From Oxlade’s chart bursting ‘Kulosa’ to Asake’s mainstream debut, from the Release Of ‘Blood Sisters’ to the students of Wilmer Academy in Netflix’s ‘Far From Home’. Here is our pick of…
●1st January 2023
2022 brought its first share of culture shifting moments that will endure for much longer, creating new words, slangs and trends, and subtly influencing the actions of millions of young people. In no order, here is our pick of the top 10 culture defining moments of 2022.
At the start of 2022, Tiktok was already established in Nigeria as the new big power in music. Artists would soon incorporate this into their release schedules, allowing pre-released clips of their songs float on the video sharing platform with hopes to replicate this virality. “Finesse” was one of the successes, especially if you make a benchmark of cultural impact. The line, “If I broke na my business“, digests a highly relatable feeling into hilarious slang, and its entry into popular lingo was just the push the song needed.
Buga And The Buga Dance
Kizz Daniel’s hit single, released in May, admittedly did not feature the most cogent songwriting, but sometimes less is more, and doubly so if you write to appeal to generations aged decades apart. So as teens and young adults mourned empty lyrics while confessing the swaying power of its catchy tune, their parents were down for the complete experience. The words “Let Me See You Dey Buga” would spread like a virus, and nobody — not presidents or presidential aspirants, not athletes, not even the religious or clergy — was immune.
The Release Of Blood Sisters
Blood Sisters chronicles friends who get mixed up in a murder at a wedding. As unlikely as this story is to play out in reality, it was told with such a relatable charm that Nigerians offered no resistance getting pulled into the fictional world of Sarah and Kemi, and the series quickly rose up the trend tables as Nigerians commended another well-executed Netflix-Nollywood partnership.
The retrospective winner of a hotly contested music release date that was shared with Davido, Asake, Zinoleesky and the entire Mavin crew, Burna Boy’s Last Last would go on to flatten national charts before exiting the country’s stratosphere for a global run. It was powered at its core by a popular slang — “Na Everybody Go Chop Breakfast” — not his invention, but Burna owns it with such an authenticity, especially in live performances, that he abrogates any trace of its existence before him.
Peter Obi Emerges Labour Party Presidential Candidate
May was a gift that kept giving, but for its last trick, it delivered on the political. As a PDP presidential hopeful, Obi faced a destiny as another one that got away — presidential candidates adored by a few, but lacking in the much-flogged ‘political structure’ demanded of those who seek the highest office in the land. By defecting to the Labour Party he side stepped this ill fate, and while the results of the forthcoming elections will decide in hindsight the smartness of that decision, the fiercely loyal Obidient movement he has gathered reveals that the Nigerian youth is far from apolitical, they only needed a sufficiently stimulating politician.
Oxlade’s Ku Lo Sa
Oxlade’s “Ku Lo Sa” cannot help but feel like deja vu, but as its predecessor was as worthy of emulation as a song can be — musically and commercially, hardly anyone has a problem with that. “Ku La Sa” loses a lot of “Love Nwantiti’s” streaming numbers for an improved Nigerian popular acceptance, and a lot of the year’s third quarter was spent enjoying, or living through, Nigerians mimicking, but not quite replicating Oxlade’s hand movements from the popular video. Much like his voice, it is uniquely his.
The Headies, Bentley Bentayga and BNXN Vs. Ruger
The biggest new beef between artists would not arrive until August. The trigger? The Headies awards, and especially the Next Rated category, where they had thrown a Bentley Bentayga into the ring. Tweeps queued behind their respective choices, and hedged their bets in the form of boastful proclamations that could either come back to bite or grow into an even more boastful ‘I told you so‘. Of course BNXN drove home in the coveted supercar, but their rivalry is far from over. The pair recently redrew swords for the streaming farm standoff, and it looks like there is no end in sight for this feud.
Mr. Money With The Vibe
Mr. Money’s rise to the top has been documented in words so many times, you would have had to make a conscious effort to not know his journey by heart. And yet, compared to the cultural impact he has made this year, it still isn’t enough, for Asake has had enough moments this year to occupy half this list. The release of Mr. Money With The Vibe has however been chosen for how it crowns a spectacular year for him, a year in which he headlined pop culture.
Kunle Afolayan’s Anikulapo was the culmination of years of effort. It was also the beginning of conversations about actions taken by its characters. It wasn’t quite the polarising argument of Tyler Perry’s Acrimony and the ‘who was at fault’ question, seeing as the movie’s villain, Saro was not contestable, but it sparked its own discourse on monogamy and betrayal, with a meme that lives on till this day.
Far From Home And 13 Year Old Men
Far From Home held a precarious position before its release. Global attention had come its way, but for the wrong reasons, so showrunners would have to wait a tense week to discover if they would be cheated by the popular saying ‘no publicity is bad publicity’, and if all their hard work would fall at the altar of a few bearded actors. Thankfully, the series held a lot more than promotional content let on, and is now the most recent topic making the rounds in social media circles, tying up a year studded with cultural shifts in a neat bow.