Corporate social media accounts are made to be boring. Many companies see their social media interactions the same way Nigerian parents see conversations with their children: one-sided. They talk at you through their lifeless, automated handles rather than talking with you, their posts on social media are summarized press releases from their PR team and our feedback to them is treated the same way most of us treat unwanted requests on Twitter to ‘follow back’.
It gets even stiffer with government institutions. The default setting of the social media accounts of most Ministries, Departments and Agencies in Nigeria is automated and unresponsive, mainly because of the conservative nature of our public sector and because the PR departments of most MDA’s are ran by old-timers who have antiquated ideas on how media should work. But over the past year or so, the infamous EFCC Twitter handle tore up the rule books and interacted with Nigerian citizens in manner that was unprecedented.
Unlike other Twitter accounts, the personality behind the EFCC handle didn’t approach their role with a stiff upper lip. The handler knew that they were dealing with an audience with a 140-character attention span, so they did everything to keep them engaged.
It is a tad difficult to concentrate once ojuelegba comes on. https://t.co/JCD0HztfqC
— EFCC Nigeria (@officialEFCC) February 11, 2017
A man's taste is eclectic. https://t.co/U8486FYo6E
— EFCC Nigeria (@officialEFCC) February 12, 2017
It was online trolling at its finest – the handler was sarcastic and quick-witted, they engaged in banter, dropped pop culture references, hopped on Twitter trends and dished out the news in a refreshing manner. They spoke in a language that millennials and millennial-adjacent people could understand and became one of the most followed social media accounts of any MDA in Nigeria with over 200k followers.
But this level of interaction with the public came with a price, not everyone could see the lighter side of chasing financial crimes. Some felt that, with every funny tweet, the account was making a mockery of the serious work the Commission does everyday and was bringing its feared name into disrepute. The EFCC Twitter account has therefore been very controversial – just as many people who loved it, couldn’t stand the guts of the person behind it.
That person was surprisingly revealed yesterday, his name is Olufemi Olukayode Adeyemi, or F.Shaw, in hip-hop circles.
— EFCC Nigeria (@officialEFCC) July 24, 2017
The cover has been blow. As expected, people all over the country instantly began to famz F.Shaw, I even heard one of his songs being played on the radio this morning. I’m not going to sit here and Lai Mohammed you to your face that I was a Day 1 fan of F.Shaw’s but the record that really caught my attention was the classy “As The World Turns” – which he released in ’12 and is also his most viewed song on YouTube.
I remember when I first saw the video on YouTube, I was instantly curious about this smooth-talking, flat cap-wearing rapper who was rapping about putting a ring on his girl’s finger. The sappiness of the song flew in the opposite direction to what our favorite rappers have historically taught us in the past- we don’t wife them, we one night them.
The song was was produced by the legendary Cobhams Asuquo, who was a former schoolmate of F.Shaw’s in secondary school. Many years after leaving school, he and Cobhams got reacquainted and started working on music. One of the songs they worked on made it to F.Shaw’s debut EP which was released in 2008, the EP was titled Avant-Garde. Another song that made it the project was “Moonlight Serenade” produced by another heavy-hitting producer Tee-y Mix.
If you ever needed proof that the school you send your children to could have a profound effect on their future profession, F.Shaw’s career path is the perfect case study. Not only did F.Shaw meet Cobhams back in secondary school, he also became friends with K-Switch when they were both undergrads at Covenant University. F.Shaw became interested in rap music in university and started out, like most rappers, by writing down and reciting his favourite rappers’ lines. He and K-Switch would later end up recording their own songs and collaborating together, as both of their careers slowly began to take shape. Several years after meeting K-Switch, F.Shaw would go on to share the same stage with the rest of the Mo’ Hits crew in South Africa (2008).
In the same year, F.Shaw was part of the MTV Base Reality Show Advance Warning alongside 25 other upcoming acts. He didn’t win but it was a sign that things in his career were generally looking up, or so it seemed. F.Shaw released a third official single titled “My Everything (Aya Mi)” in April 2009, which was the completion of a love trilogy he had started some years earlier – “Moonlight Serenade” being the first and “As the World Turns” being the second.
Sadly, F.Shaw’s life would take a dramatic turn. Shortly after the release of the single, the promising rapper was robbed and stabbed several times, an incident that would change his life. After that incident, F.Shaw made the decision to put music on hold to pursue a Master’s degree and add that to his B.Sc. in Computer Science from Covenant University. After earning his second degree, he entered the corporate world and went on to work as one of the most effective communicators in new media, within the public sector space.
The rapper has thanked EFCC for trusting in his vision and allowing him the space to run their official account his own way. There are however unconfirmed reports that F.Shaw has only moved up in EFCC and not moved out, so he’ll remain with the Commission. But until he comes forward to either confirm or deny those reports, we honestly don’t know what his next move will be.
Whatever the future holds for F.Shaw, one thing is near-certain: with this recent exposure, his rap career has just been given the best chance to soar, just like the eagle of the Commission he’s represented so brilliantly in the last few months.