Nigerian Sensation Clarifies Controversial Performance, Citing Cultural Roots and Artistic Expression
Divine Ikubor, better known as Rema, a popular Nigerian musician, has addressed the controversy surrounding his recent concert at the O2 Arena in London. Attendees and online viewers raised accusations of devil worship against the artist, linking him to Satanism and the Illuminati due to the mysterious elements incorporated into his performance.
During the energetic show, Rema donned a mask, wielded a bat, featured a burning skeleton, and showcased a mystical horse with red eyes, sparking a frenzy of speculation on social media. Critics and fans alike questioned the symbolism behind these elements, with some going so far as to label Rema as a satanist.
Responding to the accusations, Rema explained that the mask he wore was a homage to the bronze art of his ancestors, some of which are currently housed in the London museum. He emphasized the cultural significance of the mask and its representation of Edo state, stating that by incorporating these elements into his performance, he aimed to redefine and globally showcase the rich heritage of his home.
View his tweet below:
RAVAGE UPRISING/ My Ancestors bronzes sit in the museum of this very city so I remade mine. Hence, Edo is redefined, the map reshaped, your minds awakened & the mask reborn. Thank you London! 🦇🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/2JF0cGHGdu— REMA (@heisrema) November 16, 2023
The controversial elements, according to Rema, were inspired by his desire to fuse tradition with modern artistic expression, pushing boundaries and challenging perceptions. In his statement, the artist asserted that he never intended to promote devil worship but rather sought to celebrate his cultural roots and bring global attention to the artistic richness of Edo state.
As the discussion around Rema’s O2 Arena performance continues, the artist remains firm in his conviction that his artistic choices are a testament to the diversity and cultural wealth of Nigeria, particularly Edo state. Time will tell how this controversy shapes the trajectory of Rema’s career and the perception of African artists on the global stage.
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