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The Place of the Artist in Niger Delta Discourse: The Music of Barrister S. Smooth

Diri I. Teilanyo


The Niger Delta crisis is now a household issue in local, national and international discourse. What one hears are mostly political demands for “resource control,” criminal activities of Niger Delta militants and related activities. However, the role of creative artistes has hardly been discussed in serious intellectual fora. This paper discusses the role being played by a musician, Barrister S. Smooth, in articulating the trials, travails and hopes of the people of the Niger Delta. It identifies areas of imperfection in the practice of this art and makes recommendations on how this art can be improved upon and made more functional in the search for avenues to address the problems of poverty, underdevelopment, corruption and violence that have been associated with the region, particularly in recent times.


iger delta, izon, ijaw, music, awigiri, highlife, musician, Barrister Smooth

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West Africa Review. ISSN: 1525-4488 (online).
Editors: Adeleke Adeeko, Nkiru Nzegwu, and Olufemi Taiwo.

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