One of the highlights of the past week for many Nigerians was the Grammy Award won by afrobeat singers, Daminu Ogulu, aka Burna Boy, and Ayodeji Balogun, popularly known as Wizkid.The feats have won both singers commendation from within and outside the country. In an interview with Sunday Scoop, 70-year old maverick entertainer, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy, stated that he made a ‘prophecy’ 19 years ago that Nigerians would win the Grammy.He said, “Nineteen years ago, there was no Burna Boy. But, I said people should watch out because Nigerians would begin to win Grammy Awards. I thank God my prediction has been fulfilled in my lifetime. I also predicted that Nigerian songs would go global and our artistes would become unstoppable. I had so much faith in our artistes. I made those predictions when I was the president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria. At that time, Nigerians hardly played Nigerian music. But, I kicked against it because talented artistes had begun to spring up.“I am so elated. It is a good thing for a 29-year-old Nigerian artiste to attain this feat. To see a young man doing great and getting global recognition is so exhilarating. Thankfully, it is not just Burna Boy. Many artistes and other Nigerians in Diaspora are also breaking records in all facets of life. What more could I ask for, especially since we have been governed by scavengers all these years. We have also been living under unhealthy conditions.”
The singer-cum-activist also stated that his clamour for recognition for a better welfare package for Nigerian musicians landed him in prison. He added, “I was fighting for these artistes’ intellectual properties and their self-respect. It was so bad that corporate bodies used to pay heavily for international artistes to perform in Nigeri, to the detriment of our own artistes. As a matter of fact, the highest-earning artiste at that time was Daddy Showkey and he was paid N250, 000 for a show. I was so upset about this and directed that no a-list artiste should be paid a paltry sum of N250,000 henceforth. They were to be paid N1m or more. Those companies thought I was not in my right senses but I was determined. I also insisted that foreign artistes should pay a tax of N5m whenever they were billed to perform on Nigerian soil. My agitations landed me in prison but I was not bothered. I once spent Christmas in prison over those directives I gave as PMAN president. I fought so many wars successfully for artistes and today, I am happy.”
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