Dear Oyebanjo, Dapo Daniel AKA D’Banj,
I am seated at a local restaurant here at the university town of Nsukka, in Enugu State, Nigeria, drinking a bottle of Fayrouz and listening to the sound of the generator, which is the only source of electricity around here.
I have watched your latest music video. I went through the rigour last night. It is the video of the song entitled “Don’t Tell Me Nonsense” and it was awfully disgusting, the song, I mean. Kaffy and the rest of the dancers didn’t disappoint in the video.
This is bad, I know, using awful and disgusting, in same sentence. But that is what I feel about what I saw. Brother, D’Banj, a lot has changed since you left your brother and hustle partner, Ajereh, Michael Collins AKA Don Jazzy. Truth. Your songs have been nothing but trash. I wonder if anyone has said anything nice to you since you started making songs outside Don Jazzy. If they have, it must have been for that singular hit song entitled ‘Oliver Twist.’ Kai! That song swept through Nigeria and the rest of the world. You would not believe that the ordinary child on the streets of Nsukka knows the lyrics of that song and the dance steps too.
In Nigeria, there are plenty factors that weigh us down. One is our inability to manage our weaknesses. I see you have been buying yourself expensive jewelleries. The other day, I saw on Olorisupergal’s blog that you wear a wristwatch worth my entire family and maybe inheritance. I commend your taste. You are a lucky and hardworking man. You deserve it, besides; ‘Oliver Twist’ made marks. It took the Nigerian music to a height that had never been seen in recent times. Its toping charts, downloads, Youtube views and itunes purchases are amongst the few things I can mention.
Dear, D’Banj, Don Jazzy may not be an ideal partner, I bet you, no one is an ideal partner! Perfect couples quarrel and make up. It is the joy of having such union. I believe misunderstanding is part of us, as humans. I will run to the zoo the day I see a union that agrees on almost everything.
Back to your music, I feel Don Jazzy was made to make good music with you. He may not only be your producer, but whatever input, from advice, to production, will go a long way. Besides, he has been miserable too, without you. I have seen his eyes in music videos. There is one he did with Tiwa Savage. Ah, Tiwa. She looked dazzling, while Don Jazzy looked wanting and dispirited. Tiwa may have a perfect voice but Don Jazzy has not been able to achieve what he did with you. The other boys, K-Switch, Wande Coal and the goody bag crooner, D’Prince are unfortunate learners. They must be stark illiterates to have taken sides when you guys parted. I understand their ignorance. But my concern here is, if you wish to stay relevant in the sight of Nigerians, making good music, and not caressing a stripper on stage on your birthday, then you have to make amends with Don Jazzy and understand that people argue because they are beneficial to themselves. Only dummies agree on everything.
I think tribalism had a lot to play in your split. It is a sad reality, if I am right. Tribalism will eventually destroy Nigeria. Our young people think they belong to a superior tribe and so make silly comments which sometimes bring about misconception and then crisis. I once had a boss, who is Igbo, who felt my tribe’s men were lazy, just because she came to my state and saw a job and was privileged to be a high ranking staff. I have had people who think those from the north should be gatekeepers and cobblers. Someone called me a militant once in Abuja, at the Sheraton, when he discovered I was from the Niger-Delta. I forgave his gross stupidity. I think we should drink a cup of water when ignorant people say rubbish about our personalities or flaws and relate it to tribe.
You are a great young man, D’Banj. Few people have attained the height you have. I am encouraged to pursue what I am currently pursuing because I know I will triumph. Your likes and that of 2Face Idibia, despite your weaknesses are heroes. And you must recall that Kanye West met you because he had heard good stuff from you. When nothing good manifests, he may be forced to give you a new job description at Good Music, which may be mopping of the floor of the studio. This evil will not befall you. If you believe it, type amen.
D’Banj, pride is the worst enemy of any man who wishes to last longer anywhere. A drop of arrogance may work, but pride is detrimental. You were called the ‘entertainer’ because you offered entertainment. Today, Inyanya, Kcee, Flavour, Wizkid and Davido are doing better. Imagine Burna-Boy, chai, that boy has some senses oh. His music, even when he is talking nonsense makes you want to sit and listen or dance to it, as the case may be. The only person that is yet to outshine you is my dearest sister, Tontolet Dike. That girl needs Jesus.
I have to go back to my drink. I paid for it and it is almost missing me. I enjoy your struggle or hustle, as you may choose to call it. I wish to hear something profound from you. While awaiting that miracle that only you can perform, I wish you the very best of life.
Nwilo bura-Bari Vincent