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Jidenna explains comment after One Africa Music Fest debacle

International Business Times logo International Business Times 2017-05-19 Toyin Owoseje
Jidenna © Getty Jidenna

Known for his smash hit Classic Man that took over the airwaves worldwide back in 2015, Jidenna is an African music icon born in the US with strong Nigerian roots on his father's side.

Billed as the headlining act at last weekend's One Africa Music Fest that took place at Wembley in London, he unfortunately never made it to the stage through no fault of his own. It turned out that the set timings ran way past curfew not allowing the rapper a chance even to touch the stage for a single song.

Apologising to his fans in a video statement released via his social media channels, Jidenna explained that he was unable to perform due to some poor time management on the festival's part. Not wanting to point the finger at anyone in particular, he said:

"I wanna apologise to the Generals that came out [and] the supporters that came out to support me and the others. I was not on the stage tonight. Not by my choice but apparently we ran out of time. I'm not here to point any fingers at One Africa or Paul [Okoye] but something went wrong tonight. If we truly believe it's our time as Africans then we have to be on time, especially in a city where you have Big Ben overlooking it. We have to be on time on our dial, on our dime, on our clock. Make Africa great again."

In an interview with IBTimes UK, Jidenna elaborated on exactly what he meant about it being Africa's time.

Also read: “South Africa's Glam Tomboy”

"I believe that the future of the planet depends on Africa," he began. "It actually really does and that's when people mention the world's natural resources. But do you know what the best resource is? Human beings. Human beings are what build it. Human beings are what mine the resources. Human beings are what sells them. So I believe the greatest resource in Africa is Africans. It's completely tied to the future of the planet and that's why everybody from here in Europe to America to East Asia are flocking to Africa to figure out what they're going to do with this wonderful continent.

"So to me I'm speaking to Africans. It's our time. I think that's why we're seeing this change – partially due to Afrobeats – where there's an embracing of the culture. And if we embrace ourselves and invest in ourselves then by us finding our worth and creating our own value system, as opposed to being submissive or assimilating to somebody else's value system, then what will happen is we – and this is the human we – will have a better planet.

"They say steel sharpens steel, right? That's what I wanna see. I wanna see Africans of diaspora be sharp as hell and that way you have a better world because you have another continent that you deal with, that you find valuable, and not just because of the things under the ground but for the people that walk over the ground."

One Africa Music Fest has yet to issue an apology.

In Pics: Celebs when they were kids

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Celebs when they were kids

Jidenna's The Chief is out now via Wondaland Records/Epic

Will Lavin is a hip-hop music and lifestyle Specialist of 10 years. A 2015 IMC Award winner, he's written for publications such as VIBE, XXL, Complex and Blues & Soul. He's worked with artists such as Chaka Khan, Timbaland, will.i.am. and Chris Brown. He also runs illwill.co.uk.

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