Umar Lawal Yusuf

Umar Lawal Yusuf is a lecturer with the Sociology and Anthropology Department at the University of Maiduguri. Umar holds an M.Sc. in Criminology (2015) from the University of Jos, a Masters in Industrial and Labour Relations (2009), and a B.Sc. in Sociology and Anthropology (2003) from the University of Maiduguri. Currently, Umar is undergoing a PhD programme in Cultural Sustainability at the University of Maiduguri in Nigeria.

The role of politicians in democratizing musical production in northern Nigeria

Praise singing through traditional music has been the practice in Northern Nigerian culture for over a thousand years. Presently, and with the elevated poverty levels, locals don’t have the means to transform their folklore into urban music which will propel their craft beyond the Northern Nigerian space. However, Northern Nigerian politicians have become very interested in the music sector in the past decade, engaging in a win-win partnership with local musicians in which the local musicians sing their praises in exchange for being produced. The advent of digital technologies has also made music production relatively easy as compared to the past, as production studios have multiplied more than triple fold.  Against this Background, this paper is an attempt to examine the role played by the politicians in democratizing musical production in Northern Nigeria; specifically, examining the factor that led to democratizing the local music production by Northern politicians, the influence of music during electioneering Campaigns in Northern Nigeria, and the benefit enjoyed by the musicians from the politicians in Northern Nigeria. The paper adopts an ethnographic method where both primary and secondary sources will be utilized. Purposive sampling techniques will be employed. Consequently, some selected supporters, politicians and local musicians would be interviewed with unstructured questions. However, In-depth interviews (IDI) will also be used to generate data from the respondents. The analytical process will be computer based, as the data obtained will be fed into the computer and analyzed using the Nvivo qualitative computer data analysis software. At the end of this paper, it will reveal the role played by politician in democratizing musical production in Northern Nigeria, as well as showcase the magnitude of music during electioneering. Finally, the study will point out the benefits enjoyed by the musicians from the politicians.

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