Beautiful Nubia’s songs have inspired me in some many ways. Through their socio-political critical outlooks, they have influenced my societal awareness and drawn attention to my essence as a social being.
In “Ma Fo’ya”, I identity with the miseries of the African children and their neglect by a society that doesn’t seem to care in the first instance. The lines, “I wish I have the answers . . . I wish I am an angel of peace” seem to point to the irredemability and helplessness of the situation. However, the refrain “Omo o, ma fo’ya. Ọmọ o, ma beru” shows that it can be helped. I listen to this track to reinforce my self-confidence when I am on the verge of losing it.
“Farabale” teaches me patience. It comes in handy everytime things appear difficult and I am continually frustrated. The track teaches me to take things one step at a time because “oro ile aye, ṣe bi sùúrù lo gba o”.
“Mind of Your Own” exposes the ‘turn the other cheek” mindset of the suffering populace, and the continual dependence of African nations on the Western world for sustenance. This song is imbued with other messages like the advocacy of a never-say-die mentality and can-do spirit; independent thinking; the denouncement of Messianic intervention; and the admonishment that the destiny of a man is in his hands. That some of these messages are present in “Ohun Oju Ri” and “Someone like Biko” shows the overlapping of themes in Beautiful Nubia’s music. This track addresses the reality of neocolonialism as a facelift of slavery and colonialism in Africa. It also points to the Western world’s projection of Africa as the world’s poverty capital. Again, Beautiful Nubia intimates his listeners with the importance of the individual in the reformation of our society and the need to “speak together in one voice”.
“We Live Here Too” somehow reminds me of the relevance of a revolutionary force in a dysfunctional, corrupt society. Listening to this song gives me the impression that I am not alone in my thoughts. “Beriwon” too harps on the readiness for a reformation.
The two tracks of “This Burning House” take deforestation and environmental degradation as their topical issues. They are apt portrayals of the mindless and reckless environmental degradation — both by individuals and institutions.
“Owolamo” portrays how money is idolized in our society. It shows how people who ordinarily are disgraces to the society attain status of deities because of money. It jolts us to the rememberance that character and not money makes a man. In the manner of sequels, “Oruko Rere” preaches the importance of a good name while “Moworesire” urges me to be of good character just like an Ọmọluabi.
“Kurunmi” and “Imoremi” echo the values of sacrifice and good leadership. They justifiably show that no sacrifice is too much for the progress and sanctity of one’s society. Beautiful Nubia dips into history to bring out Kurunmi and Moremi as suitable foils of our present generation of corrupt, featherbrained leaders.
“Monkey Dey Where Shoe” is emphatic about the self-deception of an akotileta. For me, this song has a political undertone.
“Teramo”, “Higher Steps”, “Coming Soon”, “All It Takes”, “All the Answers” and “Ireti Ogo” are imbued with the hope of a better condition. They serve me well when I am in my period of need and lack or when I am at my rock bottom. They lift me from the claws of inaction into action.
“Owuro Lojo” echoes the importance of time in relation to work. It is motivating, promising and refreshing. It is a good song to start the day with.
“Tables Turn” echoes the bitter experiences and needs of the common man. My favourite lines in the song are the ones that express the wants of an average man, telling the haves not to ignore or leave him to his woeful plight. This clarion call is in consonance with the communal ‘all for one and one for all’ mantra in “Ohun Oju Ri.”
Finally, “The Path” sums up the philosophy of Beautiful Nubia as an entertainer and the role of a musician in a dysfunctional society. I get emotional whenever I listen to this song. Maybe it’s the messages therein or the harmony of the sounds of the musical instruments or a combination of both. The song sums up the messages in his other songs and establishes his kind of music as corrective. It implores us “to say the truth”, “stand for justice” and about the urgent need to take a new social route, a departure from the social dysfunction.