We have to admit, there is a lot of misogyny in the censorship of female sexuality in Nigerian music. Female artistes often face backlash for showing just as much extra skin as their male counterparts. A strongly hypocritical society then goes ahead to silently ogle the female form with a perverted gaze. Advocacy for equal rights has come a long way but all forms of nudity should not be construed as a protest for the liberation of the female gender. In fact, it can be quite the opposite.
In showbiz, it has become a gender stereotype for women to remain relevant by taking off their clothes or make art with sexual connotations. This works like a two-edged knife that keeps the artiste famous enough but paints her in a tawdry light for the close-minded frequenters of Linda Ikeji’s blog who mirror the popular opinions a vast majority of Nigerians hold.
In this same industry where such a stereotype is expected of female artistes, songstress, Chidinma Ekile has refused to give in and we’re proud of her.
Chidinma earned her breakout as the winner of Project Fame West Africa’s 3rd season. She released some singles after her success on the show including Jankoliko which featured veteran Sound Sultan that gained her some airplay. The next couple of years saw Chidinma remain on a steady plane with chart toppers like Kedike and Emi Ni Baller. Her distinct powerful voice and style have retained her place as an artiste in top flight for nearly five years and we don’t see her touching the ground anytime soon.
Particularly distinguishing about Chidinma’s music is her personal style. While many of her peers subscribe to industry expectations of leaving nothing to the imagination even when it adds no artistic value, Chidinma has remained traditional with her music and style. She shows just the right amount of skin and would rather stick with mushy romantic songs than poppy sound bites that detail personal sexual exploration to the teeth.
However, this does not mean she shies away from being identified as a sex icon.
As a guest feature on Flavour N’abania’s Ololufe, she shared an onscreen smooch that broke the hearts of the many Nigerian artists who have professed their love for her (including Wizkid.) Though she denied any romantic relationship with Flavour or anyone in the industry, the slow kiss was also repeated on stage on a tour with Flavour later that year.
Without a doubt, Chidinma is the exact kind of stereotype-crushing woman Nigerian music needs, to serve as inspiration for upcoming female singers who like herself, are rather conservative.
There is a long list of artistes who have declared Chidinma as their preferred choice for a partner, and we are prepared to stand in line.