Why MJ Must Come To Nigeria!
Okay, so you’ve heard? Embattled pop giant Michael Jackson is making a comeback.
The 50 year-old icon, told the world two weeks ago, that, beginning from July 8, he will be staging a series of concerts at the O2 arena, in Greenwich, London. ‘‘This is it. I just want to say these will be my final show performances in London. When I say this is it, I mean this is it’’, the singer told fans at a brief press conference last week.
Michael last had a concert in the UK about 12 years ago; and really, many fans who grew up in the nineties remember him more for his many troubles, than for his earth-shaking videos and performances. But Michael is not all about child molestation, excessive surgeries, freak stunts and nose jobs.
Apart from giving us the best-selling album of all time (Thriller, 1983), Michael revolutionized the concept of musical videos; influenced a generation of singers and dancers; and many who have seen his concerts will tell you that a Michael Jackson concert is like no other. The closest I’ve been to an MJ concert, are testimonies from Keke and D-one, and from his friend and biographer J. Randy Tarraborreli. So when I heard the news of his upcoming UK gigs, I immediately logged on to the site and joined the presale frenzy. It’s probably my only chance of seeing the boy-man perform live; and I’m not about to miss it for anything.
And it was while discussing MJ and his upcoming gig with my friends that I realised the organisers, AEG, might be making a very costly mistake. Why take the singer to London, where the fans and the media are not particularly crazy about Michael? If he’s really trying to make a comeback, why go to a city where he was nicknamed Wacko Jacko in the first place? A city where he has suffered bad press more than anywhere else? Why take Michael to a city where economic recession is biting hard and almost everyone is struggling to pay bills? And then, come to think of it: why take the poor guy to a city where they can only peg the highest price for tickets at £75 (that’s just about N20, 000)?
You see, if those people knew what they were doing, they should have simply brought Michael to Nigeria. The guy is so broke; he has sold his Neverland ranch. His image is in tatters, and he so badly needs to make commercial success again. I think Nigeria is the only place he can get help. Not London, Not Bahrain, Not America. Definitely not the O2 arena!
Apart from repeated visits to South Africa, Michael has scarcely stepped foot on any other African nation. And, at this point where everything else has failed, he might just need to start wooing African fans and the big spenders scattered around the continent.
In Nigeria alone, I can assure you that thousands of ‘fans’ will be willing to cough out as high as N500, 000 to book a VIP seat at an MJ gig. They’ve paid N50, 000 to see Jay Z, Beyonce and the rest. They paid N100, 000 to see Anita Baker. They buy tables at major concerts and awards for up to N1Million. So I am certainly sure that for a Michael concert, many ‘bilgs boylz’ and girlz would be willing to take a loan to register their presence. And corporate Nigeria? You don’t even want to go there. All the brands will fall over themselves, battling for different tags: title sponsor, co-sponsor, sole sponsor, part sponsor and even ‘sponsorer’.
By the time they collate the cheques from all the major brands, they would have made enough money to cover all expenses; they’ll be counting their profit, and begging Michael to play more cities for more days.
And, coming to Nigeria will also be good for Michael’s ego. For someone who’s used to fans wailing and fainting anytime they catch a glimpse of him; for someone who’s used to being ambushed and fans doing dangerous stunts just to catch his attention, I’m sure he was more than disappointed that there were no freak occurrences when he appeared in London last week. If he had held the press conference in Lagos, believe me, even journalists and cameramen would have fainted. Instead of a group of photographers and cameramen that covered his London press conference, the one in Lagos would have been attended by Editors, publishers, TV station owners, bank MDs, and, maybe, even the Governor.
Many big men would capitalise on ‘photo’ opportunities while even the biggest of our stars would scream and beg Michael for autographs. Michael would be happy. And he would feel like a star, once again.
Only problem is, because we are not exactly sure if his ways with children are now clean, we will not allow our kids to go near his hotel room or his backstage suite. And, because our weather might not suit his make up, surgical masks, and what’s left of him original skin, the promoters might have to pay for him to travel with a team of plastic surgeons (who, I know, will also demand that a full theatre and surgery requirements be shipped in ahead of their visit).
So, while I plan to still attend the London show in July, I hope someone will take up my points with the AEG group, or any of Michael’s reps.
I’ll make it a point of duty to attend his show at the TBS, national stadium, or International conference centre.