NIGERIA MOURNS MICHAEL JACKSON
‘question: how many people does it take to break the internet?’
‘answer: just one man – MJ’
although he never got to visit the country, and not many of this facebook-twitter generation of nigerian youngsters ever got to see him live, pop star jackson’s death has sent millions of young nigerian fans into mourning.
since learning of his death last night (thursday june 25), there has been an overwhelming outpouring of sad comments from bewildered fans. on radio, on tv, on twitter, facebook and myspace, the comments betray the same emotions: anger, sorrow, sadness and dissapointment.
‘adieu MJ’, a young housewife Olakusibe wrote on her facebook status.
several called in to early mornning radio shows, fighting hard to hold tears, and pouringf encomiums on the 50 year-old pop icon who suffered years of negative media, bankrupptcy and legal twists and turns before finally leaving the stage.
and, in a country where many pop stars admit to having being influenced by the magic of the jackson phenomenon, it is not surprising that even the local stars are very vocal about the ‘loss’.
‘i am very sad today’, multiple award-winning nigerian pop star Weird mc said. ‘i learnt a lot from watching his videos. i loved his performances. he was a big influence on my stage craft’ she said.
radio presenter tosyn bucknor confessed she’s ‘shaken’. ‘i so loved him. r.i.p. the true king of pop. hope you find rest now’ she said.
banky w, who recently relocated to nigeria after living in the us for many years wrote: ‘r.i.p. to the greatest entertainer ever’
‘i wept this morning. i have dug out all my michael jackson collections. i’m dedicating the whole day to a true hero’ hip hop world magazine publisher ayo animashaun, who met mj in south africa in 1999 told me today.
a popular syndicated tv show hip tv, is dedicating over three hours of its weekend programming to a news feature titled: mj: ‘the magic and the jeopardy.
‘i’m overwhelmed by the love shown to mj in death” singer djinee was qouted as ying. ‘the kind of love he was denied in the last 10-15 years of his life. they called him a paedophile, cosmetic junie etc’
jackson was undeniably the greatest pop star of all time; dwindling elvis presley’s stature, and leaving an indelible mark on the pages of pop history. he was not just a music phenomenon; he was a culture icon, a fashion connoisseur and art patron.
you talk about elvis presley, mozart, frank sinatra
he influenced a generation of performers accross the world, including nigeria’s psquare, weird mc, d.i.p.p., adewale ayuba, shina peters, 2face idibia and many others.
and his success broke down many barriers; opeining new opportunities for black acts on mtv – in the early days when colour was still a major issue. and that he went on to record global commercial and critical success (750 million albums sold worldwide, 13 grammy awards, amongst many others); emerging the best-selling artiste of all time and the most popular figure in pop history, did not come as a surprise to those who knew him in the early days of Jackson five; those who saw him perform with the jacksons; and those who witness him record his early solo singles and albums.
one of those people is quincy jones – the revered producer-entrepreneur responsible for many jackson albums including off the wall and thriller. ‘all my life i wanted to see an entertainer like michael really do his things with no limitations’ he told journalists of his experience working with michael.
even those who disapprove of his personal lifestlye easily admit the late jackson was very ‘talented, passionate, disciplined, driven and hardworking’
but he was also a ‘spendaholic’ who reportedly lived far above his means. he was also a drug addict: living on pain killers since his stage mishap during a pepsi tour; he was also a contradiction and a very very eccentric ‘boy-man’.
it keeps raining on the streets of lagos; even up till now. the streets are wet and the tv signals are poor. there are rumours of a pending fuel scarcity; the nation is reading different meanings to the president’s manesty to select niger delta militants; and everyone’s still talking about the unfolding madness in iran. but there’s one thing that tops it all; one thing that’s topping all discourse and leading at all the gist cafes: the death of wacko jacko.
it’s there: on the cover of all the newspapers. it’s the issue of the day on all the breakfast shows; and the blogs? that’s what they’re all talking about! some, like myself, are even dresed in black, as a mark of respect to the almighty mj.
how about our facebook statuses and profile pics? don’t even go there.