David Adeleke, a Nigerian Afropop singer better known as Davido, says police brutality in Nigeria is something the masses mostly face, not an experience common to wealthy people like him.
In a recent chat with UK Guardian, Davido spoke of the role of ‘Fem’, one of his hit singles, during a nationwide protest against operatives of the now-disbanded special antirobbery squad (SARS).
TheCable Lifestyle reported how #EndSARS protesters shushed Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos, with ‘Fem‘ (which means “shut up” in Pidgin English) after he pleaded with them to get off the streets of Alausa in Ikeja.
Commenting on this during the interview at his Banana Island home, Davido said: “It was crazy watching it. I never expected it would turn out as it did, but the song has an energy that spoke to people.”
On whether or not police brutality applies to the wealthy in the country, the 28-year-old added: “It’s not something we experience — it’s not the rich they’re doing this to. The masses, they’re the ones bearing it. It has to stop.
“Why should police be abusing people when they should be protecting them? It doesn’t make sense. You hear the atrocities these guys commit, it’s crazy. They should get justice, but look at what is happening.”
Davido, who recently released ‘A Better Time‘, also spoke of his driving force in showbiz. He noted that African creatives were often ridiculed in the past but are now globally sought after for their unique sounds.
“When we were kids, Africans were made fun of. When I was going to Nigeria for holidays people would joke, like ‘Africa, how are you getting there, by boat? But now they’re the ones coming here,” the singer said.
“Everyone wants what we bring to the table. When I first signed to Sony in 2016 that was kind of my aim, to get validation from the western world. I wanted plaques, and to go No 1 all over.
“Sometimes this pressure to make music that will be popular elsewhere makes you do things differently, but really you have to make the world come to you.
“My biggest single in the US is Fall, which I did by myself, not with all the features with US artists. It’s local, it’s Nigeria. You realise that’s what people in different parts of the world appreciate: being yourself.”
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