sat 28/03/2020

Nneka, ULU | reviews, news & interviews

Nneka, ULU

Nneka, ULU

The new musical voice of Nigeria knows how to get her message across

Nneka: 'pop stardom beckons whether she likes it or not'
Many hip-hop artists go on about “respect” ad nauseam, but perhaps you need to be outside the Western consumerist bubble before such language can be turned from mere solipsistic hot air into a heartfelt plea on behalf of a continent. May I point you in the direction of a YouTube clip in which a surprisingly camera-shy Nneka shares a Nigerian proverb with the interviewer: “One day the bushmeat go catch the hunter,” she says in pidgin English. In other words, one day the prey of the hunter will catch the hunter. This proverb’s specific resonance to Nneka is only hinted at by the twinkle in her eye and the way she playfully wags her finger. But it illustrates the fact that this young German-Nigerian singer-songwriter knows that you don’t get your message across by ramming it down people’s throats.

Many hip-hop artists go on about “respect” ad nauseam, but perhaps you need to be outside the Western consumerist bubble before such language can be turned from mere solipsistic hot air into a heartfelt plea on behalf of a continent. May I point you in the direction of a YouTube clip in which a surprisingly camera-shy Nneka shares a Nigerian proverb with the interviewer: “One day the bushmeat go catch the hunter,” she says in pidgin English. In other words, one day the prey of the hunter will catch the hunter. This proverb’s specific resonance to Nneka is only hinted at by the twinkle in her eye and the way she playfully wags her finger. But it illustrates the fact that this young German-Nigerian singer-songwriter knows that you don’t get your message across by ramming it down people’s throats.

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