Nigerian pop star, Tiwa Savage has been tapped for an exclusive interview with British daily newspaper The Guardian, where she discussed rape culture and toxic stereotypes against women in the music industry.

Speaking to Tochi Louis, Tiwa opens up on using her influence to tackle rape culture which she refers as the country’s own “#MeToo moment”. She says, “Rape culture is so rampant in Nigeria that you can barely escape it. You’re either unfortunate enough to have experienced it first hand, or through someone close to you.”

On her career, the 40-year-old songstress with more than a decade of success says, “Music has always been my first love. So getting a call to sing backup for Mary J Blige for a tour starting in just three days? I barely hesitated leaving accounting.”

Tiwa Savage The Guardian UK OnoBello (1)

On being the first African female artist to sell out London’s Indig02 venue, Tiwa notes: “It felt like a lone battle trying to convince people that I can fill at least 70% of it. And upon selling out, it was heartbreaking that people still doubted if I did it, which wouldn’t have been the case if it were a male artist.”

The “Dangerous Love” singer also talked about considering to quit music at one point in her life, saying “my son remains a huge factor that wheels me back. I don’t want him to ever see his mother as a quitter.”

On her latest initiative, We Are Tired, she explains how it began as a hashtag used to express her frustration at negligence by the authorities amid the rape crisis. “Seeing people echo the same emotion made me feel I have bigger responsibility as a public figure. You don’t even know how to begin. A lot of people are silenced because they don’t have the finances to pursue it legally.”

“it’s a personal thing, I care about humanity beyond music. It’s part of our role, though not everybody thinks that. Also, not everybody thinks [political opinions] should be public knowledge.” she explains.

Finally, she talked about her forthcoming album Celia, which is named after her mother, “my strongest ally. When everybody discouraged her from letting me do music, she was solidly behind me,” she says, while hinting that it would encompass “being vulnerable, being strong, being sensual, being in charge”.

Tiwa Savage The Guardian UK OnoBello (2)

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