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Nigerian musician Ketchup: Kenyan can only beat us in having constant electricity

By Winnie Mabel September 11th, 2023 2 min read

Onyido Nkemjika, a Nigerian artist popularly known as Ketchup, had no words to mince for Kenyan musicians as he discussed about many African musicians want to sound like Nigerian musicians today.

Earlier on, he had appeared on a previous episode of the Kenganda podcast episode in which they discussed ‘Everybody wants to be a Nigerian all of a sudden’ and in a second episode uploaded today, he once again touched on the same topic despite the show topic being  ‘Lagos Nigeria vs Nairobi Kenya, which place is better for African Americans?”

The duo claimed Nigeria is the most powerful and popular country in Africa and that Kenya was trying to level up and catch up with the West Africans.

“The competition is a lot steeper in Nigeria because when you talk about entertainment, there is so much raw talent in Nigeria and a little bit more than 50% of the youth are doing something that they actually believe in, wasn’t given to them by the government, weren’t taught about it in school. They’re comedians, actors, people that didn’t even go to school for acting.

They’re doing this thing. Musicians don’t even know this thing for doremifasolatido- they didn’t go to school for music but they are making great music and the world is feeling it, you see? But for me, I feel like the comparison in being compared to Kenya- Kenyan artists are a little comfortable, they like it when they are the king of Kenya, they’re like ‘I’m good, I’m okay, Kenyan people love me’…but in Nigeria, it’s like ‘once Nigerian people know me, what about that other side of the world? Let’s go to that place and ‘destroy’ everything. We want to be everywhere at the same time,” explained Ketchup.

He went on to quip that in terms of infrastructure, the only thing that Kenya has over Nigeria is electricity because in Nigeria the lights go off too much and people are now used to a life of living with generators. He also hailed the political system in Kenya where there is a strong opposition that checks the government and is capable of directing their supporters to be disobedient and they do it unlike in Nigeria.

Ketchup lived in Malaysia and traveled the world promoting his music. He is currently in Nairobi on tour. As he speaks, Jamaican lingo can also be heard in his accent.

Kenya and Nigerian musicians have always been engaged in a cold war over style of music, choice of language and amount of airplay on media. In Kenya, there has been advocacy to increase Kenyan music airplay to above 70 percent because the airwaves are filled with Nigerian and Tanzanian music.

The war especially erupted when Kenyans expressed frustration when Nigerian superstar singer Yemi Alade released a version of her Na Gode song in Kiswahili- one of the official languages in Kenya and Tanzania. The song got massive airplay in Kenya compared to local musicians with Swahili songs and this did not sit well with some artists as well.

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