Nothing good comes easy they'll say; which leads us to the fact that everything has a disadvantage even with all the advantages it appears to have. The impacts of the #ENDSARS protests on the Nigerian music industry is huge.
The new movement against police brutality in Nigeria gained more weight when artists like Wizkid, Davido, Falz, Runtown, Small Doctor, Tiwa Savage, and others lent their voice either by joining or leading protests or by dropping thought-provoking tweets to motivate the protesters. These creatives have equally had their fair share of police brutality in Nigeria either directly or indirectly. Their fans, crew members, producers, video directors, etc has in one or the other been brutalized by our ill-trained police officers. The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has allegedly been involved in extortions, harassments, and ultimately claiming lives unlawfully.
Though the government claimed they have done away with the corrupt unit and set up a new one, Special Weapons, and Tactics Unit, the masses are still protesting. They accuse the government of playing games and changing the name of SARS to SWAT only to continue the wicked act carried out by the police.
While these protests are ongoing, many sectors of the economy have been hugely affected. Money has been lost but the Nigerian masses will prefer living in a more peaceful country than making all the money only to live at the mercy of police officers.
Here are the impacts of the #ENDSARS protests on the Nigerian music industry.
Short Term (Negative) Impacts
1. No trends / social media presence
Nothing is allowed to pop up on Twitter trends or Instagram explore page if it has nothing to do with the protests. No new dance or hit song has been seen in the music space in close to two weeks now.
2. No shows/concerts/ merchandise
Burna Boy's "Twice as Tall" album is due for a concert. His merchandise is most definitely on pause due to these protests. Anyone who tries to push his concert or show is trying to get on the nerves of his fans. Everyone just wants to see these artists protesting and attacking the government for bad governance and negligence.
3. Low streams
When the media is saturated with pressing issues like police brutality, fans barely have time to stream songs. The attention of the masses is heavily divided. Only END SARS playlists or songs are getting a little portion of the streams. This leads us to the next point.
4. No new projects or songs
Seeing that the attention of your fans have been drawn to protests and their cry for a better government, Wizkid, Reekado Banks, and Davido had to halt the release of their projects. Streaming platforms like audiomack, Boomplay, apple music, and the likes are lacking new materials from Nigeria's A-list credit to these protests. The impact is this huge!
Long Term (Positive) Impacts
1. No profiling
Hopefully, when this is all over, police will stop profiling popular and most especially up and coming artistes due to their hairstyle or tattoos.
2. No harassments and killings of fans returning from shows
Watching some Nigerians tell their experience with the police, you'll realize most fans feel discouraged to attend musical shows or concerts knowing fully well they could be harassed or illegally arrested by the Nigerian police force on their way home for simply dressing lit.
3. Better governance and ultimate reward respect for the creative industry
If or better put, when the demands of the Nigerian youths are granted by the government, musicians will be able to recoup all their lost funds knowing fully well that government policies will favour the industry.
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