Kissing up to Kiss Daniel – A review of Mama

Kissing up to Kiss Daniel – A review of Mama

The adulation and objectification of Women (aka Shorty, Ukwu, Waist, Ada, Mama, Baby, Bebe) in the hip-hop industry, is a daily subject that masculates the musicality of the masculine artists in this genre.

Once a vixen got lectured on the visibility of misogyny in the hip-hop industry and was asked how it feels to be the subject of hyper-sexualisation and objectification. Well, all she wants is her money and this of course, aligns with the feminist theory of Bodily Autonomy, as long as she is of age to decide what she wants to be, video vixen or rocket scientist, all join.

But then this could also bring about the question: How does one differentiate trying to fit into the image of the woman as a sexual objectfrom when a woman is sexually empowered?

Usually, when a woman is not being sexually objectified in the music industry, she is depicted as Miss Needy; the beggar who sticks to a man because of money or Miss Bitchy, the woman who uses her sexual wiles to take everything a hardworking man has spent all his life gathering. This has been delineated in songs like PSquare’s Chop My Money. Atimes the woman is portrayed as this totally innocent person who has absolutely no need for material wealth, but only NEEDS to be loved. This is encapsulated perfectly in Davido’s ‘Aiye’ – she no wan Ferrari, she no wan designer, she say na my love o!

Whether she’s an angel or a bitch, the woman portrayed in almost all the songs, produced in the Nigerian music industry, is almost, always IN NEED of something,

But, this is not about PSquare or Davido or any other artist that may or may not have contributed to the longevity of misogyny in the music industry.  This is about Kiss Daniel and his ‘single hit’ called Mama.

This Mama, who is a reflection of a built beauty; tall and thin, silky and smooth skin, seamless straight hair and hair-extensions, becomes the role model of the African woman. You must take note that she is not only unconventionally perfect, she is also always available to use her perfect body parts to make you feel better about yourself. She is not thinking, well… nobody expects her to think . She is a thin thing begging to be entertained, but then she doesn’t say it, she should be seen and touched, but not heard. So, she uses her sexualized parts to paint an ideal picture, where she fits in perfectly as an object; an object that is desired because of her nudity and the beauty she had to nearly kill herself to attain.

Women’s depiction in musical videos doles out expected behaviour for the woman, just like the stereotype that stands taller than the true story. A good woman is the woman who cooks all, and not the woman who knows all. She should be primed and neat, reserved and hot for her lord only. And for Kiss Daniel to really know if this woman cherishes him or not, all she has to do is wash his plate.

He is the seeker, she is the prize. Although he has seen all the qualities he needs in her (being that marriage is the ultimate reward a man can give a woman), she still needs to wash his plates in order to prove her worth, and also fetch water.

The reason Kiss Daniel emphasizes these two very important domestic activities is because nothing shows love than for a woman to shun all gadgets like dishwashers and pipe borne water in favour of drawing water directly from a well and hand-washing all HIS dishes.

To be Kiss Daniel’s Mama, biko my sister, fetch water for him and wash his plates!

Where Kiss Daniel veers off from the usual narrative that’s the staple of the male dominated Nigerian music industry is that he did not put her in a position of NEED, in this case, Kiss is the supplicant and she the one doling out the cash.

She can afford to buy him an Infinity. She is not a lover in need. She is not Miss Dependant, she is Miss Independent.  .

Adichie avers that masculinity is a hard, small cage, and men are placed in this hard small cage. The truth remains that strength ought not to be measured for any gender, and Kiss Daniel notes that he can be in captivity. This song is noteworthy because it stands out in this one aspect, although it fits in, with every other narrative that seems to oil the wheels of the Nigerian Music Industry.

And with this glowing review, Kiss Daniels might get bolder and admit, one day, that his ‘Mama’ doesn’t necessarily have to handwash his underwear to prove her love to him.

Or P-Square might end up singing –She can chop my money,She no wan chop my money, Cos she got her money

Peace out!

IMG-20150506-WA0006-1
Ada Chioma Ezeano

ON YOUR LIPS – Laura M Kaminski

ON YOUR LIPS – Laura M Kaminski

Each conversation begins with mourning, words of loss on your lips.
Grieving phrases hang suspended like an albatross on your lips.

Do you ever feel enslaved? Indentured to others in power?
I have seen you sleep, tears on your cheeks, name of your boss on
your lips.

Victims are frightened, embarrassed, ask themselves if it’s their own
fault.
Outsiders echo that question. Silence is a cross on your lips.

They have made a suggestion to limit entry to non-Muslims.
But you cannot pick faith from your teeth, heretic floss on your lips.

Survival instructions are applied to our lives with a wide brush.
Layer after layer of silence, hard lacquer gloss on your lips.

Why should we wait for resurrection? One Love brings heaven here
now.
A little light is enough. Smile creeps slowly like moss on your lips.

Bring your own kettle-drum, set it on fire, cooking up your own
words –
Halima would dance to such salsa, hot pepper sauce on your lips.

Laura

Laura M Kaminski (Halima Ayuba) grew up in northern Nigeria, went to school in New Orleans, and currently lives in rural Missouri. She is the author of three full-length poetry collections and four chapbooks, most recently 19 GHAZAL STREET.

This poem, from 19 GHAZAL STREET, includes sher regarding some of the current disturbing political rhetoric in the US and elsewhere.

Personhood and Bodily Autonomy: aka Who owns the breast? The man or the Baby?

Personhood and Bodily Autonomy: aka Who owns the breast? The man or the Baby?

One of the funniest jokes in the whole wide world, and one of the most serious question is … who owns the breast? Man or baby.

Now you might think we are exaggerating but we dare you go to any gathering where alcohol and food is flowing in abundance, and a lady with an amazing posterior, aka breast, passes by, and come back with that claim of exaggeration.

This topic has been discussed for years, accompanied by titters and uncomfortable avoidance of one another’s eyes, but it never loses it’s freshness … who owns the breast?

Ownership is the operative word here.

A sitting senator, Sani Jibril , last year did a brave thing, something that most Nigerian politicians shy away from. He declared his assets.

This honest and forthright deed broke more than the taboo of asset declaration and Nigerian politicians, it also broke the silence on what an average Nigerian man considers his property.

Senator Sani Jibril
Senator Sani Jibril – Hero of our democracrazy

Senator Sani  Jibril listed his wives and children in the asset declaration form. And instead of being outraged, Nigerian journals praised him for this heroic deed with the blazing headline Meet The Senator That Declared His Wives Among His Assets….Right Or Wrong?

Actually, the headline was  clickbait for those nosey feminists and gender rights activists, because the content of the article did not question the rightness or wrongness of his declaration. It simply went on about his ‘bravery’ and ‘heroism’.

Let’s be candid, we know that a lot of Nigerian men consider their wives and children as their property. And post-birth, women are ‘allowed’ by their husbands to ‘breastfeed’ the baby, with the ‘understanding’ that the breasts actually, really, truly belongs to him.

Don’t get us wrong, women also discuss this ‘important’ issue with a lot of tittering.

Wikipedia defines bodily integrity[autonomy] as the inviolability of the physical body and emphasizes the importance of personal autonomy and the self-determination of human beings over their own bodies. It considers the violation of bodily integrity as an unethical infringement, intrusive, and possibly criminal.

In simple English, Wikipedia is saying that your body belongs to you, to do with as you like. Bodily autonomy is your right, as backed up by Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.

The question is why do Nigerian men believe they OWN a woman’s body?

Culture: They believe that once they pay ‘bride price’ this means they have bought their wives. Actually any man who thinks this way is recognized under the law as a criminal, because in a sense, you’re admitting that you’ve partaken in human trafficking.

Religion: Many clerics, both in Nigeria and other parts of the world are fond of misquoting and taking things stated in their different holy books out of context.

quoteSexism: The sexism prevalent in the country, due to the fact that a lot more value has been placed on a male child, gives men the impression that they have the right to the body of any woman they meet. That’s why the boys at Yaba, or any large market, would grab at any girl they see, sexual harassment is rampant in both schools and offices, unchecked. Because men have been taught that women are less, that they are the head, women are … sidekicks.

And why do women take it? Because of the above listed, and a lot of us don’t know that we have the power to sue harassers … and win! Check this out … Former Microsoft Nigeria Employee gets N39m for unlawful Sack after Sexual Harassment and this Supreme Court – Female Child can Inherit Property in Igboland.

Yes we understand how utterly outrageous it is that we are celebrating these victories in 2016! But it’s a start and we know we are not alone, or helpless, or have to submit to dehumanization because culture or religion or the patriarchy says so.

Now back to the question – who owns the breast? Man or the baby?

Please answer the question with the fear of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights… who owns the breast?

…You give away your power the moment you start to believe that you have none…

A brief conversation with Mandy Brown Ojugbana: … we are masterful, spiritual, and all powerful beings…

A brief conversation with Mandy Brown Ojugbana: … we are masterful, spiritual, and all powerful beings…

From the Editor’s Desk: In 1986, around the time Nigeria was reinventing hip-hop and reggae to suit ourselves, the way we have always done, Mandy Brown Ojugbana burst on to the music scene with a remix of Taxi Driver (Taxi Driver – Mandy Brown Ojugbana) – an highlife song originally done by Bobby Benson in the late sixties and turned it into an instant hit that had people of all ages and convictions moving their bodies to its rhythm.

taxi driverBefore the Blackky’s and the Ese Agese’s and Mandators was Mz Ojugbana, a sixteen year old who was rubbing shoulders with the greats like Mike Okri and Majek Fashek.

Ms Ojugbana’s music was a welcome departure from American music which had taken over the airwaves in those days and your party was considered incomplete without a track or two from her first album, Breakthrough.

In 1988, at the age of 18, Ms Ojugbana released her second album and almost in the same breath disappeared from the Nigerian music scene.

In an undated interview with Funmi Iyanda on New Dawn, one of the biggest talk shows in the history of Nigerian television, Mandy Brown Ojugbana talked about her need to spread her wings and find herself (New Dawn Interview with Mandy).

And that was exactly what she did.

She attended London Academy of Film and TV, worked with Channel 4 TV in the UK and then returned to Nigeria and worked on Radio and Television for some time.

She presently lives in the United Kingdom and is constantly reinventing herself and changing things around her.

9jafeminista: How did you cope with the patriarchal structure of the Music Industry while you were the queen of pop?

Mandy Brown Ojugbana: There was no perceived structure of that nature, I was completely focused on the work at hand which was touring and creating.

9jafeminista:  Why did you drop off the radar andwhat have you been up to?

Mandy Brown Ojugbana: I started in the music business quite early and was signed up to a record company called Otto Records at 15 or 16. I was working with them when Faze 2 records brought me in to work on another record. .I had been working constantly and needed time to discover myself and explore other avenues. This led me into the world of media . I went on to work in TV and Radio which I thoroughly enjoyed.

9jafeminista:  Were you friends with Tina Onwudiwe?

Mandy Brown Ojugbana: Tina Onwudiwe was more of a big sister mentor figure . I looked up to her and admired her work both in music and fashion. She also used to design outfits for my shows .

9jafeminista:  How did it feel like being a superstar?

Mandy Brown Ojugbana: I don’t think I ever once felt like a superstar, I was living in the moment and doing the work .I have always loved to be in a creative process be it song writing , creating new dance routines . Researching and creating programming for radio and TV.

9jafeminista:  Are there any changes in the way women were treated in the past and now? Any better any worse?

Mandy Brown Ojugbana: Women have always had to fight harder and be smarter for their voices to be heard. I think men are beginning to get the message . We are a powerful force that cannot be quieted.

9jafeminista:  In which ways do you feel all powerful as a Nigerian woman?

Mandy Brown Ojugbana: Nigeria has made me who I am today , being raised in a “can do” mindysociety has given me the tenacity, drive, and confidence to believe in myself and the power I wield as a woman . Even though it appears we live in a male driven society when we look through African history there have always been strong black women, Amina queen of Zaria in the 15 th century , Makeda Queen of Sheba 960BC and Candace Empress of Ethiopia . These were strong warrior queens, military tacticians. We need to remind ourselves as women never to sell ourselves short, we are masterful spiritual and all powerful beings responsible for bringing life into the world. I remind myself as I wake to walk in the light of powerful women both past and present ,in them and there successes lies my strength . Lies our strength . We as women need to band together as a sisterhood stemming our petty quarrels the world is for the taking and we are the takers!