Issue: What is Ungrateful about an entertainer calling it time with social media?


In today's business and career, it is a matter of strategic importance to have a couple of social media accounts in addition to owning a portfolio website or blog.

The purpose is not far fetched or completely out of place.  They give brands a wider reach in the promotion of their products and services.

Through it, they generate traffic which they either turned into a lead or outrightly monetized through ads placement as seen on YouTube, websites, and blogs.

Since emergence, social media have helped nondescript but talented individuals and corporate entities to build a large network of followers on which they leverage for continuous brand relevance.

Not left out of this trend are the entertainers: musicians, dancers, actors, and actresses. We have seen rookies get signed on by big musical brands after posting a short video of their work online.

Somehow, it has become almost unthinkable that a brand no matter how big would consider exiting such a powerful platform.

And so it came as a shock to many when Nigeria's Afro-fusion musician, Burna Boy announced that he was leaving the social media. As for me, I'm indifferent.

One of such people is MC Shakara. According to reports, he was said to have called out Burna Boy on his decision to quit all social media platforms describing him as an ingrate. That to me was way too harsh, uninformed, and unfounded.

All this while I’d relied on what was reported in the news to form my opinion. But recently I was privileged to see the video clip of the interview where MC Shakara attacked the A-list musician as an ingrate.


*Comedian MC Shakara.

In the video, MC Shakara went down the memory lane tracing the trajectory of the musician's rise to fame.

He recalled that the social media was instrumental to the popularity of Burna Boy as a musician and that it amounted to being an ingrate leaving a platform that helps powered him to stardom.

There were times, he said, that Burna Boy craved the attention of social media users for his musical activities. And then suddenly he started getting the needed love, conversations, and comments on the various social media. Now that he has become a force to reckon with musically he now decided to quit.

While MC Shakara has got the liberty to air his displeasure at the artiste's action; I'm, however, of the opinion that there's nothing like being an ingrate leaving any platform no matter how important it appears to be for the professional survival of such person or entity. 

After all, social media have not always been there. It is a new phenomenon. Fine, it helps accelerate brand awareness and bridge boundaries.

In a way, the action of the musician resonates with a conversation we once had around the over reliance of the present day entertainers on the various online platforms to grow their brand a luxury which old entertainers didn't have.

You would recall the desecrating comparison drawn between Afrobeat legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Whizkid when the latter had a sold-out show at the O2 Arena in London the first time.

In their uncontrolled impudence and profanity, some of his admirers obviously high on the induced excitement of seeing their hero took to one of the biggest vaudeville in the world and hobnobbing with American A-list singers even held that he was the greatest thing to happen to Nigeria music industry.

But people had then pointed out that the social media had indeed helped the new generation of entertainers and gives them a wider reach and so it is really difficult to gauge their true worth as creative geniuses. Even in the western world, there is hardly anyone in their class who has survived up to the age of 70 as a musician.

Legendary musicians like Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, King Sunny Ade, Commander Ebenezer Obey to mention a few didn't have such starting out yet they were relevant for decades. Their songs are evergreen.

While the social media may have become quite handy in broadening the reach of an entertainer; it, however, cannot help sustain their career. It is not a substitute for talent. It is not a replacement for genius. So if you're good; you're good. And if you’re not good; you’re not good.

Not discountenancing the transforming force of the ubiquitous internet but it is definitely not the reason people succeed or fail in some of the industries that we have around.

If King Sunny Ade and the likes can lock it down for decades, nothing stops Burna Boy from locking it down too. By quitting social media, we can then begin to watch out to see if the artiste can survive without the online social communities which we all know many of them do rely on for relevance.

So, I will give big thumbs up for Burna Boy for having the courage to take such step when it appears to be unthinkable and could be counterproductive. Clearly, calling it time with social media cannot be an ungrateful act but a choice that should be respected by all.   




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Deji Olaluwe
Abuja, FCT, North Central,, Nigeria
Deji Olaluwe is a writer, poet, and blogger. He's the brain behind this blog. Some of his hobbies are travelling, listening to good music (especially Afro-centric genres), and meeting people.