Why do Nigerians expect humility from Burna Boy?


It’s undeniable that #TwitterNG was set ablaze with comments from Burna Boy a few days ago. It was the effect of that cause that led me to a Twitter space hosted by Joey Akan and a user by the handle @ehienabs asked the question that made the headline for this piece.

Like…? Why…?

To understand where this question stems from we have to throwback to a few years ago. Not to the very beginning, that would be too far back. Let’s take a look at a picture from the past. Remember when Burna Boy pulled this?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is burnaboy-pants1.jpg

Now, you might want to ask what a grown man in his underpants has to do with… I’m getting there.

Burna had already been different, from the very beginning. The day that this picture showed up on the internet, you could imagine the drag. Me sef, I drag am.

It was for a tribute but for us the listeners. It was about proving points. “Burna was WRONG”, “Fela never put on pants on stage”, yen yen yen.

Even people who didn’t listen to the music had an opinion that day. See me na, after “Like to
Party,” I didn’t listen to any Burna Boy song until when I heard Soke in 2016 and realized that I been dey mumu myself.

What’s my point again?

Burna Boy had to climb through the dirt literally. Exceed the expectations of an industry that wasn’t willing to accept his individuality for his exceptionality. An industry that didn’t give the reward for his talent.

Even the day he argued about the Coachella fonts and called himself an African Giant, Twitter NG dragged Burna Boy. Doubting? Check Here.

From the beginning, Burna Boy was never accepted, but hey he’s now doing the numbers. Making history and everyone wants a slice.

So when that Grammy Nomination came for African Giant came, he had provided the theoretical middle finger. While fate dealt Burna Boy a deadly blow with that loss, the African Giant wouldn’t eat his words. Fueled by Ego, talent and ‘haters’, Burna boy moved on to create the one that would prove everyone wrong. All those who never thought him worth the awards or nominations or even streams.

By the time Twice as Tall dropped, no one would ever deny that this act was World Class!

Middle Child!

The truth at this point is, while we seem to have played a part in the Careers of Wizkid, Davido and/or Burna Boy. Burna Boy remains the “Middle Child of the Nigerian Music Scene”. To further buttress this point let’s talk about something called the ‘Middle Child Syndrome’ briefly:

According to Adler’s birth order theory, a child may have several personality Characteristics depending on their birth order. For example:

– The oldest child is more authoritarian and feels all-powerful due to the high
expectations often set by the parents.

– The youngest child is treated like a spoiled baby and can never rise above
the other siblings.

– The middle child is even-tempered but has trouble fitting in due to being
sandwiched between the younger and older siblings.

The entire time, we have been the parents that have neglected the middle child; taking all the attention and showering it around while ignoring Burna. And now that the middle child has made the world his (Winning the most prestigious award for his craft and getting the world to bow to him), we feel entitled and keep on trying to remind him of our relevance. We remind him of his roots.

But considering everything, should we expect humility from this child? The outsider… The Middle Child.

You decide. Leave a comment. What do you think?

Written by Peter Jev!


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