Tiwa Savage And Yemi Alade Have Done What Onyeka Onwenu And Christy Essien-Igbokwe Did Not Do
One of the most beautiful love stories that happened in the Nigerian music industry in 2019 was when the two top female music superstar Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade performed together during the Flytime Music Festival tagged Tiwa’s ‘Everything Savage’ Concert. For several years now, fans have clamored and waited for that moment, and they made it happened and as well make it count – we ended that year with overflowing love. The question of who extended the olive branch is of no significance because both of them have done what their predecessors like Onyeka Onwenu and the late Christy Essien-Igbokwe did not do. For Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade to stand on the same stage at the same time to perform together hugging each other, that was the first of such moments between two rival female musicians in the history of the Nigerian music industry.
Words by Sesan Adeniji
Acrimony between top Nigerian female musicians dates back to several years when they started battling one another for ‘who is the originator of their genre of music’ and as well, who is the best performer in their industry. During the era of ‘Waka music‘ known in the western corridor of the country, for years, the artiste Salawa Abeni and her contemporary the late Batile Alake tussled for who’s the originator of Waka music. Both performers and their fans don’t see eye to eye. They never settle those issues in their heydays.
But one of the most notorious rivalries was between the legendary Onyeka Onwenu- the elegant stallion and Christy Essien-Igbokwe – Nigeria’s lady of songs. Even though both are highly coveted musicians and actresses in their salad days, still, they could not stand each other. Separated across the battle line, they never worked together or walk on the same stage.
Back in the days, a particular Nigerian artistes song project created to garner support for the ruling Nigerian president (The late Sani Abacha) was the only project that could have united them in the same space. That did not come to fruition. At the prime of their careers, Onyeka and Christy Essien rivaled each other.
With regards to Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade, for years, there was no love lost between both artistes. Without any physical altercation or conflict, nevertheless, both could not see eye to eye. Is it fair to say that such a battle is a female thing? While some of their alleged actions might have proved that they may never unite on any issues, despite those, fans and some top journalists like myself continued to call them out suggesting that collaboration is the best way forward for a better industry. They were smart cos they heed to the advice. They saved the best for the last days in 2019 when they settled their differences by performing together on the same stage on the 23rd of December. Likened to how artistes Davido and Wizkid mended their relationship in 2018, Tiwa and Yemi gave the audiences a heartfelt performance. With the bad days now behind us, can we start with all the hypotheses regarding the best female collaboration we should look forward to in 2020? Can I as well begin to imagine Tiwa and Yemi’s indie labels signing the next generation of female artists to take the world stage?
With love now flowing from above, please kindly indulge me as I start to dream big. I think it’s high time more female musicians take over in 2020. Let me start by predicting that for every young male music superstars, it’s time to have females to rival them. For every young artiste like Fireboy DML, Joeboy, Rema, Zlatan and, Naira Marley, it’s time to churn out females in that ilk. Tiwa and Yemi have competed with their male counterparts with regards to international performances, media appearances and performance fees. Now is the time for them to use their various collaborative works to help more female entertainers come through – they both have the talent and the clout to make that a reality.