear Sir,

In the immortal words attributed to P.T. Barnum, "I don't care what the newspapers say about me, at least spell my name right." My name IS Banky W, full name being Olubankole Wellington. Not Willington, as you stated in your article entitled "A Nation's Identity Crisis". I read the piece repeatedly, and found that misspelling my name wasn’t the only error. At it's worst, the article seemed like an attempt to discredit and slander an entire generation of artistes and consumers, and at best it came across as having some valid points but being grossly misinformed, prejudiced, and hypocritical; definitely not what we would expect of a highly regarded publication as The Guardian, or from a person in Mr Abati's position.

In the very least, the article warrants a well-informed response. I have little doubt in my mind that it will generate a slew of responses, positive and negative, and as one of the many subjects that was mentioned in the write-up, I feel compelled to voice my opinion (with all due respect) on some of the issues that were raised in your piece. What I'm going to attempt to do is to directly address issues that stood out and resonated most with me.

The writer asked "What's in a name?" and went on to honor a "...generation which sang music under its real names, not abbreviations or slangs"; this would have been a valid point if he had not himself mentioned Greats like King Sunny Ade (real name: Sunday Adeniyi), I.K. Dairo (Isaiah Kehinde Dairo), and Ebenezer Obey (Real name: Ebenezer Remilekun Aremu Olasupo Fabiyi- Wow!!!). We could also point out other legends like Ras Kimono and Majek Fashek as others who, for creative or other reasons, saw it fit to have stage names that happen to differ from what's on their passports. Shortening of full names and/or the crafting of stage names is not something new from our generation of artistes that "lack the discipline or the patience to write complete sentences" as you said; rather, it's the creative right of an artiste to go by whatever moniker he sees fit. And if we want to talk about the names of today, we can highlight a few: Eldee - actually L.D. which stands for Lanre Dabiri, similar to Isaiah Kehinde Dairo's transition to I.K. Dairo. Naeto C and Banky W are simply short forms of their full names. In my case, my father's nickname among his friends is actually Banky as well.

Furthermore, on the topic of Names and abbreviations let's set a few things straight. Nigerzie is actually spelt Nigezie and is not an abbreviation for Nigeria. It's a TV Show, much like Soundcity or Hip TV, except they choose to incorporate "representing Nigeria" in their name. It's like the "United Colors of Bennetton", or DKNY, both companies that choose to represent their locations or origins in their name. Also, for the record, Gidi doesn't mean Nigeria either. It's a term for Lagos... coined from "Las Gidi". And as far as the popular term "Naija" goes, who remembers Shina Peters singing "♫ Naija lo wa yi o o o, wa jo, afro juju lo gb'ode ♫" I hate to point out that our generation did not come up with that term... the "golden age" that you long for did.

As an editorial head of a National Newspaper, you owe it to your public to at least do proper and accurate research before printing an article. The risk in not doing so, is you might unknowingly mislead your readers, and you might actually come across as being ignorant or out of touch. A quick look at all the reference names of artistes and songs mentioned in the article goes to show that the author was sadly way off base in his accusations and examples. For instance, to make a point on how today’s Nigerian artistes lyrics are meaningless and prurient, he referenced the Rooftop MC's song "La Gi Mo". What he failed to realize or crosscheck, is that the said song is probably one of the most meaningful and important songs that have been released in the last few years on the Nigerian Music Scene. The Rooftop MC's are actually a Rap Group that leans to the Gospel or at least Socially Conscious side of music, and their songs always have a positive message. That song itself talks about the errors we make by trying to take God's glory for our success... getting caught up in the limelight and asking God to bring you back to reality to know that HE deserves the praise for where you are.

The author mentioned other songs like D'banj's "Fall in Love", and doesn't realize how hypocritical he sounds by attempting to ridicule some of our most popular love songs. Felix Liberty sang "Ifeoma, ifeoma, I want to marry you", D'banj sang "Omo U don make me fall in love" and Banky W sang "Till my dying day, I'll love you". Barring a difference in musical styling, are these songs not cut from the same cloth? Why can't someone in Mr Abati's position be proud of the fact that at Nigerian and African Weddings nowadays, couples are choosing these songs to mark their first dances instead of previous choices like “Endless Love”? Why can't we appreciate that the days of going to Nigerian Parties and clubs and celebrating to foreign music “all night long” are long gone? Despite these facts, you still see International festivals and concerts being held in Nigeria where the foreign acts are paid 30 to 40 times what some of our biggest stars are allowed to charge.

I have to disagree with the author's views. We are not all one and the same, but we ARE artistes. We may sing, rap, dance, mime, perform, play instruments or whatever else; but we are artistes. And Composers. And musicians. We may not all play the piano or the guitar, but neither does Michael Jackson, arguably the world's greatest artiste/entertainer. That's why he teamed up with producer Quincy Jones to create some of the best music anyone had ever heard. We have our own producers that have shaped Nigerian sound...people like Cobhams Asuquo, Don Jazzy, I.D. Cabasa, Dr Frabz, Tee-Y mix, Eldee, Terry G etc. That list goes on. These music minds are no less credible than those of Mr Abati's time, like the great Laolu Akins.


Far be it from us to claim that we are perfect and flawless in our art... we know that we are still growing and have lots of areas to improve, but the truth of the matter is we have worked very hard to create the industry we have now, and some people choose to criticize and lambaste most of us, instead of helping and teaching us. That is unfair. Yes, some artistes sag their jeans... however, a glance at the pages of THISDAY style or the recently concluded awards shows will show you very clearly that others wear three-piece suits and traditional attires just as proudly, myself included. This music industry that you have very clearly disapproved of has partnered with and given rise to the fashion industry in Nigeria as well. Just ask Designers like Mai, Babs Familusi (Exclamations Couture), the Okunorens, Muyiwa Osindero and countless others. Everything from the t-shirts and jeans rappers wear, to the shoes and suits are made by young Nigerians, where in previous years people preferred to shop in London. The youth-driven industries in Entertainment and Fashion have teamed up to thrust Nigeria into the world's positive spotlight, when for many years our dear country was mostly known for corruption, lack of infrastructure, and security issues.

Our country has not yet given us steady electricity, adequate education, safety from armed robbers or standard healthcare, yet artistes have risen like the Roses that grow from Concrete... and these very artistes love and represent their country proudly on a global stage. This music industry has given hope, jobs and income to countless youth of today. We are Rappers, Singers, Producers, Sound Engineers, Managers, Promoters, Marketing Consultants, Record Label Owners and we will not apologize for making the best of our circumstances; and all this in spite of the fact that we have Marketers that exploit but refuse to pay for our Musical pieces, Royalties and Publishing income that hitherto has been non-existent, a Government that is just now very slowly starting to enforce anti-piracy laws, and Event Organizers that would rather pay 50 Cent One Million US Dollars than give D'banj or P-Square 5 Million Naira.

You were right on some counts. We ARE businessmen and women, and we ARE interested in extending name recognition and brand extension. You were also right in that we look up to people like Jay-Z, who took their music and created multimillion-dollar empires. Since when did ambition and desire to succeed against all odds count against a person’s moral character? Shouldn’t we be encouraged to pay more attention to the business side of “Show Business”? Shouldn’t we want this music industry to provide for our future and the futures of our children?

We know we have a moral responsibility when it comes to our Creative works. Some of us pay more attention to it than others, and there is lots of ground to cover up. But how about a little appreciation and help, instead of trying to tear us down and discredit us? Time will tell whose music will last and become evergreen, but it is not in anyone's place to judge; and for the record, can we just accept that fact that hip hop music is an artform that is probably here to stay... I mean for goodness sake the Grammy's has!! Instead of fighting the change, we should learn to embrace it. I thank God for people like the great Adewale Ayuba that have reached across to our generation to collaborate with, bridge the gap, and help us improve.

We want to learn but your generation has to teach. We want to read but the Government must provide libraries. We want to go to school but the lecturers keep going on strike. We want to travel but previous generations messed up so they won’t give out visas. Most of prefer having our own live bands but the income needed to support that is not forthcoming.

You speak of meaninglessness and prurience, identity crisis and moral turpitude. You praise Legends like Fela Anikulakpo-Kuti and you ridicule us. 9ice does not drink or smoke. eLDee is married to one wife. Olu Maintain does not drink. Naeto C is currently obtaining his Masters’ degree in England. The ironic thing is, we look up to and praise your generation too. You seem to forget that Baba Fela had 27 wives, smoked marijuana in public, was himself half naked at shows (as well as the women around him) and allegedly died of HIV. However we look past what some may consider shortcomings and respect and emulate the immense contributions he made to our history. We are in awe of him despite personal choices that some may or may not agree with. All we are asking for is to be appreciated and afforded similar tolerances.

You danced to Shina Peters. Let us dance to our music. And for the record: for every "Anoti" by MI, he has a "Crowd Mentality" or a "Talk about it". For a Naeto C's "Ki Ni Big Deal", he has a "The Devil is a Liar". Just because an artiste uses a particular song to promote his album for commercial reasons, doesn't mean they should be judged on that alone. Anyone that is familiar with the cost of promoting an album (videos, press, etc) would know that you end up making hard decisions in terms of what you have to push and promote, for your best chance at success. I suggest that you buy whole albums and look at the body of work. Listen to the entire CD’s. I think you'll find that more often than not, Nigerian artistes are doing a pretty good job of representing this great Country of Nigeria. Naija Till We Die. Yes Boss.

Sincerely,
~ Banky W.

215 comments:

1 – 200 of 215   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Very well said homeboy!

Anonymous said...

Banky dey vexx!!! But you shouldnt av mention Fela... dat could start another war

bumight said...

saw the twitter update, and was waiting for the post. It looks like he did his research, and he does have bones to pick.
the article reads like that of someone trying desperately to hold on to the nostalgia of what they once experienced (quite like most grown people do) forgetting that even in the days of "Nigeria", the same people he considers "proper" had their own eccentric behavior.

Even the music of yesteryears which he quoted would definitely have sounded the same back then. i wrote a post on KSA's music on someone's blog and compared to it, Dbanj's My sweet potato really sounds docile!

fact is, as people get older, they tend to desperately try to hold on to things as they knew it - call it the fear of change. cos seriously, who's to say the name that a white man, probably in his bedroom with his wife, like Abati said

"Hello, sweetheart, what name would you rather give the new country that I am creating?"

"Let me give it a thought? ....Awright, how about Ni-ge-ria darling?"

"That would do. That would do. How thoughtful, my fair lady? You are forever so dependable"


is a better representation. If we came up with naija, 9ja or any other variation- by ourselves, then i'd rather we roll with that!


sheesh! this is getting too long, and i havent even read ur post!

Ijeoma Ogwuegbu said...

I've not listened to your music, but can i officially say now that you have a fan in me. I read Abati's piece and thought most of it was nonsense. The measured way in which you have responded to him has gained you my respect.

Anonymous said...

i read both the article and your response and i have to agree that his argument was kind of weak. So what if nigerian artist in this generation use a different name or call nigeria naija? since when did that become a crime. On the other hand, music in general is crappy these days i have to agree that im not impressed with most of the songs out today especially in nigeria. I understand that we are all influenced by the western culture and thats inevitable but at the same time we need to do so with caution. Its sad to see half naked girls in videos promoting sex and the likes and i have to agree that some not all but some of the songs out today do not make sense it feels more like noise to me. Growing up i remember my mom playing Stevie wonder ..jill scott and even sunny ade and you could tell that tve lyrics made sense they songs had alot of meaning..not to say that you guys are not doing a good job today but i feel that the standards have dropped drastically ans it is sad...all the same, i still commend you guys for going out there and making something of yourselves

Anonymous said...

well written article..hope to read it in guardian!!!

Anonymous said...

Banky, I couldn't agree with you anymore.. I hope and pray the Guardian would man up and publish your response article in their paper. It will only be fair for the readers to hear your side as well. If the Guardian can't publish this.. ToksvisionsTV would!
Visit us at "www.toksTv.com".. Naija must hear this!!!!

miss-indy said...

WORD!!!!!!!!!!!1 well said....mr. Abati(with all due respect sir) some criticism shud just not be done.....@ Banky..we lurv yew joh,kip doin yo thanng

Gogo Duale said...

Im glad you've written this, but have you sent a copy to the orginal author? You said you agreed and disagreed, I dont see any statements agreeing with him.

Adesayo Adenle said...

Hiya Mr Banky' 2 tell u d truth i was totally appalled by Mr Abati's piece.His action readily reminds me of d saying 'beta 2 shut ur mouth & av pple think u are a fool than 2 open it & dispel all doubts' he has clearly shown 2 d world dt he is misguided & ignorant about d entertainment industry! Well,u av done a wonderful job by stating categorically 4 his benefit & d benefit of others d correct position of things.Kudos P.S i hope u go platinum with ur forthcoming album!

Anonymous said...

this is it! a great response...the guy had it coming..always attacking..this is an ART!

bumight said...

ok, read ur response too, and you make loads of impressive points! cant even add more. Especially with the love songs. Every generation has its style, and music is like wine - it gets better with age!
in the next 40 years or so, we would be the ones talking of the "evergreen" music that was produced in "our days" - such is life. NOBODY has the right to discredit a whole generation.
really, naija for life!

Anonymous said...

absolutely on point bro....but i agree u shuldnt have brought up Fela...aside from dat completely feel u boss....9JA till we die.

Ajibola said...

Awww man. This made me smile. Good job, boo.

Anonymous said...

U are a terrific writer! I enjoyed every bit of it...wow....very well said.

Jojo said...

And I stand in ovation!

Anonymous said...

Very well written. And I do appreciate that you made specific references to the "golden age" artistes... Fela included! This man's article was very misinformed and biased from the start and hopefully, your response to it will be made just as public somehow. Well done!
- T

The Explorer said...

I regret to confess I haven't read Mr Abati's article but your response is great. Hope you'll get it published in the guardian. Cheers mate.

DIDI said...

I actuali askd to get his number because I have a lot to say about this article and i think a retraction is in order!

I am proud to be Nigerian! I Play my 9ja Music in the car on my ITrip, at home evrywhere. I am proud to be be Nigerian and I am damn proud to advertise my country's music. anywhere and anytime!

To call it garbage is an insult! It is infact INSULTING and in my opinion highly ignorant!... Read More

This class of Musicians have influencd the music industry positively! not only the industry but 9ja in general!. check P-square No one like you, Omoge Mi, .. Styl Plus Olufunmi, Runaway, Ima, Imagine That.. 9ice Street Credibility, Kinda life... D'banj and 2 Face... (all i have 2 say is the name!) and well Banky W... Pls he won the John Lennon song writing contest.. so he is reppn our country positivly the hard working artist or politician doing nothing positive for 9ja?

Pls free them! we r proud of them. and they have made happy to big up 9ja!!
Nija 4 Life jo!
Oya sue me i sed 9ja!

He Says..© said...

This is VERY well written. Mind if I put this up on my website? www.angonemi.com
We FULLY endorse this. Keep up the good work. Cheers.

Babs said...

Well said Banky,

I dont agree with the content of some Naija music but I think its wrong for anyone to put down the industry in the way that Mr. Abati did.

Music is the one part of entertainment in Nigeria that is marketable and modern. It has proven useful in fueling the surge of social enterprise today, from fashion, to events,from crwod sourcing to blogging and other form of info merchandise.

Most of you guys are doing have quality ideas. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

nice and well scripted. devoid of biased and baseless comments as opposed to rueben

flygirlbidiish said...

...its the flygirl n i don't mean to trouble you....(i always wanted to type that)
anyway, like the ibos will say....the elder has spoken....but i'll say Our Elder has left some loopholes
....eedris song 'nigeria jaga jaga' was referin to youth who hav been deprived of good education, of a roof over them, of good drinkin water, of good living conditions...
lmao!! nigerzie.....he prolly doesn't watch tv enuff...or read mags....
its quite funny he said "...that generation that sang under its real name n not abbreviations....then he goes on to say "sunny" "orlando owoh"...
las gidi.....is an old slang for Lagos jo mmshw!!
lmao!!! Our Elder is quite in touch with western music see all the guys he mentioned!!!
*throat clearing* Sir they don't mime o! and its so obvious...no one tries to pull a britney on their fans lol!!
i don tire to dey yarn sef.....naija is wasssssup!!!!!

mizchif said...

YES BOSS!!!

I swear, i feel like giving a standing ovation right now. I just read the article on Jybbs fb page and had to rush here to read your response.

I happen to be a great respecter of Reuben, and even though i must say he had some valid points in his piece, he definitely had no right to say some of the ish he said.
I would hope he sees this and responds accordingly.

TayneMent said...

Nicely done, Banko.

Modupe 419 said...

seriously, its impressive that Banky understands and can defend wat he does.. i dont think anybody has a right to be judgemental.. it is totally unfair for the journalist to disrespect the music and artists of our generation when we have nothing but respect for thier's, even though we didnt
believe in some of thier ideologies..
Banky's statement shows that he doesnt take what he does for granted so we should all respect that... and if you lack articles to write about then quit your job because you are losing touch (may be due to old age)... no creativity, no writer..

Kemikal Reactions said...

Totally on point. Now I would love to see Mr. Abati try to form a response to this. He totally overshot himself on this one....

Adedamola said...

Just saw your post;nice 1 bro its really annoying when some 'veteran' comes out and schools us in what he has no clue about besides someone of his caliber i expect to atleast get his facts right and not load us with gibberish that contradicts itself..Nevatheless he did make some point about crappy tunes but plss we het crappy song in all generation and talk about love songs the best of which i tink came from Motown culd pass for explicit when d young audience listens to them but menn Marvin Gaye wuld always be a legend and definately is Banky sings a love song or Dbanj they deserve d same credit...nothing do u bro.

Toni Tones said...

U know what.......you hit it. enough said. there could not be a better response than this....Banky, well said, well done....Toni x

Modupe 419 said...

seriously, its impressive that Banky understands and can defend wat he does.. i dont think anybody has a right to be judgemental.. it is totally unfair for the journalist to disrespect the music and artists of our generation when we have nothing but respect for thier's, even though we didnt
believe in some of thier ideologies..
Banky's statement shows that he doesnt take what he does for granted so we should all respect that... and if you lack articles to write about then quit your job because you are losing touch (may be due to old age)... no creativity, no writer..

Qube The Wordsmith said...

Banky, when I read this I stood and clapped for 5 straight minutes....

Reuben owes every hard working yung talented musiician an apology for the drivel he wrote and dared to call an editorial...

he was talking about the yung ones been all about their money...How did KSA build his numerous houses? And how did Obey buy a Range Rover wiv customised plates? By generous donations?Give us a freaking break.

Abt Fela he was on;y stating a point.Fela did all those things and more. But he also stated that they still look up to him as an icon.Which is true.

mystoriesmytestimonies said...

well written....
make sure they print it...
love ur style...

Toks Ogun said...

Well said especially towards the end. Despite the conditions naija or Nigerian artist are making a way.

chukaejorh said...

I just think that Mr Reuben Abati is one of the many Nigerians, of a certain age, who find it very hard to let go of the joys of their withered youths, and therefore, put down the new age, because they feel "Now" isn't as good as "then"..!
Well written response though, Banky!

ibiluv said...

i honestly saw red at some point-i'm sad he mis-spelled ur name-not just cos i'm a fan-but cos he is a journalist-mistakes should not be allowed in print

he was rather dismissive of all the hard work that goes into music these days....

i once went to watch Fela at Eleko beach........he dipped his fingers in one of his dancers's pussy and licked......it was gross-i was not old enuff to think it was cool-we left soon after....

i doubt you or anyone out there can do that and get away with it

so i guess Mr Abati should go take a piss...........9ja for life......

Anonymous said...

I'm very proud of you Banky W....very well written. I hope a copy has been forwarded to the Guardian Newspaper (and Thisday Newspaper, lol). God bless.

Repressed One said...

Mehn i'm so freaking proud of you right now you have no idea. I don't know what i was expecting but you did an excellent job of getting your point across. VERY WELL DONE!!!

Godsownkid said...

Mr Abati had his chance (freedom of speech) and u had urs....u can sing u can rite danm broda! well lost ma respect for Mr Abati a while back....if he's not attacking leaders, he is attacking the people...a lot of people think he actually wants something from the government...its not my business to judge, buh u murderd d article...who wuld have tot d party boy i saw at caliente culd come up wif suin like dis?!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

I am sincerely impressed by your apt response to Mr. Abati's rambling. Nice one man, you just confirmed a fan.

abby-sola said...

this is awesome,as a journalist my self studing in the states, i am very much appalled by what was written without fact.banky i want u to understand that the number1 thg u must put in mind before writing a piece is objectivity and i think mr abati lost sight of that in btw.sumtyms wen u are over praised u lose sight of whats important.thank u for ur response banky,im utterly ashamed to be called a journalist right now.abby aina

olaoluwa said...

I had goosebumps reading this....and the end was Touche!!!"Naija Till we Die!!Yes Boss!!!"
Great article dude.I always look forward to reading Mr Abati's articles but I was thoroughly disappointed in this one.
As per bringing up Fela,it was a very apt analogy.I personally do not like Fela but every now and then I find myself singing "Deadi bodi geti accident,yepa!" and some of the others.
Great writing sha,and please keep it up!

NoLimit said...

Chei...Mr Abati didn't know anyone will actually react to his write up!!!
Spot on mister! fair enough some lyrics from some new age artists could be quite crude...but that doesn't mean the talent shldn't be appreciated...plus there are better ways to correct people!
Hopefully Journalists no matter how "seasoned" will carry out their research properly before publishing defaming articles...they got away with such articles back in the days probably because the artists (some of them) weren't educated enough to really care...but to be honest it's a new era!!!
Well done Banky...

Beyond said...

wow!!!!!!!!!!!....i totally love this..... it is well written n organized.

Kudos to you n others.....glad y'all are capable of defending yourself.....don't think i need to add anything to this....

Kate said...

Wooooooooooo!....very nice! They better publish this in the Guardian..i would love to read his response to this..probably along the lines of "young whippersnappers..no respect etc" *rolls eyes*...LOVES IT!!

Henry said...

Banky W just owned my Idol, Dr. Reuben Abati. That was a cold blooded pillaging of the old man....

Banky W said...

Thanks to everyone who has left a comment thus far. I do appreciate those that agree with me, and those that don't. At the end of the day, they're opinions, and everyone is allowed to have one. Mr Abati isn't all wrong... and we're not all right. I just chose to point out what I felt were contradictory points in his article, and also to make a case for my (our) side of the story.

I hope I didn't come off as disrespectful, because that was not the intention.

And as per the Fela comments, I knew my statements might cause a stir, but I felt like it had to be said. Please note that I do give respect and praise to him where it is due; I just felt I had to point out other areas were society at the time may or may not have agreed with him, but we still respect what he brought to the game.

I'm off to sleep now. Goodnight blogworld, thanks again.

Mel said...

Good one banky.

If that article was indeed written by Abati and not behind-the-scene fill in the gap, then I'd be forced to say that Abati is going senile. Those who are close to him should revive his senses.

Anonymous said...

Applause, Standing Ovation Banky, the diction in your reply is impeccable. Well said sir!

Oluwaseun said...

banky u re spot on. reuben abati apparently did not do his home work well

Demola said...

I think Banky W's statment has said it all. The fact that someone does not like the kind of music that is being made now does not give them the right to insult creative Nigerians who have made something out of nothing. Watch what you write these days because artistes are no longer stupid. More power to your elbow Mr WELLINGTON> Naija 4 Life.

Naomie Fals said...

Very well said Mr. Capable......but I seriously am in shock that this man whom calls himself a journalist first of all, could be a respectable one at that? are you kidding me?.......I give you credit for giving a reply......cos to me "Abati's" article is just plain garbage, as in it wasn't thought provoking..okay it was insulting and full of contradictions....that's about it...but very well said sa...try to get your response published in Guardian

Anonymous said...

wow i am impressed. spoken lyk sum1 wit sense. ds shows dt school n music go hand in hand. dont mean 2 sound funny but ds display of sense n maturity is gradually gettin u back on my good books n yes, u were on my bad books 4 sum "unprofessional" displays in a couple of ur shows outsyd nja but o well. dont mean 2 be rude but ds article has shown how truly intelligent u r n dt nja is doin sum gud 4 u (does ds sound rude, i hope not cos i didnt mean 2) anyways u shud publish ds in the Guardian as well. Mr Abati shud apologise 2 nja musicians publicly cos they seem 2 be d nxt big thing in nja just within a short while. sumtin nollywood hasnt been able 2 achieve in yrs

Elle Woods said...

lol..he go dey sufficeint.

BarryDee said...

Good job man.You put your points across without disrespecting the person of Dr. Abati who i must say should know better than writing this poor and rather disjointed piece.Banky Willington indeed!!!.On a lighter mode though,found another rejoinder to the good Doctor's article...enjoy.
http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/guest-articles/a-nations-identity-crisis-a-rejo.html

VooDoo said...

Awesome work BkW ( I couldn't help but abbreviate)

We await Reuben Abati's Album ( In stores soon)
As much as he made some meaningless arguments, there is still more room for improvement from our Artists( lyrical content-wise)

PROUDLY NAIJAAAAAAA....

Nifemi Buki Ayomide said...

Nicely written....its his opinion so that's alright, but he crossed lines and I think you did a good job in representing the youths he refers to....

I will say this.....Nja music still needs a lot of work and you will do yourselves great service to reach across to the older generation as well....

Aribaba said...

Nice response Banky... I can definitely dig it.

Anonymous said...

Imagine! Everything in his past is now the good old days.Common!

Olu said...

Banky, you are a great writer, please do keep it up. I don't think you were rude in the article, but very objective. I have beef with some of the lyrics of our day, but what about Shina Peters singing about figure 8 and the oranges on a woman's chest. I agree that some artist need to work on their lyrics, our culture has some moral standards. I doubt the Guardian will print this. I think you should send it This day or other news outlets because people need to read the truth. Isn't the Guardian's slogan "Conscience - nurtured by truth". They need to stand by this Journalist in Nigeria need a re education - as a seasoned journalist he can't even spell right. Its a shame.

Tay-mee said...

I LOVED this, I just finished quite an angry rant toward Mr Abati on another blog, and decided to grace your blog with my presence..lol I kid. I think you constructively criticized his work, which is what Mr Abati should have done, written a constructive article. Not one merely trying to destroy some artists career..

leggy said...

June 23, 2009 2:05 AM
leggy said...
'i dont care what the newpapers write about me but they should atleast spell my name right!!!'...lmao.i love banky till i die...naija for life.
i mean seriously...upon all the rubbish fela did...stupid man..hu is this abati sef...if'identity crisis' is the only thing wrong wt naija then we'd have been the best country on earth!!
i mean seriously....the man is just useless....how can psquare say peter and paul for hwich land biko?stupid man...with all the respect i can muster!!
the music industry that is the best in africa and the songs my white friends here wnt let me rest about.mscheeww..
banky w is an engineer oh
psquare and faze are graduates oh..d'banj went to school oh...i mean do i need to continue.
im jst so angry now.mscheww.
i love hw he ended with yes boss..a line from kini big deal.lol.

this was my response when i read this on another blog...didnt feel liketyping it again.
p.s:you should have this published.

Anonymous said...

This article can compete for a Pulitzer's award, Go Banky!

M. Ayodele said...

I have not read Abati's article but I agree that based on what you said, his opinion is a very common yet uninformed. But, there is one thing that baffled me that you kept mentioning, appreciation. I work for a Nigerian magazine in America and I can guarantee that us in the states eagerly wait for people like yourself, eldee, naeto c, etc to come and perform. Everyone boasts of the music over here, from young teens to middle aged parents..my dad even has dbanj on his iphone! If so be the case that you artists feel so unappreciated and underpayed, who is representing your concerns, what is being done about it? And for the record, I would pay over a hundred bucks to see the Duke of Wellington play but not a dollar for 50cent.

Anonymous said...

In the past 24 hours I have responded so much to that article that I couldn't possibly add anything else, I believe your response is indept and speaks for a whole bunch of us! Thank you Banky, if they feel we are misled they should show examples of the leaders we failed to emulate, I rtead a lot of comments about the current industry and the artistes and it's sad to think people would rather tear us down than cheer us on but no matter what we are the voices of this generation and they will remember our names so help us God! SASHA a.k.a the first lady!!!

Anonymous said...

Banky good you read the dailys and you are perfectly right to air your own side of the story.that being said just as u said your name was mispelt your name you also missed the fact Abati is Phd holder and a veteran columnist in nigeria and even africa.so here is my say,you should know what the fading generation think about our exploits it takes time for them to appreciate us so dont see Dr Abati's article as an attack but his own way of looking out for the new era of nigeria music industry and am sure with this your response he would have seen some more positive impact of banky w and others.so i will not like u to make this personal vendetta against Dr Abati.i would also like to tell you if anybody can speak or write concerning pressing issues in nigeria today it is someone like dr Abati and positive thinking artistes like you.i know you here this everyday but i will still say it...Am your greatest fan.tp (tobvuga@yahoo.com)

NaijaTory said...

Hear! Hear!

Abayomi said...

Hi Banky. I really love your write-up . Please keep it up

*Dith* said...

So as I was saying on facebook, lol

I am guessing the millions that call the United States "Uncle Sam" or "yankee" have forgotten how to spell too??

Wow! what is this man's beef?
Is majek fashek a real name?
Is ras kimono a real name?
Is King sunny ade a real name?
Is shina Peters a real name?
Is lagbaja a real name?

IS THE AUTHOR HIGH??

HOW CONTRADICTORY WAS THAT STATEMENT!

LMAOOO AT THE ROOFTOP MC'S LYRIC INTERPRETATION!!

While he does raise some valid points, he reduces them to nonsense by overgeneralizing them and almost coming off as archaic.
People make a big deal out of nothing all d freaking time. Go eat amala or something and stop making noise Mr Author!

And yes boss! it's naija err day ya digg???

*Is that a heart attack I forsee?*

Banky i thought ur last name was Wellington?

Ok so i'm off to read ur response.

Sapphire Chic said...

I have tried very hard to be as objective as possible and not just praise Banky,first because he is a friend and secondly cos his music is fantastic.
I read Mr Abati's editorial and for the most part i skimmed through the article partly because i recognized the desperate attempts of a man struggling to be relevant in this generation and not be relegated to the background.
I am a lover of old school music probably because i grew up watching my mum and her friends bob their heads to these songs and i remember that most of the songs they listened to didnt make a lotta of sense (then and still doesnt now!)and they used to laugh at the 'silliness' of the lyrics. Late Orlando Owoh (God Rest His Soul) was the King of parables or should i say cryptic nonsense that eventually made a whole lotta sense at the end of the day,back then,they didnt question the lyrics they just moved to the soul and rhythm of the music,Tunde Nightingale basically crooned a whole lot and u have to listen hard to hear what he was saying...needless to say Nightingale wasnt his father's name!!
Yes some of what Mr Abati said was true but it seemed to me as if most of it was hearsay from other disgruntled parents who didnt understand why their kids would rather stay up listening to Nigerian Music as oppossed to the classical music(though delicious music to relax to) that is forced down their throats at schools they pay a fortune for!!
He did not properly research and for a journalist with such acclaim....i am truly disappointed.

InCogNaija said...

Your response is the one after which we shud say "Its a wrap!!"
He sounded a lot like a cynical old man who is desperately grasping for the past by discrediting the present.
btw, i especially like the 0809ja for life thing. I saw it at the airport when i went to naija and my head was swelling, i doubt nigeria would have had the same effect. lmao!

SapphireChic said...

I have tried very hard to be as objective as possible and not just praise Banky,first because he is a friend and secondly cos his music is fantastic.
I read Mr Abati's editorial and for the most part i skimmed through the article partly because i recognized the desperate attempts of a man struggling to be relevant in this generation and not be relegated to the background.
I am a lover of old school music probably because i grew up watching my mum and her friends bob their heads to these songs and i remember that most of the songs they listened to didnt make a lotta of sense (then and still doesnt now!)and they used to laugh at the 'silliness' of the lyrics. Late Orlando Owoh (God Rest His Soul) was the King of parables or should i say cryptic nonsense that eventually made a whole lotta sense at the end of the day,back then,they didnt question the lyrics they just moved to the soul and rhythm of the music,Tunde Nightingale basically crooned a whole lot and u have to listen hard to hear what he was saying...needless to say Nightingale wasnt his father's name!!
Yes some of what Mr Abati said was true but it seemed to me as if most of it was hearsay from other disgruntled parents who didnt understand why their kids would rather stay up listening to Nigerian Music as oppossed to the classical music(though delicious music to relax to) that is forced down their throats at schools they pay a fortune for!!
He did not properly research and for a journalist with such acclaim....i am truly disappointed.

*Dith* said...

Guess i was right about the name thing..

Dayum Banky!!! ur hurting 'em.
You did ur research very well! Good point there with the Shina Peters song!!

U know i was thinking the same thing when I read the bit about the song "fall in love." I was like didn't he just praise the song "ifeoma i want to marry you??"

Whoa @ the Fela bit but the truth must not be sugar coated!

Very awesome response! Soooo spot on! Right on the money.

*claps hands and exits*

lol

Toni said...

I must admit to having (initially) "judged d book by its covers". Now I know better: you're an intelligent brotha, Banky!
A good piece... an even better response.
Well written. Well said. Welldone!

EziMusik said...

Even before Flora Shaw, the future wife of Baron Lugard, a British colonial administrator coined the term “Nigeria” Our people have had an extensive history, based on archaeological evidence, a history that dates back to at least 9000 BCE. With all due respect, Mr. Abati’s apparent nostalgia and reverence for the name “Nigeria” is very misguided, as it seems like an attempt to protect a name given to us, at the cost of impertinence to us as a people.” As Banky so eloquently states, a new generation is born; such a generation should be commended for developing a fresh sense of nationality, be it by creating our own art forms, ways of expression, or by following in the footsteps of our great predecessors.

This article does not do any justice to the current state of the country; rather it highlights the fallacies and hypocrisies that we are working against. Let us support each other. Mr. Abati, as Banky stresses, we are artists, and we are to be respected for our art. Not all of us wear sagging trousers, not all female artists show excessive flesh. HOWEVER, if we choose to do so, it is our prerogative. As a fellow artist, I take offense. I can be fully clothed or wear a short ensemble, either way, I’ll have a high IQ and a low cut Dress. If certain views differ, it is okay, as true art is subject to relative interpretation. However, bashing the creativity of a generation who is by all means, making due with what we have, without even fact checking, is very unbecoming of a once respected journalist such as you.

My message to Mr. Abati would be to follow the following process as a conscientious journalist, to ensure that his stories meet the standards of his craft: CORRECT AND CONSISTENT NAME SPELLING, INVEST IN A GOOD SPELLCHECK PROGRAM and PLEASE by all means FACT CHECK. Kudos to Banky W. Times are changing Mr. Abati, please respect the situation.

~Ezzie B~
http://www.youtube.com/ezimusik

Anonymous said...

very well written and with concrete facts too.Banky we gat ur bac anytime.....these newspaper guys r just bored dats y dey leave d tins dey r supposed to b talkin about and deliberate on wats already a success.Naija music rock and will continue to make waves whether dem old school pips like it or not.lol

adifferentnaijaspec said...

Banky seriously i've always loved u and ur music, but now i have a new found respect for u!

infact u need to send this reply to the Mr Abati officially....i dint see the article, but i can only imagine wat he wrote and u have done so well replying him, ur arguements are soo strong! as Bumight said, he is desperately trying to hold on to the nostalgia of wat they once experienced!

u have done a really good job and God will continue to crown ur effort and that of other nigerian artistes with success.

Mr Abati is IGNORANT!

Funmi said...

I'ld say again, you were very on point with your piece. Would I read it again?, YES!!

Were you objective? Yes. Do I agree with you? Yes. Do I disagree with Mr. Abati?, yes. DO I respect you both? , yes.

Marin said...

Nice response. I hope you don't mind that I posted this on the NVS, where Reuben Abatis original article is also being debated. Your blog was referenced of course.

Smaragd said...

*stands up and applauses endlessly*

I haven't been on blogger in a long while, my boyfriend referred me to this post and Reuben Abati's lamentation. While reading his, I saw some sense in his words, but more weightless accusations, and then i came to read your response and I am truly impressed!

first off, did u publish this? U SHOULD DUDE! u should!and in This Day for that matter.

the mere fact that our country's name was someone's lover's fleeting fancy after a meal or sth like that is actually depressing!

You did an excellent job here Banky, and while I wasn't such a huge fan of urs before now, I have now become a believer. I believe anyone who has enough intelligence to co-ordinate an essay such as this definitely has substance.

How dare he take just that one line out of Rooftop MC's beautiful song and criticise it?

Mcheeew

Nengidee said...

Nicely said Banky W, Reuben Abati, you got served! it's so easy to blame "this generation" for evrything but the expression "the sins of the father..." comes to mind

oribakera said...

its dissapointing that Mr Abati could write such an obviously sentimental article. its as condescending as it gets and a pitiful attempt to extol his generation. he seems to forget that it his generation that has made 9ja the flailing, corrupt ridden giant that she is. an now-generation artiste has the right as any poet or fela to create his image and market it. he could have put his criticism to much better use.

Sheddy said...

Banky ur too much! The Naija heart beating in my chest nearly burst out of its cage from your sign off! Na we dey carry our hand do ourself.
Thank you for this well reasoned response. Yes there are chinks but we are proud of how far the industry has come. Its not our generation but Mr. Abati's that ruined this country so we deserve a chance.

There is a future for this country. Did I say well done? Ur too much bros. Naija 4 lyfe!

signed
Ur number one fan.

Maynezee said...

I don't agree with all the lyrics in 2days music, but if he wishes to address that then he should stick to the point. He dares to flash his generation in our faces even in the current situation of Nigeria where dis so-called generation of his brought us to? How many Senators of his generation can sing the National Anthem? How many of them understand what it means even beyond singing it, because if they understood it they wouldn't act the way they do. Wer is the man who designed the Nigerian flag? Was he not abandoned in Oyo state before THIS GENERATION had a programme that donated money to him?

He talks of Identity Crisis, what identity? did his generation hand down any identity? what reputation is he trying to protect, an identity that already needs REBRANDING???

Haywire said...

beautiful write up! Seriously when I listened to "Ebutte-Metta" I thought to myself, now here's someone I'd like to hear more from, then I bought your CD and the first few tracks nearly put me off, but then I ALWAYS listen to a CD to the end (after all na my money) and hit the last few tracks and fell in love with your intellect and music...but this, this is the clincher, Banky u got a fan for life!

Colyns said...

No doubt, Mr. Abati represents the older population of Nigeria. Believe me, he speaks for them and i''m sure they read the article on Guardian newspaper with a standing ovation for the wisdom of Mr. Abati. No matter who he represents, he's too absolute and it's disgusting. That's not responsible journalism. he's beefing. Although, i must applaud him for some points he raise, he goofed big time and he should apologize to the totality of Nigeria artistes. Good work Mr. Capable. Yes boss

Reptyle said...

I appreciate the way you put your points across and I'm sure Dr. Abati, astute writer and scholar that he is, will also appreciate your feedback.

I am glad that you also agree that while you and a few other "Naija" (there, i used the name) musicians are repping tight and flying the green and white really high, quite a large chunk of stuff out there right now is pure garbage.

The person that came up with the saying that "Change is the only constant thing in life" should have added the fact that it is also the most difficult thing to accept. Abati is just part of the old school who strive day in and day out to maintain the status-quo because therein they feel safe. Such people exist in all spheres of our existence. I do not think he meant any harm.

Anyway,(before I start blogging within your blog...lol) you have shown that it takes an intelligent mind to make good music like you are doing. Keep up the good work.

Oh, and please ensure you send this article to the Guardian for publication. I am sure Abati would like to read and perhaps respond to your feedback.

olaoluwatomi said...

Hi BankyW ill confess I had never heard of you or your music till I saw this article and Abatis on facebook!
Its a nice write up and it deals with the issues raised by Abati succintly, You should read the comments about the articles on facebook tagged The Facebook generation vs The wasted generation!

olaoluwatomi said...

Forgot to add ill certainly look your music up! :)

Abdul-Rahim said...

First i need to commend Banky for the response but he needs to do me a great favour- Send you article to Guardian Newspapers!!! They will publish it i grant you. They are a responsible media organisation.
I enjoyed both editorials but i think Banky is spot on! Given that am from Reuben's era i feel he's very regressive & ve felt like that over the years.

Wale said...

I don't understand why our elders always blame us for the failure that is apparently theirs.
This article shows the general norm in this part of the world called 'Naija'. The elders see us as a set of unintelligent generation. They intimidate, criticize, condemn and abuse us at any given opportunity and one tend to wonder if they have not once been addressed as youths.

Have you noticed the sheer timidity in a typical 'Naija' kid when compared with a kid from U.S or U.K? This campaign of calumny against the Youths aimed at intimidating us will not work this time.
I wonder why Dr. Reuben should condemn the discovery of a new identity by the Youths, I will advise him to stay ageless by identifying with our brand.

To cut the long story short,there is no basis for the attack on the youths in the first place .It is a case of a Pot calling Kettle black.For example,what meaning can one deduce from King sunny Ade's song(which i'm presently listening to) that goes does..............Pamurogo,pamurogo,pamurogo lolaye,pamurakati,murakati,murakati baba,oni tibi ba mi lalejo un oti seyi si,ki jeyan kijeresi ,abomi ,lolo,omiladun ,omisoro ro ojo weliweli,ki jeba pon bele,omi laju ju odu,odi sa nkolo,Ina piriti,ina pelebe,tale oni ayato tidaji oni se ko ..........

kaz said...

Yeah!Well said. Mr Abati there is nothing worse than half baked knowledge.Face it this is a new era. Whether selfish relics like u want it or not its our time.There is nothing more constant than change. Instead of fearing and castigating what you don't know maybe you should learn and understand it..You go Banky W...you are the smartest "big boy". Naija for life!!!!

Ms.O said...

Very proud of you Banky! Although Mr Abati had some very valid points, clouding it with such generalizations and nostalgia made them come accross as ignorant. Keep up the good work tho..xx!

Tee-mo said...

Banky..., I'm so proud of you! You have defended the industry and indeed your generation.
while we must not disrespect the older generation and in our continued struggle to make something of the inefficiencies and inadequacies amidst the battered national life within which we were born and raised, i believe the Nigerian youth deserves some respect. i'd rather that the older generation tries to understand us than judge us. if they wake up and find out this is how we are, then they must understand that somewhere, somehow, they have planted the seeds that are now yielding fruits. let them stop blaming our culture on the western influence when the culture they fed us full with is the superiority of wealth over character and selfish ambition over common good.
we are not the author of the prevalent moral decadence, i thought every man is responsible for his behaviour.
And finally, in the survival mode we're on, they should be thankful to God we chose the path of creativity rather than the typical 'Man-Eat-Man' so prevalent in history.

Anonymous said...

Banky,
I must admit I have a new found respect for you after reading your well articulated response... not to say I thought less of you but I guess it never came up.

Good job at defending your art, colleagues and generation with such passion. It shows you are an artiste by choice and you take what you do seriously. I think you'd perform well whatever the industry you find yourself given your outlook.

You make me proud to be a young, educated and enlightened Nigerian.

Anonymous said...

You can say what you like about the "music" you perform, but don't disrespect Fela and mention this great artiste in the same breath as your contemporaries. I don't entirely agree with you or Reuben Abati for that matter. One point he mentioned though stands out. Time is impartial and is the ultimate judge. we will see how many of the current crop of artistes will still be here in 5-10years time. This is the testament of real music. Not watered down, lowest common denominator auto-tune assisted dross.

Teeyah said...

did you or did you not address the issue! and i thought i admired you before now but your superior argument has got me bowled over. Abati deserved a few knocks for his bias and you gave him just that with a well researched, well worded article.
P.S. i would have liked if in your examples about artistes' songs, you said for every 'shayo' by bigiano, he has a 'people suffering', it's a beautiful piece as well.
kudos to you for your music and your writing. keep being proudly Nigerian.

Avartsy said...

Very well said! Major kudos to you for standing up to rectify it...

He doesn't have to like the new generation music, but he shouldn't discredit it so carelessly.

Instead, he should've noticed that the music now is making more people proud to be Nigerians. All the abbreviations for Nigeria further show the love most folk have.

He has a skewed perspective. Really loved your response...VERY intelligently written.

Dame Halos said...

well said....its amazing how he contradicts himself about nick names...using lagbaja as an example...lagbaja in itself means "somebody"..that is obviously a stage name he is using to protect his true identity and he is very well within his rights to do so..if Mr. Abati cannot criticise that about lagbaja then he has no right to criticise, u or 9ice or dbanj or the others he spoke about..he clearly has his music taste and wishes to impose is personal preferences on the nation...and what is it about the new generation of music..life is all about change and evolution...music has to evolve as well..i am sure the kind of music that the likes of fela and shina peters played in the 90's is very different from what our fore fathers listened to...hiss..nice retort..i hope itgets published...
and the editor needs to sort himself out as well...too many spelling mistakes...its Guardian for crying out loud...shameful

Anonymous said...

Dr.Abati's article was published on Sunday and banky's response was published the next day. This reveals that this Banky guy is largely informed. Although, Dr Abati is a stalwart of Nigerian Journalism and a pundit of international reckon, he has given in more to his biases in this article than to well researched facts for which he's come to be known and highly celebrated over the years. Although, he made some valid points on content, the article largely reveals a stereotype based on what he's has conceived as generational differences rather than d realities of the entertainment industry down the ages. Banky, in less than 24hrs, has set the records straight and has done so very brilliantly and without being disrespectful...kudos to banky! Even the English dictionary catalogues everyday (colloqual) language, asides from the Queen's English e.g quid, a slang for pound in the U.k. Documentation of colloqualism chronicles trend and serves as history's pointer. Lingiusts in Nigerian university shuld also endeavor to document our slangs. OSINEYE 'LEKAN

Anonymous said...

Dr.Abati's article was published on Sunday and banky's response was published the next day. This reveals that this Banky guy is largely informed. Although, Dr Abati is a stalwart of Nigerian Journalism and a pundit of international reckon, he has given in more to his biases, in this article, than to well researched facts for which he's come to be known and highly celebrated over the years. Although, he made some valid points on content, the article largely reveals a stereotype based on what he's has conceived as generational differences rather than the realities of the entertainment industry down the ages. Banky, in less than 24hrs, has set the records straight and has done so very brilliantly without being disrespectful...kudos to banky! Even the English dictionary catalogues everyday (colloqual) language, asides from the Queens English e.g quid, a slang for pound in the U.K. Documentation of colloqualism chronicles the trend and serves as history's pointer. Linguists in Nigerian universities should therefore endeavor to document our slangs.
OSINEYE OLALEKAN

emmanuel said...

“The emerging young generation lacks the discipline or the patience to write complete sentences or think through a subject to its logical end.” - R. Abati

Even though I tried hard to respect Mr. Abati's write up as his opinion, I can't help but feel appalled by his stating opinions as facts. The dude simply crossed the line. He showed his unpatriotic nature by basing his argument on one major thing we should do away with in the world, GENERALIZATION! How can you discredit a whole generation Mr? Generalization is the cause of tribal wars, religious intolerance etc. Is this the course you want us to thread, Sir?
If nothing, I hope you’ll learn these lessons and teach them to your wards.
• Show some tolerance to things you feel different about.
• Every generation has its style and it should be respected.
• Opinions are never facts; therefore it should not be stated or imposed as one!

bimbola said...

Excellent!

emmanuel said...

“The emerging young generation lacks the discipline or the patience to write complete sentences or think through a subject to its logical end.” - R. Abati

Even though I tried hard to respect Mr. Abati's write up as his opinion, I can't help but feel appalled by his stating opinions as facts. The dude simply crossed the line. He showed his unpatriotic nature by basing his argument on one major thing we should do away with in the world, GENERALIZATION! How can you discredit a whole generation Mr? Generalization is the cause of tribal wars, religious intolerance etc. Is this the course you want us to thread, Sir?
If nothing, I hope you’ll learn these lessons and teach them to your wards.
• Show some tolerance to things you feel different about.
• Every generation has its style and it should be respected.
• Opinions are never facts; therefore it should not be stated or imposed as one!

Teeyah said...

Ok, I confess I couldn’t resist reading your response before Reuben’s article, despite your urging to read the article first. I have a few more things to say:

First, his article was a pretty laborious read, due to his penchant for mentioning more than a dozen names and examples in order to create the illusion of research… we could have gotten his drift with fewer examples still.

Second, how could he even cut into Lagimo by Rooftop MCs? Anyone who so much as listens to that song will be amazed at the depth of it. He obviously didn’t get past the chorus when he heard it. And just so he knows, Salawa Abeni sang that ‘Ori mi wu, e la gi mo’ bit first; Rooftop MCs just gave it the depth and genius it needed in their own recreation of it.

Third, I wonder that he mentioned KWAM 1, that’s a shortened name if any; and correct me if I’m wrong but I very much doubt that Kollington is Ayinla’s given name.

Last, I apologize if I seem unappreciative of that little romantic scenario he created for us illustrating the origin of our identity as a people, but I dare say that the identity adopted and accepted by the people of a place holds a lot more significance to me than that forged for it by a foreign lord and his ‘fair lady’.

P.S. do not apologise for your reference to Fela; I love his music to bits but about his lifestyle, you simply said it as it was

Olamide said...

If I wasn't engaged I'd definetly marry you, lol! J/K
But the truth of the matter is that response was completely exhilerating to read. Not only was your piece greatly structured unlike Mr. Abati article but it was eloquently executed; made me want to give u a standing ovation or say "Well Done my son!" That was tasteful... I appreciate you more than ever & I've been a fan for years. Continue to keep up the good work! More Blessing!
Yex BoSS!

chuckdrock4eva said...

I was shocked at Dr Abati’s piece ,but was happy with Banky’s response. What our generation has succeeded in doing is to insulate itself from all the social and economic atrocities the older generation, of which Dr Abati is a part of, has committed. Imagine a nation that one needs to provide everything for himself.Water,power supply, security etc. Dr Abati should praise our tenacity and artistic prowess for being able to make music that would make people dance and temporarily forget their sorrows in spite of all the hardship we face. Instead he is talking about an identity crises.

Banky mentioned the fact that visas are hard to come by, because of the fact that Dr Abati’s generation and older messed up the opportunities they were given in the past. Did we invent drug trafficking? These were invented by them, the good doctors generation.

Many of was would prefer to have normal white collar jobs or pursue careers in music /entertainment, rather than aspire to public office to continue the evil that those ahead of us have started.

If I did not respect Dr Abati, or if I did not have an idea of his intellectual worth, I would have said that he encountered a drought of ideas, which led to his writing that piece.

Let us be. Naija for life!

chuckdrock4eva said...

I was shocked at Dr Abati’s piece ,but was happy with Banky’s response. What our generation has succeeded in doing is to insulate itself from all the social and economic atrocities the older generation, of which Dr Abati is a part of, has committed. Imagine a nation that one needs to provide everything for himself.Water,power supply, security etc. Dr Abati should praise our tenacity and artistic prowess for being able to make music that would make people dance and temporarily forget their sorrows in spite of all the hardship we face. Instead he is talking about an identity crises.

Banky mentioned the fact that visas are hard to come by, because of the fact that Dr Abati’s generation and older messed up the opportunities they were given in the past. Did we invent drug trafficking? This were invented by them, the good doctors generation.

Many of was would prefer to have normal white collar jobs or pursue careers in music /entertainment, rather than aspire to public office to continue the evil that those ahead of us have started.

If I did not respect Dr Abati, or if I did not have an idea of his intellectual worth, I would have said that he encountered a drought of ideas, which led to his writing that piece.

Let us be. Naija for life!

BBB said...

great response banky.
u already had a fan for life in me but now u have a respecter for life...
naija,nija 9ja 4 life...

and did that guy include us (blogosphere) in his analysis...the nerve...does he know what it takes to write,keep a blog..comment..read others learn from them...everyday...the nerve.....

Akin said...

Hello Banky W,

I must say your piece is rather l written and reasoned than Dr. Abati's diatribe.

It got to a point where I wondered whether I was reading about identity, a list of musicians, music culture or musicology.

In all, as one other writer said, Dr. Abati for all his journalistic acumen, he tends to give in to his bias rather that objective persuasion.

And though he is in my age group, his views in many ways have never been representative of our generation, rather they isolated and devoid of structure, where he could have excellently written about 4 different issues, he conflated everything and ended up with tripe.

I am encouraged by your response and disappointment does not begin to describe my views about the unseemingly erudite Dr. Abati.

Regards,

Akin

ike said...

on Abati's fuss on the rendition of the national anthem

"...The singing of the national anthem is supposed to be a solemn moment. Arms clasped by the side, a straight posture, and the mind strictly focussed on the ideals of patriotism and nationalism. Stillness. Nobody moves. And the national song is rendered in an unchanging format..."

pls ...someone should ask him to gets his facts right. since he wants to get down to the basics, i'll take him there. our fore-fathers never knew about national anthem. it's a borrowed thing from another culture. am here in the culture that colonized our dear 9ja and i have attended an open event where governmnt functionaries were present, even the queen where a special rendition of "God save the Queen" (the british national anthem) was done by a guest artist.... and people swayed to the rhythm. they did not stand like logs. thats for the military folks to observe

ike said...

Abati is sick. why all the fuss? citizens of other countries have pet names for their respective countries. even the US govt officials sometimes use UNCLE SAM to mean the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. During Hitler's movement, the word NAZI, represented Germany and it was accepted nationwide as a pet name for the country. so what's wrong with having 9ja, naija/nija or gidi as pet names for our dear nation?

Everything's Eventual... said...

Clap clap clap Mr Banky Wellington! Your response is spot on in every regard. Mr Abati is simply an old curmudgeon that is running out of things to moan about, (though God alone knows why, there's certainly enough things still wrong with Nigeria!)

I won't condescend to you by praising you for your intelligence and your articulate response. There's no reason why that should come as a surprise. All I will say is, Please, WHATEVER YOU DO, PLS GET THIS ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN THE GUARDIAN! Reuben Abati needs to be told what's up. The man has been slowly losing his marbles for quite some time now, and with this latest riposte, I think the last one finally rolled away, never to be seen again.

You havent put one foot wrong in this writeup so please don't apologise or explain yourself. Reuben Abati's article apart from being misguided and misinformed was also highly vitriolic, bordering on personal. You on the other hand were restrained, emphatic and very convincing, so much so that even without reading the original article, your reader is inclined to side with you. Your arguments were strong and well thought out where Reuben's were flippant and self contradictory. Truth be said, the article lost all credibility when he so blatantly missed the symbolism in Rooftop MC's 'Lagimo'. Clearly, he has never listened to the song, or perhaps he was befuddled by the 'fune' they were speaking in the body of the song and the only part he could understand was the Yoruba refrain! Lol! Whichever way, you'd think a journalist of his standing would put in more due dilligence before committing pen to paper, and paper to print!

Also, what you said about Fela was spot on, and no apologies required there either. I'm as big a Fela fan as the next man, but it needed to be said. Fela is not anybody's role model morally and we love him for the music. Someone cant with the same breath idolise Fela and then criticise others of moral turpitude. They don't come more immoral. And speaking of moral lyrics and Sunny Ade, do I hear a kileleyi o, eja osan, or a what do you disaya, what do you have under, sweet banana, sweet banana, negro, please!! I have never read so many inconsistencies in one article in my entire lifetime.

Please Banky, keep the flag flying. I'm not a fan of Ebutte Metta particularly, and I've never heard any of your other songs, but from this day on, you're a star in my books!!!

Anonymous said...

In truth, I'm not familiar with your music and I didn't read Mr. Abati's article but your rebuttal painted a good enough picture. Most people said it all but just thought I should add your folks taught you well :)

Anonymous said...

Well written. No scratch that. Excellently written. Good reads are hard to find. This was a pleasant discovery.

Anonymous said...

I love the music and fashion of our generation, but frankly I saw Dr. Abati's article as largely satirical. In that sense, I must confess that I find your serious-minded no-holds-barred response a tad over-the-top. It's all good though.

said...

Oloye.... Wa Gbayi

said...

once again.. .wa Gbayi...

Anonymous said...

I know someone has sugested adding abati to the Naija lexicon, but lets do it properly and formally. So here goes:

1. 'Abati'; noun. Foolish or ignorant person. Out of touch
Also: A person pretending to be intelligent or knowledgable. E.g. "This guy na real abati man"

2. 'Abatise'; verb. Render useless or inconsequential. To devalue. E.g. "Why are you trying to abatise the film? Is it that bad?"

3. 'Abatic'; adjective. Something or someone of no value or relevance.
Also: something disguised as quality but revealed to be shallow and of no depth.
E.g. "Man, that guy is too abatic. He has no clue how to approach a woman".

Anonymous said...

It is all very well for you to present what seems like logical arguments to Abati’s write up, but the fact still remains that he made some valid points which you cannot refute.
For one, the name abbreviations you yourself used as examples (Ebenezer obey, I.k Dairo, etc,) make so much more sense than the abbreviations y’all come up with today (contrast 9ce, D-banj, Don-Jazzy). Totally meaningless, if you ask me.

Take it or leave it, the genre of music churned out by your generation requires little or no IQ at all, either to produce or understand, as the case may be.
Most of them make no sense! Bumight had written about one of Sunny Ade’s songs, saying it took her several years to decipher that the song wasn’t so innocent as she thought, but does anybody need all of five minutes to figure out what “Ori e, o fo ka si’be” means? What on earth does o gbona feli feli mean, apart from the obvious?

Banky, instead of going on and on about the spelling mistakes and minor errors in Abati’s write up, why don’t you address the bigger issues such as the moral decadence blatantly portrayed and promoted by the music you and your colleagues produce?

finz said...

Well said, Banky! I'm really impressed with the respectful way in which you expressed your disagreement with Mr. Abati's (who is actually one of my favourite journalists) piece.
You are right in that he didn't do any thorough research. I always thought "Naija" was an affectionate way of refering to our country. As for the other spellings, '9ja' and 'Nija', I think that just comes from the shorthand/fast-typing/SMS world in which we live.
It's true that some songs are meaningless and vulgar, but it's up to the public to decide if they enjoy that kind of music or not.
Let us continue to support the Naija artistes we like without bringing down those who do not catch our fancy.

Anonymous said...

Essentially , i begin to doubt all the advice, comments, and suggestions, he has ever made as a journalist, social commentator,and probably an adviser to the Government of this great nation,i guess his days of young people listening to him is gradually coming to an end. Thank God we discovered this earlier, he would have mislead us on seemingly issues we don't have knowledge about. Banky W, well done

Anonymous said...

Music is something that everybody has the option to like or dislike.

Abati obviously doesn't like the new age Naija Music....I don't like most of it either. Fo mr it is too similar to the shallowness and bling obsession of current american hip-hop. Still everywhere in the world has to have it's forgettable in the long-term but enjoyable this friday night music! One of my measuring tools for whether an artist is up to much is whehther they have to mention their name in their songs less than 50 times in an album!

Abati's problem is he's coming across as an old has been who doesn't like the way young people talk, act..... "it's not like it was in my day"! Immediately makes you think what a pompous old twat.

What he should be doing is trying to constructively find a way for more young musicians to come out and develop some truly original music. I guess as you say Banky that's very difficult, your average kid in Nigeria can't learn to play an electric guitar with no electricity!

What we need is a more rounded, balanced music industry...at the moment when I listen to the radio it seems that if you don't like Naija Hip Hop (and wanting to be a BIG BOY and drive a Hummer) or Asa you've got no other choices.

Chokodude said...

I am suprised that anyone would even critisize the entertainment industry in Nigeria today.
I actually feel that it is one of the best things that has happened. I am sure that Dr Abati is in the minority.
Keep up the good work.

Chikelue said...

Banky, You dropped word.
Much love and respect!

Lanre Balogun said...

Mr Wellington, I must admit that I am very impressed by your BANK STATEMENT - A very rich one i must say.

I read Mr Abati's publication and all i could say while reading it "this man should have done research first". I hope he gets to see this and i think you should get it published by Guardian and if not Guardian, I am sure another newspaper will be more than willing to publish your WELL ARTICULATED FACTS.

I also see a need for you to add the meaning of some of these slangs used by OUR ARTISTES. Gongo Aso - Something big is about to happen. 4kasibe - Your blessings shall be uncountable.

Also songs like Lori le - X project and kerewa - Zule zoo are no different from sex related gestures that it takes a mature mind to breakdown. Sir Shina Peters (Shiki shiki e lo wun mi mu), Adewale Ayuba (Omoge olosan gbewa o! ma mu tanjalo ma mu tangerine) and King Sunny Ade (Je ka shere omo) have a few of those too. So what's this brother on about.

I am ever sooooo proud when our NAIJA JAMZ are played in clubs in JAND and YANKEE by foreign DJs.

How dare he talk about MI's lyrics......Oh no he didn't.......he clearly knows not what he is talking about.

I'll love an opportunity to work on a well detailed response to his publication with you and use some of my personal contacts in the media to publish it. These will be well referenced as we the younger generation speak with FACTS and not outta BIFF.

babajidesalu said...

Banky W, you know what, you have 'spoken' on behalf of the music industry. With someone as articulate as yourself in the industry, no wonder it has moved leaps and bounds in the right direction.

Having said all that, I will be the first to point out that not all the present generation artistes and not excluding the older generation musicians are blame free.

Some lyrics are abysmal to say the least and I do not condone 'sagging' because of what it connotes, but that does not in any way diminish the quality of music that Nigerian artistes are producing.

I just love to listen to 9ice and co. It is ever so refreshing and I frown at Nigerians who try hard to be a 50 cent replica. You can never beat or outshine the Americans. Jamaicans know that, hence they stuck to what they know best - Reggae or is it Ragga?

Nigerian artistes have their own niche as well and we are very good at it. Banky W and co.

As for 9ja or Naija, it is still Nigeria to me. You know what, many that have never heard of Reuben Abati would have by now, thanks to your response. There is nothing as good as show business.

Anonymous said...

very well written (Micheal Jackson does play an instrument though)

shola said...

wow! BW I like what i just read. You are the man

Anonymous said...

Never knew the validity of "Generational Differences" until now. Evidently, Mr. Abati and most commentators of his generation need to ease up!
Creativity need not be understood to, be appreciated. There is so much i'll never understand about the choices/ styles of certain artistes but,i love and appreciate their creativity and learn from them, in any way, i can.To my thinking the judgementality is uncalled for because OUR ARTISTES are still on THEIR way and thus, should be encouraged and helped. (HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN, LET HIM CAST THE FIRST STONE).........Much Respect to Mr. Abati.
Good Job, Ambassador Banky.
Creative and Performing Artistes have a Great Advocate & Ambassador, in you for all you said, you said well.
...am so mighty proud of you
NOW, A CONFIRMED FAN!

ehido143 said...

Abati only succeeded in letting us know the names of artiste he has committed to memeory. This man was born in 1965. What can't Abati appreciate? what is his problem with the word 'Collabo'. My 62yr old mum would write a better article and I am not kidding. As for talking about Fela banky is only letting us know that his short comings did not blot away his war against the oppressors who held our country hostage.
I have never been so disappointed in Abati. Here in the US, I don't even hear Nigerians play anything different from home especially Timaya. This guys have created an identity for us. Abati u goofed, Banky thanks a lot. Never head about him but now I have been listening to his songs on Youtube. U are good.

toyeen said...

nice one...word....dat was hot!!!!!!

TKD said...

Your response was simply brilliant, I have always been a fan of yours, and now I am even a bigger fan. I am a Nigerian living in the USA, and I have bones to pick with the new Nigerian music industry, but I feel like Mr. Abati went too far and just spoiled his argument by generalizing and being uninformed.

Tess Ume said...

BANKY W YOU ARE TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH....pls help me teach our almight ABATI somethings that he needs to konw about this generation...we are not fools pls,it was there mistake that we are suffering now and he still has the guts to write that rubbish and call it article...MR ABATI before u write anything pls be sure of it and stop disgracing yourself.what rubbish!.the guy even call my MI put for him matter o!....banky in fact i'l change your name to BANKY ALMIGHTY u too much.
TESS UME

Sean said...

Well said Sir...I took my time to read Mr. Abati's article before reading your response and half way through his article I had already realized he is a disgruntled old man desperately holding on to the past.

I think the word hypocritical (which you so rightly used in your response) best describes Mr. Abati's article.

Keep doing what you are doing oga mi and permit me to quote Jigga here..."brush the dirt of your shoulders" :-)

MO said...

correct!!!! on point bro!!! little wonder naija has failed in the development process. we can't develop on past glory and i strongly believe that music has generally opened the nigerian market to lots of prospects. weldone!!! u v told the story.........

Abi said...

yawnn...... boring comeback!

Anonymous said...

Wow....well said, straight, concise and to the point;it obvious u are a pragmatic individual...i hope the author sees this

~R. ChilD~ said...

First of all I think Fela will be appalled by the writers love or utmost respect for the colonial masters. Its rather Ironic that he would concern himself with artist's names when "NIGERIA" was just leisurely given to his "beloved country" by Lord Lugard's wife without any deeper meaning but rather a marker for infusing "geographical Nigeria" for imperialistic goals!

The writer is an epitome of sad condition of GENERATIONAL GAP that plagues Nigerians. Sadly, my fellow youths will be projecting such irrational behavior when they are "Grown".

Doesn’t Dr. Abati knows that RasKimono, Majaek Fashek, Fela (yes Fela), Evi Edna Ogholi and others had foreign influences: Reggae, Funk, Jazz, etc? I find it funny when the older generation talk about foreign influences on our culture and I ask the following questions which never seems to get answered?

1. Are they less Nigerian than the Nigerians pre Mary Slessor?

2.Are they less Nigerian than their great-grand fathers who believed in our traditional forms of varying gods or spiritual mediums because majority of "Nigerians" in the south are Christians and "Nigerians" in the north are Muslims!

so why don’t those stiff older "Nigerians" concentrate on re-defining cross-tribal "Nigerian" culture of BRIBERY or SILENCE & NOT SPEAKING OUT LOUDLY AGAINST WRONG!! I grew up seeing people paying money to get ahead everyday but obviously Dr. Abati doesn’t consider that a culture! Its probably one of those thing people just like doing, u know!

Or perhaps they do not understand that term that they so much revere: CULTURE!!
From my few years on earth, I think I have more understanding on culture than most "adults". And my understanding is this: that CULTURE is never stagnant! Culture continues to change and evolve and most importantly:

Cultures could easily change; thats a given! But changing for the better or for the worse all depends on whose resilient or who’s stiff. Usually those who’s stiff usually have two options: Regain control or undergo elimination!

Think of this: What is the culture in Iran? You might say "Women should not speak in public" or other "Islamic" related issues which becomes their "culture" today, however, years ago Muslims were a minority in Iran (Persia) and they would have never guessed today that sharia laws would be upheld in that region today!

It’s always to the younger generation to dictate "culture". it’s usually for the better. Look at the current protests in Iran!

Culture is a form of Imperialism. Its a form of control exerted from the onset by ONE man or a group of the DOMINANT few, and its just passed down. People usually inherit culture without looking thoroughly at why we were doing certain things. Don’t you sometimes ask yourself who the knuckle heads were that started dynasties, I mean really, does the ability to be a good leader lie in ones DNA? A lot of the older generation and sadly very few of our fellow youths, hide behind the confines of "culture" as an escapist route to the current problems, so they never ask the whys and just continue the routine, Im so glad that the younger generation always step up to the plate and bake barriers.

This might seem a little bit off the point but I feel its totally related to views as Dr. Abatis’. I’ll leave yall with a quote from one of the best African leaders in my opinion: THOMAS SANKARA
“You cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness. In this case, it comes from nonconformity, the courage to turn your back on the old formulas, the courage to invent the future. It took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen. [...] We must dare to invent the future." – THOMAS SANKARA


~R.C.~

Anonymous said...

You really hit the nail on the head. Nigerian artistes have been doing phenomenally well. Keep flying the flag, Naija till we die.

debyson S.A said...

Very well said and written Banky. I read Dr. Abati article after smooth- sailing though ur beautiful piece.Though an ardent reader of his writings, I guess he was carried away by the momentum and failed to incorporate objectivity in his report. I'm sure he'd do a better job after reading ur response....if he has 2 rewrite it to safe face.

Anonymous said...

wow!well said!!its a disgrace to Guradian newspapers b'cos it sounds like proper research on the issue was nt done n wat does dt v to do with our country'd identity crisis?!!

Anonymous said...

Ok- what ticked me off right from the get go and Banky, I'm surprised you didn't even mention it- The damn article starts by pointing out how the name of our great country was coined by almighty oyibo- and the dude presents this like it is something to be celebrated... Seriously?

chichi said...

Banky pls ur response shud be part lyrics to a new song.......it'll definitely be a cool hit.yes boss.
Title of song- "Appreciate" or perhaps "it does not matter" or "naija till we die, yes boss"(lol). The intro of the song would probably be brief words of yours saying positive words....................i could go on and on but i need to get back to my cleaning job(london na die o). Very well written Olubankole Wellington.

misunderstood.black.female said...

Banky this got me teary eyed especially:

"We want to learn but your generation has to teach. We want to read but the Government must provide libraries. We want to go to school but the lecturers keep going on strike. We want to travel but previous generations messed up so they won’t give out visas. Most of prefer having our own live bands but the income needed to support that is not forthcoming."

Well written.

Anonymous said...

MR CAPABLE...well to say i'm not impressed by ur response would b lying through my teeth.Your eloquence and diction is tu-gbaski(oops-Durella)LMAO...think the older generation should take a chill pill.U av made a gud case for d industry and i'm sure ur co-artistes would b proud of u...i am anyways.And for d record i am one of those dat rarely listens to western Music anymore...i mean i almost get it all from naija music...suprisingly 6yrs bak i culdnt stick naija songs,saw dem as pure crap...but today d transformation is smoking off d hook.Y'all av done xtremely well.I DOFF my hat for 2days naija music industry.
For Mr Abati i think he is entitled to his opinion/reservation,however when ones opinion/reservations defames anors character it is better to keep it to oneself or within ones domain and not make it a public affair.I mean naija aint an iron curtain country innit?So abeg every1 is free to do watever dey want,as long as it aint expressly or impliedly breaking d law.The last time i cheked aint no law like thou shall not abbreviate the name Nigeria...

Comb & Razor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Mr. Capable himself! You killed it with your response

Anonymous said...

I think you missed the whole essence of Dr Abati's article. What a shame.

Tboy said...

So many smart comments here. I see many Nigerians know their nuggets and I'm proud of that.However for someone like the Anonymous person who compared the abbreviations of old artists names and the new ones and said the old ones made sense but the new ones were senseless, I'm sorry but I think you're the dumbest of the bunch. Can you please tell the difference sir?

nk_kiki said...

Wow! this is so interesting and educating. Despite the supposed wrongs in his article, Mr. Abati remains a renowned Nigerian Journalist/Editor. But,Banky, u're a great writer, maybe better than our dear editor. Truth be told.

Katigori said...

The fact that you took it upon yourself to write a solid response to the article in "The Guardian", i give you enough respect Banks. Basically, most of the other comments before mine ( i read to the 99th!!) have said almost the exact same thing as i was thinking. But i'd tell you one thing. Its a rather delicate situation, you might not want to be pushing many buttons or stepping on all peering toes. There are some things you might want to just let go of. All thesame. I still love you and your music. We've been in LOS traffic side by side too often. Ibegin to wonder. Not to mention the Belvedere room madness at you-know-where. I had a thought of asking you out on a date. But then i wouldn't want to be stepping on any big toes myself....
All the best B.
xx

Soso said...

I love Banky's response to Abati's uncalled for criticisms. Thats all i can say.

mowa said...

ever met you Mr. BW, but i am still yet too.
You are so on point, am not dissing Mr. Abati, but he needs to accept the positive changes that have been made in this country and things are getting bigger. We need change and thats that!!
Mr. BW, My counsin is Bankole and we just love to call him Banky (dont we cuzz?!!)

Soso said...

I was surprised too that he thought Gidi was a nickname for Nigeria. Once again well done Banky

Scopium said...

I read both articles, honestly, it's no brainer that the response was superbly delivered. I'm not a fan of Banky cuz my first contact with his song was Ebutte Meta and I hate such copy work with passion. Abati did a poor job of research and delivery. 9ja music is evolving for the better. These days I don't buy foreign CDs 9ja musicians are making us proud man! The industry has changed. It don't matter if you go with a stage name or not. It don't matter if use short hand or long hand just connect with the people. My dad sound like that atimes. He'll tell you how good olden days were and I'll be like go back there and nobody will stop you.
I'm confused now, Is Banky W an artiste or a journalist?

mowa said...

Lasgigi...Nigeria??? Education and research are so important. Weldone Mr. BW

Omohemi Benson said...

very apt.

please read Ms. Iyanda article on the
Identity crisis by Mr. Abati.

me said...

1 million US for 50 cents??? That's so Nigerian!

Boogie said...

I couldnt read all 154 of these comments without speakin a lil something. Woteva Nigeria's perceived as today has absolutely NOTHING to do with our generation. All we're trying to do now's make the best of a bad situation and that's wot we're doing. Before i got my current job, an older family member recommended me for work in the Nigerian civil service and wen i said i didnt wanna do that, he stated, "ur mom brought u up while she worked in the civil service". this shows this generation's refusal to let go of their time and move on to ours. that said, Dr Abati owes all the young Naija ppl mentioned in his article an apology. He should have finished his research, as he so obviously started it, considering there's no way he knew all those American hip hoppers' names, but then again, thanks to google, a gift of the same generation he criticizes. And to you, Mr Wellington, your intelligence is beyond words. Naija till i die!

Adunni Sisi said...

Hi Banky,
I know u'll be feeling cool that u did a big job of replying Abati especially as ur pees keep congratulating u. I dont think so. I think u missed the points that he was raising in his article. In ur haste to defend the fad ur generation glorifies so much, u missed the thrust of the matter. U didnt even spare a thought for the genuine issues he raised. What Abati said is what my father and his friends have been saying. I guess tis a generational gap thing... one day, we'll probably advise our grandchildren on the substance of the songs they will be listening to. By then, the Abati's article will make serious meaning to u...Nice write up but I must say tis generational isue. twill continue to occur. My advice is to let us maintain the African essence while we modernise our culture (and songs). we dont want to be western. We shld remain Africans.
Young man, se pele. Aye gba jeje o... Oun ti agba ri ni ori ijoko, omode ti o gun igi ko ri. In case you dont speak ur own language, I translate to mean: take it easy. Life is not as young men like u take it to be. What an elder sees sitting down, a youth on the tallest tree does not see. Listen to those older than you. That is my own contribution

Anonymous said...

Very intellgently written. I've always liked Mr Abati's writing but he did need taking down a peg or two on this one. I like. Well done

tim said...

I just got the Mr Abati article today and i was gearing up to drive a stake into his heart and empty brain but Banky has done too well and left me with no space. Kudos bro! I really don't want this to die quietly. in a country where his(Abati's) generation has failed to provide its people with the basic needs of life and our generation is using the music to bring hope back to the Naija youth and giving them an identity and self counciouseness and pride of where they come from,abati's article should be blown up for more people to see,his stupidity and ignorance would be clearer for everyone to see.BOYS ARE NOT SMILING

Damilola said...

read the articlez and i must say m impressed with u banky(even more dan before) and to say dat m disappointed in abati is a gross understatement.
rehashing all his blunders would take quite a bit of space on ur blog so m just gonna say; abati needs 2 realize that just cuz we call Nigeria 9ja or naija doesnt mean we'v forgotten how to spell NIGERIA, that the americans say USA doesnt mean they dont know its the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! and that piece about LAGI MO, OMG- dnt worry i can still spell OH MY GOD- is arguably the most ignorant statement i'v heard all year!!! i mean how do you overlook the opening lines (dear lord yes i'm back again, need you to put me back on track again....)and claim that the song is about dudes who feel like hitting each other on the head with a stick. this aint the three stooges dude!!.... (deep breath)
the NIGERIAN music industry is at the best its ever been and only getting better thanx to these artistes you so ignorantly criticize!

i take abatis behaviour very P(for personal) and i wasnt even personally slandered!

again banky,well done. couldnt have done it better myself.

0809JA FOR LIFE MEHN!!!

Anonymous said...

WELL SAID MAN. FIRST U CLD FOLLOW UR ETISALAT PROMO OFFER TO BE BANKIMILLION W. ANYWAYS GOOD FOR REUBEN ABATI NEXT TIME SHOULD MAKE HIS RESEARCH WELL BEFORE PUBLICATION. THIS SHOULD ALSO GO TO JOURNALISTS WHO JUST WANT TO WRITE WITHOUT HAVING FACTS. THUMB UP.

bonchi said...

To Reuben Abati i say hmmmmmmm!

To Banky W, i say notin do u.

Jeanine Bowen said...

I am a South African that lived in Nigeria for 3 1/2 Years and I have to say that when I first went to Nigeria everybody was skeptical and asked me if I was insane. I returned to Lagos this year and I am so impressed with all the developments and improvements in making Nigeria a better place. There has always been negativity around the word Nigeria or Nigerians but I must say that you get good and bad everywhere.
I am also pleased to say that whenever I go out - Rwanda, Ghana, Burundi, Botswana, South Africa I hear Nigerian songs being played in the Clubs. Instead of criticising what media you are attracting how about focusing on the positive things happening in and around Nigeria and the rest of the world's perception about Nigerians.
I think they are all jealous of your drive to success and amibition. Also I feel that Nigerian are misunderstood - at least with all my Nigerian friends - I always know where I stand with them....
Stop dwelling in the past and focus on the future as that is all we have to dream and hope for....
To the Nigerian Artists - keep up the good work - we are enjoying your music....

Jeanine Bowen said...

I am a South African who lived in Nigeria for 2 1/2 years and when I moved to Nigeria everyone was skeptical and well they thought I was crazy. Nigeria has always had a bad name until recently. I returned to Nigeria this year and am so impressed with how they have improved it - it is looking great. As for the music from Nigeria - wherever I go (Rwanda, Burundi, Ghana or Botswana) they are playing Nigerian music.
We get good and bad in every NATION.
So my words to Mr Abati is that stop focusing on the past - we need to focus on the future as this is all we have. Nigeria is not as negatively perceived as what it used to be and I can truly say that this is a good thing.
As for Patriotism - None of the "Naija"/Nigerian artists have ever denied that they come from Nigeria and it is because of them that Nigeria is being perceived differntely now.
Nigerians are hungry for success and ambitious and these are two very good qualities to have.
As for abbbreviations - hell imagine the fans trying to remember these long names and I have always remembered people giving nicknames - why is this an issue now?
To the Nigerian Artists - keep up the good music....

Seun said...

Banky W said it all, but i need add one more, from what EL Dee's response said... Mr/Chief "REU ABT" ur generation failed us, look around u, we make the most positive contribution to the great nation Nigeria as u choose to remind of of what its she's called, our dear Naija has never been as creatively positive as this generation has made it! WE ROCK in NAIJA STYLE 100%... the midwife's son says so!

Bilqees said...

I must say after reading your response i am very proud of you...Well written in the best of tones, if i had a company, i would ve given you an endorsement deal, you re a good role model for people like me to look up to

eloks said...

nuff said :D

Anonymous said...

Banky W., no one could have put that any better! You have succeeded in coming across more credible than Reuben Abati. Kudos. Keep up the great music.'

Anonymous said...

you are the best

Tairebabs said...

Very apt and well said. You left us with little to add.

Samson said...

While Banky’s response to Reuben Abati's article may have adequately expressed the minds of many Nigerian youths including myself, one would expect that commentators should refrain from abusive words. The two standpoints are understandable and expectedly based on generational divide, bias. Kudos to the creative youths and also to the custodian of tradition.

Eknoreda said...

Ok, so I'm totally going to leave all my Banky W songs on repeat now! U have totally 'wow-ed' me with your response to Dr. Abati. Well written and you did make salient points and you represented your industry, your fans and even your generation quite well.
Good job Mister!

tongolobaba said...

I think I got the tone behind Abati's piece. It keeps reccuring the typical 70s adult believes a musician is uneducated, a no do well. He forgot things have changed many of you guys are University graduates. I know he will be sorry for himself, he must have learnt the big lesson of his life.

veronica said...

Infact, Banks, when compiling a list of my fav artists, ur name go top the chart! this is a beautiful piece: non-confrontational, factual and straight to the point. Keep it up, man!

This is what Mr Reuben doesn't understand. He's obviously not seeing the creativity in what these young artists are doing.

Nollywood is the third best movie industry in the world. our music industry is also making a name for itself. the exposure the country has had , in the name of music, is immeasurable. i wanna believe he (Mr. Reuben) is intimidated by the change and rave of the music industry.

on an objective note, i see the need for a change in the lyrics (content of music) and also an acceptance of their heritage (name-wise). i do not see the sense in allowing a child listen to 'ofo ka sibe' or 'maga don pay'. they should try to write songs that would be accepted by EVERYONE both old and young.

Long Live Nigeria!
Long live the Music Industry!!
long live 9ja!!!

veronica said...

You REALLY hit the nail on the head! Keep it up.

drealmenace said...

Dude... i am very proud of you.... one day we will meet remember these words... "i shake ur hand" cos thats what i will say to...
well done...

tobenna said...

Inasmuch as Dr. Abati's article was riddled with loopholes & mistakes, his opinion is more or less spot on with people his age in the country.
However, there has been a lot of disrespect and rude comments towards him here. Not right.
We can choose to disagree without being insulting. Just like BankyW did.

Willows Magazine said...

9yc 1 Banky W. or Your article is an apt response, Mr. Olubankole Wellington.

I managed a band and toiled to develop talents myself so I can feel your pain. I am of the old school that believes in cultural originality and language precision so I can feel Dr. Abati’s pain. If more entertainers can add brain to beauty and engage in discourse of national importance then they can really become a voice and force to reckon with.

A lad before MJ's death argued with adults to the point of crying that MJ is white only that he has black brothers! While your anger is not misdirected, stemming it from the misspelling of your name is questionable especially when artistes, as you indicated, seldom sign their real names these days. Today go, tomorrow come some folks will still not be able to marry the name Bisade with Lagbaja so should a researcher come up with Besade o gbiyanju (s/he has tried). And with Nigerians trying daily to sound European or American, it may be a challenge to spell names correctly.

Whether Nigeria is tagged 9ja or Naija has no way of affecting the price of gari in the market if it remains a tag of endearment. After all; sweetie, honey, sugar, olo, aren’t real names but terms of endearment that have been known to save or break unions. But when we begin to talk about a renaming ceremony for our dear Nigeria then we need to return to the drawing board.

Dr. Abati's fears are not unfounded; I myself carry the fear that our language and other aspects of our culture may erode with time. The internet messaging language has expanded our creative mindset but no doubt done damage to grammar as we know it - would is wud, thanks is tnx, please is plz… The poor fellow who in the past managed to fit in well in aristocratic settings now have a problem. If English is threatened then where do Ibo, Hausa and Yoruba stand? Today it is hard to come across a Yoruba script with the right accent marks. Like Dr. Abati, I’d say “Well, God Almighty, we are in your hands.”

What we need across generations is more understanding and a national consciousness which will save our culture – art, music, craft, language – for generations yet unborn.

I see your root is deep, I can only hope that the best of your fruits are yet to surface.

Anonymous said...

This is just the height banky W or whatever you're "You seem to forget that Baba Fela had 27 wives, smoked marijuana in public, was himself half naked at shows (as well as the women around him) and allegedly died of HIV" if you don't appologise i promise you a shot on your leg if i get to your show one day...or if i spot you on island...It's me Kay ballinger...

The Diary of A Naija Girl said...

How can anyone fault this generation?What happened to the so called Golden age stars who made music but remained the only icons in their time?This generation has not only made music but paved the way for countless number of artists and several other talents. They have given to the next generation what their predecessors didn't give them. I can comfortably say I prefer Nigerian Music to any other music in the world but unfortunately I can't say that for clothes,infrastructure and even our government. Doesn't this show that a certain group of people have become worthy of emulation despite their shortcomings?shouldn't we be proud that for once we have "our own" and its gaining global recognition?
Banky!...Wow!...Thanks...Thank you for not letting anyone talk you down cos your generation has given so much more than this society gives you credit for. Thanks for being the voice and a worthy ambassador of a generation that has taken Nigerian music to the next level. Thanks for a brillian post and thanks for making us proud!

Fasina said...

I agree with BankyW, that both pieces are food for thought...I will not totally discredit Dr Abati’s piece. I think what BankyW did well is to redirect Dr Abati's pointed fingers front the generation to the real (cross generational) issues...from the “who” to the “what” (and the addressed some misgivings in the “what”).
There are genuine concerns about the moral values of many songs out there today and that did not start today...
- Fash (LOL)

Edozie said...

The journalist is a bloody hypocrite (No disrespect). He may be a renowned journalist but this clearly shows that these are the kind of people we don't want in this country. He is not in support of change, and sir, we can’t relive your time for you. I remember the good old days when I listened to Boyz II Men a lot, but I sure won’t push my little coz to do same. And so what if we (Citizens) of this great nation decide to change the name of the country (decided for us by a mistress), what does that matter? If this guys aint gat notin to say, he shld pls kip quiet (now how do u like that for abbreviations). Damn!!

Dampte said...

"Murder was the case that they gave me" was that Snoop?....okay seriously......Mr. Abati was not wrong. Banky W is not wrong. Some ideologies are and were simply misplaced. The fact remains, Nigeria has identity crisis. Like Plato said "When the mode of music changes, the state of society changes". That is the case with my beloved NAIJA, 9ja...(I have the freedom of .....whatever to call it what i want). Our music is changing and rightly so, our society follows suit. Have you ever met an American born and bred Indian? They never lose that accent. A nigerian visits America for 2 weeks and he already plays the American. Is that not an example of a nation in identity crisis? Mr Abati attacked the entertainment industry only because it is the easiest of targets. However, he was attacking the artiste and the art rather than the promoters and consumers. Had he attacked the right end, his misgivings might have probably been rightly justified. I do not blame Mr Abati because he sees no sense in it even as my parents and many other parents do not. Banky and the rest of us must understand one thing, which is that Mr Abati made sense but to the wrong crowd. We are past caring, WE are BUSINESSMEN. We must exist, we must triumph. We are here now. My pals tell me am westernized because i say the obvious. The obvious being that "A name is always greater than SILVER or GOLD" and come to think of it, CONTOVERSY SELLS faster than pure water. My last word....EDUCATION has shown that it only breeds ignorance because the more you know the more you understand you do not know. And yea, lest i 4get.....lets drop all 'em phoney sturvs we do, such as being wannabe's when we can be we, so that Mr Abati and his generation would appreciate ours. SKOOLBOI aka Dampte
www.facebook.com/dampte

Bellemskey said...

Banky, i used to be a fan of yours until your recent response to Reuben Abati's article. firstly, you seem to have missed the point and i don't think you really understood what the article was talking about (i advise you reread it). secondly, you sounded like a secondary school child who was being taunted by peers like say 'i double-dear you to reply to that article'.
The point is that our music has become so Americanised and thats sickening to me. Another truth you refused to acknowledge is that apart from a few of you who actually know what you are doing, many so called artistes these days are singing absolute nonsense... Sometimes when i hear the lyrics or the copied Dance hall tune many guys play these days i just cringe. Even your borrowed 'Ebute Metta' remix of Rihanna's umbrella was somehow demeaning, although we enjoyed it because we could relate with it.

Banky W listen to my advice to you. As an artiste or human being, when you are criticised it is not for you to rush out and reply the immediately (and passing remarks for typographical errors on Wellington and Willington), but for you to introspectively reflect over what has been written... You may not belong to Mr Abati's generation, but that does not mean what he has written does not convey some truth.

I expect that this should serve as a wake up call to our artistes to know that they are being watched. Where is our national pride? Yes we may not have adequate amenities in the country and the music industry has helped to put food on the table of many young Nigerians; Nonetheless, we must all realise that anything worth doing at all is what doing well and our dear country deserves some respect... afterall "Why should we shout Halleluyah because Maga don pay?"

odudu said...

Banky, Mr Abati's publication was clearly self-opinionated and he didn't try to conceal it. The problem is you should have been more cautious in writing such an issue on a national newspaper.A Professional writer like him should know better to only make suggestions without introducing his prejudices(i.e attacking today's generation). And too bad he didn't do any research before unleashing his anger on us!

419 Radio said...

After taking my time to read the two articles, I can attempt to imagine the perspectives from which they based their thoughts. Banky W is a great new generation Nigerian artiste; at least 25 years old and Reuben Abati is an old time newspaper columnist and the present Chairman of the editorial board of Guardian Newspapers at least 44 years old. I think that's enough explanation for why these two perspectives differ so clearly. As I read in an earlier comment, the generations are clearly different. These are issues that are even contended with in the United States. People from older generations always have a tendency to see new age entertainment as demeaning, irresponsible and sometimes even offensive. They take solace in music that was available in their time and sometimes throw some relevant information about glaring similarities between the generations away while trying to make an argument for themselves. Reuben Abati's perspective doesn't surprise me at all. They sound like comments my father will make as well (though he likes Rooftop MCs). One thing we should realize though is that a particular style of genre of music doesn't have to be accepted by the whole world. We are in an IT driven, highly demanding and fast paced generation with exceptional ways of thinking. The older generation should just let us be.

Anonymous said...

@Dampte- pls where did you meet an Indian- born AND bred- in the States that has an Indian accent? Huh? I get what you are getting at but come on now... don't push it to the point where you are no longer making sense. If you did meet such a person, I assure you they are the exception, not the rule. Or where you trying to say that most of them maintain and respect their culture? Cause that's a different thing from having an Indian accent and yes, I will give you that...

martha ekong said...

While I do not totally support Mr. Abati’s take on some of the issues raised, I must agree with you however, that our youths are in too much of a hurry to realize they are on a fast track to nowhere.

The dearth of morality in our songs these days is to say the least pitiful. Music videos are full of half naked women parading themselves, some of the musicians are so far gone, they display more skin than skill!

While I fully agree with Banky (whose music by the way, I like) that it is the prerogative of the artiste to choose whatever alias or moniker he wants to be known and addressed as on stage/album, I however do not agree with him that music in Nigeria has grown in leaps and bounds, as he would rather have us believe. We have matured in acceptance, yes, sound and picture quality or quantity as the case may be, but it is definitely not uhuru.

Agreed, musicians are business men/women who are in the industry to make money for their basic needs, but do we as consumers not deserve to indeed be entertained while you guys are in the process of making money, through us, I might add? Permit me to disagree with your “we are not all one and the same, but we ARE artistes”, oh please, spare me. So many of you out there do not even know the meaning of that word, artiste indeed! With horrible lyrics like ori e o 4ka sibe, what’s that?

Banky, the argument is not about trying to fight the change like you claim, it is about embracing good change, positive change. Why should we have musicians who are supposed to be image makers sag their jeans, when it is prisoners that sag because they are not allowed to use belts. Is that part of the change we are supposed to so lovingly embrace?

If we danced to legends like Fela, Shina Peters etc, it is because they had things to say, issues that needed to be addressed. It was not all about laying a track and making money, it was and still should be about passing across a message, entertaining and educating. Sadly enough however, most of the songs we hear these days have nothing to say, lack meaning and make little or no sense at all.

Banky, again you missed the point completely. The piece is not about 9ice who does not drink or smoke, or about eLDee being married to one wife, least of all about Naeto c obtaining a Masters’ Degree in England, don’t you get it, it is about the quality of music they produce, that is what it has been about all along! Not personal achievements or its lack thereof, but quality in music, that is all we want, it is all we crave for, or don’t we deserve that?

FitchGirl said...

I think Banky is perfectly right in his article.
who cares if he said fela had numerous wives? FELA HAD NUMEROUS WIVES,my parents as well as friend's parents had been to his shrine and the shrine was full of smoke! so hello he smoked weed openly,they are documentaries showing his many wives and children so h.i.v was inevitable.
so abeg.

and i support naija music to the fullest!most music is gd and u have to look beyond the catchiness of a song to understand it.
Good job Banky,i h8 ignorant sh*t. X

Awa Music Map said...

Wow,

I got linked here from Nigeriancuriosity.com. I know some of your music but I didn't know your blog. I completely agree with everything you said and it is so well written.

Take Care (I'm so subscribing)
Nogo xx

Anonymous said...

Banky W. You just got yourself another fan. This is what happens when men think. I quite agree with you on all points but you need to agree that the lyrics of our music needs to be worked on. Tx Man. you are good.

Just...Toluwa said...

gosh, i got goose bumps reading this. awesome reply!

Anonymous said...

Even without assimilating the content of your rebuttal, the eloquence with which you stated your position is enough to show that this generation of Nigerians is more than a bunch of half-naked girls and guys who sag their jeans as suggested in Abati's biased article. The fact that he quoted random lyrics out of context like he did with "La gi mo" shows that the man had an axe to grind and completely lost his objectivity in doing so.

I really really really hope this is given exposure by the same newspaper that published such calumny against our generation in the first place and the self-righteous writer who wrote us off so quickly. Even if it isn't, we don't care cos you are AMAZING! :)

Tisha said...

12-196 comments
now 197
i guess the youths said it all
we are here to stay

banky W, you rock!
and all the other artistes

including moi, we are growing and with the response gotten, its obvious that the youths are not keeping quiet.

Splash said...

hmmm, quite a response from you & followers.

i quite understand where Mr. Abati is coming from. just his delivery wasn't so cool.

"yet artistes have risen like the Roses that grow from Concrete..."

while picking up his 2009 BET award, T-Pain thanked the haters cuz it was bcuz of them that he worked hard to prove them wrong.

you have to move with the times but still maintaining decency. you can correct and guide but not cut people.

Christy Essien Ibokwe sang a song with her son. that is a woman with wisdom. she understands that music binds all generations together. Look at Michael.

James Brown had a lot of respect for Michael Jackson and these guys come from different generations.

Nigeria Music said...

This was well spoken. Nigeria and music must progress. I put together a collection of banky w videos at http://www.nigeriamusicmovement.com/index.php/banky-w-playlist-youtube

o.uzamere said...

I think every point made by Banky W was well made. Nothing disrespectful.
Mr. Abati shud be put on the spot like he has been so that the cold water douses his (apparent) lack of objectivity. It was absolutely necessary, as he is so influential as a writer.
His article was not a "musings of an older generation" rather, a cry, "where did we go wrong with our children??" simply because he doesn't understand how we think and what obtains in our generation. It's the same things many of our parents did/do until they understand us. A simple conversation with five young people would have helped.

Also,re: the statements about Abami Eda; Banky only said what we all already know. This was a man driven by his passions, like so many of us. There was nothing disrespectful in thatArticle to Fela or his legacy.

Good job man!

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