The #TECNOOwnTheStage karaoke competition is in its very first season and aims to discover Africa’s first karaoke television sensation. The show which has talents from Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania is however throwing up some unexpected surprises as regards the performances of the contestants.
In Africa, Nigeria is known as the power house of music, movies and entertainment generally. It however seems to be the undoing of the Nigerian contestants as they seem to perform better with Nigerian songs than they do with songs by east and southern Africa musicians.
From the 4th episode of the show, it was evident that contestants from Kenya and Tanzania have a better grasp of Nigerian music than the Nigerian contestants do of theirs. This much was evident with the Kenyan duo of Sikin and Ramar254 who gave eclectic performances of Wizkid’s “Ojuelegba” and MI’s “African Rapper Number One” respectively.
Unfortunately, the Nigerians on the show could be seen struggling with songs by artists from other parts of Africa.
In Eastern and South Africa, Nigerian movies and songs are as popular as they go. It is said that Nigerian music is so well liked in East Africa that a radio station that claims to play “urban African music” has its play list made up of 95 percent Nigerian songs.
This perhaps is why representatives of Kenya and Nigeria on the show seem to have a better grasp of Nigerian songs than Nigerians have of theirs. More so, Nigerian music has been put on the worldwide stage and can be heard even in the far corners of the earth. You can go clubbing in Nigeria and all you’d hear till the end of the Night is strictly Nigerian music. Same goes for Nigerian radio stations who play Nigerian and American pop music all day but very few songs from other African countries.
How To Close The Gap
Nigerians are known for their “never say die” attitude and this would surely by brought to the show. So far, one of the Nigerian contestants, Shapeera Makepeace has exhibited the Nigeria spirit which has given her rave reviews from the judges and audience. She has given an excellent performance of all the songs she was given to perform.
The Nigerian contestants can do a lot to widen the gap by expanding their horizon. It is obviously not just a problem of the contestants but that of the average Nigerian. Nigerian Deejays, radio personalities and music buffs can do a lot to close the gap for the average Nigerian by playing songs from other parts of Africa. Doing this can help expose the average Nigerian to music from other parts of the continent. This is not to however play down the work of certain radio and television stations including Sound city TV which has been doing a lot in this regard.
Furthermore, East and South Africans have to put in a lot of effort into marketing their music in West Africa and the world at large if they have any hope of competing favorably with their contemporaries. Collaborating with music distribution channels in West Africa and other parts of the world would help in enhancing the spread of their music.
Nonetheless, the other Nigerian contestants must buckle up and get a grasp of music from the eastern part of the continent. This includes learning the language and lyrics in which the songs are delivered if there’s any hope of them coming out tops in the competition. The mental superiority Nigerians have ahead of other Africans should be brought to bear on the show and hopefully, they can turn the tide.