Owambe is the ninth track in Simi’s very successful album titled Simisola. Released November this year, the album continues to convert listeners and convince critics of the delectable artiste’s musical strengths.
In an industry marked by easily dissipated strengths of different artistes trying to push their productions for public consumption, Simi is defining her place in Nigeria’s music industry. Her arrival with songs like ‘ara ile’, which introduced her as gospel artiste, and other single hits such as ‘No Forget’, speak clearly for Simi as a female artiste with superior talent and enduring strength that could stand the test of time in Nigeria’s music industry. Not exactly the musical tour de force that you have in Asha, however, there is almost a similar groove. Her ‘Owanbe’ track is a delightful tap into the wedding culture.
The video introduces us to two female characters Iya Risi and Iya Yetunde. The former is trying to loan some amount of money for a wedding. Though this is not a proper drama, the music video introduces different stakeholders in Yoruba video films – starring Odunlade Adekola and Jide Kosoko. The four minutes video is a chronicle of how elitist culture has transformed in the face of Nigerian weddings. Nigerian weddings, now aka-ed, ‘owanbe’ is a cataclysm of different characters from food hawkers (Baba Sulia and Sulia, the wannabe Odunlade Adekola) to social class show aptly demonstrated by Jide Kosoko.
Partly Afrobeat and hip-hop, the groove prepares an exciting feeling of a theatre show, which heralds the end of most weddings in Nigeria. The unforgettable artiste also makes reference to canonical highlife singers in Nigeria, Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obey, which is a homage to the dominance of their genre and music in ‘owanbe’ social functions.
In all, Simi does not leave us with usual feeling of most Nigerian hip-hop artistes who keep monkeying around the stage during performances. It would seem that with this track, Simi leaves a subtle comment on the dangers of social validity that ‘owanbe’ has brought to Nigeria’s cultural milieu.