Arts & Lifestyle
I am ED Junior says D’Banj
NIGERIAN Afrobeats star D’Banj, who arrived in Harare early this week for a collaboration with Zimbabwe’s Roki, came with a different tone.
Besides being christened “ED Junior” by his handlers, specifically Passion Java who brought him to Harare, D’Banj says he was promised a car and a house next to President Mnangagwa.
While it was good for D’Banj to associate himself with Zimbabweans, it was all the more surprising when he meddled in local politics.
From the outset, he draped the famous scarf around his neck, something his countryman Burna Boy refused to do during his visit last year.
Then came the lavish praises on how Zimbabwe is a peaceful country when several opposition members, including Job Sikhala, have been arrested on politically motivated charges.
D’Banj appeared to be happy with his new moniker, “ED Junior”, and this is not new to him for he is known by different names in different countries.
In Ghana they call him Mensah, in Jamaica they call him Skipanch, while South Africans call him Khapela and Liberians know him as Fidel.
“So, when I landed here, I asked Java what’s my new name? He said ED Junior; I like that name” D’Banj told Star FM’s Ollah 7 on the After Drive Show upon arrival on Tuesday.
“Have you heard my new name? My new name is ED Junior, yes nah.”
D’Banj, who draped himself in multicolored scarf, was last in Zimbabwe 10 years ago when he performed his debut concert at the Glamis Arena for the Castle Lager Braai Festival.
What is controversial is that he was brought to Harare by self-styled prophet Passion Java who is using music to drum up support for Zanu PF ahead of the 2023 elections.
Java, who is behind D’Banj’s tour, also promised the singer a car and a house next to ED, in reference to President Mnangagwa.
What is all the more bizarre is that back in Nigeria, according to the BBC, D’Banj was recently arrested over allegations of fraud after millions of dollars meant to help unemployed youths start businesses was reported missing.
“The artiste, who has claimed to be the brand ambassador for the scheme, has turned himself in.
“The N-Power initiative was launched in 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“But many beneficiaries have complained for months that they were not receiving their grants.
“Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies said in a statement on Wednesday that ‘billions of naira’ had been diverted.
“Lawyers representing D’banj — whose real name is Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo — have denied a claim by the anti-corruption agency that their client had ignored multiple summons.”
Ten other people, as well as D’banj, are being investigated, the anti-corruption agency said.
D’banj’s 2012 hit Oliver Twist won him fans across the continent and in the diaspora.
Two years ago his one-year-old son drowned in a pool at his home in the commercial capital, Lagos.