Music to the Rescue: An Analysis of COVID-19 Songs in Northern Nigeria
This study was carried out to determine how local musicians in contemporary Northern Nigeria use music to create awareness on the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, an incident that was received with mixed reactions from the mainly Muslim populace in northern Nigeria. There are three groups to deal with, the first group are those who looked at the pandemic pessimistically as a Western conspiracy to reduce the world population. The second group viewed the pandemic as a disease that only affect the well-to-do members of the society. The final group are those that believed that there is no pandemic in the region and Government is only using it to siphon public funds and garner international palliative attention in terms of cash which they will divert for their own use. Using discourse analysis, this study had analysed three songs with a view to finding out the narratives, the motivation and the use of digital space to create the needed awareness for the pandemic. The study finds out that art and its forms, especially the usage of music has proven to be of importance and very effective means of communicating complex messages in Northern Nigeria. It was, therefore, concluded that the demonstration of creativity by the contemporary local artists, singers in particular, in creating awareness on the COVID-19 pandemic is a testimony that songs and other art forms are still useful and can be used to promote social causes which helps create social cause awareness. Based on the findings and conclusion, it was recommended among others that Government at all levels should engage the artists in communicating complex/sensitive messages.