The COVID-19 outbreak without a doubt has hurt the pockets of Nigerians. Many friends and family members have shared how former domestic staff, distant relatives they have not spoken to in about five years have called or sent texts to appeal for a private bailout/funds to buy food to feed their families – no thanks to the lockdown. The pain is real and even your favorite artists in the Nigerian music scene are not excluded as shows have been cancelled and all social engagement grounded to a sad halt. However, the loss of money and negativity brought about by the pandemic has not stopped Nigerian artists from helping others in need during these difficult times.
In my previous article, I have highlighted the works from private sector companies on their response to the coronavirus in Nigeria. While we must not downplay the work from the private sector, we must also take a look at public figures within the music industry, who have taken a stand to fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
One artist comes to mind when talking about public figures within the Nigerian music industry fighting against COVID-19. His name is Davido. The artist recently released the music video for the critically acclaimed song, Dolce & Gabbana (D&G), featuring American R&B singer, Summer Walker. The song featured on his second studio album, a good time, which released in November of 2019.
According to Variety.com, The Dolce & Gabbana crooner has vowed to donate the proceeds from the music video towards Dolce & Gabbana Coronavirus research fund. In addition to this, the source further states that Davido, who hails from the wealthy Adeleke family, has already donated a total of $1.3 million to aid in the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria, as well as an additional $617,000 worth of rice to people in his native Osun state.
Popular soul singer, Asa, has also contributed her two cents in helping people during this time. According to CNN, the singer took to her Instagram page, sharing a fun video of her singing and encouraging people to wash their hands appropriately and sneeze in their elbows. Gospel artist, Abolaji Banjoko, popularly known as Beejay Sax also took the virtual route, as he appeared in a live videostream, playing his instrument for patients at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) in Yaba and the Onikan Isolation Center, during the easter weekend.
Mad over you crooner, Runtown, joined in to offer assistance to fellow Nigerians affected by the stay at home orders from the government. According to Legit.ng, the singer donated a total sum of N10 million as a relief fund.
Fans and supporters of his took to twitter to express their gratitude for Runtown’s generosity. They also shared screenshots confirming the money sent to them by the singer. The artist did take time to respond to the people on Twitter as he urged them to stay safe.
Other artists like 2Baba have worked with brands to bring awareness to COVID-19 in Nigeria. His recent virtual concert on April 12 via Instagram live was made possible through a partnership with Trophy Extra Special Stout.
The objective of the e-concert was to raise awareness on the importance of social distancing during these critical times. In addition, he also pledged a total of N10 million in donations to the Nigerian government for relieving the current situation.
The coronavirus still leaves people very uncertain of the future; however, it is satisfying to know that there are people out there who are trying their best to help workers who have lost money during this period.
Written by Paul Olele