On the occasion of this year’s World Music Day, a cross section of Nigerians want players in the arts and entertainment industry to uphold creativity, originality, ethics and the rich cultural heritage of the nation. This they said will advance the key sub-sector of the nation’s economy. It was the ancient Creeks that said, “if sports is for the body, then music is for the soul”.
There is no doubt that music played and is still playing vital role in the socio-economic and political transformation of not just the country but the entire black Africa and world civilization. Music in the country predates the colonial era, as the various ethnic groups in the country have their distinct cultural music. However music assumed greater social responsibility in the country during post colonial years, serving as vehicle for conveying feelings, aspirations and yearnings of Nigerians.
Notable musicians during this period such as Victor Abimbola, King Sunny Ade, Dan Mara Yos, Osita Osadebe, Sir Victor Uwaifo, Oliver de Coque, Jim Rex Lawson, Mike Ejeagha, Celestine Ukwu, Nelly Uchendu, Sony Okosun were truly seen not just as mere musicians but philosophers, who with their music touched lives positively and made government of the day to reflect on their policies.
What was the defining character of this period, what made music of this period appeal to old and young people and why was this time fondly referred to as the golden era of the nation’s Music industry, the Governor, Practicing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) Enugu State Chapter, Mr. Emma Agu explained that music helped to improve the economy.
However, a Composer and Artiste of contemporary music, Mr. Slium Brown in his submission noted that market trend played significant role in choice of today’s music especially the content and rhythm. Mr. Brown said that this market appeal is dominated by youths with thirst for flamboyance and flashy materials.
Other Nigerians interviewed including the Director General, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization, Doctor Ferdinand Anikwe were of the opinion that guiding principle for musicians in the country should among other things include creativity, originality, ethics and music that show case the nation’s rich cultural heritage. These they said would make the nation’s music industry contribute more meaningfully to the nation’s economy.