The controversial St. Janet

The heat generated over the release of the live audio CD of the singer popularly known as St. Janet is unwarranted and a mere diversion of energy by her critics. St. Janet has in the past weeks been vehemently criticized due to the lyrics of her song purported to be ‘immoral’ The Music Advertising Association of Nigeria (MAAN) and the leadership of Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) placed a ban on the album in a dissipation of energy which the two bodies should have committed to fighting piracy and hunting for talents towards developing the industry.


What law is being invoked by these moral police assailing the woman? And do these critics have the moral justification to condemn St. Janet and her work? Who are those casting the stones against St. Janet? From their definition of ‘morality’ is it morally right to mobilize thugs to PMAN election just to clinch power? Does MAAN’s ‘morality’ allow it to advertise ‘immorality’ (half naked dancers in music videos) but bans who lyrics such in songs?

I think we need to get it clear that the world is evolving and so society changes. Not everybody is comfortable that a mosque beside his house will have to deprive him from having a good sleep or a church will have to disturb your sleep in the name of vigil and services. What everybody craves for is a peaceful co-existence. In a society like this you just have to keep your eyes and ears off certain things you don’t want, you don’t cut off the head of a girl sitting next to you in a bus because her dressing exposes her breast. You just keep your eyes off it.

Why the hypocrisy? The Western musicians sing worse lyrics in their song and we buy them in large quantity without any agency stopping the influx of the work. Today, at almost every junction in Lagos there are CD retailers who sell pornographic movies openly without any agency raising eyebrow because you go in and buy what you want to see. During the days of legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti he was accused by this same kind of persons of corrupting the youths and luring them into prostitution and smoking. Today twelve years after the death of Abami Eda, prostitution and smoking appear higher among the youths of this generation than that of Fela’s generation.

The major problem is that this tribe of people does not attack the root cause of issues. Qui buno – whose benefit is the banning of this music. Will it solve decayed education system in Nigeria which has kept a lot of Nigeria students out of classroom? And how does it challenge the government to step into its constitutional responsibility for proper funding of education and give the citizen a sense of being a Nigerian? Is it St. Janet’s song that has caused the Jos crises, book-haram conflict, Niger delta militancy or the fuel scarcity which has persisted since last year? This is a country with one of the highest concentration of religious people. You cannot walk far before you see a church or mosque yet at any misunderstanding they reach for their cutlasses and guns? This is as a result of intolerance of one another’s opinion and believe, holier than thou attitude.

I hold that just as religion permits adherents to worship and listen to any clergy of their choice the fans of St. Janet have the inalienable right to buy and listen to her CD. As a matter of fact her fans are waiting for Volume 2 of faaji series.  One of the features of a free society that everybody craves for is the right to choose what to listen to or what not to. Let all the moral policemen and women channeled their energy towards social transformation of this system.

Francis Watch
Agege Lagos

Francis a.k.a Ochogu is an actor, entertainer and activist based in Agege Lagos. He has featured in couple of soap-operas and movies like “Teacher ‘O’ Teacher”, “So Wrong so Wright”, “Samaritan woman” etc.

Sir, I will appreciate it if this view on the subject matter is published.

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