American billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates has revealed how his daughter, Phoebe, introduced him to two of Nigeria’s most popular music stars, Burna Boy and Rema. Gates, who is the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the founder of Microsoft, said he had to look them up online because he was not familiar with them, but he remembered seeing Davido and Wizkid perform during one of his visits to Nigeria.
Gates made this disclosure on Wednesday while delivering his opening address at an event in Lagos State, where he met with civil society organizations and the media. He said his daughter, who is a fan of Nigerian music, told him he was lucky to be visiting Nigeria because he would get to see Burna Boy and Rema, who are among the leading artists in the genre of Afrobeats.
“Afrobeats from Nigeria are popular everywhere. When my daughter Phoebe heard I was coming to Nigeria, she said, ‘You’re lucky because you get to see Burna Boy and Rema, so I had to look them up…because I’m so ‘hip’. But I remember the last time I was here, I got to see Davido & Wizkid perform,” Gates said¹².
He also praised the creativity of Nigerian artists and the popularity of Afrobeats, which has gained global recognition in recent years. He said he was impressed by the performances of Davido and Wizkid, who are widely regarded as pioneers of the genre¹².
Gates’ statement has since sparked reactions on social media as some users interpreted it as a subtle shade at Burna Boy, who recently claimed to be the best African artist after Fela Kuti. Some users also compared Burna Boy and Rema to Davido and Wizkid, who have been rivals for years in the Nigerian music industry¹².
Gates is known for his multi-billion dollar company Microsoft and for his charitable works in Africa and particularly Nigeria, where he has received the national honour of Commander of The Federal Republic. He has been supporting various initiatives in health, education, agriculture and governance in the country through his foundation²³.