Africa and the world in general witnessed the uprising of an awakened generation of Nigerians, that forsook all ethnic and religious differences just to unify themselves with one voice and one goal even without any form of leadership.
What started from social media hashtags became a physical protest with young Nigerians marching peacefully with placards and solidarity chants as they demanded an end to police brutality.
Despite the absence of solo leadership, few influential young Nigerians took it upon themselves to not only lend their voices, but to also use their physical presence to influence other young Nigerians to join the protest. Among these influential young Nigerians were music stars.
As the saying goes, not all superheroes wear capes. Also, for every courageous act, fear was confronted first. These music stars defied the odds set before them as they risked their lives and livelihood to promote a very sensitive cause, “#EndSARS”.
Before I focus on a few selected artistes for this particular piece, I hope that the readers will be lenient on me for omitting some of their favourites. Every participation and contribution to the EndSARS movement is very important and I won’t in any way take it for granted. Having addressed that, I would only be listing some outstanding few.
Nigerian rapper, actor and lawyer, Folarin Falana, professionally referred to as Falz, commenced the physical protest in Lagos with his colleague Runtown on the 8th of October 2020 and it had over 2000 young Nigerians in attendance. He also took it upon himself to interpret the law to Nigerians, and enlighten them about their legal rights as stated in the Nigerian constitution. His convictions to the 5 for 5 demand and bravery to further promote the EndSARS movement to the international community made him grant interviews to international news agencies such as CNN etc.
Nigerian Disk Jockey, DJ Switch was heroic during the alleged Lekki Massacre at the Lekki Toll Plaza, Lagos on October 20 ,2020. Her Instagram live coverage of that tragic incident enabled Nigerians to witness the alleged murder of peaceful protesters by the Nigerian Army on that black Tuesday. Nonetheless, she still came out to address the rebuttal of the Nigerian government who debunked the authenticity of her reports.
Flavour, Kcee, Phyno and Zoro
When the EndSARS protest commenced in Lagos, these Nigerian artistes left Lagos for Enugu to bring youths of Enugu out. I personally was intrigued by the massive turnout and enthusiasm of Enugu youths in the video footage I saw on social media.
Small Doctor, Vector, Patoranking, Qdot, Oxlade and Ojah Bee
The Lagos wing of the Nationwide EndSARS protest was star studded indeed, most especially at the Lekki Toll Plaza. However, some artistes really brought their hood out for the protest. Artistes like Small Doctor brought out a massive crowd from Agege down to Ojodu Berger to participate in the protest. Oxlade brought out Surulere residents to join the protest and his road manager ‘Ojah Bee’ was manhandled in the process by SARS, detained and tortured but later released after some influential intervention. Vector brought out Lagos Island as well, Patoranking did the same with Ebute Meta, Qdot brought out Ikorodu and other artistes brought out their hood as well.
London Protest: Wizkid
Starboy as he is also referred to, was out of the country and situated in London. He brought out Nigerians in London to join the EndSARS protest and this was the first time the EndSARS protest was held in an international community.
Nigerian megastar and self-acclaimed African Giant endorsed the EndSARS movement by sponsoring billboards within Nigeria to convey the end police brutality message. He also took the movement to the International community via his interviews and after the alleged Lekki massacre, he was spotted in London protesting.
Abuja Protest: Davido
The DMW boss used his influence to help get detained protesters in Abuja released and he also had an interview with the P.R.O of the Nigerian Police Force ‘Frank Mba’ to discuss best ways forward.
Tacha Port Harcourt:
I wouldn’t have mentioned her, but it’s important to state her role for thr movement. Former disqualified BBNaija housemate Tacha was very vocal when the Governor Wike revealed he had banned the #EndSARS protest in the state. She personally influenced the protest in the state and made it one of the most successful. The governor had no choice but to allow it, while also lending his support.
I conclude this piece with a quote from popular author, Rick Warren:” The purpose of influence is to “speak up for those who have no influence.