This is awkward, I’m writing on entertainment. Well, in as much as I find that industry unattractive to me, even though it’s lucrative, I think I can use this as a business case study.
I must confess, I don’t have a TV in my apartment. I’ve never had, and for years up till now. It’s a personal decision to curb unnecessary distraction. I don’t feel like I miss a lot, once there’s Twitter and the Internet. That way I select what I really want to take in. So in line with this, I woke up this morning to Twitter and I can’t help but notice the trending topic on the faceoff between Olamide and Don Jazzy at the just concluded Headies Award. You can get the details online if you care to.
Now I don’t know Olamide or Don Jazzy personally, so this isn’t biased. Even as a management consultant, I’m selective of working with brands in that industry for the lack of professionalism and discipline. The closest I have been to him is when one of our mentees and intern at Hexavia joined the management team of Olamide. My feedback from her was very positive, every now and then we met and had chats, she always said he’s a great guy.
Okay, so Olamide was upset at the Headies because he feels his protégé should have gotten an award that was given instead to Raekado Bank, which is a protégé to DonJazzy. I believe there’s a committee that did that selection, but then he starts to curse on stage. Don Jazzy responded and the face off was on.
Olamide’s initial view was personal and not exactly directed at Don Jazzy. I agree. However, the timing of delivery was wrong. Don Jazzy shouldn’t have come off at Olamide that way. However, reading Olamide’s follow up tweets and I can’t help but notice immaturity of leadership and a few things gone wrong. Sometime we can be right in the beginning but once the fight is on, initial intents in war doesn’t determine who’s right, it only determines who’s left once everything becomes dirty.
Talent is never enough. Olamide showed what happens when you hit success in a mediocre system, by grace and consistency without building professionalism. He wasn’t professional and showed the street side that can limit growth. As a man grows, the street and the boy in him should leave. The growth of Jay-Z from a mere gangsta and on the street rapper in the 90s to a respectable thought leader is a classic case study. There’s so much to learn.
The truth is, I don’t do huge following to Nigerian music, but as a mere consumer of music when I find myself out in social events, and I’m an advocate of good music with content which sometimes is hard to find here in Nigeria from the plenty noise all over the place which is fine. After all, the market is in that lame stage to demand and accept it. In project management, quality assurance says that quality is defined by the customer, so it’s fine, sadly. Even at this, I feel though that great arts should change a market, influence positively the people and society like Fela and our true legends did, not by doing what’s easy to sell. Tuface is a good case study. In line with this, and by comparison which I have a right to as a consumer, Raekado Bank might not have made as much hit, but perhaps does better music than Lil Kesh based on other parameters. If my opinion on this matters, then Kiss Daniel, Korede Bello or Cynthia Morgan who were all in the same category should have gotten the award for the next rated instead. But sometime our views don’t count. We see this even with international awards, we saw this when Taylor Swift was picked over Beyonce and Kanye acted up, and when Macklemore was picked over other popular black acts at the Grammy even in the hip hop category. The judges have a more strategic metric. Just because you make hits that invents dance steps doesn’t mean you do quality music enough to win an award.
Olamide’s utterances were very crude and uncalled for. And about his claims of other people producing for Don Jazzy, well as a management consultant and business expert, I can say that there’s nothing wrong with Don Jazzy not making those hits but having his signature on it. It is called outsourcing in management, for as long as there’s a mutual agreement between the key stakeholders involved, after all, Apple’s i-phone is an American company with its production done in China. We live in an age of outsourcing. None of us is as smart as all of us, so collaboration is allowed. Even Beyonce’s songs are ghost written by others, including Neyo. Even Pharell Williams had a team called Neptunes to make those beats.
Don Jazzy on the other hand should perhaps be more aware of his role and the consequences of being the most visible on the spotlight, it makes you an easy target, and you’re so easy to hit. The truth is, there’s no smoke without fire, so having had issues with D’banj, Wande Cole and whoever will come next, people will be on the lookout for trends and connecting dots. My advice to people who succeed in an extraordinary context is, whether literally or in metaphor. it’s easier to stand on your feet, the hard part after you stand on your feet is to stay on your toe. Being on top requires it.
For the industry, its seems like a good fight, it helps create hype moments. However, synergy of power houses and industry leaders is needed to crystallise the potentials of that system. This is reverse osmosis. That industry needs unity to be taken seriously.
I appreciate Olamide looking out for his team, or goons as he calls it (the dictionary definition of goons refers to a foolish person by the way, someone hired to inflict pain on others. Goons was originally used as a term for the guards in a German prisoner-of-war camp during the Second World by the way (that’s what happens when mis-education by half education is delivered)). Still. I see and admire the drive and voice of a self made man like Olamide. It sometimes reminds you to always have a voice and never to put that voice and it keys, your future and happiness in someone else’s pocket. If you give them the power to feed you, be reminded that you’ve also given them the power to starve you. These words are real and helps fight injustice. However, leadership demands a subtle communication of that voice. True leadership requires more. Olamide is a talented artist and to keep afloat might need more than talent. Professionalism, principles and knowing when and what to say and act is more important, else he should look back at history, to people who came before him but are irrelevant today, a lot of clue can be drawn from that.
Brand. Mgt Consulting. Training.
About Eizu Uwaoma
Eizu Uwaoma is the founder & lead strategist of Hexavia, a business, brand, training & management consulting firm. Through his weekly features nationwide on radio, he connects with more than 5 million professionals, personally interacting with over 500 top executives & has intervened in over 50 businesses. He has a proficient gift, skill and experience in enterprise development. He is an authority in brand, human capital and business training as well as project consultancy.
He runs the Decoded, a monthly hangout for professionals in all major Nigerian cities facilitates at the Hexavian Masterclass and is the founder of the Hexavian Business Club.