EndSARS: 5 Powerful Nigerian Songs That Pay Homage To the Lives Lost During the Protest

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The EndSARSs protest is a significant period for Nigerians. For the first time in a long time, people across the country and the diaspora came together in troops irrespective of their tribe and religion to fight against the unending police brutality.

For weeks, we held placards and flags to fight for our rights and lend our voices to the ill practices going on in the country in impactful protests that got televised and tweeted all around the world. Unfortunately, the protests ended with a mass shooting at the Lekki toll gate on unarmed protesters.

One year later, we highlight the five powerful songs that serve as the soundtrack of this unforgettable protest:

20. 10. 2020 – Burnaboy

After the shootings that took place on the 20th of October, 2020, Grammy award-winning singer, Burna boy decided to put out a song to record the people’s grievances.  Produced by Elements, Burnaboy opens up with tearful lyrics that resonate with many Nigerians saying, “water run away my eyes”.

Profound and deeply emotional, he goes on to talk about the social and political injustices of the Nigerian government and the killing of innocent protesters as he sings: “20th of October 2020, you carry army go kill many youths for Lekki…nothing you go talk wey go justify the case of their murder.”

The most significant part of the song has gunshots and the protesters shouting in the background.

20.10.20 (Wahala Dey) – Chike

Released on the 6th of November 2020, the lyrics of this song give a detailed account of the events that happened during the EndSars protests.

The deliberate naming of the song with this memorable date is a means of ensuring it is never forgotten in history, to remind the youths that we have a lot of problems to tackle and we have only just started.

The song starts off with a prelude, calling out the Nigerian government for its corrupt practices, and further goes on to shed light on police brutality and the killing of unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll gate as Chike sings: “who give the order to shoot us all… if you no know, wahala dey.”

The Fight – Dwin The Stoic

Produced by Rhaffy, The Fight was released on the 4th of November 2020 in honor of those who lost their lives during the EndSars protests.

In the song, Dwin speaks about the hopes and the plans people had as he eulogies them through soulful and emotional lyrics with piercing piano synths.

EndSars – Zlatan

The troubles of the enforcement agency, Sars led Afro-Street-hop singer, Zlatan to release a track called EndSars on June 19th, 2018, long before the popular EndSars protests.

In his Yoruba dialect, he talked about how the constant harassment by the policemen on young boys who dressed fine and rode beautiful cars. After the Lekki toll gate shootings, he did a sequel to the song where he talked about the ill practices of the Nigerian government and Afrobeats pioneer, Fela singing about everything that is happening today.

Family Meeting – Vector the Viper

Today on the 20th of October 2021, award-winning rapper, Vector releases Family Meeting to commemorate the one-year anniversary of those who lost their lives at the Lekki toll gate.

Vector, who was very vocal during the EndSars protests, recollects the happenings during the protests with prolific rap lyrics using the beats from the popular series, Squid Game to portray the murder of innocent lives.

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