Great artists impact culture and behaviour beyond their own borders. Michael Jackson was such an artist and he resonated with me as a young boy. I remember dressing up in the ankle length pants, blazer, white socks and loafers just to imitate the MJ look. I danced and sang along to his songs, while referring to myself as the African Michael Jackson. My mother still teases and reminds me about this period of my life. During my conversations, the name Bob Marley was offered as a figure that resonated among the youth prior to the arrival of Michael Jackson on the music scene in Nigeria.
Bob Marley was by far one of the most popular artist among the youth in Nigeria. He definitely was more influential than James Brown and even Michael Jackson at the height of his popularity. He was very well liked among the youths. As there was very limited ways to access music we all gravitated to the same artists. Back in my day, the belief was, to enjoy Bob Marley’s music you had to be a weed smoker. Smoking became a drug of choice for the youth and this conflicted with the traditional values of your parents. Weed smoking was a huge black mark on the family that if you were caught hanging around someone who smoked your parents can potentially disown you.
As remembered by a Nigerian living in Toronto, Canada.