LETTER TO ANITA BAKER

the arrogant diva stood her Nigerian audience up, refusing to show up on stage after high-calibre fans had paid over $1000 each to see her

the arrogant diva stood her Nigerian audience up, refusing to show up on stage after high-calibre fans had paid over $1000 each to see her

Dear Anita,

 

Greetings to you from the association of ex-Anita Baker fans in Nigeria.

 

Hope your flight back to the US was fun and eventful – and hope the pilot allowed the cabin crew and all passengers to stand on their chairs and hop to the sound of your music. Was the pilot kind enough to allow you use the cockpit as in-flight stage?

 

I ask because I know those are the kind of things you like; the kind of treatment we mere mortals should give higher beings like yourself. And I know that, usually, for us to prevent you from having what you like, is dangerous – not for you, but for us.

 

And at this point, permit me to congratulate you on your exploit during your recent trip to Nigeria. You arrived the country on Wednesday August 27 and left on the 30th, yet no one could lay eyes on you – not those nosy reporters who like to intrude your privacy; not the jobless fans who left their homes to come and watch you perform. We are still rejoicing on your behalf, because this is a feat no other act has been able to perform. Not Beyonce. Not Mary J. Not Missy Elliot. Not even Diana Ross!

 

The organisers set up the hall Banquet style, expecting you to jump on stage and do your thing. You, a whole you? Anita Baker? Where were the screaming fans? The wailing ladies and drooling men? How can they even take you to the Expo Hall, when they could have hired the national stadium in Surulere? When the Tafawa Balewa square in Lagos is still standing? What an insult. How can some mere mortals be wining and dining while you, the almighty Anita are busy performing? What part of Anita Baker don’t they understand?

 

Well, blame them not. Let’s assume they don’t have access to google. Or perhaps they thought that at well over 50, having been there and done that, you’ll be a warm, kind mother figure who’ll have mercy upon them and forgive their trespasses.

 

But you, dear Anita, goofed. Let’s not call a spade by any other name. And that’s why we’re all dumping our Anita fan card and joining the anti-Anita campaign. After several decades in the business, you should have known by now that fans and the media are very important to any artiste’s career. Toy with them and pay the price. Yet you choose to spit in the face of Nigerian journalists while you told fans to ‘go to hell’.

 

To ignore fans that have paid as much as N100, 000 each to see you perform, for very flimsy reasons, is to claim that we are all a nuisance; lesser beings not worth carrying the sole of your shoes. And to refuse honouring an earlier scheduled meeting with Journalists very unbecoming of someone of your calibre.

Why then did you travel all the way to Nigeria? 

 

 Yes ma’am, you had a rider. Yes, the organisers may have violated some terms and conditions. And you had every right to throw a tantrum if things were not looking the way you’ve been assured they would. But in a world where consumer is king; where the end, most times justifies the means, wouldn’t it have been just proper to show up and honour fans who have waited for you all night?

 

Dear Anita, showbiz is about the Love and the money. You got both on your trip to Lagos: You got paid in full; high calibre fans showed you mad love when you first landed Lagos. Many more were waiting to show you unrestrained love on the night on Saturday august 30… They came out with their families; the media was waiting, just to capture the moments. What did you give in return? You threw their love back in their faces; throwing a tantrum that’ll make Kanye West look like a nice, reasonable dude.

 

Why did you let your ‘beef’ with the promoters overwhelm you reasoning? Why would you come all the way to Nigeria, for a gig you’d been preparing for since June, and refuse to appear on stage, because of some details that could have been sorted?

 

And I blame you not, madam. I blame my people who treat anything from America as superior. If not, why would anyone risk their funds on a yesteryears act like you? You may never have heard of Onyeka Onwenu or Salawa Abeni. But they are our own home-grown divas. Just like you, they have paid their dues and come of age. And they can fill TBS and the national stadium – if only our promoters will look their way instead of shopping abroad for over-pampered divas like you who think the world begins and ends with them; and that fans are just a burden.

 

We hope and pray you never return to Nigeria. For, we will hire boys from Mushin, Ajegunle, and Okokomaiko. We will equip them with stones, pure water sachets and a certain plant called werepe. Don’t ask me what they’ll do with it. You. Just. Come.

 

Once more, thanks for insulting the Nigerian media. Thanks for ignoring your fans in Nigeria. Thanks for achieving a feat that’ll now make our promoters begin to look inwards when they have big-budget concerts to execute.

Your former fan.

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15 Responses to “LETTER TO ANITA BAKER”

  1. bros u dey vex o….

  2. This is wicked! She was broke, only came t collect money.

  3. I hope she & her management refunded the promoters/organisers back their money sha.

  4. chastedavirgin Says:

    wen yanga sleeps trouble go wake am…i bet organisers would trade our act more seriously… God no go let anyone disgrace naija again

  5. asuku oluwakemi Says:

    i wonder wat kind of mother anita baker will be, i really wish she get to read this letter and get to know dt she has lost all wat nigerians have and feel for her, some one shld pls tell her not to dare come to naij again except if she want to know wat werepe is and wat is being used for.

  6. naijas need to wake up and ask yourself if you were Anita Baker, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Lionel Richie would you really do a concert banquet style and sing while your guests are eating. I would never. This is an insult to an artist of such stature. She is not above other Nigerians but she is trying to open the door for other artists. We are not helping her and we are not helping ourselves.

    This lady sells out concert halls worlwide and in all my time of following her I have never heard of her doing a concert in banquet style. Not in the US, Japan, South Africa, Germany, France, Holland, Hong Kong, Brazil, Jamaica, St Lucia, Barbados, Italy and all the other places she has performed in.

    Its a shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Banquet Style Says:

      Exactly. This is clearly a difference in culture. In the US, no artist who has worked as hard, won awards and been in the business as long as Anita Baker has would perform cabaret style like some amatuer wedding singer. Should of had her riders correct and held your and gave her what she was promised. This letter is ridiculous.

  7. @vic
    This woman sold out shows maybe 1o years ago, she hasn’t released new material in how many years and she’s expecting a stadium venue? Is she still drinking, because that doesn’t make sense. Right now she’s broke and needs the money so she better get in where she can fit in. It’s not like she was asked to perform in a buka or in the middle of Obalende market, it was a nicer venue than many of the other venues she played in the US this year; including casinos (banquet settings) and small parks where guests sit on the grass. So maybe in all your time, you weren’t listening loud enough, and that’s why you didn’t hear…

    I hope she’s returned the money, her has been ass is lucky someone hired her at premium (undeserved) rates and flew her first class and put her up in luxury suites, something she wouldn’t ordinarily afford.

    PS: Lionel Richie did perform in a similar setting earlier this year, he had no problem singing while his paying audience was eating. That’s why he has continued success in the industry for almost 40 years vs. Anita Baker spurts of success and her attitude stalling her career right from the beginning.

    • Banquet Style Says:

      You sound foolish. Lionel Ritchie is a great talent but he does not have the same endearing fans that Anita Baker has. With this type of attitude I can see why she didn’t perform.

  8. Cassandra Says:

    I am and have been an Anita Baker fan for over 25 years. I am so sorry for the harsh words and unwritten threats that Mrs. Baker’s actions have brought about. I completely understand why she did not perform. I only wish that the promoters and organizers involved had responsibly clarified their expectations. If she had known the particulars from the beginning, I’m sure she would have simply declined or presented a more mutually beneficial compromise.

    I would also like to share that there is a difference between a shinning star losing its sparkle and disappearing from the sky and a shinning star being elevated to a higher position in the sky to be a brilliantly lit example for all to see which is exactly what happened to Ms. Baker. She made a conscious decision (in the prime of her career) to put her success on the shelf and make her family her first priority. She channeled all that creative energy into being a loving wife and mother. As far as I am concerned, there is no higher calling for a woman. I believe that God has blessed her decision and that is why she still shines to so many of us even now as she continues to perform live and record new mood changing music. You simply can’t listen to her live or recorded music and not be transported to happy times. I saw her twice last year. She was so beautiful… so professional… so loving… so humble…so giving…so compromising…so unselfish…so unlike the person previously described. She was Absolutely Awesome!! Like I said, I’m a fan!!

    I don’t know what the terms of the contract were but I have no doubt that if the agreement was broken by Ms. Baker, the authorities involved would not have given her one red cent. On the mere grounds that she sacrificed time from her family and possibly declined other performance opportunities, she was entitled to compensation. I agree that the fans’ money should have been refunded but not by Ms. Baker, instead the promoters who invited and possibly misled her, might possibly owe both Ms. Baker and her fans an apology in addition to a refund.

    I pray that the circumstances surrounding this event can be re-evaluated and that the Ex-Anita Baker Fans of Nigeria can come to forgive her for the offense that they think she has committed.

    Life is too short to spend so much time and energy so negatively. Be a Blessing and you will definitely Be Blessed!!!

    Love
    A Forever-Anita Baker-Fan

    • Banquet Style Says:

      The writer and some of his followers seem to not know any better. They are mainly upset because they would have rather seen the promoters give that money to a local talent than an American one. Too bad. That’s how this business is. Talented artists everywhere go through the same thing. Get mad at the Nigerian promoters who snubbed their own artist in the first place, not the talent.

  9. My goodness the person who wrote this is to say it plainly-uneducated and understands nothing about doing business. The people who agree with this person are equally naive.

    I am Nigerian myself but I think this is all very ludicrous. Artists of her stature are superstars bcos their music and their beings command attention. Imagine ur a big star doing a concert where everyone is eating and talking, where a guest is complaining to the waiter because his soup doesnt have enough meat. She is a multi-million dollar industry. This type of story would be headline news in the US and around the world. She’d lose respect. In turn potentially damaging her business. If Nigerians do not understand that and give people the respect they deserve then we will remain backwards. This stupidity could only happen in Nigeria. Being too proud gets you nowhere-fast.

    Also Ms Baker does what she does because she loves it. She is extremely rich and does not need the money. She has written nearly all her biggest songs- Sweet Love, Giving you the Best, Angel, Fairytales, Been so Long and many more. She owns the masters to all the songs she sings. She also owns many high-value properties, restaurants and valuable artefacts. If she never sang again she’d still be rich.

    People really need to understand the isssue at hand and not be so naive.

    • Banquet Style Says:

      Thank you. This person has nothing to write about clearly and doesn’t know who Anita Baker really is..smh

  10. kehinde favour .m. Says:

    lAnira Bakar has ever been the best musician on my mind. l hail her alot and loves her to the point that l could not help singing her songs as the day passes by. l use to argue that she is the best responsible female singernfollwed by Sade Adu but l never knew she is arrogant.

    The love l ve for her is to much, to the point that l would’ve loved to see her one on one. l never knew she was in Nigeria really l would ve paid any amount to see her. But l hope she attitude or re-action was not becos of what shwe would ve heard about us.

    Anyway, we need to let her know that we love her and she should apologise thats all.

    Pla angry fan l apologise on her behalf pls.

  11. Banquet Style Says:

    This letter / poor excuse for a blog entry is so ridiculous it is hilarious. First off you obviously don’t know the real definition of a Diva. A Diva works hard for several years and is an exceptional talent, which is why nothing short of perfection is tolerated. Anita Baker is not some has been, old lounge singer like your article and your commenters presume. She is pure R&B royalty. She has a voice and style no one else can duplicate and didn’t have to resort to making pop mainstream garbage to be a success like a few of the other artists you mention. The fact that you name drop Beyonce and Missy Elliot as a comparison clearly shows you (and most likely the promoters) have no clue of her stature. Anita Baker still garners respect because she has always stayed true to her music and she made enough US Dollars in a decade to last her a lifetime, so she is not broke. Stop jumping on the “let’s hate on the USA” bandwagon and take responsibility that your promoters FAILED at providing the accomodations that an entertainer and guest of her caliber should have received. Next time do your research before trying to play with the big boys!

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