Oct 2, 2010

Timaya and the Niger Delta Problem

Timaya the Bayelsa born Nigerian afro-ragga musician is not among the multitudes of artistes that have remained behind the veil. He is one of the spectacular colors in the spectrum of the Nigerian musicians. His second album, gift and grace, has consolidated this.

Musicians use certain tokens to become conspicuous and relevant. For Timaya these qualities have become more evident in gift and grace. The album reveals the complete maturity and confidence of the artiste. The greatest revelation of the album for which the artiste remains the sole beneficiary however, is that Timaya can now be regarded as the greatest Lyricists in Nigeria. If the rating of the lyrics of a song can be done on a scale of five stars, his lyrics by Nigerian standard could be said to be excellent. Good lyrics should not be there for the sheer sake of filling the space but should have meaning, evoke thought and be sensational and entertaining. By the current album, the artiste can boast of these.

Political leaders, particularly in Nigeria, often have little or no business at all with musicians. While they see themselves at one end of the social range, they see musicians at the far side. Musicians however, can change the course of history. Prominent musicians anywhere, constitute strong voices that can sway the opinion of the people in favor or against constituted authorities.

The Niger Delta is the home of militants that have been fighting for self determination. Bayelsa state is the most turbulent of all states in the region. The people of Bayelsa fortunately, see Timaya as a hero that has made them proud.

Gift and grace turned out to be that album that opened the heart of the artiste regarding his side on the topic of the Niger Delta struggle. This could be heard in the song if to say which means ‘if I were..’ The relevant lines in the song went thus: if to say a be country, I go become Nigeria. Nigeria na my country, Bayelsa na my state. If to say a be Vice President I go become Goodluck Jonathan. If to say a be freedom fighter I go become Asari Dokubo. If to say I be militant I go become…. (blank). If to say a be NLC President I go become Adam Oshiomole.
On the basis of that song alone, the opinion of the loudest voice from the Niger Delta regarding the future of the region is now clear: Nigeria is his country and Bayelsa is his state. If he were to be a Vice President, he would have preferred to be Goodluck Jonathan the current Vice President who supports a united Nigeria. If he were a freedom fighter, he would have preferred to be Asari Dokubo, the first major militant leader from the Niger delta who gave the nation serious headache but who later reconciled with the nation and now advises other militants to do same. It is up to the Nigerian Government to know how to take advantage of Timaya and have an edge over the militants

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