The Nigerian music industry is growing in leaps and bounds both in talents, financial rewards and recognition. This has made it not just a force to reckon with in Africa, but also by extension the world over. The industry has become the envy of the continent.
It is on record that as at the moment no music industry in Africa matches that of Nigeria. The industry has also been helped by the infiltration of advanced-fee fraudsters also known as "Yahoo Yahoo Boys."
Years ago, the Nigerian music industry offered little or no special reward in terms of R.O.I (Return On Investment.) But today the industry no longer speak the same language as it used to before.
There were days were talent was not enough to make a musician a success, it often comes in years of hard work promotions and intense marketing to make a living making music as a Nigerian. However, the story has changed rapidly with the juicy offers to present to not just those with talents but also to those who can get investment from Yahoo Yahoo boys or rather shower them with praises in their songs.
Once you can praise-sing a Yahoo-Yahoo Boy, he showers you with gifts and monetary rewards. This trend is in sharp contrast to what was obtained in the glorious old days of the Nigerian music industry. Popular Legend like Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Ade, Ayinla Omowura and Haruna Ishola and co would shower praises on men of Integrity who the world knew the source of their incomes.
Today talent is not enough as those with talent and integrity get mocked and are often tempted to take the route of juicy offers of these fraudsters. These New Generation musicians who have decided to bend the roof and tear-up the world legal rule book in reward for gifts, cash and investment by Yahoo Yahoo boys.
It is a truism that a master dictates where he wants his slave to go. In relation to this, there is hardly any New-Generation artiste in Nigerian that does not enjoy premium support from Yahoo-Yahoo boys. These fraudsters spend money that even Dangote - the richest black man on the surface of the earth would have to think first before rolling it out. And the reason is not far-fetched, it is because he worked hard for his money and makes them in a legal way.
There is yet another disturbing menace usurping the Nigerian music industry, it is the invasion of the industry by Yahoo-Yahoo boys. While there are currently no laws stopping anyone from establishing a record label so far they put in the necessary procedure in place. These fraudsters come in the form of record label owners, they set up a management team to administer this new record label and provide the funds needed to kickstart the label. To a regular mind, that is a noble act, but to a discerning mind with a conscience, it is a totally unacceptable act.
Why did I say so?
Allowing these people take control of the music industry rub off the integrity of the music industry and mocks the hard work of professionals who have toiled for years to build what we have come to know today as the Nigerian Music industry.
There is no denying that the love for Yahoo Yahoo is growing among Nigerians on a daily basis, as most of them see it as the shortest route of escaping poverty and an avenue to lay blame on the Nigerian government for not providing jobs for her citizens.
Some months ago, the Nigerian Music industry went into a frenzy by the calling out of popular rapper "Falz the Bad guy." Falz had called out fading musician '9ice' on his track - Living Things that praised Yahoo-Yahoo dealers. Immediately after that, Nigerians became divided with some arguing for and against the menace.
Also this month, the Yahoo-Yahoo menace raised its ugly head again when popular blogger and former artiste Tunde Ednut spoke against the menace. Artiste like Zlatan Ibile, Naira Marley and Davido also gave their opinion with the first two coming so harsh on Tunde Ednut.
Zlatan and Naira Marley openly expressed their support for Yahoo-Yahoo with the excuse that if Tunde Ednut knew about slave trade then he would not condemn people who are into Yahoo Yahoo. Davido, on the other hand, responded with "Nobody Holy."
Looking at the above scenario, one would agree that the Nigerian music industry is now populated by criminals who should have no abode in the industry. These musicians sometimes represent Nigerians at big shows, concerts and events outside the country. And if these people are the ones Nigeria can present as a nation, then there is danger looming. We have heard of constant harassment and humiliation of peace-loving, innocent and hardworking Nigerians at different airports abroad. These treatments are unconnected to the activities of these fraudsters.
Another consequence of the activities of Yahoo Yahoo infiltration of the music industry is the negative effects it will have on the younger generation. These innocents souls do not know yet what these fraudsters do and are beginning to see them as heroes going by the music they listen to where musicians sing their praises in their songs.
To stop this trend, parents and guardians must sound a note of warning to their wards to desist from criminality and never emulate these Yahoo boys. They must also make it a duty to select songs their wards listen to in order to save the future of their beloved.
Finally, the stakeholders in the Nigerian music industry must also come together and fashion a way out of this menace currently infiltrating their industry. They must draw a red-line for these fraudsters because if they fail to do that, they will be pushed out in no distance time. They should launch an intense and in-depth investigation into the activities of the fraudsters and the culpability of Nigerian musicians.