The Eyes of Determination: Re-imagining Wizkid’s Celestial cum Maternal Praise Anthem

Ojuelegba was Fela’s easiest microcosm in his thoughts/yabis on Africa’s postcolonial quagmire. As such, when a perennial reproducer of Fela omits this reproduction in a song as meaningful as ‘Ojuelegba’ (2014), it is safe to believe that such a title is both an invocation of Fela as it is a strategic tool at mass appeal. After all, comedian Tee A did as much as inquire from random inhabitants of the actual Ojuelegba suburb about their knowledge of Wizkid at a time the song was at its most popular/infectious. If, indeed, Wizkid’s and Siri’s story of hustling to work at Mo’ Dogg’s studio is known by his people in Ojuelegba who are preoccupied with suffering, prayer points for blessings and the quest for a better life; then Tee A’s inquest might have been more fruitful. Perhaps, Wizkid had read the people’s mind when he emphasized repeatedly that he can’t explain it…

To those who aren’t quite his people and are busy downing tools, giving up on life and doubting everything essentially – like Solo who said he’d never blow – Wizkid’s message in ‘Ojuelegba’ is simple: You only live once, so why not commit to prayers whose efficacy has not only been proven but is in fact the very reason why he has grown by leaps and bounds to the point of writing/performing the very successful anthem called ‘Ojuelegba’ and beyond. His meteoric successes, he insists, are products of a miraculous trajectory etched on prayers rather than being deserved in any sense of it. Relatedly, in the second verse, Wizkid informs his audience that his mother has been responsible for the countless celestial favors that have been bestowed on him and his life. As such, he urges his audience to join him in communicating his gratitude to her yeoman/workhorse role in the estate of prayers. This estate of prayers is the bedrock of his present life of means; he notifies.

It is difficult to imagine that ‘Ojuelegba’ is already 5 years old. Yet, precisely because it invokes the creator’s place without being religious, ‘Ojuelegba’ resonates with folks of all creeds and faiths. Indeed, when Wizkid mentions ‘daddy’ and ‘mommy’ in ‘Ojuelegba’, his reference isn’t of an advanced couple nor is it of a separated one. Instead, Wizkid presents the creator as dad while mom is she who habitually reaches to ‘dad’ on his behalf. The lessons to take from ‘Ojuelegba’ are immense, each time reminding the listener just why it is such a timeless piece.

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