US-based Nigerian music star, Ebere Matt Mbadi, popularly called known as Jaajo, has in collaboration with Cameroonian singer, Naomi Achu, released a new song in response to police brutality in Nigeria, titled ‘The Land is Blessed’.
The song is released in solidarity #EndSARS protesters who recently
agitated against police brutality in Nigeria. With #ENDSARS, many people in and outside the shores of the country, have taken to social media, to lament their ordeals in the hands of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a defunct notorious department of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
Amongst the many atrocities SARS has committed in the past years, are -extra-judicial killings, wanton arrests and dispossession of properties through physical assault and other intimidation tactics.
And since the commencement of the protest against police brutality, celebrities across the world have been throwing their weights behind Nigerians, as they condemned it.
In a statement released by Fajebe Records and Allabai Entertainment to the press, Jaajo explained: “My message to the government is to take care of its people. You do not need to kill your own people. Animals cannot even kill their own. Government should always conform to the aspirations of people. Government should create an enabling fate for people to grow, create jobs, social amenities and so many things like that could go a long way to curbing the problem. Government should always create avenues for the citizens and youths to grow. There should be employment, there should be good governance, there should be jobs for people to do, and there should be steady power supply. All these things we are talking about are what we are craving for.
“Advanced countries do not talk about all these. I cannot believe in this century, we are still talking about power supply, jobs, good roads and other things.
Government should do better than these.
“A lot has been happening back home in Nigeria. And all that went down there recently due to the #ENDSARS protest has really been a heartbreak for me. It really touched me, and I was like since I wouldn’t join the protest back home, I will make this song to address the problem.”
Jaajo, the Prince of Njaba; a title bestowed on him due to his activeness in the community in Njaba, Imo State, Nigeria, further advised entertainers in the country to use their voices in crucial times. “They (entertainers) have vital roles to play in situations like this. They should use their platforms, their voices to expose, to conscientise people, to pass message out there to the people. You know people look up to them, they are like opinion leaders. They represent the people, so they should be able to speak up, they should not keep quiet because they have a platform to talk. I mean that is their roles, they should always use their platforms, they should use their voices to expose, to correct, to crusade for social change, and political change.”
Speaking on her collaboration with Jaajo, Naomi who hailed from Bamenda in Cameroon, said: “It’s a necessary art for what we are going through right now. People are using their voices to be heard.
People are penning letters to the government and we as artists, this is what we have. We have our gifts of singing and our gifts of rapping and writing songs, so this is what we are given, this is our contribution to what is going on in Africa.
“As a Cameroonian, I am supporting my Nigerian family, my brothers, my sisters, my parents, my African brothers and sisters. I am joining forces to #ENDSARS.”
Interestingly, the music video for the song has been shot and there is quite a lot of creativity deployed.
The music video director, Dexter Brains explained the concept of shooting at a junkyard as a major location: His words: “This production is actually a very key production. It’s very timely; we picked the locations that we just shot because of the kind of mindset we want to paint. The story that we have in the blue that we are trying to expose.
“We shot at two locations; one was at a junkyard and the other one was at a rooftop. It’s an aspect of isolation, we deliberately shot at a junkyard because it’s not a place where people go a lot. And by so doing, we were trying to bring out the sense of isolation which in practical sense is the message the song carries.
We were looking at how the government tried to isolate the people in a sense of divided rule. They make people stand by themselves, make them go against themselves, then they can be able to interfere into them and rule them with power, with violence with whatever bad policy that they are implementing.
“So, SARS is a typical example which is happening right now, Anglophone crisis is also a typical example that is happening right now. I feel very happy with this production because it’s a door to expose what is actually happening.”