Several detractors have expressed concern after it was announced that Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage is performing at the coronation of King Charles at Westminster Abbey Saturday.
On social media, hundreds of critics said that her appearance at the coronation is hypocritical, considering Britain’s colonial legacy in Nigeria.
“I don’t know what it is but Nigerians never seem to never want to break out of getting involved with people who colonized and oppressed them for years,” fashion curator Sophia Bambino told Al Jazeera. “Let’s also not forget how British colonization exploited the religion and ethnic identity of Nigerians that led them to abandon some customs and culture.”
“It’s very embarrassing … that the Crown wants to use an African woman artiste who isn’t their first or second pick to salvage their image somehow,” Nigerian writer Innocent Chizaram tweeted.
According to Rolling Stone, Ed Sheeran, Harry Styles and Robbie Williams rejected invitations to play at the coronation – and some believe Tiwa should have joined the movement.
“The Nigerian diaspora in the UK is one of the largest in the world and is a major part of cosmopolitan British as well as Nigerian culture,” Ikemesit Effiong, head of research at SBM Intelligence told Al Jazeera. “For better or worse and despite the complexity of Anglo-Nigerian history, the ties that bind both countries remain considerable and will be so for the foreseeable future.”
Nigerian musician Oladokun Peter agrees, stating that each artist should have the freedom to make decisions that they feel good about.
“Even people who are elected to defend our nationalism and sovereignty fail to do so,” he told Al Jazeera. “So why stop the artist from making some money because other artists refused to do it?”
Meanwhile, some have expressed adulation about Tiwa’s appearance and are proud that she will represent Nigeria in England.
“I was very happy for her because being invited to perform at the coronation of one of the most important monarchies in the world is huge,” Abisoye Raji told Al Jazeera. “It is actually good to see Nigerians winning from top-bottom.”
Tiwa will join Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Pretty Yende at the ceremony.