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FALZ – THIS IS NIGERIA – Symbolism, meanings and breakdown

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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(26th May 2018) Thousands turn up to enjoy the historic sold out Afrorepublik concert at London’s 02 Arena (London).

The Afrobeats show’ epic line up included several African/African-Caribbean artists including Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Maleek Berry, Yxng Bane who brought Kojo Funds on stage, Mr Eazi, Giggs, Tekno, Not3s and Skepta.

The show emphatically exceeded expectations, elating over 5000 screaming fans.

Wizkid was introduced to the stage by Black British supermodel Naomi Campbell, the main act then closed the concert with an ensemble of hit songs.


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Igbo Creativity: Chichi –

Chichi Promo 2

Chichi, OkwuID panel member and young Igbo writer and poet, aims to inspire with her online blog –

As a young Igbo woman, Chichi is documenting her journey to self discovery. On her blog she details her uncensored life struggles and breakthroughs with her faith, love life and identity. Thoughts Of Chi also hosts some of her amazing travel experiences and artful poetry.



Culture: Igbo Instruments

Below is a list of common Igbo Instruments


The ubo-aka is a “thumb piano” of the Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria. This instrument features a wood-burnt hardwood soundboard (with cut-out handholds) mounted on an incised, woodburnt gourd resonator. Instead of the traditional metal cuffs around each key, a metal chain is stretched across the key. One other distinctive fact about this remarkable instrument being that it was by definition, the oldest existing musical instrument in Nigeria, there being no evidence of any older specimens anywhere else in the country. (Sources: +


The IGBA (Cylinder-drum) is a piece of hollow wood covered at one end with animal hide held down tight with fasteners. The artist carries it over his shoulder with the help of a shoulder strap. The artist produces the sound by beating on the animal hide with his fingers or combination of one set of fingers and a special stick. The cylinder-drum accompanies dances, songs, religious and secular ceremonies, and its tunes have been known to gave special signals for good news as well as bad news. These drums often accompany many other instruments. Traditionally, the deeper shelled Igba are played with the hand, while the shorter drums are played with a curved stick. In an ensemble these drums often lead, and are used to “talk” by the talking drummers. To tune the drum, the player will use a strong object to whack the pegs around the drum in order to restore its best tone. (Source:

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