Rapper Falz Discusses the Protests in Nigeria

A total of 38 people are reported dead in the course of two weeks of demonstrations by Nigerians against state violence. Activist and rapper Folarin Falana, better known by his stage name of Falz, helped lead one of the first protests two weeks ago and has been taking part ever since.

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: We’re coming to you because you’ve obviously got, you know, the pulse of the people. You’ve got 7 million Instagram followers and you have been organizing some of these protests and joining in. Can you tell me how this all started? What turned this city into violence?

FALZ, RAPPER: Wow. It’s really crazy for everyone out here. It’s a horrible, horrible time. And if this was yesterday, I probably wouldn’t have been able to take this call because I was extremely distraught. It was a horrible, horrible incident. But it started probably about two weeks ago, roughly about two weeks ago. On the 8th of October, myself and another artist named Ronton (ph), we had shared on our Twitter and Instagram pages that we were going to do a walk, just a march, a peaceful protest against all forms of police brutality, all forms of police misconduct in general. And we did that with the #EndSARS. The hashtag was already in existence. You know, this is something that was already a big thing on social media but no one had actually gone ahead to do a physical protest. So, we decided to take that extra step. So, we went up on the 8th. I think it was a Tuesday. We went out and probably were expecting maybe around 50 or 100 people, but when we got around about 2,000 people or so that came out on that very day. And it was huge. You know, we did a march to a police station, which has some high-ranking officers here in Lagos and we handed in a petition just saying that the youth as a group were very, very unhappy with, you know, the way things were going, and we were really, really furious about police brutality, police harassment, police extortion. And, you know, enough is enough, basically. Everyone was standing up, you know, everyone was lending their voice to this particular cause. So, from that day up until now, back to back to back it’s been a different state in the country because there are 36 states in total.


FALZ: But apart from that very one on that day, we didn’t even have to call for people to come out in other states. Everyone just trooped out, you know, on their own. It’s been crazy. It’s been really, really crazy.

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane speaks with Nigerian rapper Falz about the protests against state violence there. She also speaks with Republican National Committee spokesperson Liz Harrington about the final days of the presidential race. Hari Sreenivasan speaks with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar about his new novel. Jazz singer Melody Gardot speaks about creativity during a pandemic.