Over the last five years, mainstream music coming out of Nigeria has gained wider recognition and celebration globally. The world knows the music, but perhaps not the story of musicians from one of the country’s most conflicted regions. Rich in oil but faced with daunting challenges to achieve shared prosperity for its people, Nigeria’s Niger Delta continues to produce some of the world’s finest musicians today. And they are set to tell the story — through their music — of what it means to emerge from a region only known for its significant contributions to Africa’s largest nation’s GDP.
A star-studded line-up of musicians from the Niger Delta is set to record new Nigerian entertainment industry milestones with The Apollo debut. Singers Timi Dakolo, Omawumi, Timaya, KCee and pantomimic dance group Seki Dance Drama will thrill concertgoers at the iconic music hall for the maiden ‘Naija To The World’ concert on September 16th.
Buckwyld Media Network and BHM, organisers of the event, recently revealed the contingent as the concert’s lead performing acts. The performers, all from Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta, will record history as they bring concertgoers into the bittersweet world of life in the south-south region through previously unheard cultural stories.
From rising through the creeks to becoming some of Nigeria’s most celebrated stars, the performers who embody a story of triumph in the face of adversity will join an elite group of Nigerian musicians to climb the world-famous stage. Their stories — to be told through the most enchanting Nigerian music ever heard — will reflect the Naija To The World project’s aim of providing an alternative narrative to ‘the stories out there about Nigeria and Nigerians’.
Timi Dakolo has grown from leading a small church band in Port Harcourt to winning Idols West Africa and performing on international stages. Omawumi has journeyed through unimaginable hurdles to become a multiple award-winning singer and songwriter, while KCee continues to blaze the trail in cultural music renaissance.
For Timaya, concertgoers can look forward to tales of Nigerian resilience and sheer determination to succeed through hard, honest work. Seki Dance Drama, exemplifying the diversity of the region’s creative talents, will illuminate Niger Deltan’s natural peace-loving disposition in a never-before-seen cultural display.
BHM Founder, Ayeni says “It’s a great time to cast a beam on the stories that make Nigerian creative talents unique and we couldn’t be more excited about the lineup of stars that will grace the concert at the Apollo. From the journeys of these creative talents in a peculiar region like the Niger Delta, we believe that the world has a lot more to learn from the Nigerian culture beyond just marvelling at the beautiful sound of our music. There is a lot more to look forward to with Naija To The World but this is a great place to start.”
Over the past 25 years, Nigeria’s Niger Delta region has produced at least 10 out of 20 talents in the creative industry. Many of the talents, including Burna Boy and Rema, have attained global stardom and won coveted prizes in music. The ‘Naija To The World – the Niger Delta Experience’ concert, organisers say, will further introduce the world to more creative talents from the region.
Efe Omorogbe, Chief Executive Officer of Buckwyld Media Network, also says “This exhibition will serve as a testament to the incredible reservoir of artistic brilliance present in the Niger Delta region. With this edition, our goal is to celebrate the cultural and creative richness of the region and contribute to its continued influence on the world stage.”
Phase one of ‘Naija To The World – the Niger Delta Experience’ will climax at The Apollo in New York City. At least 1,500 fans are set to witness the highly anticipated historic event live at the venue, while an additional 10 million viewers worldwide will access the spectacle through broadcast partners spanning across North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
The musicians and the dance drama group will join an exclusive league of Nigerian stars including Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, legendary playwright Herbert Ogunde, Afrobeat singer Seun Kuti, Grammy-winning singer Burna Boy, and Adekunle Gold to perform at the world-renowned venue.
As Nigerian music and film continue to go mainstream, the annual exhibition was announced as a collaboration between Buckwyld Media Network and BHM to provide a platform for other aspects of Nigerian lore, culture, and experiences to travel and thrive.