When it was first announced that the soundtrack to period movie and the only cinematic documentation of the Nigerian Civil War, till date, to my knowledge, Half of a Yellow Sun, was going to be done by D’banj, I was very worried. The book, of the same title by Chimamanda Adichie from which the movie was adapted is no child’s play. Many, if not all reading this were not born in that time and perhaps only learnt of the horrors that happened from stories told by relatives and even at that, mostly Easterners. To be plain, H.O.Y.S. is a serious book. I have only seen the trailer of the movie and watched some released scenes but the movie follows the same vein. So I was thoroughly confused as to how D’banj could possibly fit into the picture. No offence, to him,
at least for now but when a roll call of artistes with some measure of depth (the kind H.O.Y.S production team should have enlisted) is reeled out, D’banj and his music cannot hope or dream to possibly be included. I decided to wait and maybe be proved wrong.
D’banj’s product of a soundtrack, ‘Bother You’ has absolutely nothing to do with the movie. When I first saw the video, I first felt disbelief and then anger. Half of A Yellow Sun is a movie about love, betrayal and a war that left wounds and scars that remain open till today. Why is there still a group that fights for the emancipation of Biafra? Why do many still feel the bloodletting, fresh, as if it was yesterday?
This is how D’banj’s song captures these feelings:
“I don’t mean to bother you, can I borrow some of your time, tell me who discover you, ‘cos you’re the treasure I don dey find…”
WHAT THE BLOODY HELL?!
I am not sure whose door to lay the blame at: the artiste who was given a chance to record something timeless for such a historically important movie or the people who selected him to do it. Half of a Yellow Sun is mostly a British production, from the same company that produced Last King of Scotland actually. But are they so far removed from reality that they thought it was D’banj of ALL PEOPLE who could provide an appropriate soundtrack to this film? Was someone not in complete control of their thought process when this decision was made? Did Nigeria’s usually harsh temperature, scorching sun, addle a brain or two?!
I understand they may be trying to make the movie more appealing to Nigerians the way they did when there was uproar that Genevieve Nnaji wasn’t given a star role, worse still cut out of the first trailer (They re-edited and included her afterwards) but D’banj was not a wise option. I mean, what happened to a soulful Waje, Omawumi or better still a Timi Dakolo?! I cannot honestly believe whoever signed off on D’banj providing a soundtrack means good for this movie. Were they hoping to ride on his celebrity to make the movie more successful? Or did they feel the best person to project love, which is one of the major themes in the movie was D’banj?
‘Bother You’ is D’banj’s impression of a love song no doubt. A spectacularly indistinctive, empty one, as usual. Were I not judging it per its mesh with the movie, I’d still call it a fine piece of sonic rubbish. I daresay its even falls under D’banj’s customarily low standards.
The video for the song filled with clips from the movie is even worse off. I present evidence:
- While D’banj is wriggling on the beach with a horse, gold chain around his neck, in white, asking a girl who’s apparently further down the beach to be the Aladdin to his Genie (You know I’m not making this up, go watch the video) the video cuts to a scene in the movie where characters, Odenigbo and Olanna are getting married, after which a bomb explodes behind them, killing many…
- While D’banj continues to wriggle on the beach, running to meet his love interest the video cuts to a scene when Easterners begin to flee the war-torn regions, packing their belongings into trucks, shepherded together like animals, panicked, frenzied…
- As D’banj reaches his love interest the video cuts again to a scene in the movie, at an airport when the Military takes over an airport in the East, shooting innocent people in cold blood randomly, mothers, fathers, children. (P.S. This is one of the most heart-rending portions of the trailer and I’ll hazard the movie)
While people die, are torn apart, in the scenes of the movie which are edited into the video, D’banj dances on a pristine beach, with a nappy haired girl, in all white, the sun shining in all its glory. D’banj is happy and self-satisfied, making the most curious expressions that come across to me as a bit daft, while in the movie’s included scenes there is bloodshed, tears and war. The video’s only silver lining is that D’banj is even less animated than usual, prancing around, giving one a visual impression of monkeys been teased with bananas, swinging excitedly from vine to vine.
Even if you have never read the book, do not know the civil war history, know nothing of the movie, surely something seems amiss to you.
Apparently not to D’banj. Alongside his many legendary, unforgettable lines, towards the end of the ‘Bother You’ track, he croons, ‘We’ll be wild out like Charlie Sheen…”
Of course. In the middle of a war, family members murdered, missing, faint hope for survival, one would want to get wild…
You’ve heard the song, seen the video, please use the comment box below to express you.