How Burna Boy got Nigerians talking about Adebayo Ogunlesi

Popular artiste, Damini ‘Burna Boy’ Ogulu is not only notable for his captivating music but for the educative tidbits of facts he embeds in his song lyrics. His latest single was no different, as a particular lyric engendered conversation amongst Nigerians.

Following the release of his single, Wonderful, on Friday, the song is expected to be part of his upcoming album, Twice as Tall. Burna Boy in a Pitchfork interview declares that  the song is about the “‘wonders’ of seeing the impact of my music on people’s lives as they shared their joy, pain and pleasure with me while I toured the world.”  

The major thing that caught the attention of Nigerians in the new song was a particular Nigerian name Burna Boy namedrops in the track. He sings 

“I no want make person tell me say I too lazy

(Oluwaburna of la la ni)

As I dey hustle like Adebayo Ogunlesi

(No go talk say me I too lazy)”

The mention of the name ‘Adebayo Ogunlesi’ piqued the interests of many Nigerians, as it got many googling facts about the individual.


Many soon discovered that Adebayo Ogunlesi is a Nigerian lawyer, investment banker as well as Chairman and Managing Partner at the private equity firm, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP). The businessman is fondly tagged as “the man who bought Gatwick Airport.” In 2010, Ogunlesi led the acquisition of London’s Gatwick airport and also went on to commandeer the purchase of the London City Airport and Edinburgh Airport in 2006 and 2012 respectively.

These facts had many Nigerians puzzled, with some commenting on how Burna Boy takes time to educate his listeners on African facts and history using music. 

Soon, talk of Ogunlesi running for President became a topic on the microblogging site. Many users commented that this was the kind of leadership Nigeria needed to help the nation progress. 


Some recalled other instances in which Burna Boy had used his lyrics to educate Nigerians, citing the singer’s Another Story song in his African Giant Album where he talked about a transaction between the British government and the Royal Niger Company; the mercantile company that would eventually be absorbed by Unilever. He communicates that this business deal is what led to Nigeria being sold to the British. This information hit some Nigerians as new and thought-provoking, just as this Ogunlesi lyric has.


However, other users expressed surprise at the ignorance of some Nigerians about these facts, stressing that they need to be more attuned to learning about their history.

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