News Brief

Did the Nigerian Government Ban Songs By Davido, Olamide & Others?

There's been reports going around that that five songs by Davido, 9ice and Olamide have been banned in Nigeria.

There's been reports going around that that five songs by Davido, 9ice and Olamide have been banned in Nigeria.


Statements from the National Broadcasting Commission and the country’s Ministry of Health, however, have denied any such ban as widely circulated on social media over the past few days.

“Wo” by Olamide, whose video depicts smoking in public spaces, drew attention from the health ministry, while those said to contain indecent language or lifestyle include Olamide's “Wavy Levels,” Davido's “Fall” and the remix of “If” with R Kelly and “Living Things” by 9ice.

Responding to the news, Olamide claimed to have “no intentions of promoting tobacco to get my people killed.” That statement drew a reply from the ministry who insisted, “we are in the business of public health promotion. It is not in our mandate to ban music,” following a “clear the air” phone conversations between both parties.

The NBC’s head of public affairs, in statements to Nigerian news outlets, denied any such ban. “We only insist that broadcasters exercise a sense of responsibility in the kind of content they allow to go on air,” also stressing that “it is also possible that one of our regional offices advised stations under their jurisdiction about these songs and it is now being misinterpreted as a ban.”

Any such ban, if implemented, could only be restricted to regulated stations, and not at public functions where they will be near impossible to monitor.

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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