‘MMT- Music 4 Social Change’ Advocate Expresses Commitment to Nation-Building

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‘MMT- Music 4 Social Change' Advocate Expresses Commitment to Nation-Building
‘MMT- Music 4 Social Change' Advocate Expresses Commitment to Nation-Building

‘MMT- Music 4 Social Change’ Advocate Expresses Commitment to Nation-Building—-The Radisson Blu Ikeja in Lagos played host to a momentous event on Thursday, July 4, 2024, as MMT for Social Change held its inaugural “Music for Social Change” gathering.

 

The initiative, driven by the influential Nigerian musician Masked Mykatee (MMT), seeks to harness the power of music to promote unity, social development, and the empowerment of Nigerian citizens.

 

The event was marked by an array of inspiring speeches, dynamic panel discussions, and interactive sessions, all centred on the theme of using music as a tool for social change and nation-building.

The convener of the gathering and the proponent of ‘Music for Social Change’ MMT, expressed his commitment and passion for the social transformation and development of Nigeria anchored on the fulcrum of peace, unity and purpose. He emphasised the need for Nigerians to deviate from upholding our fault-lines of ethnicity and religion and all that divides the country and puts it in the harm way of retrogression and underdevelopment. “The mask I wear represents neutrality and an unbiased commitment to unity and collective progress in Nigeria,” he explained. He shared his experiences and the challenges he has faced in his journey, as well as his vision for a culturally neutral Nigerian identity.

The highlight of the day was the unveiling of the Artist MMT, and the keynote address delivered by the esteemed Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), who commended the event’s organizer, the budding but influential musician Masked Mykatee (MMT), for his unwavering dedication to using music as a tool for social transformation.

Mr. Falana’s keynote address was a powerful and inspiring call to action. He began by praising Masked Mykatee for his innovative approach to addressing Nigeria’s social challenges through music. “MMT has shown us that music is not just an art form but a powerful medium that can inspire, unite, and mobilize people towards positive change,” Falana stated.

Falana delved into the historical and contemporary significance of music as a catalyst for social reform, resistance to authoritarian governments, injustice, and transformation for national building and economic development. He highlighted the role of music in various global movements, emphasizing its ability to transcend barriers and foster a sense of shared identity and purpose. “In Nigeria, where tribalism and ethnic divisions have often hindered our progress, music offers a unique opportunity to promote unity and collective action.”

He reflected on his experiences as lawyer to the legendary Afrobeat King Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and the struggle for social change and transformation of the Nigerian society in particular, Africa, and the world in general. He spoke about the significance of the music for transformation by legends such as Bob Marley, Sonny Okosun, Peter Tosh and many others.

Falana’s speech underscored the importance of unity for national development. He addressed the challenges posed by tribalism and ethnic divisions, proposing music as a unifying force that can bridge these gaps. “Through music, we can create a narrative that celebrates our diversity while promoting a sense of common identity and purpose,” he said.

He also touched on the transformative power of music in engaging and empowering the youth. “Our young people are the future of Nigeria. By using music to inspire and mobilize them, we can foster a new generation of leaders committed to social change and national development,” Falana asserted.

Following the keynote address, the event featured a panel session moderated by Prof. Silk Ugwu Ogbu of the Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos. The panel included distinguished speakers such as Zakka Bala, Nkechi Ali-Balogun, Dr. Desmond Ekeh, and Dr. Omotola Bamigbaiye, who each brought unique perspectives on leveraging music for social change.

Zakka Bala discussed the cultural and governance dimensions of music and its role in bridging gaps between the government and the people especially on issues of governance and accountability and the curbing of government malfeasance and corruption of the different spheres of the society. Nkechi Ali-Balogun emphasized the importance of effective communication strategies in amplifying messages of social change through music. She gave a specific example of the significance of the music of such Nigerian artist as Onyeka Onwuenu of the ‘One Love’ fame, and Mike Okri, the ‘Time na Money’ exponent. Dr. Desmond Ekeh explored the socio-political climate in Nigeria and the potential of music to empower the youth towards cultivating dignifying social values that can promote the growth and development of the country. He emphasised that the choices made by the youth are motivated by their values. He encouraged music artists to focus on music that encourages the youths to embrace noble values to promote the upliftment of the society. Dr. Omotola Bamigbaiye advocated for integrating music education into the curriculum to nurture socially conscious and culturally neutral Nigerians. She recollected how storytelling and music were used to pass knowledge and information in her formative years as a child. She emphasised the need to develop school curriculars that use music for education and social enlightenment.

Fielding questions from a battery of press reporters comprised of newspapers, radio, television and digital media, Masked Mykatee, the inspiration behind MMT for Social Change spoke passionately about his mission to use music as a tool for social change. “The mask I wear represents neutrality and an unbiased commitment to unity and collective progress in Nigeria,” he explained. He shared his experiences and the challenges he has faced in his journey, as well as his vision for a culturally neutral Nigerian identity.

He also discussed upcoming projects aimed at furthering the cause of social change through music and emphasized the importance of engaging and empowering young Nigerians. “Our youth are the key to a brighter future for Nigeria. Through music, we can inspire them to take active roles in driving social change,” Masked Mykatee stated.

The “Music for Social Change” event successfully highlighted the transformative power of music in fostering unity, social development, and youth empowerment in Nigeria. The insightful speeches and discussions provided attendees with a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities in using music as a medium for social change.

The event also served as a platform for networking and collaboration among individuals and organizations committed to promoting social change through music. Attendees left with a renewed sense of purpose and a collective commitment to supporting initiatives that leverage music for social transformation.

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