You are currently viewing Between Burna Boy and his mother, by Tony Onyima
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Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, professionally known as Burna Boy, turned 33 on July 2, 2024. From relative obscurity, this talented songwriter and singer with Ijaw-Yoruba heritage has evolved into a Grammy-award-winning musician with global impact and influence. He has refined and repackaged Afrobeats and taken it to new heights with tremendous exposure and awards.

In 2023, he made history as the first Afrobeats artiste to perform at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California, USA. His live performances have sold out in US, Canada, UK, and France venues. He is the first African to sell out in six iconic venues worldwide, including the 60,000-capacity London stadium. He is the richest musician in Nigeria, with a 2024 net worth of $80 million.

Burna Boy’s success has been largely attributed to the managerial prowess of his mother, Bose Ogulu, who is his manager (momager). A mother of three and a businesswoman, Bose Ogulu is the daughter of Benson Idonjie, the iconic music presenter and critic who was also a one-time manager of legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti. In a recent interview, Mama Burna told an online music blog that she started managing Burna Boy 13 years ago.

“I read his first record deal in 2010 and asked him to sign it. But back then, the music couldn’t pay the bills, so I was always working behind the scenes while doing my job. I had kids who needed food, so I couldn’t just focus on the music. I told Burna Boy I believed in him and stood by him.

Aside from being his manager, I had to constantly motivate him and tell him not to settle for less. Look at us today. Just a one-night show can feed us for a year,” she said.
Having successfully managed Burna Boy into a global brand, some critics think it is time for his mother to take a back seat. The critics argue that her presence as a mother-manager has prevented the artiste from being mature and responsible. They cite his inability or choice of not having a steady romantic relationship as a sign of his mother’s vice grip on him.

What do you think? Should Mama Burna move on or stay put with her African giant son?

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