We take a walk down memory lane, to draw out 6 popular Nigerian songs that have been banned by the NBC in recent times;
‘Not to be broadcast’ code name NTBB is the label slapped on records deemed unfit for airplay by the National Broadcasting Commission, the NBC, for various reasons which according to past rulings have ranged from vulgarity to mentions of hard drugs, fraudulent acts and more.
Given the music industry’s constant growth and teeming population as well as the liberalness of many of the musical talents within and it’s not hard to imagine that the NTTB verdict has been slapped on a number of songs.
Described by many as a ‘ban,’ the head of the commission’s public affairs in 2018, Hajia Maimuna had stated that they didn’t ban songs but rather declare it unfit for broadcast, thereby restricting them from airplay by local radio and TV stations.
Ironically, this ruling seems to fetch the affected songs which for the most part were already popular or even hits, additional popularity with the people, with their notoriety receiving a boost as well as their circulation via other channels not within the NBC’s control.
To take a walk down memory lane, here are 5 popular Nigerian songs that have been banned by the NBC:
Popular Nigerian Songs Banned by NBC;
1. This is Nigeria, Falz
A lawyer turned rapper, Falz never fails to dissect Nigeria’s many problems in his rap lines and also amplify them with visuals. He had done similarly while borrowing a leaf from Childish Gambino’s note on societal satire with his version of This is America titled This is Nigeria with double the satire and also double the effect. Double the effect being the keyword because the song, as well as its video, had resulted in being banned on the 13th of August by the NBC who sent a notice to a radio station in Jos after playing it and said the line, “This is Nigeria, look how we living now, everybody be criminal,” were vulgar lyrics.
2. Iskaba, Wande Coal, DJ Tunez
Any fan of Wande Coal or a lover of Nigerian pop music will know that the singer loves his women thick and very curvy with ginormous backsides. The singer had documented this love on his record with DJ Tunez, Iskaba. But the NBC was not having any of that, especially the lines that went “Oh no, oh no, girl you dey make me kolo, shaking that ass like kolo,” and via the same memo to the Jos-based radio station on Falz’s record, had filed the song in their ‘Not to be Broadcast’ folder, banning it from being played via TV and radio mediums they had a say over.
3. See Mary, See Jesus- DJ Kaywise ft Olamide
One thing about Olamide, he can and will make a record about anything and he proved this on DJ Kaywise’s See Mary, See Jesus where he likened the lavish feats of his friends and his own self to miracles. With lines like, “You no believe me you no believe Jesu” and the chorus “See Mary, see Jesus,” the NBC had stated that the record was laced with casual use of these names which were considered sacred by Christians and as such had contravened a constitutional act.
4. Science Student- Olamide
In August 2017, the NBC had put out a disclaimer via Twitter to let the general public know that they had not banned 9ice’s Living Things song, Davido’s Fall and If as well as Olamide’s Wo, which had been reported thus following an announcement made by a source they claimed was fake. Wo by Olamide had then grown to be a massive hit and in January 2018, he’d released the divisive Science Student which according to him advocated against drug abuse. Given the contentious nature of the song, Olamide had gone to lengths to ensure his intentions were understood by many but the NBC didn’t buy it and on the 29th of January, they’d declared Science Student ‘unfit to be broadcast.’
5. Thunder Fire You- Ric Hassani
Released as the promotional song off Ric Hassani’s the Prince I Became Album, Thunder Fire You had been gathering mass and developing into a smash hit when the singer had come on Twitter with the words, “So, the NBC has banned my song ‘Thunder Fire You’ and are fining radio stations that play it. Interesting.”
6. Tiwa’s Vibe- Tiwa Savage
On the 6th of June 2018, an unhappy Tiwa Savage took to her Instastory to express her displeasure after getting wind of the fact that her song, Tiwa’s Vibe which was released earlier on in May had been banned by the NBC. She’d written on her story with a teary smiley saying, “Just heard Tiwa’s Vibe is banned on local stations. Because I said shayo (shrugging emoji) But alcohol is legal right? She’d asked while ending her post. The ban of Tiwa’s Vibe was however neither denied nor confirmed by any representatives of the NBC yet it seemed to have taken effect on the song.
Other popular Nigerian songs that have been banned or deemed unfit for radio play include Phyno’s Yayo, Reminisce’s Tesojue, Wizkid’s In My Bed, Davido’s Fans Mi and several others which had been shared when radio personality Yaw had shared a photo of the list of songs stated as unfit to be broadcast by the NBC in year 2015.