Fela’s album covers’ designer says most Nigeria’s contemporary music evasive of societal realities
A veteran artist, Lemi Ghariokwu, has condemned the lyrical
contents of most Nigerian music which he says are very
evasive of the realities in our society.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in
Lagos that poor and shallow lyrical contents were the
banes of contemporary Nigerian music.
Ghariokwu, a graphic designer, designed 29 out of 56
covers of the musical albums produced by Fela Anikulapo.
He said, “Arts; be it music, creative, visual, performing arts,
theatre, among others are supposed to play a role in
shaping any society philosophically.
“Artists are expected to express whatever they see or
observe to be happening in the society and proffer solutions
to them if they are bad, commend them if they are.
“Folarin Falana, popularly known as “Falz’’ has rich lyrical
contents of happenings in the society. His songs are
addressing issues affecting the society.’’
Ghariokwu, however, said that the lyrical contents of most
Nigeria’s music were about materialism, bum bum, money,
buy big house and cars.
“Some musicians only plan is how they will credit the bank
accounts of their girl friends with huge sums of money.
“It is a very bad moral standard when we are talking about
fighting corruption in the society.
“ Some of Fela’s records were waxed over 30 years ago
and they are still relevant and evergreen till date because
they were philosophical and rich in contents.
“Most records being produced by most of our budding
artists may not be evergreen in about 30 years time,’’ he
He wondered whether grandchildren of musicians seeing
their grandfathers leading reckless lives would agree that
the country was only a bed of thorns without roses.
“They are borrowing other cultures: Americans to be
precise, especially, African Americans.
“We Africans have to be proud and promote our cultures,
our colonial masters don’t want us to liberate ourselves
“If a president of a country and some other important
personalities from other countries could visit the Afrikan
Shrine, it means Fela did something good.
He reminded Africans that they should develop and promote
their cultures saying nobody would help them to do that.
He stressed the need for the up-and-coming ones to face
realities, play genuine music based on happenings in the
The graphic artist said that some musicians were surviving
from the fantasy music they played.
“They are not helping society. At the end of the day, they
will make the leaders to be ignorant of what the society is
facing,’’ he said.
Ghariokwu said that he was happy with the trend of events
because people had cultivated the habit of listening to the
genre of music that Fela started during his life time.