Following the arrest of Afeez Fashola (aka Naira Marley),by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in connection with alleged cases of Internet fraud and money laundering,which also linked him to cybercrime offences.
After the singer’s lawyer stalled the court preceedings. There have been growing anxiety as Nigerians,especially fans of Naira Marley awaits court verdict over the singer’s fraud trial come 30th of May.
The Japa crooner, Naira Marley (Afeez Fashola), has been the centre of media attention for weeks after his arraignment by the anti-graft agency.
However,after a critical scrutiny,a check reveals that the Nigeria singer, Azeez Fashola, better known as Naira Marley if found guilty of the alleged offences,the mess could luckily pose him on an edge,earn him a point even after his deuce or could be the worst ever injury to mar his musical career(gain or a Pain).
Taking you down memory lane,Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer, multi-instrumentalist and political activist,Fela anikulapo’s major weapon of criticism was his music, which he christened ‘afro beat’. A firm believer in socialism and Pan-Africanism, Fela was a passionate supporter of human rights, and many of his songs- which were also known as ‘yabis’- were sarcastic, dark and full of verbal abuse. In most cases, his songs were direct attacks against the then Nigeria’s military government in the 70’s.
Recall that in 1984,the military government of Muhammadu Buhari jailed Fela Kuti for allegedly smuggling foreign exchange outside Nigeria and the late Afrobeat creator went on to spend 20 months in prison and upon his release, the musician was as defiant, bold as ever and a legend.
Regrettably,if the glacial pace of the Nigeria legal system caught Naira Marley to be guilty of his offences,Naira Marley’s immediate music career future could be in a doubt. At the same time if nailed with the navel of the law,he could earn a legendary recognition.
When an Artiste goes to Jail, What happens to their music Business? No doubt,jail time and prison stints can cut into an artist’s career — and it has alot of dismerits and undesirable effects on the part of the artiste’s label and managers that are left behind. In many similar instances, the charges and sentences vary (tax evasion, gun or drug possession, assault) but the result for the artist’s career and deals are subject to a series of legal and contractual decisions that come into play when an extended absence becomes a factor. Remember,T.I. and Lil Wayne, who both served sentences of around a year for gun possession, hardly skipped a beat in their careers. Gucci Mane, who also served almost three years on gun charges before his release in May, and Boosie Badazz, strung up for nearly five on what amounted to drug charges after beating a murder rap, both returned with the highest-charting albums of their respective careers on release, and both were warmly welcomed back by their esteem fans. But wasn’t the same as of that of another famous US rapper,DMX,In 2017, DMX pleaded guilty in federal court to avoiding paying US$1.7 million in taxes from 2000 to 2005 by shifting money among accounts belonging to managers and associates. The rapper went to jail in January 2018 on a bail violation, after previously pleading guilty to tax evasion in November 2017. In March 2018, Simmons(DMX) was sentenced to one year in prison for felony tax evasion,after being released,when he started to get back into the hiphop world the recognition,fans trust and antecedent were all gone. Ja Rule another case study,he’s a Grammy-nominated emcee who has also appeared in movies, including “The Fast and the Furious” and “Scary Movie 3.” Ja Rule was sent to prison for two years for tax evasion and illegal gun possession. In prison, Ja Rule’s wife, Aisha Atkins, started rumors about her hubby saying that he was having relations with his cellmate. Which circled around the internet pretty quickly. Ja Rule’s reputation and career was hangin’ on by a thread. Before and after serving time in prison, Ja Rule attempted acting in a few movies – but nobody really remembers him in any of them,upon his arrival from jail,he had lost the stardom and music – market potential so fast to fry and upcoming artistes.
Sad to say,that the man in question,Naira Marley, if the law will not temper justice with mercy on him,he could be on another fortune side of his coin,having generated lot of controversies,the young talented artiste absence could lead to curiosity and demand from fans, bringing fortune to his side and could earn him multi-million endorsement deals after his jail term.
In addition to that,his proposed jail term could also mean a display of a brazen defiance against the Nigerian government and other corrupt officials after his release from jail. Just as the late Fela displayed a brazen defiance against the Nigerian government and other corrupt officials of his time. Though Fela’s “lyrics were scathing denunciations of Nigeria’s socio-economic reality. He focused on corruption, abuse of power, mental emancipation from colonialism and the need for Nigerians to stand up for their rights”. Fela’s lyrics were indicting and blunt, affirming the army’s reign of tyranny and terror.
In conclusion,as Nigerians eagerly awaits the verdict of the court on the Naira Marley’s trial come 30th of May,Nigeria government could be on another radar of breeding and harbouring another lyrically – savvy ‘fela Anikulapo Kuti’ of which the latter will not be a fighter of human freedom just as the former but the latter ‘fela’ could be a major defiance against the Nigeria Politicians, corrupt leaders as the nation youths postulates that Nigeria must first put itself on trial by doing a complete purge of all corrupt politicians who have turned the richest black nation into the poverty capital of the world. “Political corruption works by having an equally corrupt legal System to protect it”.
There’s tendency that Naira Marley if jail could be conspicuously active in carrying out atavism activities and could proceed to the next page in his book,turn the page to be a mover and a shaker in Nigeria, toeing the steps of the legend, Fela Anikulapo.
Adejayan Oluwagbenga Gsong is a Veteran Journalist,Public Affair Analyst,Publisher,Content Developer and a Social Commentator. Tel; +2347067296794