Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates acknowledged the global impact of Afrobeats, stating he was “forced” to check up two of its superstars, Burna Boy and Rema, before his most recent trip to Nigeria. Gates said his daughter Phoebe inspired his search after hearing her passion for both artists during a session with students and young innovators from Nigeria and other countries in Africa.
The Lagos Business School and Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), in collaboration with Africa.com and Channels Television, were co-hosting the event titled “Advancing Africa: Unleashing the Power of Youth in Science and Innovation,” and he was giving the inaugural talk.
Upon hearing that his father was returning to Nigeria for the first time since 2018, Phoebe, 20, he claimed, suggested that he might get to meet the Afrobeats stars. The Microsoft co-founder joked that he had to check up the musicians “because I’m so hip.” Davido and Wizkid, two other Afrobeats icons, were also highlighted.
When my daughter Phoebe heard I was coming to Nigeria, she said, "You're lucky because you get to see Burna Boy and Rema, so I had to look them up…because I'm so 'hip'.
But I remember the last time I was here, I got to see Davido & Wizkid perform.
— Channels Television (@channelstv) June 21, 2023
Social media users have reacted in a variety of ways to this revelation since many felt that it added additional context to the ongoing argument about new and old cats. Gates covered a number of other subjects in his speech, including the “Japa” syndrome and inadequate healthcare.