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Burna Boy: An Unfinished Masterpiece, Says His Mother

October 10, 2023






Nigerian superstar Burna Boy has undeniably made history in the music industry, but according to his mother, Bose Ogulu, also known as Mama Burna, there’s more to be accomplished. In an exclusive interview with the BBC’s Nyasha Michelle, Mama Burna shared her insights into her son’s remarkable journey.

This year, Burna Boy achieved the distinction of being the first African musician to headline sold-out stadium shows in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Simultaneously, his latest album, “I Told Them…,” soared into the top 10 charts worldwide.

Mama Burna, who manages the Afrobeats sensation, praised his diligence and hard work but emphasized that he remains a work in progress. “There are many more milestones to attain. We need to not just step down and look at what we’ve done, but keep doing more,” she stated.

Mama Burna, affectionately referred to as Mama Burna by fans, is a formidable “momager” reminiscent of Kris Jenner. She honed her managerial skills from her father, who once managed the late Nigerian icon Fela Kuti. Beyond her role in the music industry, she is also a successful businesswoman and linguist.

Reflecting on her journey, she mentioned, “I ran a language school for 18 years. I quickly understood the

power of languages and the power of culture.” Mama Burna recently joined the ranks of Best of Africa award-winners alongside notable figures like Stormzy, Mohamed Salah, and Mo Farah.

To manage Burna Boy’s budding career, Mama Burna made the bold decision to step away from her language school. She had recognized his potential since he was just 13 or 14 years old. She reminisced, “From when he was in JSS3, which I think would be Year 9, we started trading studio time for grades.”

However, she hadn’t anticipated her son’s decision to drop out of university to pursue his music career. She explained, “That was my problem, like ‘OK, you can do this, but you’re almost there. How about you just finish this degree program’.” Burna Boy’s response? “That’s fine.”

Since then, Burna Boy has won a Grammy and embarked on a global music tour, clearly validating the gamble.

Looking ahead, Mama Burna and her son are setting their sights higher. “If we’re doing four stadiums, let’s do 10,” she declared. Their relentless focus remains on reaching new heights in their journey together.


Credit: BBC

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