Conformism and the long arms of the NBC are affecting 'out-of-the-box' creativity in Nigeria. That's why Princess Vitarah is a novelty.
The revelation of Princess Vitarah is not really new in the Nigerian scene. Her brand of obscenity is shocking as it entertaining, but it is not new.
The Nigerian rapper who moved to Houston, and later Los Angeles, dropped what could be regarded as one of the most viral content of the Nigerian pop culture of 2016. Her video, ‘Nigerian P**sy’ has brought down trees and generated such a whirl storm of conversations that it even made Youtube even taking down the first uploaded version of the video.
That was later restored, with the rapper partnering with a ‘Youtube certified’ entity, to guarantee protection of her edgy work.
Princess Vitarah’s episode just confirms what this generation of youths who consume pop culture have suspected. We love obscenity, as long as it is not outright pornography or graphic pictures of unknown people, then we are all for it.
Nigeria has always love sexuality and sensuality in various forms. We celebrate artistes who find creative ways to infuse raunchy and debauched lyrics into our pop songs, and until recently, adore the videos which spot pretty scantily clad models. The scantily clad models still exist, but a lot of us have become immune to their charms, hence we need more creative ways to showcase them.
Wizkid is the king of obscenity. His sole mission on his hit songs have been to objectify women in the most flirty, chauvinistic, and sensual way. His lasciviousness unsurprisingly gets a lot of appreciation from young people. His lines are recited and made anthems with everyone singing “I want your body sleeping in my bed.”
Davido and Olamide are also in this league, and so are almost all the acts we celebrate as pop stars. Sex is gold in Nigerian entertainment.
Since we have many people within the country baying for more sexuality, why haven’t we had more Princess Vitarahs dropping direct content that are direct and less subtle? The anser lies somewhere in Abuja, where the good old people of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), who live and look down on all things TV.
Princess Vitarah can’t be bothered with NBC. She’s in the US, far from the perusing claws of that regulatory body, and the hypocrisy that is endemic in many parts of the country, and this gives her freedom to abandon conformism. NBC banned Lil Kesh, CDQ and many others who have been daring.
In Nigeria, artistes to a large extent, are still bound by certain unspoken rules. Don’t sing about sex too much, don’t talk about breasts, don’t create sexually charged lyrics, and many more. Outside, people are more expressive and liberal, hence, Princess Vitarah can create in peace.
This will change, though. With each passing day, and as we adopt the freedom that technology and Western influences afford us, we will experience a shift towards more expression of the sensuality that we all collectively share as humans. Artistes will break free from all the manacles of conformism, and will create art, regardless of limits and reservations.
Princess Vitarah still remains a novelty in Nigerian entertainment, for now.