Popular Nigerian rapper Falz’s viral, politically-charged hit This is Nigeria has been banned by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC). The song, which boldly highlights many of the country’s social ills was released in May in an attempt to create a localised cover version of Childish Gambino’s This Is America.
Disclosed in a letter entitled “Persistent Airing of Music with Vulgar and Indecent Lyrics,” dated 6 August and signed by its Zonal Director, Igomu Onoja, The NBC cited one line in particular “This is Nigeria, look how we living now, everybody be criminal” as “vulgar” by the commission and thus “unfit for radio.” The artist shared a photo of the letter on Instagram.
Wande Cole’s 2016 banger Iskaba and Olamide’s See Mary, See Jesus were also banned with Wandecole’s lyrics “Girl you dey make me kolo, shaking the ass like kolo” and casual use of religious words on Olamide’s track cited as the reason for the ban.
In June, the country’s muslim group, Muslim Right Concern(MURIC), had requested Falz to take down This is Nigeria video over some “offensive” scenes which, they claimed, ridicules their religion. The scenes in question had to do with girls in hijab dancing the viral Shaku Shaku dance. Falz, in response, had said MURIC’s allegation of a hate video is baseless as its symbolism wasn’t one of degradation but of human expression.
Last year, the NBC was also accused of banning songs from Davido, Olamide and 9ice, though it denied that the songs had been removed from airwaves.
Many have since expressed outrage at the NBC on social media, including Falz who wrote alongside the picture of the letter on Instagram, “This is Nigeria. Look how we living now, everybody be criminal” is apparently a vulgar line.”