What influences Nigerian art?

Photo by Papa Yaw from Pexels

There is a popular saying in Nigeria that means the intensity of a bad situation generates very thoughtful humor, this accounts for the numerous YouTube profiles of Nigerian comedians attracting millions of views into becoming public relations influencers and brand publicists, and how Nigerian films are categorized majorly as comedy on Netflix. It is safe to say that the absurd circumstances ranging from poor governance to rickety infrastructural facilities has contributed and become a major inspiration to most content being produced by the Nigerian youths.

A further look into Nigerian art is a genre that primitively imitates standard international artistic products. The Ikorodu Bois for instance, are a team of young Nigerian kids that make use of simple camera tools, composition, characters and properties to remake scenes from popular Hollywood movies such as Money Heist. Their ambitions are not farfetched as they have been able to attract millions of local and international followers that have also generated revenue and better tools. But, have they stopped producing such content with a naïve approach? No, because that is the selling point.

Another major influence on Nigeria art especially the music industry is the long fight against bad governance which has historically been passed from one generation of musicians to another.  A suitable example is Fela Anikulapokuti’s  album “suffering and smiling” produced in the year 1978 which is still relevant since its release date. Other Nigerian artist including the recent Grammy winner, Burna boy, takes the opportunity to speak against the government lyrically.

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