I am so enchanted by this guy, and even though that may come off a bit strong it is probably the best way to describe my interest in his music and his work.
Recently Jidenna got himself in a bit of trouble when he did an interview last week with his fellow Nigerians. He said that he had the most potential to be kidnapped because he was light skinned. Here is what he said:
“[Being Igbo] You’re away from the city, it means when you go to your village you’re the only person, one of the few people that looks like you.
In my case, one of the only one’s that’s light-skinned. Our family was light. Therefore when we go to our village, and when I actually buried my father, I had to bring a lot of AK47s, I had to employ military commandos… Because when you’re light skinned, you’re a heavier target for being kidnapped… Because you’re seen as more valuable.
You’re seen as white, therefore you have money. You’re American, therefore you have more money. If you have more money you’re easy to kidnap, and if you’re easy to kidnap we’re going to get you.
So for me being light-skinned in Nigeria, in our family, it was difficult. It was always challenging. We’d be hounded. We were robbed. Our family has been assaulted. We’ve had a lot of issues, and it’s different.
You can say this to a family that has a different skin color, or a darker skin tone, they may have these same stories and they may not. But for us we have always been the target, in that country. But when you come to America, it’s the opposite.
The police may look you over. They may not pull out the gun as fast as they would if you were darker. Point being, I’ve lived in both kind of worlds. So I don’t know if I have the same story as someone who has just lived in this country.”
As you can imagine, his words were not taken well epecially from fellow Nigerians who I am sure prefered that the country be painted in a more positive light.
I have to agree to some extent that a person should have the right to be honest about their truth and from that perspective I support Jidenna. On the other hand I am not sure that the comment about being ‘light skinned’ was in any way constructive to that truth.