Nigerian rapper Falz recently put out a video “This is Nigeria”– a remake of Childish Gambino’s “This is America”. The rapper and the video of the song has been a topic of controversy ever since, including being called out by an Islamic group named, “The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)”.
The Islamic group, apparently, claimed that the singer disrespected their religion, and as thus, threatened to sue the singer.
While addressing the issue, Falz referred to their claim as baseless.In an exclusive chat with Ademola Olonilua of Punch, Falz said he addressed various issues in the country, including vices of some pastors, yet no Christian has come out to call the video hate video.
“I think it is very clear what that scene represented in the video. The message is very clear because the girls there symbolise the constant issues and troubles that face the innocent girl child in Nigeria, especially in the northern part of Nigeria. They have been victims of kidnappings and we have the case of the Chibok girls and recently the Dapchi girls. Till date, most of the Chibok girls have not been found while a Dapchi girl is still held captive. That is what those girls symbolise. I feel everyone got the message and it is absurd that a group of people like MURIC alleged that it is a hate video. I do not think that makes sense in any way because in the same video, I spoke about other issues like insecurity, corruption, and I even talked about pastors. No Christian has come out to say that it is a hate video; so what is MURIC talking about? I do not really understand them.”
Speaking on why he made the politically inclined video, Falz said:
“When I saw the Childish Gambino version, I liked the idea because I felt it was a very creative way to tell the American story especially as regards the political and social space over there. One day, I was listening to the song again and I got the idea of doing a remake of it from my own perspective as a Nigerian; so I decided to go for it.I wanted it to be equally as powerful as the Childish Gambino’s version so that it would resonate in our political and social space as well. Within about five days after recording the audio, I shot the video.”
However, in a statement on Sunday, MURIC Director, Prof Ishaq Akintola, said in deference to pleas made by well-meaning Nigerians, it resolved to drag the artiste to government agencies saddled with the responsibility of censoring films and videos.
“It is not a U-turn but a sudden change in tactics”, the body said, adding that, “This will have a more enduring impact not only on Falz but the entire entertainment industry. It will also make the agencies sit up to their responsibilities and inject a huge dose of discipline in the music and film industries in general,” he said.