THE RISE AND SHINE OF BURNA BOY

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BY OLUWALANA SEGUN

Damini Ogulu and a prophecy

Let’s go back in time to when Damini Ogulu was just a young and really talented boy who had a passion for music and performed at school events with a band he founded. After one of his many energetic performances, an awestruck school staff who couldn’t contain his excitement, called Damini’s mum and made the following prophecy:

“Mrs. Ogulu, your son is going to be a superstar, mark my words, he is going to be very big, very rich and famous. Get ready for fame and fortune”

Years later and regardless of this foreknowledge of her son’s fame, Mama Burna, in the video above still goes ahead to say

“It’s huge. You have to pinch yourself and say, you know, he’s a normal person with a lot of talent. I have to tell myself that”

The career of the African Giant as he has come to be known reached astronomical heights in 2019 that seems almost magical, his career has become global, he has cemented his place as the African breakaway music star, leaving all competition trailing behind.

When the Coachella 2019 line up was announced, Burna expressed displeasure that his name was in small print and started a social media storm with a simple post on his Instagram handle that read: “I am an AFRICAN GIANT and will not be reduced to whatever that tiny writing means. Fix things quick please,”. That incident has launched him to global stardom and Oluwaburna as he he is fondly called has not disappointed his fans, by dropping viral hit after hit and showing he has everything to excel on a global stage; the attitude, brand, sauce and most importantly the talent.

He released a 19 track album in 2019 inspired by the Coachella incident titled AFRICAN GIANT. The album has enjoyed global acclaim with over 100 million streams, earning him his first-ever Grammy nomination.

This is evident in his many achievements prior to the Grammy nomination, that include:

· Winner of the ‘Best Africa Act’ Award at the 2019 MTV EMA’s

· Took home four awards at the SoundCity MVP Awards 2019

· Winner of the Best International Act category at the 2019 edition of BET Awards

· Winner of two awards at the 2019 Headies

· All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMMA 2019) artist of the year

·  Performed at Coachella

· Featured on Beyoncé’s ‘Lion King’ album

· Shut down Wembley Arena in London

To the casual observer it might seem Burna Boy is having a lucky 2019, but the truth is, he is being rewarded for his hard work, persistence and talent.

It started almost a decade ago when he made his first debut;from recording his songs far from the affluence and bubble of Lagos, in the pipelines of Port Harcourt to the ‘African Giant’ which is his fourth album and from the look of things there is a lot more coming from the AFRICAN GIANT in the years to come.

This is not just a coming of age story, this is the chronicle of the RISING OF THE AFRICAN GIANT.

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