Jos means different things to different people and groups. To the music industry in Nigeria, the city and other townships in Plateau State is a major talent base. So, it‘s not surprising that the recurring crises that have brought the city to its knees are getting some of Nigeria‘s biggest artistes thinking and talking and acting.
Before the last episode of violence broke out in the city, rapper, MI, and his crew have taken a trip to Jos, armed with supplies and messages of hope for distraught victims. Many, like Sound Sultan, Etcetera and Rooftop MCs condemned the attacks and tried different ways of helping.
But the most recent attacks, which left many dead and injured (including helpless babies) which struck an emergency hormone in everyone appears to have gotten to the artistes in particular. P-square, MI, Djinee, Etcetera, Sound Sultan, Ice Prince, Banky W, Rooftop MCs, 2face Idibia and many more have spoken out, outrightly condemning the killings and promising to use their voices and influence not just to help victims this time, but to help put an end to the bloodshed. Most of the artistes, if not all, have strong ties to Jos.
Lagos might be the entertainment capital of Nigeria, but it‘s cities like Kaduna, Jos, Zaria and Abuja that groomed many of the leaders of today‘s new school.
On Wednesday, in Lagos, 2face and key members of the Chocolate City crew held free performances to raise funds and supplies for victims affected by the Jos tragedy. Sources say some of the artistes are already considering recording an all-star peace song while those with friends and family in the city are already sending help ‘home‘ to treat injured kids and women. ‘We‘ll also have to visit and discuss with the leaders too,” one of the artistes told e-Punch, “The violence, hatred and killings are just an evidence of the failure of leadership, and until that is addressed, no matter what we do, these things will keep happening‘‘, he told e-Punch on phone, begging to “Remain anonymous, at least for now.”
Singer Etcetera whose single ‘ring the alarm‘ was dedicated to victims of the Jos crises, told e-Punch ‘this is the time we must all come together and put the power in our microphones to use. This is the time to stand up for our brothers and sisters in and from Jos. This is a national disaster and the youth will look up to us for consolation, inspiration and guidance at a time like this. It‘ll be a shame if we fail them.”
Banky W put up a note on his blog, shortly after pictures of a dismembered child appeared on the internet. “…My heart aches for those who lost their lives in Jos, and for the families that mourn them… My heart still bleeds for Jos,” he writes. “I will never claim to be an expert in the problems the region is dealing with, or the solutions. I do know, however, that we must all decide to collectively be a part of the change we all desperately hope for and deserve. May those who died rest in peace. May their deaths not be in vain.”