Thelma Osatohanmwen 


Veteran manager and music executive, Obi Asika has hailed controversial singer Ederis Abdulkareem for championing the rights of Nigerian artistes in the music industry.

In a recent episode of the popular Hip TV program, Obi Asika reminisced about a watershed moment in Nigerian music history involving the controversial singer Eedris Abdulkareem and American rapper 50 Cent’s concert in Nigeria in 2004.

During the program, Asika shed light on the prevailing issue of Nigerian artists being mistreated and disrespected by local brands.

He recalled how Nigerian talents were made to feel inferior and were often relegated to secondary roles, prompting Abdulkareem to take a stand against such exploitation.

Asika recounted the pivotal moment when Abdulkareem, one of the country’s biggest artists at the time, demanded equal treatment and rights as 50 Cent during the concert.

Abdulkareem insisted on the same privileges and accommodations afforded to the international star, setting off a chain of events that would have a lasting impact on the Nigerian music industry.

During the flight from Lagos to Benin or Port Harcourt for the next leg of the concert, Abdulkareem approached 50 Cent in business class to discuss a potential collaboration. However, he was promptly ejected from his seat, leading to a confrontation with the organizers.

Asika emphasized that Abdulkareem’s actions were not merely about personal grievances but were a courageous stand against the systemic mistreatment of Nigerian artists. By challenging the status quo, Abdulkareem sacrificed his own career and reputation, ultimately becoming a martyr for the cause of artist rights and dignity.

The aftermath of the incident saw Abdulkareem unfairly vilified and sidelined within the industry. Despite his significant contributions to Nigerian music, he was painted as a troublemaker and faced obstacles in his career trajectory.

However, Asika emphasized that Abdulkareem’s legacy should be one of admiration and respect for his unwavering commitment to advocating for the rights and recognition of Nigerian artists.