One of Nigeria’s favorite musicians, Damini Ogulu, the person you call Burna Boy, was just nominated for the Grammy Awards for Best World Music and it instantly left the rest of Africa congratulating the maestro whose blow up in the last one year has been meteoric. A lot of questions were also raised like, “if he wins it, will he be on stage or go to the bathroom to pee moments to the award presentation?” Some others made claims about his success being as a result of his relationship with the British rapper, Stefflon don.
Whatever the case may be, Burna Boy whose African Giant album has given Nigeria one of its most celebrated Grammy nominations came against the backdrop of his harsh withdrawal from the African Unite Concert in Cape Town, South Africa. Burna has since thanked legends who came before him, including Fela, Tubaba etc for making the way, while appreciating his fans for their steadfastness.
However, is that all there is to know? Here are 5 things you may have never known about Burna’s nomination.
- Looks like if Burna wins, he may not be on stage to get the award. You know what, the award for the category over the years have always been given backstage. Would this bring another controversy in the ilk of his ‘small letter-African giant’ steer-up during the Coachella announcement? From the Coachella incidence to the South Africa alleged xenophobia outburst, he always airs his views and stands closely with his fans and himself. Will he make a scene if he wins the award and is given the award at the back of the stage?
- Burna’s mummy never danced for Fela. As opposed to speculations on social media that Mama Burna as she is widely known was one of Nigeria’s musical legend’s dancer, she was infact an established academic and double Masters Degree holder in Languages and Translation– her last job being a lecturer at Uniport. However, the way she easily slotted into the entertainment world, taking her son to greater height in the industry made it look like she had an edge no one was seeing. Some have suggested that concentrating her managerial ingenuity on her son would be a big disservice to the industry—she should take over more artists and make them world class.
- Burna’s nomination came hours after Aka pushed for the cancellation of the African Unite concert. Well, it looks like the saying, “I will make a table for you in the front of your enemies, “may be true. Remember that AKA, the South African Hip Hop Star earlier called Burna Boy out in the wake of the xenophobic attack in South Africa, against the rest of Africa. Aka ever since then has struggled with the PR backlash and has at some points, sued for peace stating that Nigeria and South Africa are too friendly to become enemies.
- People really think Stefflondon is somehow behind Burna Boy’s success. From 2010s and after he released Like to Party, his hit song akin to Davido’s debut, Dami Duro, Burna has announced himself as indefatigable and unique. While some people think there is something about women being a magnet for good luck, in line with the saying, ‘behind every successful man is a woman’, the woman in this question may as well be Mama Burna. However, nothing gives the right environment for hard work and success like a mental state that is at peace. Nothing can mess up one’s mental space like a love affair gone wrong. Connect the dots.
- Burna Boy uses a lot of Fela’s beats and very much references him too. One wouldn’t know if the Kuti family get all the coins for how many times Burna Boy uses a knockoff of Fela’s beat but if they do or did, that would be a lot of money. Burna Boy’s entire body of work is almost likely inspired by Fela’s body of work and legacy, and the Rivers State born has never denied it. Infact, in one of his hay days, he wore some nice white undies on stage with some decorations off white chalks, reminiscent of who Fela was and is, in the mind of Nigerians and the world.
Burna Boy has been nominated for his album, African Giant and the rest of the continent stands with him. Notably is the fact however, that the African veteran, Angelique Kidjo was nominated for a possibly 4th Grammy alongside Trevor Noah who is nominated for the Best comedy Album.