Analysis and Breakdown
Nigerian Afrobeats artist, Falz, creates rendition of Childish Gambino’s “This is America” with a Nigerian twist.
Entitled ‘This is Nigeria’, the song and video depict the harsh realities of Nigerian society in 2018.
Unlike the original ‘This is America’ video, which seemed to have many obscurities to be deciphered. The issues portrayed in Falz’s interpretation are much more blatant.
This may be because in most cases Nigeria’s corruption is transparent.
Below are some of the issues we’ve managed to spot.
To see the full video, see here:
The video starts with Falz holding a boombox which could be taken as a symbol of just how loud the corruption in Nigeria is/ himself trying to get a message across.
The camera then pans out as we hear a voiceover of his father, the lawyer and human rights activist Femi Falana, with the words:
“They’re extremely poor. The medical facilities are poor, we operate a predatory, neo-colonial capitalist system, which is founded on fraud and exploitation. And therefore, we are bound to have corruption institutionalised. – Many criminal cases are settled in police stations, albeit, illegally.”
Differing from ‘This is America’, the video begins with carnage which everyone seems to either take part in or do nothing about. This is shown by the okada(motorbike) driver causally driving pass the fight he sees.
This could also represent Nigeria’s assumed chaos/lawlessness. Falz adheres to this within the lyrics by mentioning “everybody be criminal”.
CNN also reports: ‘That’s why the first man, dressed in traditional Fulani attire would switch from being a happy musician minding his business, to a murderer in an instant. He abandons his Goje (popularly known as the ‘Hausa Guitar) for a machete, and instantly moves towards another helpless citizen who he kills without mercy.’ (see image above).
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