Kizz Daniel’s #FvckYouChallenge: What Happened To Our Senses?

Kizz Daniel

When Kiss Daniel made the decision to release a new single unburdening his heart about a lady who cheated on him, he never could have envisaged that it would get to this point.

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Placing demands on the public, the singer requested more people to make DIY versions of the song, and it opened the floodgate for what is now the #fvckyouchallenge. What haven’t we seen and heard because of this decision? A respected business owner has threatened to drop names of the obstinate debtors of his defunct nightclub business. Ladies have jumped on it detailing how their love interests played them a bad hand. I watched a challenge where a guy was attacked for his inconsistent libido.

She compared his sexual performance to the inconsistent power supply that has plagued Nigeria since Lord Lugard conceived this nation.

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For many guys, it’s open season on all the women that have bruised their ego and rejected their advances. Flip through the hashtag, and you would find men recording lyrics that push past the realm of light banter, into the darker lands of slut-shaming and more. For others, their bosses are the target.

Salaries have been owed, careers jettisoned, and morals eroded. All of these are coming to light because someone created an avenue for release.

The culture of silence in Nigeria is the reason for this outburst. People are protesting. Nigerians are a repressed people. We are tasked and conditioned from infancy to put a leash on our tongue and hold on to our most confrontational thoughts and emotions.

As children, your parents, teachers, and pretty much every other adult around you put a premium on your silence and acceptance of whatever they threw at you.

In our adulthood, what we have taken that behaviour and applied it in every sphere of our lives. We don’t only keep our expressions stunted; we are active perpetrators of the system, demanding the same emotional stiltedness and voicelessness from everyone around us. The lucky people among us, who either didn’t grow up in this culture, or have unlearned the habit, are usually tagged troublemakers for being expressive and blunt.

In the music industry, this silence is the loudest. The entire scene is built around interpersonal relationships and reputation. Graces and professional favours are tools of patronage which are highly sought after. An outspoken person is tagged a ‘troublemaker’, and people tend to steer clear of them.

That’s how this silence is enforced, and there’s a lot of pent-up darkness just lingering beneath the surface. When people generally say “The music industry is filled with fake people,” they are referring to this culture that engenders the lack of free speech.

But thanks to Kiss Daniel, people are finding new ways to say their deepest thoughts. A lot of it is

unsavoury.

Singers Seyi Shay and Victoria Kimani are leading the pack right now because they bit too hard and took shots at Tiwa Savage. Kimani, a Kenyan artist who attempted to fly while being signed to Chocolate City, but failed to spark, accused Ycee of stealing her lyrics and not paying her for it.

At Tiwa Savage, she age-shamed and slut-shamed her, accusing her of blocking her success. Kimani’s friend, Seyi Shay, jumped in with glee, first in Kimani’s comment section, and then with a video of hers. She insinuates that Tiwa Savage owes Escape, among other things.

This isn’t new. Tiwa Savage, who is arguably Nigeria’s most prominent woman in music, has had a long history of dealing with people taking shots. She has publicly had to field attacks from her colleagues, with the most public episodes coming from the women in the industry. Yemi Alade once body-shamed her for her butt or perceived lack of it. And now this.

Away from the reactions that have been very supportive of Tiwa Savage, the bigger question here is “why always Tiwa Savage?”

Answers to that lie beyond the usual response of “she is the biggest artist; they have to take shots at her for relevance.” It goes beyond rivalry and the quest | the little fish to topple her from her top spot. It goes beyond the trope of “women never support each other,” because men do this too. Women beef. Men beef.

But why people are scandalised when popular women have a public disagreement is because their numbers are minute the highest level. Why pursue division when collaboration would ensure that everyone eats better? That level of bile is beyond the music alone. It isn’t a sport. Slut-shaming is personal.

There’s a lot more beyond what the industry offers on face value. And sometimes it slips out. Victoria Kimani and Seyi Shay have a lot of support for their efforts. I have counted popular names clapping in the comment section, and approving of this behaviour. Perhaps one day, there might be some clarity for everyone involved.

But for now, Kiss Daniel is empowering people to state their truth. Singing your grievances against anyone isn’t the most grown-up thing to do. But we are in the music industry. Common sense and reasoning come second to entertainment and the quest for clout. Everything is game here; you just need a level of desperation, mixed with a little conviction to air your laundry without washing it.

The fans are happy, abi? What about you? Wetin you gain?

The most obvious winner here still remains Kiss Daniel. The last time a piece of content actively engaged people at this level, we enjoyed Olamide’s “Who u epp?” That’s where this idea obviously came from; crowdsourcing promotion | offering everyone the chance to get some shine and publicity with random versions of the same song. Lightning is striking twice in the music industry.

Crowdsourcing as a form of marketing is winning again as a strategy. You think you have seen the worst? Wait until this ends. Everyone who can make music will have a challenge to their name.

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Written | Joey Akan for TheGuardian

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