It was a slow burn.
And the truth is no one saw it coming.
No one could have predicted, even by October this year, that Burna Boy, the hyper active music act with the repetitive drawl would become Nigeria’s biggest musical artist by December 31, 2018.
But here it is.
The audience and revelers on day 2 of the Zenith Bank sponsored Style by Zenith musical concert were astonished as star after musical star went on stage with Burna Boy ending up as star act. How could Timaya, aka Plantain Boy aka Egberipapa 1 aka PapiChulo and the legendary 2Baba play second fiddle to the nascent Burna Boy?
The hits and the charts have spoken.
First on stage was Wande Coal whose energetic and thanks-filled performance spoke of a good pay day. Then there was American import Bobby Valentino.
Waje gave a good account of herself with her impressive singing. She even took out time to pat herself on the back with a “No be my fault say I sabi sing.”
Timaya was a beast on stage but he was a beast with a sore head. He was having fun but beneath the veneer of affability was a simmering rage. He could not believe that the tides had changed and so almost refused to leave the stage until co-compere Mercy Ajisafe had to literally wrest the microphone from him.
2Baba was a class act. The crowd expected him to come last, star billing and all but there he was mounting the stage before Burna Boy. He did his thing. Yabbed our leaders whom he called mosquitoes, poked fun at the men and serenaded our women.
And then it was time for Burna Boy and the people waited and waited and waited for Damini Ogulu, grandson of the iconic Benson Idonije, the one who crept into our musical consciousness via Aristokrat records.
Burna Boy showed up a full hour after 2Baba left the stage and even then he ended up not playing.