With 20: 10: 20: Burna Boy Immortalises Victims Of Lekki Massacre – Joseph Oche

Love him or hate him  Burna Boy, The African Giant, Odogwu’s art remains  unimpeachable. For someone who has mastered the art of falling out of love with his audience (subscribing on Twitter for daily dragging), he still remains ever relevant. Dare I say his relevance grows by the minute. It seems as though he has armed himself with a flame thrower to constantly burn his way back into our hearts. One such recent act of arson was the release of what may be the most iconic conscious song of modern Nigerian music, “20 10 20”.


The song produced by Elements has a nice bouncy feel to it, which plays right into Burna’s comfortable space, thus enabling the inch perfect delivery of his anger, grief and disappointment.

He encapsulates the Lekki toll gate massacre and Nigerian problems in a few minutes and poignant lines.

The art work for the track already speaks volumes. The bloodied flag as a face mask signifying the times of the protest and the disregard for the flag by the shooters, the gunshot holes on his forehead, the pain ridden face and if given a closer look the Lekki toll gate can be seen in the background!

The Title

This feels like a date stamped song and in direct relationship with the sad events of 20th of October, 2020

Let’s get into it

Burna begins the song by adorning the garment of a town crier sending out a clarion call of awareness, awareness of the wickedness of Mankind. He goes to narrow call to “My government”; the Federal Government of Nigeria!

Then comes the effective 2 part chorus: one begins with the date-title and the grievous almost incredible happenings at the toll gate summed up in one line. He goes on to express his grief as “water run away my eyes” borrowing from a song many Nigerians who passed through an NYSC camp must be familiar with.

The second part is a vintage Burna verse. He indirectly/directly calls out those who are empowered either constitutionally or politically to give orders or take part in the inhumane act. He then finishes off with curse, Burna style!

Verse 2 describes the helpless plight and almost inevitable end of Nigerian graduates. Only Godfatherism saves anyone from being a percentage added to the rising unemployment rate.

Effective chorus again but this time he starts from the second part then to the first.

Verse 3 seems like a concluding remark as he bluntly lays out the warped and twisted reaction of the government to those they were elected to protect. He also places the blame for the blood and lives of the dead on the heads of the Government while vowing that “we no go ever forget all the youth wey die for toll gate”

“Ah e, ah e, water run away my eyes” Burna’s grief filled voice fades out

Fading in, however, might probably be the most symbolic seconds of the song. Heavy gunshots as well as shouts of defiance, sheer determination and a sacrificial resolve by the youths from what sounded like and actually are excerpts from live audios during the Shootings. Dj switch’s (whose IG live will never be forgotten soon) voice is also heard as she confirms people have been shot and killed.

Whatever Burna wanted to achieve by including these last seconds he did. There is no way you’d listen through and not get angry all over again, no way!

“20th of October 2020” he finishes.


Burna Boy completely captures the range of emotions online onlookers went through as they watched with disbelief as people were killed.

Burna has promised in a statement that “The proceeds of this song will be used to support families of victims and people suffering affliction as a result of the Lekki shootings. May the heavens open and celebrate all our fallen heroes who have died for this movement from the very beginning. Rest in peace to all the beautiful lives lost.”

Take a listen:

Photo Credit

**Joseph Oche Echioda is currently a  university student who inks his words encoded in poetic Language with an aim to change the world.

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