Burna and Wizkid make Nigeria Grammy Proud

Dear 16 to 25 year old,

All over the world, Nigerians are celebrating Burna Boy and Wizkid on their Grammy wins. Burna takes home the award for the World Music Album on his ‘Twice as Tall’ album. Wizkid, alongside Beyonce and Blue Ivy win the Best Music Video category for ‘Brown Skin Girls’.

This is huge for all of us at home and in the diaspora for a number of reasons. We’re proud of our grandsons, sons, brothers, friends and icons in the music industry. For you especially, I think it is special that you get to see this happen in your time.

Burna Boy and Wizkid had parental support

Both Burna Boy (29 years old) and WizKid (30 years old) have enjoyed successful careers for some time now. We’ve seen them grow into these mammoth personalities, recognized globally as stars. Another thing they have in common is how their parents are a big part of their support system. Burna’s mom is also his manager. This in itself is a success story.

I say this because when we look back to some 15 to 20 years ago when these young men were kids, Nigerian parents, generally, were not strong on music careers for their children. We were pushed towards getting a degree and an office job. This was the picture of success that was painted for us. We understand where our parents were coming from. In their time, a degree and an office job was the dream. Today, that dream is no longer enough.

Chuka Obi’s Creative Genius

This morning, I saw an interesting thread by Chuka Obi. He works with Globacom as the Director of Creativity and Innovations. Chuka has had a successful career as a creative. He is the mind and hands behind many successful campaigns and works of major brands. He wrote the famous ‘I Don Port’ performed by Simply Saka. What many people don’t know is that Chuka is the genius that created Burna’s cover on his ‘Twice as Tall’ album.

In his thread, he shared how supportive his parents were of his art and comic book drawing. It wasn’t just him. It was also his siblings as well as his 13 other artist friends. You should see the replies in the thread to get the idea. Some of those friends came in to share their memories and what it meant to them. It’s simply beautiful. Some other people confessed how they shut down their creative abilities because they were discouraged by their parents.

Perhaps we’ve missed out on other Burnas and Wizkids who would today collect Grammys and make Nigeria proud because their parents didn’t let them pursue music. My guess is we’ll never know. There’s a lesson here for all of us. If you’re going to dream at all, dream big. There really is no telling where your talents or abilities will get you in the end. Keep going. It’ll be worth it.



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