Art, Marketing, Problem solving, Social


Taiwo Williams Written by Taiwo Williams · 2 min read >

On Thursday, the 29th of August 2019, budding Nigerian popstar and global economist, Chukwuka Ekweani (otherwise known as Ckay) released Love Nwantiti. To the common man, this was another groovy, mid-tempo, attention-grabbing banger by the serial hit-maker BUT 2 years, 100 million Youtube views and a top 10 spot on the global billboard later, I have ascertained that Love Nwantiti is an expository manifesto on the economic position of Nigeria.  (Source: Wallahi)

Let’s get into it. (You’ve already made it this far. Only 559 words to go. )

Let’s start by briefly examining the author and the events leading up this profound release. Ckay had been on what the youngsters would call a “wave”, releasing bangers (like Way featuring DJ Lambo) and featuring on some notable hits (like La La La by musically “repetitive genius”, Davido). He was, by industry standards, doing well for himself. However, this feeling of fulfilment was fleeting for the closeted philosopher and economist. He had something more important to say, a deeper impact to make. On the 15th of July, 2019, the eve of his 24th birthday, Ckay had his Eureka moment and began penning down what would eventually become a roadmap to Nigeria’s (and even Africa’s) economic salvation.

This song was his unveiling moment. Not merely as the first ever “emo afro-beat artist”, but as a generational economic revolutionary like Adam Smith, Sigmund Freud, Jeremy Bentham and Okonjo Iwaela before him.

To attest to this, I have conducted an unnecessarily expansive examination on Love Nwatiti. To the over-thinkers out there, this one’s for you.

My baby, my Valentine (yeah)
Girl na you dey make my temperature dey rise
If you leave me, I go die, I swear
You are like the oxygen I need to survive

With this vigorous entrance into the first verse, Ckay makes an acute comment on Nigeria’s dependence on oil for economic sustenance. He illuminates the ‘toxic’ relationship that he (Nigeria) is unable to live without. Pointing out that, while gas flaring exponentially poisons the atmosphere (and aggravates global warming), Nigeria can simply not survive without her precious crude oil. Later in the verse, he says “Your loving dey totori me” .Totori was a song released that year by ID Cabasa. ID Cabasa is a formerly well-known DJ/producer who has lost relevance. ID means Identity. Ckay, with that verse, was trying to tell us that Nigeria has lost her identity in a bid to keep her one true love, petroleum, happy.

Also consider this excerpt from the second verse.

Baby girl where you from come, yeah
Your body na follow come, yeah
No be silicon
Baba God e finish work, ah ah ah ah

Without mincing words, Ckay reveals the rationale behind the reluctance of Nigeria’s political elite to diversify her economy. “Your body na follow come” (your endowments are all natural). They seem to believe that crude oil is a gift from God and as such is enough for us. I presume you caught the obvious shot at Silicon Valley (the headquarters of the tech giants) in the third line.


Ule, your body dey baka mi isi, ule (…your body is driving me crazy…)
Open am make I see, unle
Gimme love nwantiti

In the pre-chorus, much like Jeremy Bentham when he says the question is not “Can they reason?” “Can they talk?” but “Can they suffer?, Ckay laments that the psychological devastation plaguing Nigeria is her endless chase for oil money. The next line, “open am make I see…” is an obvious reference to the process of oil drilling. Relentlessly, we keep going on and on, drilling deeper and deeper until eventually…..

Ahn ahn ahn ahn ahn ahn
Ahn ahn ahn ahn ahn ahn, ahn ahn ahn
Ahn ahn ahn ahn ahn ahn
Ahn ahn ahn ahn ahn ahn, ahn ahn ahn

Only, these are not sounds of pleasure and ecstasy but agonistic screams of the 70 million Nigerians that are uneducated, the 80 million Nigerians living in poverty and the 30 million Nigerians that are unemployed because of an undiversified economy.


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