Hot Takes: Abike Dabiri-Erewa’s Vexations & the Premiere of ‘Black Panther’ in Nigeria

The hottest pop-culture takes this week

Detty December is drawing closer. It is that time of the year when food, drinks and parties overflow. For artists and music lovers, it is the part of the year they come together to enjoy great sounds and vibes. Nigerian artist Kizz Daniel seems to have his eyes set on that period with his latest single “Cough (Odo),” a sweet iteration of some of his previous hits. On the other side, several areas in Nigeria are battling with flooding, with people losing their lives, being forced out of their homes or losing their properties.

Overseas, Kanye West is getting deserved backlash for his antics and insensitive comments about George Floyd. For this week’s Hot Takes, I write about Black Sherif’s album ‘The Villian I Never Was,’ Abike Dabiri-Erewa’s Twitter storm and the coming of Black Panther to Nigeria.


I have Black Sherif’s ‘The Villian I Never Was’ on repeat. After “First Sermon,” “Second Sermon,” and “Kwaku the Traveller,” “Soja” confirmed to me that Black Sherif is the real deal. I went into his album hopeful yet unsure of what to expect. Was I disappointed? No. This album is a masterpiece. What appeals to me the most about the project is Black Sherif’s incredible understanding of his artistry; he is a man who is still figuring out his way in the world and is so unafraid to put his life on wax and wrap in brilliant music.

My favourite tracks on the project keep changing but at the moment, I’m heavily bumping “The Homeless Song,” “45,” “Soja,” “Sad Boys Don’t Fold,” “Konogo Zongo,” “Wasteman,” “Toxic Love City,” “Don’t Forget Me” and “Oh Paradise.” I have a review forthcoming where I give further thoughts on the album. Look out for that. What is inarguable, though, is that Black Sherif’s album will stand the test of time and set him up for greater things.


Earlier this week, news broke that Nigerian students were involved in a clash with their Indian counterparts at GD Goenka University. According to The Times of India, the brawl started on Friday during a practice match scheduled for an upcoming football tournament. Both teams had a mix of Indian and Nigerian students. The Indian students claim that fight started when it was time for substitution and the Nigerian players refused to be substituted. On the other hand, the Nigerian students say that wasn’t the cause of the fight; they say that the fight started on Saturday after outsiders, numbering 40, came with the Indian students to assault them.

Reacting to the news on Twitter, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), said that the situation had been resolved and the students were in the custody of Nigeria’s High Commission in India. Among the sea of comments under her tweet, a particular one rubbed up NIDCOM’s boss the wrong way: the comment tagged her words as “eye service,” while using other unsavoury words; this comment was supporting the stance of another that said NIDCOM wasn’t doing enough to protect Nigerians living outside the country.

Dabiri-Erewa was quick to shut down the comment with harsh words of her own. Her rebuttal has drawn criticism from Nigerians, most especially the former minister of education Oby Ezekwesili who called for her to delete the tweet. Dabiri-Erewa, though, has stood her ground, insisting that the tweet will remain and that she will not allow trolls to bully her.

While it is understandable that even political officials are humans, there is still a sense of responsibility that a person in Dabiri-Erewa’s shoes must possess. Internet trolls will always be present but in this case, responding to the tweet in equally an uncouth manner was ill-advised. The truth is that the Nigerian government has not done enough to protect the interests of its citizens living in other countries; with the situation of things, the Nigerian people believe that most government officials are in their positions to serve only serve themselves and not the citizenry. For Dabiri-Erewa and others in her shoes, a moment like this calls for more reflection and a pledge to serve the Nigerian people.


Here we go again with this YE guy

(Written by Dennis Ade Peter)

In a better world, Kanye West would’ve been cancelled a couple of years ago. Well, maybe cancel is such an extreme word, and the nuances are still as iffy its effectiveness. But still, my point stands: Kanye needs to stop being such a big fixture in pop culture—at best, he should be a totem of derision. For the better part of the last half-a-decade, the revered producer/rap artist and billionaire fashion guy has made it a point of duty to spew vile takes and embellish himself through deeply annoying antics.

Remember when he said slavery was a choice? Remember when he recently wore a “White Lives Matter” shirt and went after a respected black fashion journalist? Well, from the stables come the declaration that George Floyd died of Fentanyl overdose, not the knee of a racist cop crushing his windpipe till he lost his breath. Kanye made the statement during a now-deleted episode of the Drink Champs show, rambling for about 3 hours about a bunch of stuff that ranged from unfounded theories like the George Floyd one to anti-Semitic nonsense. Over the last few weeks, the man has been spewing vitriolic nonsense in interviews and across his social media pages, which has led to him being restricted and banned on Twitter and Instagram, respectively. Somehow, he’s still getting his nonsense views off because there are several news outlets and platforms still eager to put a camera in his face.

Like I said, Kanye West would be the epitome of cancelled in a better world, but there’s obviously still millions not only drinking his bullshit juice, but still finding ways of exonerating his trash ass behaviour and nonsense comments. Someone told me it’s because of the attachment to his music. Personally, I don’t think Kanye has made great music since his 2016 album, and his antics turn me off from even rushing to his more recent projects. Even when I listen, I can acknowledge the quality of the sound, but that’s about it—he’s not saying anything resonant, even on albums dedicated to his mother. There’s no defence for his antics and most people know it, but those in support want to believe he’s just a troubled genius.

Troubled people know to seek help. Kanye isn’t seeking help, so those trying to cop pleas for him are just enabling the petulant behaviour of an asshole that needs to be cancelled.

Black Panther Comes to Nigeria

The Walt Disney Company, in association with the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) and FilmOne Entertainment, has announced that Nigeria will host the official African premiere of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The American superhero film, which premieres in November, is a follow-up to 2018’s Black Panther.

This is a lovely development. The premiere for the sequel happened in America and bringing this year’s premiere to Nigeria is a fantastic opportunity to connect with fans in the country. Interestingly, there was an African premiere in South Africa for Gina Prince-Bythewood’s action flick The Woman King, which members of the cast Thuso Mbedu and John Boyega attended. It makes me wonder if some of the stars in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will show up for the premiere; if so, that would be great. If not, get ready to see some outrageous outfits to the premiere event by a who’s who of Nollywood and Nigeria’s socialite scene.