Top Stories: 9 Headlines from a busy & fun festive period

A Detty December recap of meme-worthy moments and memorable live performances

December in Lagos is always chaotic. Fun, yes. But the chaos comes with the package. Most of it is always centred on the many, many concerts, festivals, parties, live events, and influx of people that the period comes with. In this moment, the gears of entertainment and pop culture turns from the daily grind and focuses on these happenings, but that doesn’t mean new, fascinating events aren’t feeding the timeline with stuff to discuss. The past month-plus had more than its fair share of cultural moments, which The NATIVE’s editorial team was out of office for – due to our festival NATIVELAND. Here’s a quick recap of some of the headlines that kept December 2023 and early 2024 going.

The Davido & Wizkid Bromance Reaches a New High at ‘Even With SkylaTylaa’

Amidst all of the tiffs and controversies they’ve been central to, there isn’t any bromance in Nigerian pop quite like Wizkid and Davido’s current relationship. The consuming embers of rivalry have seemingly cooled off for years, dating back to Davido stating that the pair had embraced maturity in his 2018 cover story with The NATIVE. During the Detty December festivities in Lagos, both artists reunited at The Good Village for a great party time at ‘Even With Skyla Tyla’. 

The daytime party, headlined by renowned British DJ SkylaTylaa, who’s sisters with music executive and Wizkid manager Jada Pollock, saw Davido pull up with members of his 30BG crew, as well as Nigerian rap artist (and “IDK” collaborator) Zlatan. Clips of the superstars from the party, featuring Davido’s trademark exuberance and Wizkid’s chill aura, populated social media. It might be trivial to some, but it was a heartwarming moment that reinforced how far past they’re beyond the toxicity of the past. Maybe, it’s time their respective Stans follow suit.

Shallipopi Goes Home for A Watershed Moment

During the Detty SZN, you could count the number of artists as hot as Shallipopi on one hand and not exhaust those five fingers. The Benin-raised artist was everywhere, from Dvpper Digital’s ‘Trench Fest’ to NATIVELAND 2023. Every time, he’d saunter on stage and scream “PLUTOMANIA!!” to an even more raucous crowd reception. In clubs and pretty much everywhere you went, the Odumodu-assisted “Cast” rang off, and it was emblematic of the star power he wielded throughout the festive period.

In addition to cameo and feature appearances on ensemble festival and concert line-ups, Shalli headlined his own concerts in Lagos and Benin, Edo State. The homecoming concert was a watershed moment, one where the melodic rapper was joined on stage by his mother—this is after a video of him going to see his mother at home went viral online. In addition to that, Shalli was joined by his brother and fellow artist Zerry DL for an emotional moment, where both of them performed the hit song “Puff & Pass (Remix)” with tears of joy streaming down their faces. There’s a reason why tears fly into the wind during rollercoaster rides.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by SHALLIPOPI NEWS (

Prime Video’s ‘Breath of Life’ Elicits Warm Reception

For nearly two years now, Amazon’s Prime Video has been looking for ways to better imprint its presence on Nigerian cinephiles and the general public. 2023 was arguably the streamer’s most fruitful year in Nollywood yet, unveiling ‘Gangs of Lagos’ as its first commissioned film and acquiring showing rights to dozens of films, including the Nigerian cinema blockbusters, ‘Battle on Buka Street’ and ‘King of Thieves’. To close out the year, Prime Video finally released the much teased BB Sasore original, ‘Breath of Life’. Part of the exclusive deal Sasore and Nemsia studio signed with Prime, the December 15th-released film is a faith-based story set in 1960s Nigeria.

It stars Wale Ojo, Eku Edewor and Ademola Adedoyin in lead roles. Within days of its release on Prime Video, social media was filled with opinions, mostly positive, especially concerning the film’s affecting themes. ‘Breath of Life’ also rocketed up the Prime Video charts in at least 11 countries, claiming top spots in Nigeria and Ghana. Just yesterday, January 18, Prime announced that it will be cutting down investments in Africa and the Middle East, a sign that it will be restricting its operations to acquisition of films in these regions. If that’s the case, ‘Breath of Life’ can at least be acquitted as a well-received film amongst the definitely short roster of Prime originals in Nollywood.


In 2022, Compton-born rapper Kendrick Lamar traveled to Ghana amidst the roll out for a new album that was feverishly anticipated for years prior to its release. It was culturally significant that the Best rap artist of his generation was on the continent at such a personally momentous time, extending his relationship with the continent. Last December, the Pulitzer winner headlined a concert at the BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda, for Move Afrika. The concert, which had Rwandan president Paul Kagame in attendance and on stage for a bit, was held in celebration of African music and unity, with opening performances by local superstar Bruce Melodie and popular Tanzanian singer Zuchu. Kendrick’s set, which lasted well over an hour, held the 8,000 concertgoers in awe of his showmanship. It’s not just another casual flex of his greatness, it also shows that African live shows and festivals are attracting the biggest names in music.

ODUMODUBLVCK and Shallipopi perform “Cast” for the first time at NATIVELAND ‘23

After a long morning of waiting, an outsider wouldn’t have guessed that it was almost past 6am when the pair of 2023 breakout stars, Shallipopi and ODUMODUBLVCK, united on stage for the most anticipated performance of NATIVELAND ‘23. A  few moments before, Bloody Civilian had joined the NATIVE Records signee for a memorable rendition of an ‘EZIOKWU’ favourite, “BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR.” Switching up from the calm atmosphere, the self acclaimed pluto presido brought life to the crowd chanting the duo’s collab song, “Cast,” word for word, which many would consider the song for Detty December in Lagos. The pair’s effortless bromance shone through clearly as they drifted back and forth along the high-tempo Ampaino-tinged rhythm with a beautiful firework display to close out the night on a raucous high.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Clash Magazine (@clashmagazine)

Funke Akindele Sets a New Nollywood Record With ‘A Tribe Called Judah’

Funke Akindele has figured out the art and business of dropping holiday film blockbusters. For her latest bar-setting feat, the filmmaker released her new film, ‘A Tribe Called Judah’, to huge fanfare. Coming in a year after ‘Battle on Buka Street’ quickly became a runaway box office hit, this new film packed out theatres across Nigeria right from its debut screening date of December 15th. Even more gratifying is that the film has been well-received for being an action-comedy caper that weaves in familial themes to its core. To open the year, it was announced that ‘A Tribe Called Judah’ has become the first Nigerian film to hit the 1 billion naira revenue threshold, a landmark accomplishment for Funke Akindele, a leading woman in Nollywood who’s used to breaking and setting new records.


Post her breakout hit song, “Attends,” Brazy has slowly cultivated a fanbase with a steady stream of refreshing content in her usual fashion. Alongside new releases like Kelela’s “Closure” or her breezy December single, “Daddy,” Brazy has since appeared on a slew of stages across the world including opening for Ayra Starr at Koko, London. Last December, she took on her biggest stage yet – NATIVELAND ‘23 – with soul stirring vocal renditions accompanied by her enthralling dance moves and masterful mixing. She opened up her set with crowd favourite “Attends,” sustaining the crowd’s momentum after a buzzing performance by South Africa’s Uncle Waffles. However, she really got the crowd buzzing when she introduced her dance-rap fusions of “omg” with the iconic single “Azonto,” taking us all the way back 2014.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by NATIVELAND ‘23 (@nativelandfestival)

“That’s the life of a City Boy! Ahn Ahn Ahnnn!”

Like many of his colleagues, Burna Boy was in Lagos in December. Unlike many, he barely performed at public events. Perhaps it was the best thing for everyone, considering the debacle of his last Lagos headline show in early 2023, where he came on stage six hours after the show was billed to start, and started off by cussing out the crowd before performing one song. At that, it’s undeniable that Burna is one of the best performers working in global pop music. For a brief cameo, street pop superstar Seyi Vibez brought out the singer at his Lagos headline concert in December, and Burna proceeded to turn things up with a performance of the stomping banger, “City Boys.” In the video clips that quickly went viral, you can hear the crowd ripping its collective voice to match Burna’s electric energy, another indicator that the Port Harcourt-raised phenom will always be loved at home—regardless of what he thinks.


Pop culture finds some of its best slangs from stuff that’s uttered mundanely. Obviously, it has to be latently funny, and that’s pretty much the case with the now infamous Rahman Jago quip: “You look like Metro too much.” That iconic, incredibly hilarious moment came while Jago, a respected high fashion connoisseur, was in the presence of Roddy Ricch, the American rap artist who was in Lagos for a concert appearance. While telling Roddy about how much he loved the artist’s official debut album, ‘Please Excuse Me for being Antisocial’, Jago turned to one of the rapper’s associates and let him know that he looked a lot like the American super-producer Metro Boomin’. The associate mean-mugged, some people captured in the video giggled, Nigerian twitter collectively laughed and turned the moment into a meme, and Metro Boomin’ joined in on the raucous fun. Throughout December, a lot of people looked into their mirrors to make sure that they didn’t (or maybe did) look like Metro too much.

[Featured Image Credits: NATIVE]

Additional words by Nwanneamaka Igwe