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The Davido Effect: Giving Back, Social Credibility and Association Syndrome

Davido, 28, is part of a generation of Afrobeats artists who have blown the African dance-pop genre onto the global stage over the last decade; his songs have become the feel-good soundtrack of Nigeria’s nightlife and made him one of his continent’s biggest pop stars.

By Bukola Arowosafe

Last week Wednesday, Davido tweeted “If you know I’ve given you a hit song send me money..una know una selves oo”  followed by lol & heart emojis.
What seemed like a playful tweet from his hotel balcony at the time pulled over  N150million in 24 hours. Incredible! Davido blew our minds with this one. A “go-fund-me” record!

In his tweet, he beckoned on fans, colleagues, friends, followers, literally anyone who has enjoyed his music to send money in celebration of his birthday and they heeded with gestures of appreciation in thousands and millions of naira and some contributing their devotee’s mite of N500 and N100. This was beyond a show of love for Davido, It was fanned giving back.

What is worthy of note is ‘the celebration money to clear his Rolls Royce was tied to a clause “If you know I’ve given you a hit song” he made it about his music, his work. His fans but more importantly peers and industry associates could relate, displaying cascading admiration and gratitude for their colleague.

At the core of social credibility or status are worth and influence. Davido has the highest number of followers on Instagram in Nigeria with 22 million. He is also the second most followed celebrity in Africa after Mohamed Salah. With such a huge following is a proportionate amount of influence. With the might of his social capital, Davido activated donors far and wide overnight doubling his fund-raising goal. From members of royal families to popular businessmen to celebrities and die-hard loyal fans, he garnered an impressive and enviable donor list. A testament to the singer’s influential worth.

Davido becomes ambassador of Maison Martell

The success of Davido’s sensational fund-raising drive can also be attributed to what I describe as “association syndrome”. It is inherent in human nature to be associated with success, good things, and these days clout-worthy causes. A powerful element of human psychology is the desire not to get left behind or miss out.  His tweet created such an emotional excitement…the FOMO factor was there. Likes, shares, retweets, reposts, etc created so much buzz coupled with his timely live updates of funds raised, OBO made it compelling not to want to belong.

Davido’s light-hearted act which overnight morphed into a successful #werisebyliftingothers campaign is worthy of commendation and celebration. More so “how to raise over N100 million naira in funds in 24 hours” will serve as a brilliant case study for non-profits and charity organizations. For whatever reasons, donations were made; love, support, clout, or FOMO, Davido reminds us of the strength of community and the power of influence.


 – Bukola Arowosafe is a chef, food writer, and hospitality consultant

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