In commemoration of Nigeria’s 57th independence anniversary, it is worth highlighting some classic Nigerian songs that preach unity and patriotism. Here are PREMIUM TIMES’ top 5 picks in no particular order.
This Funmi Adams’ classic is perhaps one of the very few songs that make a Nigerian proud. Aside from the nostalgic feeling it evokes, it preaches unification and what it means to be a true Nigerian. Released in 1990, the song’s appeal transcends generations thus making it one of the most patriotic songs to be ever recorded in Nigeria.
Nigeria my Beloved Country was the hit track in Funmi’s ‘All We Need is Love’ album released under the CBS SONY records. The album achieved gold status. 27 years after its release, the track remains evergreen in the minds of many.
‘One love’ is a song that promotes love and unity amongst Nigerians. It’s one song that really deserves the ‘classic’ tag, if for nothing else, its powerful message at least. Onyeka released this evergreen tune in 1986, to a society filled with chaotic government transition and civil unrest. The song was a hit and Onyeka conveyed the song’s underlying message to her listeners. The rhythm and glorious chorus by a group of kids also made the track heart-warming and relatable. The song was off her fourth album titled ‘One Love’ which was also released in 1986.
Veno Marioghae released this song 33 years ago, under the Tabansi Records‘ label. Despite the challenges facing Nigeria at the time, the Delta State indigene strongly believed that the country would pull through.
This song was also a beacon of hope for many Nigerians in the 80s and 90s. The lyrics of the song gave hope in perilous times (tribal, religious and economic crisis) within the country. Veno exited the music scene in the 90s after releasing her second album. She had other hits like “Thank You Jah”, “Iwa Ti Yo” and “Siobo Nome”.
This 9-minute long track by the late veteran Nigerian singer, Sonny Okosun, remains relevant in the scheme of things in Nigeria. It was a star-studded song/video, which featured the likes of King Sunny Ade, Charly Boy, Oritz Wiliki, Orlando Owoh, Charly Boy, Segun Arinze and many others. The chorus, “Nigeria yi ti gbogbo wa ni, koma gbodo baje, tori kosi bomiran ti a le lo, aajo o le da bi ile, ejeka so wo po ka fi mo sokan, gbe ke mi gbe,” made so much sense at the time and still does. When translated into English, it meant, “Nigeria belongs to every Nigerian and we should not allow her degenerate because we have no other home aside from Nigeria.” Okosun may be no more today, but the underlying message in the song- unity, is clearly what Nigeria needs right now.
Sound Sultan is the youngest artiste on this list. His 2006 classic, Mother Land, earned him a spot on our countdown. The lyrics of the song are a reminder to Nigerians in diaspora that Nigeria is still the best place to be. It further buttressed that however rosy, beautiful and blessed a foreign land may appear, home is home and we should always remember that.