Waka Music as a Commentary on Yoruba Society in Post-Colonial Nigeria: A Review of Two Female Musicians

Mutiat Titilope Oladejo


In pre-colonial and colonial Yoruba societies, music was an integral part of everyday life.  Scholarly works have differentiated music genres among the Yoruba with attempts made to analyse their historical background. Even though the Yoruba music industry is a male-dominated industry with concentration on Fuji, Highlife and Juju music, the few female musicians in the industry have created a distinct genre known as Waka music. This article argues that the Waka music of the female musicians presents a perspective for understanding the feminisation of music and the challenges of development in Southwestern Nigerian cities from the immediate postcolonial era. Moreover, against the stereotype that women lack insights into social issues, this work displays that Waka music by female singers, Batuli Alake and Salawa Abeni, illustrate how an agency of communication and relevance is created.  The career history of both women serves a basis for unravelling feminist struggles to eke out a livelihood in postcolonial Nigeria. The article adopted an historical approach in its analysis. It employed both  primary and secondary sources such as online interview excerpts, newspapers, journals and books.  The findings show that Waka music has strictly been a sphere of interest that women have sustained in the Yoruba music industry. https://dx.doi.org/10.56279/ummaj.v9i2.8

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