Since 2013, when he embraced music fully and professionally, Miebim Dappa has not looked back.
Although, a medical student at CATS College, Canterbury, United Kingdom, music however, remains his first love and best companion.
This 17 year-old budding talent, who just dropped the video of his wave-making single-Number One, is no doubt poised to take over the music scene, both at home and globally.
In this chat, the gifted crooner and emerging music star passionately spoke on how his sojourn in the nation’s highly competitive music industry began.
In the words of the soft spoken Afro Beat crooner, he actually started music with a friend in 2013.
“I didn’t see it as a big thing then and thought it was only something for my friends to listen to and enjoy. After a while though, I noticed a lot of people (family, friends, and acquaintances) began to appreciate my music, thus the idea popped into my head: Why not do this professionally and see how far it goes? And ever since, I have not looked back”, he disclosed amid smiles.
On why he sings only Afro Beat, Dappa stated that he opted for that genre of music, which was made popular by the late music legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, because that’s what is highly appreciated in Nigeria.
“Nigerians love Afro Beat so much and I have decided to satisfy their yearnings with more of it. However, I’ve also recorded a couple of songs. I just released a video for my latest single, Number One. It was directed by Paul Gambit and the acceptance is massive and encouraging so far. As for the next releases, we’ll just have to wait and see. My message, drive, and determination all combine to stand me out from the crowd”, posited the handsome entertainer.
Speaking further Dazzling Dappa, who looks up to famous musicians such as Wizkid, Davido, Olamide, Reekado Banks and a host of other young stars as role models, added that he is already combining music with his medical studies without any stress or clash of interest.
“I intend achieving my goals by setting my priorities right; simply by creating a balance between my academics and my passion (music).”
The entertainer, who has performed and thrilled music lovers at various events, including the DRB concert among others, stated that his projections as an artiste are to ensure his music is appreciated and spread far and wide, while showing his fans love.
On the issues of handling his female fans and shunning drugs, the football loving singer said:
“I love my female fans, mind you without them, there is no me; a big shout out to them! Sincerely speaking, I Miebim Dappa hates drugs and won’t partake in such; it’s all about discipline, family up-bringing and personal principles. Also, a big shout out to my parents! Let’s just say it’s all God’s doing. It wasn’t easy gaining their support, but with the help of my brother and aunt, and prayers, I was able to gain their support. Also, I assured them that music won’t affect my academics in any way, because for me, my academics is very important. So far, I haven’t disappointed my family and I pray I don’t, God helping me.”
Besides encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit among the Nigerian youth, focus should also be on ensuring that young Nigerians are well-trained in whatever discipline or professional calling they may chose, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
While noting the importance of entrepreneurship, Prof. Osinbajo said “we should emphasize training too, solid training. For whatever you are, you can be the best in it... Building the very best minds should be the focus.”
According to him, “if you are a graduate of history, you should be so well-trained to be the best historian,” the VP said during a research presentation to him by Course 24 Participants of the National Defence College.
“I think we should bear in mind also that even if you are not an entrepreneur, but you are competent in whatever your field of endeavour or whatever your discipline is, if you are well-trained in any type of profession, you are a major contributor to the GDP, you are a major contributor to the well being of the society,” the VP declared.
While commending the participants for their research titled “Youth Bulge in Nigeria: Implications for National Security,” Prof. Osinbajo added that government would “still continue to maintain focus on very good solid training so that whatever you are, you can contribute to the society.”
The presentation noted the significant youth population in the country could be turned into a positive engine for national growth through entrepreneurship. Captain O. A. Olodude, of the Nigerian Navy, who made the presentation on behalf of Course 24 participants stated that if the youth are not harnessed through schemes such as NYSC Entrepreneurial Scheme, training in agriculture, ICT and others, to tackle unemployment, they would affect the society negatively.
Earlier, the Commandant of the National Defence Collage and leader of the delegation, Rear Admiral Samuel Alade, said the Course 24 has 130 Participants 7 of which are from other countries including Niger, Republic of Benin, Ghana, Zambia and Sierra Leone. He revealed that the next course will have participants from Germany, Turkey, Brazil and India. He stated that in the 25 years of the Collage, this is the first research presentation of its kind. Vice President Osinbajo, who promised to send the recommendations of the research to relevant government agencies, has also been recognized with the Distinguished Personality Award of the National Defence Collage.
In another development, the Vice President received on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari a delegation from the government of Guinea Bissau led by Prime Minister Baciro Dja. The Prime Minister came as a Special Envoy of President Jose Mairo Vaz of Guinea Bissau to deliver a special message.
Vice President Osinbajo commended the government of Guinea Bissau for its constitutional and peaceful management of the country’s affairs noting that “at the end of the day the whole purpose of government is to help the people not to harm them in the process of political conflict."
The governor of Ekiti State,Ayo Fayose stated that the anti-corruption commission had shifted attention to the finances of Ekiti State after what he claimed to be the failure of the commission to link him with the diversion of arms funds at the NSA’s office under Dasuki.
Fayose, who spoke on Orange FM station in Akure, Ondo State, on Thursday, said the EFCC had started harassing banks in Ekiti State, seeking for records of government finances, on allegations that the contractors gave him (governor) kickbacks.
“They are on vendetta mission. They said I collected money from Dasuki and I have told them that I did not collect a dime from Dasuki. I have N300m in my fixed deposit account in Zenith Bank and I declared it in my Asset Declaration Form.
“I have challenged them to publish the statement made to the EFCC by Dasuki where he said he gave Senator Musiliu Obanikoro money to give me or where Obanikoro himself said he gave me money.’’
Fayose called for proper restructuring of the country in line with the report of the 2014 National Conference.
“Nigeria has not been properly structured and that’s why we are facing all these problems.
Remember it was those in power now that clamoured for restructuring when they were in opposition. Now that they have the federal powers and they are using the powers to oppress the people, they are against the restructuring of Nigeria,” he said.
I wrote a piece recently, a tribute to the late veteran actress Bukky Ajayi and the multi-instrumentalist OJB Jezreel, in which I raised a number of issues, including how in Nollywood today, there is an obsession with the whitening of skin, an anti-Negritude yellowing, what I referred to as “the bleaching, chameleon crowd of Nollywood beauties.”
The various reactions to the piece conveniently ignored this subject; two young ladies who felt that I was probing an unpopular theme drew my attention to this. I was reminded that being light-skinned is now the in-thing, indeed the socially acceptable norm, because there is now a universalization of the concept of beauty and self-esteem.
The more light-skinned you are, the more acceptable you are in various circumstances, that is. I thought if this was true, then it is a tragedy indeed for the black world. For, once upon a time in the history of the black race, being black was a thing of joy and an instrument of protest.
When Jesse Evans gave the black salute at the 1939 Olympics, after winning four gold medals, he was making a racially loaded statement about black pride and achievement. Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad, Muhammad Ali are key historical figures in the struggle for the black identity in the United States not to talk of various moments and efforts culminating in the Obama phenomenon eight years ago.
None of these historical figures would ever have contemplated a globalized notion of beauty and self-esteem, which superiorizes and imposes the idea of being white in 2016, and for same to be validated by blacks, living in the black world’s most populous country- Nigeria.
Closer home, the independence struggles across Africa were fuelled by ideas of racial pride, and indeed in the 1960s, the coalescing of that around the negritude movement projected confidence and faith in the black colour, the people’s culture and identity. To be added to this is the expressed faith that black people all over the world can contribute meaningfully and significantly to the march of human history.
Being black was nothing to be ashamed of. Cultural workers used their art and narratives to promote black culture.
Writers identified with their natal roots. James Ngugi for example, became Ngugi wa Thio’ngo. Albert Achebe dropped his Albert and became Chinua Achebe. Wole Soyinka argued that “a tiger does not proclaim its tigritude”; it should act and in his writings, he proved the point.
Black activists like W.E.B. DuBois left the United States and traced their roots to Africa. But today, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of that movement are turning back the hand of the clock.
They want to be white! They may in the long run constitute a minority, but artificial beauty is a growing trend among black people. I was once asked to buy Brazilian hair, during a trip to Brazil. I went dutifully to a shopping mall asking for Brazilian hair.
Nobody could figure out what I wanted. Brazilian hair is what a lot of Nigerian women wear, or attach to their natural hair to achieve the effect of a straight, Oyinbo-ish hair and to hide their own natural, curly hair. It took me two days of trying to buy Brazilian hair in Brazil before it occurred to me that Brazilian women are not likely to be selling Brazilian hair in their own country since in any case, every one of them is born with it.
But here in Nigeria, Brazilian hair is a big deal: it is one of those items a bridegroom must budget for, otherwise, no wedding and I understand, this could be in the range of N350, 000 per hair. The final cost could also be determined by the adopted style: normal leave-out, closure or frontal, all designed to create an artificial effect. Even the eyelashes you see on our ladies these days may not be real: eyeballs are replaced with contact lenses, and there is a new craze now called eyebrow wig: a wig on the eyebrow!
The new global culture of beauty has also imposed on our women what is called acrylic nails, or plastic nails. With those cat-like nails, women find it difficult to wear sanitary pads, jewellery, button their shirts, eat dollops of swallow with their hands, type on their phones or wash clothes and plates, and yet every young lady out there is wearing strange nails in the name of beauty.
Check out the faces too. Make up has been turned into such an art of deception; you could marry your ex-girlfriend and not know she is the one because she has changed colour, changed face and changed everything about her.
Make-up and making up are associated with success, but it is pure 419 as many may have discovered. Women talk about laying a foundation on their faces as if they are bricklayers, they also talk about contouring and highlighting the face to look different: the effect is that every ugly girl is contoured and highlighted to become a stunning beauty.
We are also in the age of breast implants, breast reconstruction, liposuction, pumping of bum-bum and lip lightening (there is cream method or peeling with machine!) and the use of body pads and slimming girdles and all kinds of borrowed gadgets to make a woman look prettier than she is.
The idea of the “African Queen” celebrated over the years, and more famously by Tu Face Idibia in a song of the same title has thus undergone a transformation.
Women and men (yes men also) in Africa’s most populous black nation, and quite a significant number, are all struggling to become either light-skinned or copy the Kadarshian/Kanye West effect. I have been made to understand that in Nollywood for example, dark-skinned actors and actresses are ignored by producers: they say they don’t look good on camera and that only light skinned actors sell movies.
So, there is a marketing side to it but it must be crazy if true. Celebrities are also expected to be glamorous all the time. This is why public figures don’t step out of their homes or take pictures unless they are properly made up. And to worsen the story, I am told you need to look clean, and fresh to be considered successful and the black colour does not project success.
Here we are confronted with many men and women who are bleaching their skins, to look fresh and successful. The prostitution angle to it is buried in the argument that men are naturally attracted to light-skinned ladies. And it is a big industry, one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria today.
The minimum cost of a bleaching cream is N15, 000 per week. These include Egyptian milk, Arabian milk, Snow White and steroid creams like Movate, which is used to bleach the scalp. Yes, the scalp! They bleach the scalp too.
There is also a bleaching tablet, which costs as much as $500; four tablets are usually taken per dose. Some people opt for what is called bleaching injection to peel off the melanin, and one injection is a tidy N250, 000. There are special creams for old women and men with resistant skin, at higher cost. The madness is across all age brackets, and may God help you if you have a bleaching wife or girlfriend.
I am not making this up. The various creams and services are hawked daily at Ikeja roundabout, under the bridge. The merchants also advertise tattooing, hips enlargement, penis enlargement and breast reconstruction services. And in Yaba, Lagos, you’d find the biggest cosmetics store run by a certain Mama Tega who is said to be the oldest and the most trusted in the business. The irony is that she, herself, is interestingly dark-complexioned! The girls who work for her and her patrons are not.
The stress and risks involved in bleaching and looking white by all means possible are so much, but the people involved do not care. The knuckles and the lips do not bleach easily, so people go about looking patched up and they have to buy a different chemical to lighten their knuckles, elbows and knees. The side effect of the chemicals used includes bad body odour and stretch marks, the skin is thinner and more sensitive, and the chemicals expose the person to enormous health risks.
It is also a lot of work. If you are bleaching your skin, you have to use the cream everyday, morning and night. If you miss the cream for a week, you’d look different, and you have to stick to the same supplier and mixture: so much needless stress.
I am aware that every individual is entitled to a freedom of choice including the choice to look the way they want. But I see the spread of a bleaching culture as a display of so much insecurity and lack of self-esteem, and an assault on the legacy of all the men and women who fought and are still fighting to ensure that black identity matters.
It is also shocking that many mothers are now in the habit of introducing their children to bleaching creams very early. They don’t want dark-skinned daughters and sons! And the ones who fail to do this feel terribly embarrassed when they are photographed with their children and the skin colours do not match. Check family photographs these days. And worry about the many ladies out there living a life of pretense engaged in “coded waka runs” (euphemism for underground prostitution) just so they can buy skin whitening creams.
This is a sad story about the way we now live, even as I recall the antiphonal lyrics of James Brown’s “Say it Loud – I’m Black and Proud” (1968) - one of the greatest songs of all time. In Nigeria’s entertainment industry today, being black is almost a taboo.
The women want to look like Kim Kardashian and the men seem to think that to be a celebrity is to be light-skinned. In the larger society, a “faworaja” (fake appearance) culture is on the rise. The people are deliberately re-colonizing themselves mentally and physically. What can anyone say to such persons who are ashamed of their own identity? I speak for myself: “I’m Black and Proud”. But even if I wan bleach sef, I black so tay, cream go finish for market…