One of the powers and beauty of music, during this time of the international corona epidemic, is its power to bring mental, spiritual, and emotional clarity. As millions around the world, are experiencing the fear of food shortages, shortage of hospital beds, and intense fear, music and the arts are those special havens of quiet. That calming aura in the midst of a silent storm, that goes unseen, by many. It is only the after effects of the storm, that people hear its sound effects. For many people of the world, hearing it has come too late. Yet, there are those Spirits, those creative voices, who are using their platform, (and have used their platform) to bring joy and peace to their nations, and the world. One such Being, is Nigeria’s own. . .Yemi Eberechi Alade.
A #WOMANOFSTEEL, as her Twitter hashtag reads (also the name of her 2019 album, Woman Of Steel), singer and songwriter, Yemi Alade, has clearly been a powerhouse, in representing Nigeria. Presenting loving, healthy, and nutritious images of Nigeria, and the African Continent as a whole, to the world, her cultural ambassadorship is illuminating.
With hits such as “Johnny,” “Africa” (featuring Kenya’s own, Sauti Sol), “Want You,” and even more recently-“Don’t Jealous Me” as a feature on Beyonce’s latest album, The Lion King: The Gift– Alade has proven herself to be a vivacious, versatile, colorful, and jeweled talent. Yet, what is more intriguing is her humanity, care, and concern for her country.
Using her social media platform, Yemi Alade is using her power to bring attention to other, less talked about issues, concerning this international, Corona epidemic. One of those issues concerns nations, who have already been struggling, economically. Economic suffering taking place among these nations (in her case, Nigeria) only for the Corona epidemic to add more unforeseen problems. On her social media platform, Alade states a very heartfelt reality, followed by a question.
“So blessed. . . .yet so poor. . . .#Nigeria. . .even when we do the little that we can, it’s never enough. How can we protect and provide for the citizens of the country.”
It is a painful question, to address. Yet, it is one to be asked. A necessary question to be asked, in these given times.
“. . .Which way. . . .#Nigeria p” articulates Alade in a later statement.
With consistent reminders posted on her digital platform, for fellow Nigerians to practice social distancing, Yemi Alade continues to get involved, in not only promoting safety during the corona epidemic, but also addressing national problems preventing Nigeria from fully caring for her people, during this critical time. Using her platform in providing emergency and critical contact information, is another method.
Yemi Alade clearly understands the significance of bringing calm to any hostile circumstance, as she encourages Nigerians to use songs of Nigeria, and other creative measures to pass through. Being at home, while using Nigeria’s source of music and creativity to inspire perseverance, hope, and joy is clearly therapeutic, in itself. Yemi Alade is clearly helping from where she is. Making it clear, that one should never underestimate the power of music, and other creative entities.
As Yemi Alade continues to get involved in addressing concerns, the safety and well-being of Nigerians during the corona epidemic, her nurture doesn’t stop there. Sending love, well wishes and memories from Italy also brings forth energies of hope, courage, and perseverance for the boot-shaped, Mediterranean nation.
Having listened to, and enjoyed, her song, “Africa,” (featuring Sauti Sol), Yemi Alade paints vivacious sensory of the African Continent, as a whole. From its tastes, smells, movements, sounds, textures, rhythms, and other aesthetics of her existence. The lyrics are very clear. . .”nowhere be like Africa, nowhere be like home.” The practice of continuing to highlight the African Continent’s treasures and wonders is essential during these times. Because the truth of the matter, ladies and gentlemen, is that in order to have pride (true pride) in where you come from, you have to see beautiful and immaculate images of your spacing, and the culture birthed from it. Not only seeing them, but observing those images, as positioned for the world to see. Even if your nation has yet to acquire a system of economic and political equality, beneficial for the masses of citizens, those images will keep one’s sanity (and love of one’s culture), in tact. Even if one has not acquired economic equality, on the world stage, those images, will be that spark of hope for better days to come. They will be the fire for a nation’s transformation, and ongoing elevation. Yemi Alade has clearly taken that responsibility, seriously. And, she has performed it, well!
Never forget or undermine the role of a musician, singer, or creative artist, during these times. It is they who serve as gatekeepers for emotional, spiritual, and mental stability. Their art, their words, their music, reminds the world of a culture’s Universal beauty, and Earthly contribution to the audacity of. . .art! The very rhythm of. . .music. The very poetry of. . .words. And, the very meaning of. . . creating. In troubled times, their work is more than simply, “entertainment.” It is actually someone’s living truth. During times of crisis, their work sustains many lives. Literally, lifesaving. Keeping someone from pulling the trigger, hanging oneself from the ceiling, or taking that last tablet, which would put them to eternal rest.
It goes to say that we should never underestimate the power of being an artist. What Yemi Eberechi Alade, and others like her, are doing for Nigeria (and especially, during these times) is life giving! Through her ongoing work, she will continue to save many more of her fellow countrymen, and women, and other members of the African Continent. All the while giving countless foreshadows of a new, more bountiful future, and the fruits that are to come!