By Ahmad Muto
According to rapper Navio, Nigerian singers filling up London’s O2 Arena when he can hardly fill up Lugogo Cricket Oval does not give him sleepless nights. He argued that it boils down to numbers and not really the music, stating that the Nigerian population in the diaspora alone is bigger than the population of Uganda.
“Our population is 40 million people, Nigeria’s diaspora population is 45 million people. We cannot fill up the 02 Arena. Like 20,000 tickets are local, bought by the white boys who love Afropop. But for most part, the 80,000 tickets are bought by the Nigerians living there,” he explained.
He added that they are also loyal to local content which is why even getting airtime on their radio as an outsider is hard because they play 99% Nigerian music.
“When we go there, getting into a radio station is a problem, but I am blessed in that regard. They play your music once and that is it. They have a law that states they have to play 99% Nigerian music and Tanzania has a law that dictates 75%,” he said.
This comes two weeks after Nigerian Grammy award winner, Burna Boy reportedly filled up the 02 Arena with 12,000 people during his Twice As Tall UK Tour. It was later claimed the stadium had a number of empty seats that infuriated him.
Meanwhile, on Friday, September 3, 2021, fellow Nigerian Grammy winner, Wizkid announced his Made in Lagos UK Tour and sold out two shows at the 02 Arena in two and 35 minutes. They are set to happen on November 29 and December 1, 2021 respectively.
Navio was appearing on a local television station on Thursday, September 9, 2021. It should be noted that he started rapping commercially in the early 2000s while Burna Boy and Wizkid started singing commercially in the last decade.