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In Nigerian musician Davido’s new release, why the homophobia?

Popular American-born Nigerian musician Davido recently released his fourth studio album to the excitement of millions of his loyal fans across the world. But why does he stoop to scapegoating gays?

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Nigerian musician Davido (Photo source: Google Images)


By NoStringsNG Writer

The 17-track album ‘Timeless’ was released in March and has been positively received by many. It has enjoyed massive airplay across radio stations in Nigeria and has topped the charts on various streaming platforms globally.

On one of the album’s hit singles, “Unavailable”, featuring Musa Keys, the singer weaves afro beats mixed with amapiano (a subgenre of house music that emerged in South Africa) to create a catchy dance track.

In the song, Davido repeatedly sings about how he is immune to negative comments from critics and rumor-mongers whilst at the same time peppering in some toxic masculinity and homophobia. 

This is an unfortunate but unsurprising development. Many desperate mainstream Nigerian musicians and celebrities have used their brands to promote homophobic narratives as they bid to stay relevant, gain popularity, and pass as heterosexual.

Sadly, the 30-year-old musician has fallen in with Nigerian musicians who have vapid dance lyrics in which they desperately seek to stay relevant by pandering to homophobic listeners.

In the opening chorus of the song, Davido states:

I’m unavailable, dem no dey see me.

In that way, he tries to absent himself from public scrutiny and critics. But as soon as we hit the first verse, we get to hear what the artist is clearly talking about: His life as subject of public speculation and accusations of being a serial philanderer, 

“Say I carry woman”

For little to no reason, he then chooses to throw gay people under the bus. 

“shey na man I for carry?”

Rather than address his critics about his polyamorous affairs, Davido chooses to scapegoat a minority group, in this case, gay men, and fan the flames of homophobia — a low blow from the multiple award-winning musician.

For many listeners, this behavior doesn’t work anymore. We are quite familiar with these old antics used by many mainstream musicians and artists to justify their irresponsible behaviors.  They seek to divert the attention of  uninformed listeners, mostly unknowing young folks, by degrading homosexual people.

Nowadays, however, listeners can turn to Nigerian musicians who have taken a stand in support of queer liberation..

Musicians such as Falz and a few others have openly criticized violations of the human rights of LGBT Nigerians.

On his hit single aptly titled “Hypocrisy” from his 2019 hit album “Moral Instruction”, Falz brilliantly calls out Nigeria’s double standards on the issue of homosexuality. His words are:

“We dey talk human right we no respect am

Who are we to crucify the homosexuals?

Most of una don dey involved from time

But no be anybody business who you wan climb”

Also, quite recently, Marvin Records’ latest signee, Ayra Starr, subtly celebrated bisexual attraction in the label’s hit song “Won Da Mo.”  There the singer exclaims:

“all your boys and your girls them dey crush on my body”

Those inspiring musicians present a stark contrast to Davido, who either has unevolved views on sexuality or is being a hypocrite when he panders to Nigerian society’s homophobic views in order to maintain his popularity. 

Either way, it is not a good look for the artiste nor for an album that’s titled “Timeless”.

Nonetheless,  the song itself is indeed a catchy dance tune with a simple meaning: Davido is clearly “Unavailable” — and hopes to be so unavailable that he’s unaccountable.