On SUPAFRIK’s radar this week is songstress Nneka ‘s new video release Soul is Heavy, an early introduction to her new LP of the same name. Set against panning visions of oil rigs, dollars signs, shell emblems and the Ogoni activist Ken Saro Wiwa, Nneka sings us back into remembering beloved Naija’s relationship with the ‘West’ and the long history of exploitation that has marked much of the oil rich region of Delta. Growing up in Warri, Oil City until she was 19 has meant that the 29 year old singer and activist has not and will not remain silent on the exploitation of natural resources in Nigeria. The artist’s first offering, Concrete Jungle, is an ode to black consciousness, African freedom, spiritual liberation and more poignantly the Niger Delta.
The single Soul Heavy is a timely re/introduction to Nneka, her sounds and style, and smartly samples Talib Kweli and Hi – Tek’s “Ballad of the Black Gold”. A song that is also about the Niger Delta. The sample haunts the end of the track as the voice of the late and great Ken Saro Wiwa reminds us “to demand our rights peacefully, non- violently” and that if we do so “we shall win”.
It was Nneka that introduced us at SUPAFRIK to the AFRICA IS THE FUTURE collective and line, and her music continues to remind us that the AITF mantra stands true.
“I do not see myself as a performer but as somebody who shares her heartfeelings with others. I have fortunately, by the grace of God, the opportunity to sing my message to you on your stages. And if the media supports it – fine! This is an advantage, something I feel the world needs.”