October 2, (THEWILL) – October 1 is a significant day in the history of Nigeria. It is a day set aside each year to celebrate Nigeria’s independence from British colonial rule. Nigeria officially became a politically independent country on October 1, 1960.
Besides being blessed with diverse natural resources, Nigeria is home to an estimated 350 ethnic nationalities, cultures, and indigenous languages, making it a great nation with diverse strengths. Nigeria is also blessed with many talented artists who have recorded and released songs that celebrate the nation. These artists, with their songs, have contributed immensely to national growth and unity among the people. As the country celebrates its 62nd anniversary, IVORY UKONU and ADEDOLAPO BALIKIS chronicle some classic songs composed to celebrate and unify citizens.
One Love Keep Us Together – Onyeka Onwenu
Music legend, Onyeka Onwenu is very passionate about the unity of Nigeria. She has to her credit many Nigerian-themed songs, including One Love Keep Us Together and Unity Song among others. These songs emphasise the theme of love and unity in a world of struggle and dreams of staying alive.
Nigeria My Beloved Country – Funmi Adams
This song by Funmi Adams was a household anthem in the 1980s. Adams who seems to have vanished from the Nigerian music scene was popular during this period. Her songs were aimed at inculcating the positive values of culture in young Nigerian children. She also sang about Nigeria in All We Need Is Love.
Nigeria Go Survive – Veno Marioghae-Mbanefo
This song by Veno Marioghae-Mbanefo expresses hope in the survival of Nigeria. Rendered in Pidgin English, the song boasts about the rich agriculture and oil in the country. It emphasises the rich natural resources in the country, including Cocoa, Timber, Rubber, and Cotton, among others.
Released in 2007, TY Bello blessed Nigerians with Greenland, a pop-influenced tune that
celebrates Nigeria as a place of abundance. The song aims at spreading love, strengthening family bonds, and expressing optimism for Nigeria. It also encourages
Nigerians to move away from the state of fear and discomfort to a land of hope and possibilities.
Let’s Live Together – Kush (TY Bello, Emem Ema, Lara George)
Kush, a Gospel and R&B music group released the song, Let’s Live Together about two decades ago. The song, which was well received, was a heartfelt appeal to Nigerians to live together in peace and unity and a reminder that there is strength in diversity.
Mothaland – Sound Sultan
Late Lanre Fasasi, otherwise known as Sound Sultan, in 2002 recorded the song, Mothaland which appealed to Nigerians in Diaspora not to forget their home country. Singing in Yoruba language, Sound Sultan in the song says one may travel far and wide, but that there is no place like home. He would later remix the song in which he featured soul singer, Johnny Drille, shortly before his death in 2021.
Which Way Nigeria – Sunny Okosun
When late singer, Sunny Okosun released this classic in 1984, his motive was to make Nigeria’s leaders and the populace to realise the need for the country to overcome the challenges facing it and move forward. The song’s lyrics frown at bribery and corruption, two vices limiting the growth and development of the country.
The Way Forward – Sunny Ade
In 1993, King Sunny Ade brought together many Nigerian artistes to sing The Way Forward (Part 1 and 2). This was done in Pidgin English,Yoruba, English, Igbo, Hausa languages, among others.
The song was composed after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election and remixed in 2003 as a reminder of what the country passed through after the annulment of the election.
The song calls for unity of all tribes and the collaborative effort of every Nigerian to make the nation great.
Great Nation – Timi Dakolo
This soulful song by Timi Dakolo released in November 2012 has since remained one of the favourites of many Nigerian music fans. The song expresses confidence in the greatness of this nation and how its vast potential can be realised through peace, unity, equality, and justice.
This Land – Onyeka Onwenu and others
The song was a centenary gift to Nigeria written and performed by Onyeka Onwenu, featuring – Zaaki Azzay, gospel artists, Tosin Martins, Emmanuel Benjamin aka EBEN, Omawumi Megbele, Silver Saddih, Ayobami Ayolola, Seun Shobo.
Song Of Unity – Nigerian Leaders
Song of unity was done by some of the past and present Nigerian leaders. It was led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, alongside past Heads of State like Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ernest Shonekan, and former Vice-Presidents Ebitu Ukiwe, Alex Ekwueme, and General Oladipo Diya retd. The song expresses hope in God as the ultimate help of the country.
Arise – Mavin
Sang by Micheal Collins Ajereh aka Don Jazzy, Ayoleyi Hanniel Solomon aka Reekado Banks, Korede Bello and Hadiza Blell-Olo aka Di’Ja, the song praises the resilient spirit of the average Nigerian.