BusinessDay

Shatta-Burna Boy feud: Ajisebutu urges African artists to unite

Following recent rifts between Nigerian and Ghanian music artists, Ayo Manuel Ajisebutu, an entrepreneur and veteran musician, has called on older musicians across Africa, to help in promoting dialogue and rapport among younger African artists in view of uniting the continent.

Ajisebutu, also the convener of Africa Love Fest (a festival aimed at strengthening unity amongst Africans), called on Angélique Kidjo, Youssou N’Dour, King Sunny Ade, Onyeka Onwenu, Wouter Kellerman, Femi Kuti, amongst others to lend their voices in bridging the divide between young African artists.

He emphasised that African music and art is a powerful tool for social transformation, hence, it must be used as a tool to unify and not divide.

“I am concerned about the disunity among African artists and the hostile environment it seems to be creating as time goes by. These days, it’s either a Nigerian artist and a Ghanian artist can’t get along; or a South African artist and Benin Republic artist can’t get along, etc. This is a serious cause for concern because Afro music is one of Africa’s biggest exports.

“I believe it is time for the elders in the industry, across the entire continent, to pay attention to guiding these younger ones.”

Ajisebutu also spoke on the importance of mentoring African artists on creating quality lyrics rather than adopting and accepting dirty slurs.

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According to him, from Angélique Kidjo to King Sunny Ade, Onyeka Onwenu, Femi Kuti, Wouter Kellerman, Baaba Maal, Alpha Blondy, Salif Keita, Youssou N’Dour, Ebo Taylor, Oumou Sangaré, Akon, and others, a deliberate effort must be put to help bring all the younger ones together.

“We must seek to stand for the unity of African artists, regardless of nationality,” Ajisebutu stressed, noting that the elders could also act as peacemakers in these types of situations.

He lamented that he is bothered greatly to hear African artists use the word racial slurs like ‘nigger’ in their songs and such should not be accepted.

Ajisebutu, therefore, urged the elders not to let things get out of hand but rather help to guide younger artists in creating quality lyrics and images that promote African values.

“More importantly, as the proud owner of the last studio recording of Nigeria’s late master drummer, Babatunde Adetunji who was appointed cultural ambassador by Kwame Nkrumah, I owe it as a duty to him to promote cultural harmony amongst Africans like he would have done. I owe it as a duty to act as a cultural ambassador in promoting unity and love for our African culture as he did all his life.”

Ajisebutu is an entrepreneur, musician, activist, public speaker and the owner of the music record label MansMark Records. He is also the owner of A.Y.ZERO a streetwear clothing brand.

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