Nigerian Artists Lend Their Beats to Drum up Support for Candidates

In the past, self expression by musicians provoked rebuke and sanctions from authorities and politicians.

The late afrobeat pioneer, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a star in the international music scene in the 1970's and 1980's is seen as the embodiment of the musical activism that helped bring democracy to Nigeria.

"For me you know, I just want to see a president, or a group of political rulers who are tired of the rhetoric. You know I won't really want to get to the nitty-gritty of human development, you know everybody can chant about their statistics and their GDP's, you know as statisticians say, their lies, more lies, big lies and then the statistics," said Kuti.


A few decades ago Nigeria was a military dictatorship and its music scene was dominated by Fela Kuti, a man who despised Nigerian politicians, decrying their ill-gotten wealth and power, from his Afrobeat hippy commune.

On March 28, 2015 Nigeria will go to the polls to decide who the next president will be.

Key issues in this year's elections are the economy and insecurity, as Islamist group Boko Haram wage a bloody insurgency in the north and a multi-nation deployment involving Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon tries to push them back, with some success reported.

Nigeria has a vicious network of music and video pirates that has succeeded in monopolizing distribution in the country, rendering copyrights worthless.

By Tom Omulo.