Let’s Talk Sexist In Nigerian’s Music Industry – By Abigail Ocheibi


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Let's Talk Sexist In Nigerian's Music Industry - By Abigail Ocheibi

One of the major setbacks of female artistes in Nigeria is sexist; being boxed and grouped as ‘sub’ in most categories. What is worse?…we don’t talk about it.

If good music is basically defined by good lyrics, sound, creativity and originality among other considerations, should sexist be a part of it?

While this is a global issue, it is gradually limiting the creativity and the strength of women who are into music especially in Nigeria.

Generally, an artiste is a professional entertainer, especially a singer or dancer.

Obviously, being a professional music act actually has nothing to do with being a man or woman.

In Nigeria particularly, women who are into music are usual referred to as “female singers, rappers or artistes.” Should we have such terms used on the males? Say “Male singer, male rapper or male artiste”, doesn’t that sound odd? Exactly!

This trend has not only grouped these talented women as inferior amidst their male counterparts, they are often being discriminated against.

Arguably the biggest music award in Nigeria, Headies Awards for the first time in history, had a ‘female’ act on their “Artiste of the year” category in 2019. Why did it take them that long you may ask even when some of the women in the industry are doing way better than the male folks on every ground?

In the time past, this sexist issue had held lots of great Nigerian women from breaking out international unlike their male counterparts.

Even in terms or endorsements and other gigs, the men were always considered better and were the ones avail with such opportunities.

This has prompted a couple of top “female artistes” in Nigeria including Tiwa Savage and Waje to kick against the trend saying that good music should be defined by a lot of things but gender should not be one of them.

In an interview with NotJustOk, Tiwa had this to say about being considered as a female artiste:

“I didn’t want to see it so much as that. I just wanted to try and break [away] from that ‘only female’ or one of the ‘best female’. I just wanted to be considered to be one of the best artistes, period.”

Tiwa Savage, Photo Credit; Roc Nation
Tiwa Savage, Photo Credit; Roc Nation

Similarly, Waje talked about gender inequality in the music industry in Nigeria in an interview with ThisBankole in 2019. She said:

“When you talk about gender equality people think what you’re trying to preach is “what a man can do a woman can do better” but that is not really the message, the message is every woman is great and has potential to add value to her society which even makes it easier and more convenient for the opposite sex. Men need to understand that empowering women is not a threat.”

Waje. Photo Credit: Bella Naija
Waje. Photo Credit: Bella Naija

Therefore, both men and women who are into this business need to be treated equally and be judged based on the content of their music and never gender.

What is funny is the fact that some these women are even more talented than some of y’all favourite male artistes. Yes, read that again. You are welcome!


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