MUSIC AND POLITICS

Quote “I think we are citizens of the world first and our duty is to be actively involved in anything that affects the world, using our platforms as artist”.

—Daniel Wilson

From an early age, he became politically aware, he was deeply moved by watching Nelson Mandela’s movies and he then started speaking on blacks and civil rights topics, giving his support to Mandela and the movement against apartheid. However, it was at the age he resolved to pay attention to the problems and challenges of Africa. His passion for improving conditions in Africa still burns to date. During the late 1980s Daniel Wilson’s musical talent and protest songs led him to become a recognised figure in the fight against the apartheid South African regime when he composed and released the memorable song “Pack Off” a song that epitomised the new generation of protest musicians that characterised the reggae music culture and identified him amongst the new generation of protest musicians that characterised the African music industry then.

In the fall of 1985, Daniel Wilson was one of the main performers in the maiden Children Of Africa Concert at National Stadium where he performed alongside, Jimmy Cliff, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Hugh Masekela, Mariam Makeba, Shabba Ranks and a host of others. It was a sixteen-hour Music extravaganza aimed at raising money and awareness for the education of African children. It was a unique musical event capturing the imagination and attention of the world. Following this concert, he became more involved in work for non-governmental organisations in Africa and became one of the leading spokespeople on the plight of the African Child. As he progressed in his music career he became more politically active, supporting the ideals of non-violent resistance as proposed by Martin Luther King. Daniel also took active interests in human rights abuses wherever they occurred. His interest spanned from industry to the government. In early 1995 he was a key figure in organising some protest concert in support of MKO Abiola, the 1993 presidential election winner against the government, where he opened these protest concerts with his own performance.

Daniel Wilson has supported a wide range of political and environmental issues but as a general rule, he avoided party politics and refused to publicly declare for any party, however in 2010, he broke his own rule to canvass for the installation of vice president Goodluck Jonathan as President of the federal government of Nigeria, as a substantial president at the death of president Umaru Musa Yar’adua. Daniel Wilson was one of many prominent public figures that helped popularize president Goodluck Jonathan’s cause taking to the streets to march with other protesters and eventually worked closely with him in the five years he was president. After the removal of president Goodluck Jonathan in 2015, he became more vocal in opposing the government of president Muhammadu Buhari. He decided to take a non-violent direct action by singing protest songs against the government’s policies that instantly went viral through the new media, some of those songs are “Election Blues”, “Never Again”, “Do Something” and the direct plea “Please Don’t Vote For Buhari”. Today he is known for his political activism as much as his music, not only that he had a great mind, he is very influential.

Quote “I would say that I’m a nonviolent soldier. In place of weapons of violence, I use my music, my sense of humour and all the talents I am blessed with to secure my victory” – Daniel Wilson

MUSIC AND RELIGION

Daniel Wilson’s parents were converted to become Jehovah’s Witnesses, a religion that stresses the inheritance of an earthly paradise, peace and non-violence, before he was born. These Jehovah’s Witnesses roots were significant for Daniel as it reflects in his songs like “Follow Me”, a song that beckons on his fans to follow him to be introduced to Jehovah and “Heed The Call”, another song heavily influenced by the house to house ministry style of the Jehovah’s Witness. He retained an adherence to these values till this moment and has said that his religious beliefs will always be a large part of his life.