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Tiwa The Savage By Keem Abdul




It’s impossible to mention 10 female artistes who have made an impact in the music Industry in Nigeria without calling Tiwa Savage. The Song writer, Singer and Actress, the Queen of Afrobeat in Nigeria first made her mark in the Industry with her debut studio album “Once upon a time’’ which featured the hit  track Kele Kele love that gave her the nick name Nigerian Beyonce because of her unique and entertaining style of performance. 

Her consistent growth over the years has earned her praise and criticism from both fans and colleagues in the industry but hasn’t stopped her from making history.

 Despite being in a music genre dominated by men, she has managed to stand out among the rest, fighting patriarchy with her music. This doggedness has led to growth in all areas of her life. In 2018 she became the first female artiste to be crowned the Best African Act by the MTV European Music Awards, the country’s first female Pepsi Ambassador and the first Nigerian to sign a record deal with Roc nation.

Regardless of her numerous achievements Tiwa’s career has always been faced by numerous criticism from her fellow artistes who castigate her using her music and style of performance and some fan s who hold certain opinion on her type of music. Despite always being castigated by fellow female artistes, Tiwa Savage has always maintained a low profile and tried to steer clear of controversy until in recent times. 

On the 8th of June a video surfaced online of Tiwa Savage involved in a skirmish with Seyi Shay a fellow artiste in a salon. The leaked video confirmed that the rumored rivalry between Tiwa Savage and Seyi Shay did not start today. It was presumed to have started in 2018 when Seyi Shay made a diss track with Victoria Kimani another artiste throwing shades at Tiwa Savage. While diss tracks among artistes is nothing new, the rise in female artistes shading their fellow female artistes is disgraceful.  However, what makes it worse is the intention for why this is done: to bring down the artiste, trend online or increase follower before releasing an album. All at the expense of a fellow artiste.


In the video which was leaked, Seyi Shay had met Tiwa Savage in a salon and tried to greet her casually. Now while Seyi Shay would try to defend her actions as something done with pure intent, it would be naive of anyone to believe that there isn’t anything more to this.  I believe Seyi Shay must have had access to Tiwa Savage numerous times and if she felt the need for peace, she must have found a way to tender an apology before now, not by trying to pay lip service greeting in the salon.

While many persons have offered several opinion to how Tiwa Savage should have reacted, because of her “Celebrity” status. We are quick to forget that Tiwa Savage is only human and what occurred with her would have happened to anyone.  Anyone can vent when faced with an unpleasant situation and should not be blamed for expressing themselves. Before we throw blames as humans, ask yourself what you would have done if you were busy minding your business, trying to look pretty and that one person who has been slandering your name walks up to say hi to you. What would your reaction be? You may claim to not react, good for you, but we must remember that Tiwa Savage is not me or you and should not be held responsible for the image we expect from her. Tiwa Savage is human and should not be blamed for reacting to an unpleasant situation, or for expressing her opinion about Seyi Shay. No one should have to take the blame for reacting to a situation that irritates their energy. 

Here is who should be blamed; the person who was quick to capitalize on the situation by making a video and exposing a situation that should have best remained private. Yes, being a celebrity should not rid anyone of the right to privacy. The person who made the video and leaked it should be blamed for putting us in a position to judge two women over an issue we have only surface knowledge about. 

On the contrary, this is not a piece about apportioning blames but vsiting the roots. Seyi Shay the source of the outburst would have prevented this from escalating if only she had not tried to demonstrate the definition of a fake friend to Tiwa Savage and understood that there are better ways to play the game of peace. In my opinion Seyi Shay should have listened to what Tiwa had to say and walked away when Tiwa clearly expressed her disapproval from the onset rather than trying to portray herself as a saint and act oblivious. But, what would be expected of a person who has a track record of bringing people down when she finds herself in a higher place of authority. Take Nigerian Idol for instance.

Following this there is a popular proverb that says “Do not bite the hand that feeds you”, while this may not necessarily apply to this situation there are so many lessons to be learnt from this. Tiwa Savage is regarded as a godmother in the music industry and has been a remarkable force within the Africa’s ever growing entertainment industry. Her achievements and contributions in the world of fashion, music and health has helped put Nigerian music on the map and given more female artistes a say and place in the competitive music industry. 

Yes, Tiwa Savage may not have fed Seyi Shay or introduced her into the industry we can agree that Tiwa’s foot print if studied would only make the climb easier for other female artistes. So rather than tear her down in the hope of building yourself, why not study her path and learn the lessons you need to rise to the top. Through her journey, she has distinguished herself as a brand to be reckoned with and a source of inspiration for all women regardless of the adversity she has encountered. This act of strength is something I believe all women should emulate . Rather than bicker, hate and try to bring each other down as women in similar careers, we should aspire to lift one another up, form a fortress and support one another to do more. While we can’t all be like Tiwa, we should wear our crown proudly and face our journey.


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