Born Eedris Turayo Abdulkareem Ajenfuja, Eedris Abdulkareem is a Nigerian hip hop singer. Although born in Kano, Nigeria, his father is from Ilesha, Osun State while his mother is from Ogun State. As an artist, he performed with the hip-hop band ‘The Remedies from 1997 until they broke up in 2002. Being talented, he continued as a single artist released the album P.A.S.S. (“Pains and Stress = Success”) following his split with his group. Later in the same year, he released another album titled Mr. Lecturer which served as an emblem for the corruption plaguing many Nigerian universities. As an artist, he has performed on tracks including artistes like ‘Mode 9’.
In 2004, Eedris Abdulkareem released his third album Jaga Jaga which means shambles in Yoruba. Though the title of an album, it was also the title of his most iconic song. In the song, he talks about the pitiful state of Nigeria’s suffering at the hand of its so-called leaders. In his opinion, he believed that Nigerian could be more prosperous if its leaders weren’t invested in corruption and embezzlement. The song was banned from radio by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo. However, it continued to be played at nightclubs.
The 5-minute long video begins with a brief introduction of what he means by the word Jaga Jaga as a response to it being banned by the President. To him, the phrase is not meant to be insulting but rather should serve as a way to inspire the Nigerian youth who are significantly affected by ineffective policies. He cites the poverty rate and the illiteracy rate plaguing Nigerian citizens as his reasoning behind the behavior. Following his explanation, the video begins with the chorus of the song;
‘Nigeria Jaga Jaga
Everything scatter scatter
Poor man dey suffer suffer
Gbosa, gbosa, gunshot inna di air’
The chorus of the song is accompanied by newspaper headlines of politicians who are running for office with the end goal of trying to do something different. With this visual, he then proceeds to provide validation for why many Nigerians are engaged in armed robbery and argue that they are not left with much choice. He concludes the song and the video by directing his message to not only Nigerians but other Africans as well.