The song, which was released in September, has turned into a country-wide sensation.
Global superstar, Davido released ‘FEM’ a month ago, and while the song made impressive numbers on YouTube and everywhere else after its release, some Nigerians were quick to dismiss it as mediocre.
However, a month later, it has turned into, arguably, the country’s biggest and most important song. At an unprecedented moment in Nigeria’s history, Davido’s FEM, which is an onomatopoeia for shut up, couldn’t have come at a better time.
All over Nigeria, youths are protesting against police brutality. They have called for the total disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS and the reformation of the country’s police force. In the process of staging peaceful protests though, the youths have been met with brute force from police officers and hired thugs, and also cunning politicians, who have tried to convince those on ground to abandon the struggle, with the usual promise that something will be done. But all of these have only made the protesters more resolute.
An instance where a politician tried to quell proteters happened earlier this week in Lagos. The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu left the Government House in Alausa, where protesters were already stationed, to meet with another group of protesters in Lekki in order to speak with them. Midway through his speech, however, the DJ present turned on Davido’s FEM. “E be like you don de talk too much.. small talk you don dey talk who talk.. Fem” … Oboy you don dey do too much.. small talk you don de look who talk.. Fem … Person wey de find the pity.. Omo no dey give me itty bitty…..” and on it went, with verses describing a relatively unimportant noisemaker.
But really, on the protest grounds it is being sung to shut down oppressors. The political elites in Nigeria have had a long history of exploiting the ordinary citizens and getting away with so many wrongs. When problems begin to brew and situations start to get ugly, they bring to the fore their political deftness and try to strike bargains with the aggrieved. But the Nigerian youths are determined to no longer have any of it.
— #EndSARS ❼ (@bleckpenta) October 13, 2020
While the Governor was still speaking to the crowd, FEM blared through speakers and the protesters picked up. It was sung with such gusto and prowess that it was almost hard to imagine that the protesters are victims.
Those who saw the video online slammed what transpired as disrespectful. But tweeps were quick to remind the respect-ambassadors that they have endured ‘audio’ promises for far too long. Right now, it’s either swift actions are taken or nothing else.
The song has been adopted on other protest grounds in cities across the country. For a song that some dismissed as mediocre, it has now become the biggest and is on almost everyone’s lips, melodious and stimulating. Everyone is eager to hear it come on, perhaps except a certain Mr. Sanwo-Olu and others like him.
— #SARSmustEND Anon (@Baybbie) October 15, 2020
Truly, there couldn’t have been a better time to release such a song. Many have lauded it as the best for the protest. “It’s the new national anthem,” people say.
At a time like this, instead of coming out to talk and try to bargain, those responsible for making changes should immediately work towards it. It’s either you meet the demands of the people and the changes become visible or you FEM.
— Godson#endsars (@Godson49205720) October 15, 2020
Slowly, the honeymoon period for those in power is beginning to end. The country’s youths have found their voice and are now capable of forcing anyone, who isn’t willing to do right, to back down.
FEM as a song contributes to this movement in an exciting, yet firm way.
Sung with enthusiasm and by a mixed assembly without any difficulty, it makes for an unparalleled, powerful moment.
WE WOKE !!!!! 💪🏿💪🏿💪🏿🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥❤️ pic.twitter.com/axVWqiWUe5
— Davido (@davido) October 15, 2020