I am not a fan of any of these hip-hop artistes. But I was pained by the tragic death of rising star, Ilerioluwa Aloba, well known as Mohbad. With the rate the late Mohbad’s story trends across the media space, I wonder how his voice had become even louder in death than in life. I am sure if Mohbad were to look back and see how his death had generated a lot of reactions, he would pray God to give him another chance to live and do more in life.
There are lessons for everybody to learn about his life story, his talents, music, lifestyle and even his death.
Mohbad was such an enigma that was supposed to live beyond 27. But circumstances surrounding his birth, background, parenting and upbringing altered his destiny and he decided to “blow”.
He eventually blew and later paid the supreme price for the industry, thus becoming the first Nigerian hip hop star, whose death shook the whole of Nigeria and beyond. Even the great Afrobeat legend, the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, didn’t enjoy such fame in death than Mohbad.
Though, his unexpected death on September 12 is shrouded in huge controversy, it took over all the social media space, both in Nigeria and abroad. Stakeholders and big names in politics, music, movies and all the entertainment industry tried as much as they could to identify with the late singer’s death for them to trend and win followers.
That’s the power of the social media. It is like the power of God almighty. Once a story trends, it is gone and gone for God’s knows time. For me, Mohbad’s death is one death too many.
Yes, investigation to unravel the mystery behind the death of the rising star will not end so soon.It is of course a story of interest and a reflection of our failed society.
So, many issues are involved.And for such a promising young talent to leave the stage so soon, it is very important for Nigeria and Nigerians to understand the role of Nigerian society, poor parenting, divorce, peer group pressure and youthful exuberance as well as the luxuries of wealth in Mohbad’s short but eventful life.
Well, his tragic death will be a big lesson and an eye-opener for others in the industry.By now, I believe many of them would have learned one or two lessons about life, talent, management of fame, wealth and relationship.
Mohbad’s death had left the music industry in the dark and mourning, and it has also exposed prominent players’ greed and lawlessness. His decision to part ways with Naira Marley’s “Malian Record” in 2022 marked a very important moment in his musical journey.
But his untimely death represented a significant loss for the Nigerian music industry and even robbed the nation of such a talented artiste that was destined to get to the top ladder of his career, but had his life cut short by peer pressure’s urge to blow and be among.
His death has even raised various questions about how we manage talents in Nigeria. The way we manage our music talents in this part of the world has really affected the industry that a very few people are benefitting from the Industry.
Music is a big, lucrative business.A a large percentage of our youth are dropping out of school and going into music, yet the society didn’t bother to know why. Even if music is the food of the soul, it is very reasonable for every Nigerian youth to be educated before venturing into the world of music.
As Nigeria’s economic downturn and poor living standard bite harder, the music industry offers hope and space for the Nigerian youth. And it is unfortunate that the same industry that brings respite and economic succour is fast becoming broken, losing its morality and standard.
It is sad that those at the helm of the music industry are promoters of societal and moral decadence, abuse and immortality such as drugs and cultism. It will take the grace of God for Nigeria to address this unpleasant surge and also fix the menace of drugs in the music industry.
From the little story I heard about Davido and his billionaire father, I knew the role his father played in ensuring that his boy was educated. That important, fatherly role played by his father really shaped Davido’s musical career and future, for him to become what he is today.
In music and every other venture in the art, talent is not usually enough. Education and a little experience about life really count. Obviously, from his antecedent, the late Mohbad had a background and talent in music.There was a video in which his father told his guests of how they did rehearsals together. But it is unfortunate that the father was so poor to guide his poor son.
The desire to blow and become popular among his peers led the young and talented hip hop star to his early grave. Even the relationship between Mohbad’s father and mother is another issue entirely. Separation between the parents created a gap that made his death tragic.
Core values of life, upbringing and parenting, aspiration and the reality of fame are issues that really affected Mohbad. His aspiration to blow actually overrode those key values.And the separation of his parents created the gap for him to drift in life.
He was not always on the same page with his parents.The father and the mother ruled their worlds separately and they didn’t bother to mend their fences for the sake of their rising star, Ilerioluwa, so that the boy could fulfill his destiny.
You can hear his life story from one of his songs where he narrated his ordeal as a product of divorce. In the management of fame and wealth for such a young promising boy, parenting matters. God had blessed Mohbad’s parents with the boy, but they lost the opportunity so early to poverty of the mind and that of the stomach.
There are information of the role Wizkid’s father and mother played in the life of their son. Though, his mother is dead now, I know Wizkid will continue to enjoy the blessing of his late mother, even though that his father is still alive to continue to be such a blessing to the artiste .
It must be stated also that parents should endeavour to guide their children for them to fulfill their destiny. Interestingly, Nigeria’s hip hop stars and their music enjoy fame and global applause, thanks to the late Dagrin, Wizkid, Davido, Burnaboy, Olamide, Naira Marley, Asake, 9ice, and a lot of others for raising the bar of the entertainment industry.
As much as their music give Nigeria positive image, there is urgent need for the government to look into the various issues in the industry. Issues of cultism, drugs, music label ripping off the artistes, music and fame management and branding should be brought to the front burner.
Death of Mohbad had exposed the lacuna in the music industry.It has exposed the intrigues between the artistes and the music label owner. It has also exposed the failures of the government in the management of music in relation to societal values.It also signposts the grip that the underworld inflicts on the society.
Even with his talents, Mohbad was one of the beneficiaries of Nigeria’s music industry that is ruled by the drug lords. And when it was time for him to be free, it became a fight for survival between them- both in the industry and on earth. But the drug lords allegedly took the better part of him.
A lot is really happening in the music industry. But the irony of the situation is that there are various opportunities for you to grow and to blow.
But such opportunities don’t usually come on a platter. It has to be mortgaged. That is why it is sad to see such a talented hip hop star like Mohbad ignorantly mortgaged his life for wealth and fame and in the end losing both in the most tragic manner. Many rising stars have been victims of the music industry’s culture of being initiated into cultism and drug trafficking.
This is the failure of the society and the Federal Government must see how it can rid the thriving music industry from cultism and drug for it to be the best in terms of standard and global appeal. Unfortunately, the Nigerian society is to be blamed. Take your time to watch their videos, hear their music and see how the drug lords have taken over the music industry.
For the drug lords that control the industry, the unknown circle of acquiring wealth and fame had a blank spot that needs to be filled. And such is the dilemma of a rising star that is determined to make it at all costs.
With the way we manage our entertainment industry here in Nigeria, it is no doubt that Nigerian youth are in trouble and the future of this country looks bleak.
Unfortunately, bright stars like the late Mohbad had long been victims of the rot in the music industry. But now that we have lost the young talent, there were massive rallies across the country, indicating the resolve of the Nigerian youth to take charge and put their destinies in their hands.
As it is, the time is ticking fast for the music industry and the Federal Government must intervene and rise to the occasion to salvage the industry. Well, Mohbad’s death had enjoyed international reportage. The police and other security agencies that were involved in the case should ensure that they carry out their investigations thoroughly, and bring whoever that is involved to book.
This will serve as deterrent to others.But as painful as the Mohbad’s story was, I pray God to grant his soul eternal rest. Rest on, great star, and music Icon of the youth.
. Aderemi writes from Lagos.