LOOKING AT NBC'S BAN ON EKAETTE
Following a strongly-worded letter from the NBC last week, the song and video, Ekaette by Maye Hunta are no longer to be aired on Nigerian TV and radio stations.
Expectedly, the ban has been met with commendations and condemnations from different quarters. Some give the NBC thumbs up for waking up from slumber and yanking the materials off the airwaves; others argue the song and video are not as offensive and explicit as the NBC is portraying it.
The argument will continue, as long as we do not clearly define the rules on what goes on air, and what's labelled NTBB. The argument will continue, as long as NBC looks the other way while lyrically obscene songs and visually explicit videos from Europe and America continue to enjoy lavish airplay on our stations while less erring materials from our own acts get axed.
But what's even most disturbing about the NBC's action is the usual belated nature. What's the essence of allowing a song or video enjoy generous airplay for months, becoming a radio and TV hit, before waking up and discovering it is not fit for broadcast because it is 'replete with graphic description of sexual scenes and expression not presented with fact and discretion?'
Ganja man, Enter the Place, Shayo and many others were all on air forever, before the NBC woke up and decided to effect a ban.
With such non-chalance and irresponsibility, who loses at the end of the day is not the artiste whose song has become popular anyway; it's not the radio station or the NBC officials who still get their take-home pay, notwithstanding. The loser here is the public; the consumer – especially innocent, impressionable kids – whose interests the NBC is supposed to be protecting in the first place.
Even if the NBC wakes up tomorrow and orders stations to wipe off all unfriendly materials from their playlists, help, how will we 'unhear' all we've heard all these years (for example, think of Dagrin's Kondo, Lady Gaga and Beyonce's Telephone video, R. Kelly's No 1 sex and Terry G's Free Madness)? How do you wipe all that Terry G and R.Kelly and Lady Gaga from your system?
Having said that, it's nice to see NBC working. But it'll be nicer to see them work more proactively. And, if it happens that there are just a few incapable hands dragging the Commission's name in the mire, is it possible to show them the exit doors?
And can somebody please help tell the artistes: really, you can sing or record whatever you want. But, please, if you hope to put your materials on radio or TV, why not make broadcast edits and avoid all the drama? Please!