The Ban NBC Can’t Enforce


As a regulatory body, the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission can’t enforce the bans it has imposed on certain musical videos that contain sexual messages

|  By Ishaya Ibrahim  |  Mar. 4, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT


SHE happily chorused the new song in town “All I want is your waist” as she ran an errand for her mother. But she had no idea what she was singing until another passerby asked her: “Is that what you want”? It was then the impact of what she was singing struck her. Elizabeth Segun, replied the passerby that she wasn’t thinking of that. In fact, she said she was actually oblivious of the import of the lyrics.

Over the years, the Nigerian music industry has become inundated with such lyrics, laden with sexual messages. To check the influence of this trend, the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission, NBC, recently banned some musical videos of artistes including Psquare, Wande Coal, Timaya, Flavour and D’Prince. The others were those of late Goldie, Chuddy K and Tillaman. The videos were banned for containing erotic lyrics and scenes, promoting nudity and for showcasing what the NBC described as “suggestive dance steps.”

 The offending videos, according to the commission, were Psquare’s “Alingo,” Wande Coal’s “Go low,” Timaya’s “Bum bum,” Flavour’s “Shake” and D’Prince’s “Take Banana.” Also, Goldie’s “Ski bobo” and Chuddy K’s “Brazilian Hair.” They came under NBC’s axe for featuring minors and exposing them to indecent dance steps. Tillaman’s  “Koma Roll” was also banned.


But the ban on the videos appears to have produced an unintended effect by making them even more popular on social network video sites.  For instance, the Psquare “Alingo” video which recorded about 150,000 views on youtube before the ban now has a staggering 2.6 million views. The same with D’prince “Take Banana” which had an average of 25,000 views on youtube as at the time of the ban, now records more than 150,000 views.

Alex Byanyiko, a newscaster and music producer, said Nigerian artistes are simply using nudity and erotic lyrics to sell their music. He said it is a shame that such works of art like music would be reduced to pornography in disguise for the sake of money. “Music should make people better. That is the work of artistes because they are gifted with creativity to make people happy and better at the same time”, he said.

Late Goldie
Late Goldie

But the artistes, whose songs were banned, appear not even remorseful of their acts. For instance, Bayo Adetu, publicist for Psquare, has described the ban as unnecessary and unjustifiable. As far as Adetu is concerned, there is nothing wrong with the video of his client to warrant ban.

But this is not the first time the NBC has banned songs with erotic lyrics. The commission had banned the song of Femi Kuti titled ‘Bang Bang Bang’ from the air waves because of its erotic lyrics. Ironically, the ban made it even more popular.

If the ban stays, the consolation for the artistes is that the NBC does not regulate what is broadcast on cable channels such as MTV Base, Soundcity, Trace and Channel O, as well as the Internet platforms like Youtube and Vimeo.

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