Back in 2018, British-Liberian visual artist Lina Iris Viktor sued Kendrick Lamar after she claimed that her work was used without her permission in his music video for “All the Stars.” A similar occurrence happened last year, when South African artist Petite Noirepointed out similarities between his short film “The Gift and the Curse” and Beyoncé’s “Spirit” music video.
It seems to look like we have yet another case of plagiarism in line with Davido’s new video for ‘1milli’. Davido has just dropped the visuals for “1 Milli”, a track from his recent album A Good Timewhich was released towards the end of last year. The music video pays homage to the artist’s impending marriage to his fiancée, Chioma Rowland.
The opening scenes of the video, which was directed by DK, begins with shots of women dressed in white and yellow outfits dancing in celebration while horses are being led through the city streets. It becomes apparent quite early on that the women are a part of a massive wedding procession clearing the way for Davido, the groom, to meet with Rowland. The visuals depict a glorious affair that’s accentuated by the ebullient colours of both the dress of all involved as well as their surroundings.
It’s been widely spread abroad by critics that the video’s opening scene highlighted a form of copycatism with Michael Adeyemi’s short film ‘entitled’. The director of Davido’s “1 Milli” stated, in an Instagram story from 3 days ago, that he was in fact “inspired” by Micheal’s work and “always wanted to recreate his iconic shot,” making direct reference to the shot of Michael’s mother on horseback.
“Paying respect and homage to @AdeyemiMichael for the inspiration on this frame in the ‘1 Milli’ video,” wrote Dir. K in an Instagram story, that now appears as a highlight on his page.
Despite the director’s acknowledgment of the reference via Instagram stories, it is not clear whether Michael was asked or made aware beforehand. As of Friday, he had not been formally credited. Critics have seen this occurrence as a low on Davido which if taken serious can lead to a court case as plagiarism of any sort is a legal offence. The short film highlights the plight of immigrants and their ability to overcome, through shots that show Michael’s mother as a regal and powerful matriarch.
Many have advocated for more collaboration amongst African creatives on both big and small scales in order to avoid the issue, suggesting that Davido’s team could’ve reached out to the artist as a show of support and solidarity for another African artist. A public comment from both parties has not been very feasible at this time as neither of both parties HSS taken out time to address the media on this issue.