A new survey that produced ‘10 richest African musicians’ may have been influenced by mere swagger and gossips, writes Chux Ohai
Ace Nigerian musicians King Sunny Ade and Wasiu Ayinde, aka K1 are surprisingly missing from a list of richest African musicians published by an international online magazine, Africa Answers.
The omission of the artistes, whose careers span several decades, from the list is the subject of a debate that is currently rippling through the Nigerian entertainment circles.
The list, a periodic ritual by Africa Answers,includes Tuface Idibia, BankyW, D’Banj and P-Square among 10 wealthiest artistes on the continent.
The P-Square were named second richest musicians behind Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour, while self-styled Kokomaster, D’banj, was placed in the third position. At ninth position, BankyW trails behind TuFace Idibia, who tied the nuptial knot with Nollywood actress, Annie Macaulay, last Saturday in Dubai.
The magazine said D’banj made about $1m when he was paid by a TV station to star in his own reality show titled ‘Koko Mansion’. It said that the singer’s home in Atlanta, Georgia was valued at $1.5m and he has recently taken to charging not less than $10,0000 as fees for performing at concerts.
Perhaps to show that it has been following the progress of these artistes closely, Africa Answers noted that Tuface had recently “painted the city of Dubai red” with his exquisite and exclusive wedding.
To justify its rating of the singer, it said Tuface reportedly owned a vast investment in real estate across Nigeria and earned between $50,000 and $80,000 per show.
The magazine said returnee Nigerian musician, Banky W, had risen to become one of the richest in the continent through his talent and deals with some big companies.
It said the artiste had raked in extra money as a brand ambassador for Estisalat Mobile in Nigeria and, currently, the face for Samsung products in the country.
Describing Banky W as kind-hearted, Africa Answers noted that he founded the Mr Capable Foundation, a charity organisation, with the sole aim of funding the education of children from poor Nigerian families.
Although the online journal seems right about Tuface owning a night club in Nigeria, among other unnamed investments, it was silent on the financial gains accruing to the singer from its operations.
But, music fans in Nigeria think the list may be flawed by its concentration on members of the new generation of Nigerian musicians.
In spite of the fact that their names were omitted, it is believed that the likes of King Sunny Ade, Wasiu Ayinde and even Femi Kuti may be richer than any of those mentioned on the list. Each of these musicians is accomplished and significantly appreciated by fans outside the continent.
Since KSA’s career, for example, spans a period of 50 years, most of which were spent on playing tours in different parts of the world, it is natural to expect that he has acquired riches along the line. Till now, he remains very busy hopping from one big event to another. his foe, it is learnt, hits N5m on some occasions.
Only last October, Wasiu Ayinde was in the news for opening yet another luxurious mansion, valued as huge millions of Naira, in Ijebu-Ode, his hometown. Well known for his generosity, K1 is said to own properties in Canada and other parts of the world.
Apart from his constant playing tours abroad, which often gulp huge budgets, Afrobeat musician, Femi Anikulapo-Kuti, single-handedly built the first and till date, only ultra-modern events auditorium by any contemporary musician in Nigeria. He may this have been under-vained.
It is a surprise that Africa Answers did not consider the fact that each of these musicians have for many years been performing at high-profile concerts since the onset of their careers.
A closer look at the list shows that the magazine must have based its ratings on snatches of gossip around the listed musicians rather than rely on concrete evidence. The process seems flawed by its failure to give an accurate assessment of the financial assets of the artistes.