Timi Dakolo’s “Everything (Amen)”
By: Deji Yesufu
If you have not seen Timi Dakolo’s newest music video, I appeal to you to take the time to watch it here; I assure you that it would be worth your time doing so. Timi Dakolo is a household name in the Nigerian music industry – an industry that is comparatively successful, at least among other African music producers; but it is also an industry that is incapacitated with much dance music but bereft of the inspirations that makes songs evergreen. The result is that Nigeria musicians make a lot of money and much fame from their songs but these songs fizzle out quickly. Timi Dakolo has however stuck to making songs that come with a solid word of wisdom for our time. This has led him to make songs like Great Nation (2011), Iyawo mi (2014), Wish Me Well (2015), The Vow (2016) and Take It (2020). Every one of these songs come from deep inspiration and bring a perspective to life that is always very instructive.
His latest work, “Everything”, is a song of prayer for every hardworking person – I believe his immediate audience are Nigerians. He prays and “declares” that “…everything you put your hand go work…”, the song is followed by a chorus of “amen… amen… amen…” – all of these sang with a dance-able tune in its background. Every and any Nigerian, who knows what it means to survive the harsh economic reality of this country, will easily identify with this song; as it is essentially the prayer that every one of us make as we leave our home each morning heading to our various places of work to earn a living. Dakolo continues:
“…every hustler get ‘im day… if you dey fin’ work do your own, God sef go do ‘im own and flesh go cover bone… If you believe it say amen… aunty wey dey fin’ pikin, one day you go born twince… tenant wey don loose ‘im job, landlord come dey do like God, one day you go be landlord… good news go locate you… everything you put your hands go work…”
The video is also very intriguing. Shot in a background of Nigerian chaotic traffic situation, Dakolo comes out of the yellow Lagos taxi cab that was initially conveying him and begins to walk down the road, pulling frustrated commuters out of their vehicles – compelling them to join him in his walk and dance, and to celebrate a particular optimism that only a prayerful person possesses in the face of daily gloom that the Nigerian nation puts on the face its citizens.
2004/05 will go down as the most difficult year of my life. With a degree in Electrical Engineering, the forage through labor market for a means of livelihood was simply not yielding anything. Those years taught me something that all my education never did: resilience. Another thing that helped me in those days was waking up and listening to Beautiful Nubia’s “Owuro lojo”. The song energized me; it gave me hope. It gave me the sense that if I use my morning hours well, my day will be productive and if my day is productive, with or without a job, something will come forth of my effort in the not too far future. I am glad to add Timi Dakolo’s “Everything” to my list of inspiring songs. And as young people in Nigeria, we must do this or we would die of the pessimism that is the common denominator in almost every discussion about Nigeria among her citizens.
It is however important to note that as good as Timi’s prayers are in that song, they will not work for a number of people and we should keep abreast of this fact. The first sets of people that Timi’s song will turn out to be a curse for are lazy people. Dakolo’s opening line “…everything you put your hands go work…” is a biblical admonition taken from scriptures like Proverb 12:24, 12:11, 10:4 and 2 Thessalonians 3:10. Timi’s song is a tribute to Nigerians hustling in a honest way to make a living, despite the harsh economic realities against them. If you work hard, Timi says, it does not matter what happens to Nigeria – you will prosper in it all. The second set of people that Timi’s prayers will not work for are dishonest people: people who think they can cheat others and prosper; or who think they can take advantage of the deplorable Nigerian situation to increase. It will not happen. Timi Dakolo’s song comes from a Christian and a biblical worldview. It assumes that the person seeking God’s favor, is already living by God’s holy standards. God is not mocked; whatever any man sows he would reap. However, if despite the gloomy situation of this country, Nigerians seek to make a honest living – they will know God’s blessings.
I am particularly excited about Timi’s song because following his family’s skirmish with the Abuja pastor, Biodun Fatoyinbo, one was not sure whether he and his wife would be able to gather their lives together again. In the wake of the rape allegations levlled against the pastor by Dakolo’s wife, one of the criticisms that trailed Timi Dakolo was that he was a failed musician. Some said he was seeking relevance in other ways besides his music career that, according to them, has refused to fly. I am happy that Dakolo has quieted such critics with this explosive song. “Everything (Amen)” was published on YouTube just six days ago and is already enjoying playing time on Nigerian airwaves. I do hope that the song inspires a generation of young Nigerians to honest work and such prosperity that God gives.
I must end this by thanking Timi Dakolo for this song. I have listened to it for no less than twenty times today alone and will continue to listen to it until those words and the spirit in them become a reality in my own life. I heartily recommend “Everything (Amen)” to your listening pleasure. It is one song I predict Nigerians will still be listening to many years from now because of its evergreen message.