Coming off the heels of being slammed by fans for his failure to have Drake even show face in his ‘Come Closer’ video featuring Drake, Wizkid is embroiled in yet another controversy. This time it is over his lack of authenticity and trying to pretend to be anything but Nigerian through his newly acquired “fone” accent.
Wizkid was a recent guest in a new Channel 4 UK interview and Nigerians believe he used a “fone” accent to communicate with the host. A fone accent is a fake accent and often occurs when a person lacks confidence in their identity that they believe they need to sound like a perceived superior group of people, usually “Americans” or “British/Brits”, to be taken seriously or respected. While it may seem like a trivial issue for outsiders, it is an important issue within Nigeria, especially since those with “fone” accents appear to be the ones that are favored for jobs and other economic opportunities.
I do think, in this instance, he does use “fone” but believe it might be more of an anxiety than a lack of authenticity issue. This is because, in the same interview, he uses the word “like” in every other sentence. His body language also looks uncomfortable. Wizkid interviews are usually laced with lots of laughter. This interview, he barely laughs, if at all. Also, it appears on the same day Wizkid made yet another media appearance where he spoke to a British-Nigerian media host in the UK and you can tell he is a lot more comfortable and does relapse to his regular accent.
I will say this as to the substance of what he shared with Channel 4. He is delusional when he says he “knows women so much” and he is a “family man.” I need not get into his public shenanigans when it comes to the treatment of women or dealing with issues focused on family. If you are interested, use the search box on this site and get caught up.
I am, nevertheless, happy to see him flying very high.
It’s a sound and a style that is changing western music. Afrobeats – the fusion of African and international pop music is helping secure some of West Africa’s brightest stars a global audience. Jasmine Dotiwala speaks to Nigeria artist Wizkid about his career, his background and his influences.
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