A little over a decade ago, Nigerian music stars were loved, appreciated and tolerated in intellectual circles. We all danced to their songs and invited them to our functions and parties. Even though they had huge and monumental hits, most of them lived modest lifestyles. There were no limos, huge mansions and endless conspicuous consumption. Those who could afford cars, did not own glittering wonders on wheel-they had regular cars-often times, pre-owned. Even though women flocked around them, it was often a case borne out of curiosity than deeply felt emotional attachment.
Fast forward to 2011 and the dynamics have changed tremendously. Today’s Nigerian music stars rank among some of the richest in the country –
driving around town in the most expensive automobile known to mankind. They live in massive mansions and have a coterie of staff and aids that attend to their every needs and
whims. They fly First Class and some even go by private jets. From being tolerated by the wealthy and intellectual class, as was the case in the past, they are now actively courted, cultivated by the ritziest of class and their presence at their parties
is seen as evidence of their arrival on the social scene.
Where corporate organizations take delight in inviting them to merely grace their events as was the case in the past, they now use them to market and sell their products through endorsement deals that run into millions of Naira (Nigerian currency.) From the tele-communications giant – Glo, to brewing companies, the faces of Nigerian music stars adorn their bill board, which in turns translates to huge revenue as fans of these stars see
great value in patronizing products that thier favorite stars have endorsed. The resultant effect of this has been huge income that these stars earn, which translates to fabulous lifestyles defined by wine, women, parties and conspicuous consumption.
Among the wealthiest music stars in Nigeria include D’Banj – the man that is popularly called “Koko-master.” The artist, who was recently signed on by Kanye West to his G.O.O.D Music label, is easily one of the richest and most sought after artistes in Nigeria. He is said to be worth close to half a billion/naira, made through product endorsements, record sales, shows and smart investment skills. D’Banj, also known as Mr. Endowed (I leave you to figure out the subliminal message in that appellation) is known to be a magnet for ladies. He has been linked romantically with Nollywood actress – Genevieve Nnaji, and a host of other pretty women. According to sources close to the singer, he enjoys the company of women, but is said to be very religious and believes in the institution of marriage. “I guess at this point, there are too many things on his plate to seriously consider marriage, but he will surely do it someday.” D’banj – a protégé of Don Jazzy, whose record company – MO Hits ranks among the best managed in the country owns numerous choice automobiles and lives in a huge